Thursday, November 13, 2008
SEM: The Nature of the Mind - Gehlek Rimpoche
Having compassion for yourself is your first priority. Developing love and care for yourselves is your first priority. People will say, "love-compassion is loving oth- ers and caring for others." True! But, that doesn't mean that I'm not included. In the sixty years I have read Tibetan prayers, everywhere it says, "I and all sentient beings, etc." It all begins with "I and all others." It never said, "All beings except me." So, helping yourself and develop- ing compassion for yourself, are the first urgent priorities for us. If we can develop compassion for ourselves, then it is easy to de- velop compassion for others. If you try to develop compassion for others and ignore yourself, I don't think you will ever develop com- passion at all. You will feel pity when looking at people suffering -- at beings suffering, like a dog or a cat when a car runs over them. You'll feel sad, but I don't know if that's being compassionate; it's pity feelings we develop. We may call that compassion, but it's not really true compassion. What true compassion is we'll try to talk about this week. But, already I tell you here: if you don't develop compassion for yourself, it will not appear. It is not an automatic thing. It has to be developed. If you don't develop compassion for yourself, then forget about developing compassion for others; there's no way it's going to happen. Atisha, the famous Bengalian scholar who came to Tibet in the 1100s to bring the true message of the Buddha, said, Until you help yourself, until you develop yourself, and attend to your mind, you'll never be able to attend to others'minds. So, our first priority is to develop love and care for ourselves. We do care for ourselves, but often not in the correct way. Atisha also says, Don't think "I did this. I did that." Think, "Others did this. Others did that." Have respect for everybody.