The next slogan is "Don't expect applause," which means "Don't expect thanks." This is important. When you open the door and invite all sentient beings as your guests, and not only that, but you also open the windows, and the walls even start falling down, you find yourself in the universe with no protection at all. Now you're in for it. If you think that just by doing that you are going to feel good about yourself, and you are going to be thanked right and left- no, that won't happen.
More than to expect thanks, it would be helpful just to expect the unexpected; then you might be curious and inquisitive about what comes in the door. We can begin to open our hearts to others when we have no hope of getting anything back. We just do it for its own sake.
On the other hand, it's good to express our gratitude to others. It's helpful to express our appreciation of others. But if we do that with the motivation of wanting them to like us, we can remember this slogan. We can thank others, but we should give up all hope of getting thanked back. Simply keep the door open without expectations.
From Start Where You Are : A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron, Copyright 1994, Shambhala Publications.
Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston.
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