37 practices: verse11, part 2

For the translation and audio of verse 11, to exchange my happiness for others’ suffering, click here.

We’re having a couple of weeks off while Chodron is traveling. Next class is October 19. In the meantime, here’s a contemplation from Ken McLeod’s book Reflections on Silver River:

Contemplation: “Suppose you were told that, no matter what you did, you would never be happy. Never. What would you do with your life?”

In other words, how much does the way we organize our life depend on the expectation that eventually, if some condition or other is met, we will finally be happy? If the pursuit of our own happiness were not a factor, how would we then relate to our own and other peoples’ suffering?

To take it further, how does this relate to the Buddha’s first noble truth, that within our samasaric existence based on ego-clinging and the pursuit of personal happiness, our experience is inevitably permeated with suffering? And with his explanation of the three types of suffering — that even what we perceive as pleasure (the suffering of change) is tinged with or leads to the suffering of outright suffering?

We’ll talk about this in the next class, when we discuss Ken McLeod’s commentary.

Meditation: Keep doing some taking and sending in formal meditation every day, using any method you like, and in daily life remember to apply Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s instructions for when we find ourselves caught up in emotional affliction:

Relative method for dealing with anger, desire, jealousy, anxiety, fear, etc.: Take on the suffering of all other beings who may be experiencing the same emotion, and through your own suffering free them from theirs. (This can be done as taking and sending.)

Ultimate method: Just sit quietly with the emotion and look directly at it, perceiving its lack of solid reality, its dreamlike quality, its impermanence, its emptiness of true existence.

See you October 19!


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