The ones who speak about Dhamma
but do not practice themselves
are like farmers
counting the cows of others..
Dhammapada: verse 19
It's easy to be philosophical with someone else's life!
Just let go
Often we feel disconnected from the lives of others. We see people who seem to have so much good fortune and success in the material sense that we wonder how they could ever complain about their life. We fail to realise that suffering and unhappiness are aspects of mind common to all beings, and that our judgements are really only a manifestation of our own jealousies, fears and insecurities. It is so easy to tell others just to 'let go' of some emotional crisis and then to explain exactly what we would do in their situation. However, we fail to realise that if we were in their situation we would respond in exactly the same way.
Without that feeling of connectedness we will always find ourselves in a position of judging and commenting on the lives of others without truly understanding the difficulty that those others may face. Life is life and suffering is suffering. When we understand these truths intuitively we can be at peace and give service to everyone around us.
Without this intuitive connectedness, often called Oneness, we will always feel anxious and fearful when others are different to us and express that difference through social and cultural behaviour.
Pointing the finger of blame is always an easy thing to do.
We meet moments in our life which are unpleasant for us and immediately look to the other person and say 'it's your fault that I am unhappy'.
Not only is this not true, it never can be true. The world that we experience is completely unique and personal to us. No one can give happiness to us, nor can anyone take it away. No one can break our heart and no one can make is fall in love. Only we have the power to do these things.
Of course, when we live in our sleep we are completely unaware of our own self responsibility and so we continually give away our personal power to everyone and everything around us. We fail to see that in reality, we are always the architect of our own internal world and that our happiness and our unhappiness comes only come from ourselves. At the end of the Buddha's great teaching of meditation ( Maha Satipatthana Sutta ) he tells us that with continued practice and understanding we will realise a beautiful and profound truth – the truth of connectedness: 'As it is for me, so it is for others'.
Only when we are able to live in harmony with our own reality will we truly be able to live in harmony with the reality of others, and so bring something truly beneficial to the world.
Our Dhamma life always begins with understanding ourselves so that we can understand others. To know ourselves, so that we can know others, and to love ourselves, so that we can love others.
This is the beauty of Dhamma.
May all beings be happy.
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