I thought thia Dhamma talk of Self centered thoughts in relation to cherishing others. Its a good talk about how cherishing others of those on a bodhisattva path would be priority as compared to many of us who think we (me-individually or me-ans my family and community) rather than others first ragardless of our relations.
After listening to this 1hr or so talk, how would you help others or I guess see how youd see others as a priority as opposed to yourself? Not neglecting yourself.
Our teacher (an old Tibetan monk & geshe, originally born in Tibet), asked the class how we could best help others.
Many ideas were offered.
After we had run out of suggestions, the teacher offered that the only way to REALLY help others is to first attain enlightenment, so that then we can help others find their way out of samsara suffering.
For us unenlightened, the whole purpose of cherishing others (instead of cherishing ourselves) is to train our orientation away from being ego-centered, and instead develop an other-centered orientation. It is our focus on ourselves that is, in fact, the source of our suffering.
We do not cherish just those who are on a bodhisattva path ... we try to cherish all living beings. This scripture, "Eight Verses of Training the Mind", is very useful. Although the concepts it presents are contrary to typical Western concepts, and the verses may at first grate against our self-cherishing .... repeated daily, over years, we slowly set a new pattern of responding within ourselves.
I think it important to take instruction and guidance in such matters. @FoibleFull ; without such assistance and support, it is possible to fall into the trap of denigrating one's self to the point of becoming a doormat. And I'm sure that is not the intention of the lesson, at all.
Yes, there are those who become doormats. With or without the assistance of the dharma. These are personality dynamics that are not related to Buddhism per se.
For those who have those dynamics, Theravadan Buddhism (rather than Mahayana) would probably be more advisable.
And this is one of the reasons we seek a skilled teacher, who can steer us away from unhealthy interpretations of the dharma writings.
But for MOST of us, the problem is not that we denigrate ourselves, but that we denigrate others in our drive to elevate ourselves.
I realise I’m not typical, in that I’ve never denigrated others, even in gossip. But I found the eight verses for me to go a step too far, it’s like experiencing a warning that I could lose myself in them, in the “other” orientation. And that doesn’t feel like a healthy path to me. It’s an area where I don’t clearly see the most beneficial way forward for myself either.
But perhaps the reason that I’m looking for the “most beneficial way” for myself is exactly why I can’t easily place the ‘other’ orientation in context. One of the things I’ve gained from Buddhism is a deeper connection to others, through their suffering, through generosity of spirit, through compassion... but these things just open the doors, they don’t immediately transform you deep within.
@carlita is your dharma talk link ok? I clicked on it and got a “server not found” message.
"To know thyself is to forget thyself and to forget thyself is to become Enlightened by all things"
Odd. I cant link it on my phone. Heres the link:
Shifting from the Self-Centered Thought to Cherishing Others - SDD - (youtube)
Indeed. I could not find a skilled teacher. Had to make do with someone enlightened ...
Do we wipe others feet of clay on the Namaste doormat Shoshin so kindly posted a pic of ... or do we hide under the mat ... ??????
Respect is a duality. It is both respect for self and resprct for others. It is not, "First I must respect myself, then..." It is not, "First I must respect others, then...".
We take the Bodhisattva approach of helping others as we are helping ourselves.
Peace to all