Worldly beings regard objects in three ways. Agreeable objects are looked upon
with the poison of attachment, or desire, disagreeable objects with the poison of aversion, or hatred, and indifferent objects with the poison of ignorance of their true mode of existence, emptiness. In our meditation we should imagine accepting these three poisons, the source of all misery, from every being in cyclic existence, and replacing them with the three sources of virtue and happiness: nonattachment, non-aggression, and non-ignorance. This is the abbreviated final instruction.
If we seriously practice giving and taking, little harm or suffering comes to us. When it does, we accept it and, by realizing that its deep cause lies in a past unwholesome action, we transform it into the path to liberation. Just as a bird flaps its wings to fly higher and is further assisted by the wind blowing from beneath, in the same way we too are assisted by two vital forces as we develop the awakening mind: these are accepting all the trouble and suffering of others upon ourselves, and giving them all our merit, virtues, and excellent qualities such as wisdom and compassion. We should practice this not only in our imagination, but when circumstances arise and there is a chance to help others; in fact, we must spontaneously do whatever we can to assist them. If we do not apply our practice to our everyday actions, we are being hypocritical and deceiving ourselves.
Copyright Brian Beresford, 1977, 1996. Excerpted from Advice from a Spiritual Friend, with permission of Wisdom Publications, 199 Elm St., Somerville MA 02144 U.S.A, www.wisdompubs.org
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