Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Stupid Thoughts

Words by Lotus



Many a times I have heard this wise saying: “We are the cause of our own problems”. It took me years before this saying became a very significant part of my belief. I used to think, “How can he do this to me?!” or “Why can’t they just do that!” or “Why is she like this?”, etcetera. I put the blame on others and wanted them to change to my liking.

But when we place the responsibility of fulfilling our expectations on others, our happiness becomes dependent on what others do. How can real happiness be found in this way?

We all feel good when being praised or treated nicely. Because of the attachment to this good feeling, we experience mental suffering when others treat us badly or when someone’s behavior is not up to our expectations. However, as soon as we let go of this burden of attachment, the misery vanishes instantly. It is amazing just how a change in our perception can instantly remove the misery. It is even faster than trying to change others to satisfy our expectations!

It is not easy for the mind to remain unmoved. When someone vents his anger on us, it is much easier to react to that anger. Usually blame, frustration, anger, or even hatred will arise. But is this how we should react? An angry person is bound to suffer mentally and physically, for no angry person is a happy person and angry people fall sick easily. Furthermore, if we believe in the law of karma (cause and effect) and rebirth, those who sow bad seeds will have to reap the results of suffering in this life or other lifetimes. Contemplating thus, how can one not have compassion for those who have anger and hatred in their mind?

Of course, this takes many rounds of contemplation and practice. However, if we persist, slowly but surely, one day, the ‘stupid’ thoughts will no longer arise in the mind. All that is left are ‘right’ thoughts in accordance with the truth. This inner journey of facing defilements and purifying the mind is tough and sometimes painful, but it is the only way to lasting happiness as shared by the Enlightened one.

The enlightened Buddha did not have a single ‘stupid’ thought arising in Him and did not had ill will towards those who blame Him. Instead, out of compassion, He showed us the true cause of misery and the way out of this misery—to identify and remove the root cause of suffering.

May we have the patience and courage to walk the journey (Eightfold path) that leads to the end of all suffering.

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