Changing the Mind is very Important!
A teaching by Khenpo Kalsang Nyima given on the 14th of May 2016
Greetings to all the dear Dharma friends.
In our group many students have expressed their wish to know the Dharma teaching schedule and news. Since I don’t have time to explain to each person individually, I have explained some news in the group. In case it has caused some of the members in the group discomfort, to begin with, I beg your pardon.
In our human life we have a variety of different situations, feelings and ways of doing things. The reason for this is that from many previous life times until now, we have different ways of thinking and different ways of performing activities. For example, ten women, who have arrived from ten different countries, look at one particular man. Some, while looking at him, would see him as handsome, some will see him as mediocre, and others will see him as having no particular appealing form, while some wouldn’t really like him. Therefore, there are ten different ways of looking at things and it is impossible for them all to be identical. Similarly, if you give the same food to ten different people who’ve come from ten different countries, due to individual different habits, for some the food will be very tasty, some, while eating the food will think it is rather good, and others, will not feel at all like eating the food which is given. In this way, there will be different situations on the same basis of food.
Similarly, if in one place, in one house, there are the same beds arranged with the same height, for some these beds will be good and comfortable, while for others they will be rather okay, some will feel that they cannot sleep at all with so many people around them, while for others, it will appear like a prison. In short, even if ten people live in one house, there will be a variety of different situation. In one family home if there are 3, 4 or 5 members and they all have the same rights for food, wearing clothes and they all have the same situation, some of the members of the family will have a comfortable, relaxed and a happy feeling. Some of the members of the family will have a feeling that this is rather okay, just mediocre. Others will feel that they cannot stay at all in this kind of situation for longer. And
a few will feel that this is completely insufficient and perhaps they will see it as a prison. In short, when family members come together in one home there are different feelings, temperaments and habits. In the human life the actual feeling doesn’t arise in dependence on an external object, but rather the feeling arises in dependence on a habit from previous lives, a continuation of a habitual feelings from this current life and different outlooks.
In short, in dependence on the way of perceiving things as good or bad, feelings such as good and bad, comfortable and uncomfortable arise. By knowing this, if you need happiness and well being, first you should transform your negative outlooks into positive ones. And you should change your mind from undermining others and abusing them to a mind of benevolence and loving kindness. A mind which is always extremely timid, irritable, hateful, etc., it is necessary to change it into open-mindedness and patience. When you’re always looking at others who’ve got greater fame than you, greater wealth than you, greater ability than you, you think; “I need to get something like that, I need to get more than what I have”. Instead of thinking like this, with great greed and immense hope, look at the situations of people who are lower and poorer than you, look at their suffering. By understanding their suffering, if you compare your own suffering to them, you will recognize how happy, wealthy and on a very high level you are. Therefore, in relation to them think: “I have wondrous, elaborate conditions”. In this way of perceiving things, console yourself, or in other words, assist your own mind to get happy.
Transforming your outlook in this way is very important. Especially, in society today, people consider their own happiness and wishes as most important, thinking, for example: “I want to go by myself to a beautiful place”, thus, not having love or concern for the other person’s situation. Thinking as well: “I only want to have fun with my friends and close ones” without paying attention or having much concern about the ones in your surroundings. In short, having only the thought of I want to become happy and having too strong self-cherishing, one lives a life of care freeness and personal convenience by doing and going just where one self wishes. Living like this over a long length of time you hurt, ignore and disappoint the people around you. Therefore, the love and trust which they had for you is lost and gradually and the people who are close to you become more and more distant. In this way, the difficult situation which happens is that
you don’t have people who love you, who take care of you and cherish you. For the purpose of being happy you didn’t think about other people and now you become lonely and unhappy due to facing difficulty. What you need is people to love you, to take care of you, however, since you have abandoned love care for others, since you show others this kind of behavior, they also behave accordingly towards you. In the Buddha-Dharma this is called the fruits of one’s own deeds or the results of Karma. This means that whatever behavior you show others, this is what they show you. Facing lots of problems, if what I need is that others will love me, I need others to trust me, I need others to support to me, then one should first abandon the mind of wanting only oneself to be well and happy and generate support, love and concern continuously to the people around you who have trust towards you. To the extent which you can do it, to that extent you will be loved, gain trust, will be cared for and will be paid attention to by others. Finally, in this life, you will be able to attain the happiness which you wish for and will be able to enjoy support and help, at times of difficulties, from your friends and family. You will be able to enjoy all these kinds of feelings.
Thinking about these reasons, don’t consider and hold your self-cherishing as most important. The root of all happiness, peace and harmony is having benevolence, loving kindness, concern and paying attention to others, to the best of one’s capability. That is extremely important and precious. So therefore, everyone should pay attention to that and make efforts for that. In conclusion, our happiness and well-being do not come only from external phenomena, but mainly come from transforming one’s own mind into a positive direction. For this reason we need to practice the Dharma in the everyday life, I think.