Cultivating New Attitudes (part four)

Traditional Buddhism creates a powerful antidote to help you discover how you are actually alive. The basis for the Mahayana, the path of altruistic compassion teaches that human life needs to have another object other than yourself. By contrast, the suffering ordinary life with the innate base illogical view, is very much dependent upon looking at yourself!

The antidote is the Mahayana view of giving you a change of perceptions to cultivate while encouraging you toward the spontaneous accomplishment of beneficial intention. Perhaps you have read about the bodhisattvas, compassion and heroes, but it will still not touch you until you understand that you are not alive in the way you think you are. Many work hard at being a bodhisattva when it is the actual being's transformation and energetic healing into another form in its evolutionary journey that they need to facilitate instead.

The Mahayana or Greater Vehicle asks us to consider caring for all sentient beings as a valid alternative to trying to gain quality feelings as a goal. All living beings are like ourselves, trying to be happy. Since we have been working on ourselves for a very long time, and still not grasping the happiness we seek, the universal responsibility of ultimate kindness helps us think to benefit others.

Our human life needs to have another object other than ourselves and this needs to be an object that is a valid expression of reality. Almost everyone has experienced removing attachment for themselves and projected it on to another in an intimate relationship and become attached to another person as the object. Very soon, in most cases they find this dynamic is not as wonderful as they had hoped it was going to be and they begin to find unhappiness in their very object of happiness. So, it must be a valid expression of reality in order to be the correct object, such as deity, Buddhas and bodhisattvas or all sentient beings.

Traditional Buddhism has antidotes to help us learn how we are actually alive. We say, from the very beginning of the Path to enlightenment that suffering exists. It exists in manifest forms, it exists in subtler forms, and it exists on the mental level. It also exists on a subtle level connected to an inner perception of momentary change and the suffering of the base illogical view.

The basis of the Mahayana altruism is that suffering exists. You are feeling suffering, and all living beings are feeling suffering as well because the object of their attention is also themselves. The developed stage of this unnecessary attention is called self-cherishing. Not only do living beings stare at themselves, but they also take themselves as the inner object of their attention making their own needs vastly more important than the extreme needs of others. This self-cherishing causes them to take all kinds of wrong actions, for example, wanting to feel happy and inflicting harm on others so that they do not get in the way of that happiness.

Many terrible things have occurred in the human realm due to self-cherishing. On a world level, countries go to war taking over another country because they want to possess the land. The motivation might be to have more land but it is fueled by self-cherishing, which harms others and harms themselves in the future. So, we see that self-cherishing does not end at the personal or interpersonal level.

The reason why the Mahayana teaches to shift attention to all sentient beings is to give you something hold onto while everything is shifting and changing in preparation for transformation. You have to have something to hang onto while all of these changes are happening. Inappropriate feelings such as craving happiness and satisfaction for yourself and inappropriate dialogues with yourself in the form of confused and unaligned inner energies are being washed away or purified. You hang onto the Mahayana and as you practice, self-cherishing becomes much reduced.

We have worked for our own benefit for a very long time and not received the desired result of feeling good. If we work for the benefit of others, we might benefit them and ourselves as well. The teachings of Buddhism encourage us at each stage of development. We are capable of transformation because we are human beings with human minds, and these techniques will definitely bring a good result because they have worked for myriad beings already!

Because the need is so great, the best method among all transitional methods is to make the transformation to the awakened state as soon as possible so that we can be on the healing side and not on the suffering side. It is possible to choose that and create the necessary changes in perceptions to support that decision. Some days, we might hear the correct way to understand, and other days we hear the illogical view. Practitioners often wonder, “Well, who am I? Why is it some days I have such extraordinary abilities, and other days, I might as well go sit among the bums and beggars!“

Advanced practitioners will criticize themselves also, putting pressure on themselves and criticize their negative and illogical view. A nice, peaceful meditator, sitting on their meditation cushion saying to their own delusions, "Shut up! I am not going to listen to that anymore! I am not going to be like that anymore!”

Changes can happen quickly or over a great length of time, depending upon practice done in previous lives. However, once you decide you are going to be on the healing side and no longer are interested in life as an ordinary suffering being, this will cause you to stop looking at yourself. Suffering soon stops and you become transformed easily because you are not struggling with fantasy. You will soon become an enlightened being of the bodhisattva class, the most beneficial class of beings in the entire universe. You will attain the learning path, and become part of that society of bodhisattvas.

Truly, when you are directly addressing the innate view and healing occurs, I hope you will laugh. That is because when you wake up, what holds you into ordinary being is unsnapped, and you are going to really laugh. Your actual being, the real you inside will rejoice. What will happen when the real you inside becomes a bodhisattva? What kind of feelings will you have then? Do not answer in words, feel it. What will it feel like to have the feelings of a bodhisattva?

The end


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