In Tibetan society, when someone becomes ill, he or she begins to practice hard. They redouble their meditation practice and their prayers. However, it is so interesting that in the west, sometimes this is different, but as soon as we get a little sniffle, we say, "I am not going to meditate today. I do not feel quite well enough."
It should be instead, “When things get tough, the tough go to their meditation cushions!” The tough increase their meditation time. This is determination. I have students, when their pet passed away, stopped meditating for a long time because they could not sit, they felt too sad. It is better to pray for your pet's arrival in pet heaven or for a good rebirth, but do not stop meditating. Do not discourage yourself from meditating. Find ways within difficult situations that make it imperative for you to practice.
In that way, the nature of diamond motivation comes alive in you. Do not be like marshmallow inside. Have diamond determination, not because you want to feel better, but because you need to get to the transformed state in order to be of benefit to all living beings. You do not do it for yourself, but for others. Then it becomes effortless.
One of my students came to me almost cracking under with the stress of how their mortgage was going to be paid. I said, "Now is the time to do tonglen. You are the perfect person to understand the suffering of having to figure out how to pay your mortgage. Think of all of those people out there who are currently trying to get a mortgage in order to do something valuable. Pray, “I want you to give me all of that suffering. I understand the suffering because I am going through it myself.” Give me all of your mortgage sufferings, and in return, I will use it to destroy my own self-cherishing, and send you back pure healing light.
In Tibetan Buddhism, we have many techniques for overcoming difficulties, transforming them into opportunities for practice. Whatever life throws at you, this determination to transform adverse circumstances makes you unbreakable. Indestructible, like diamond, perfect determination becomes a wisdom resource. You will not fall over in a breeze. Others can count on you to not keel over at the first sign of trouble, taking defeat as the excellent remedy for your problems.
The strength of determination has many other fine remedy perceptions. It is good to think that your determination to be free and to attain this transformed state is like a diamond that can cut anything, but it itself cannot be cut. Energetic sturdiness is not like stubbornness, but a transformation of the energy system, which probably has not been used correctly up to this point. Some of you have become stubborn at times when you should have been flexible, and you have been very flexible at times when you should have been stubborn.
Thinking changes the neural pathways used for strategies, and in return, strategies display and redefine perceptions. For example, if you shout when there is something that you want or do not want, and it works one or two times, it begins to change you so that shouting becomes a strategy. Soon you are the kind of person who has to shout in order to get what you want.
Thinking changes methods we use for developing new strategies. New strategies in accordance with the Dharma change the results experienced in daily life and meditation practices. Even though the strategy of shouting has worked often enough so that you have developed it, you instead deliberately think, 'I am not going to do that anymore. I am going to try a new way.'
Using new strategies based on Buddhist principles change the data result that you get in daily life. New strategies will also change the flow of data results that you are experiencing in meditation. Your actual being, the real you alive on another level of reality, only has your information about what is going on in this world. It does not need that information because it wants to know about the world, but because there is something important that they are missing for transformation. Correct meditation creates better data information, feeding your deep innermost actual being a different message about this world.
The world that you see inside will have a new view. It is like living in a different world than before when new strategies are in accordance with higher development. High thinking presented in the philosophy of Buddhism changes the taste and the texture of life experiences. Something indefinable that will make you feel like this is not even the same world.
Good results cause us to use the successful strategies because it feels right. This not only applies to successful strategies, but also successful dynamics. Dynamics are comprised of states of mind in various strengths. This is skillful; even though everyone around you is losing his or her mind, you hold a careful balance and are valuable.
Not just in daily life, but these dynamics in meditation are everything meditation is. These are nothing compared to the dynamics that you are holding in the form of complex states of mind, the effect of enlightenment experience in this world. These dynamics are used in your personality. Successful strategies reflect in your behavior, and produce a beneficial effect on future actions. Powerful successful strategies that you deliberately hold make you valuable. Good strategies not only make you happier in your own mind but also will gentle your nature.