This final precept may be pertinent for many of us. The commentator provides several examples, one of which concerns inheritance. Anticipating the death of a relative or rich friend in hopes of benefiting is certainly a case of seeking another's misery for the sake of your own happiness. Another major example concerns people whom we cannot stand. We may be gladdened at the prospect of an enemy dying, or falling into disgrace, or getting hit by a truck. Our imagination can become very fertile here, but such thoughts are to be abandoned.
Sechibuwa also gives as example a meditator or dharma teacher vying for reputation with others in the same region, thinking that the illness or death of a peer would result in greater respect or more offerings for oneself. This brings to mind contemporary examples from business or academia, where people compete for their own happiness to the detriment of their colleagues. The arena of sex provides other examples: breaking up a harmonious relationship because of lust for one of the people involved. The envy and selfishness of such actions are tragic.
Whether an enemy meets with misfortune, sickness, or death, is a matter of his or her own karma. Our own history and past actions determine the fortune or misfortune presented to each of us. Wishing misfortune on someone does not cause that misfortune to happen. Instead, because the yearning for another person's suffering is itself an unwholesome mental action, it immediately places unwholesome imprints upon our own mind and guarantees our own future suffering if those imprints are not purified.
Excerpted from: The Seven-Point Mind Training(first published as A Passage from Solitude : Training the Mind in a Life Embracing the World), by B. Alan Wallace. Copyright 1992 by Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, New York 14851.
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