Imagine The World You Want and You’ll Have Company
“When you begin to imagine and act as if you live in the world you want to live in, you will have company.” – Bernice Johnson Reagon
Are you ready to step up in good company?
IF YOU WASTE THIS LIFE AND LEAVE IT EMPTY-HANDED,
YOU WON’T EASILY FIND IT AGAIN.
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” ― Arundhati Roy
GIVE UP THIS LIFE—THESE HABITS THAT DON’T SERVE.
FOCUS ON THE GOOD. ON PEACE. ON LOVE.
THERE IS NOT A HIGHER AIM THAN THAT.
As the great yogi Milarepa said,
First I went to the mountains from the fear of death,
But now I’ve seized the stronghold of deathlessness.
YOUR ILLUSORY BODIES HAVE YOU TRICKED
We have a strong attachment to our own body. We cherish it, but this does not actually help us. One day something will go wrong with our body. No matter how beautiful our body is while we are alive, the day we die, it becomes a corpse. As a corpse, it’s completely horrifying, and no one wants it. So we see that there is no essence to the body. Our illusory body has us tricked.
MIND’S PROPENSITIES ARE LIKE OLD FRIENDS
WHO KEEP ON COMING BACK; DON’T CHASE THE PAST
Sometimes we can be extremely diligent about subduing ignorance and the afflictions, but sometimes they keep coming back and we cannot be diligent. We have become accustomed to these bad propensities since beginningless samsara, and so sometimes we can only partially eliminate them. We want to develop the qualities of realization, and sometimes they come, but sometimes they don’t. This is just how things are. Our habitual tendencies are old acquaintances; we go way back with them. We need to try to get rid of our old bad habits and create new good habits. When we create good habits, sometimes they take hold and sometimes they don’t. We need to be continually diligent about this. Our old habits are harmful. Don’t chase the past.
One of the practices that I turn to time and again has its roots in a simple verse of the eighth chapter of the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, where Shantideva, that 8th-century paragon of bodhisattvas, writes:
Whosoever wishes to swiftly provide
Deliverance for themselves and others
Should practice the sublime mystery
Of exchanging self and other.
When we recognize, without any doubt, that if we act from unwholesome thoughts or motives, from harmful motives, we will experience suffering, it really helps us to live a life more beneficial not only to ourselves but to everybody around us.
Are our motives altruistic? Is our intention to relieve suffering? Intention is the key to whether actions are wholesome or not. What I want to recommend to you is to see the light of the moon in every drop of water. See buddha mind, buddha heart in everyone. Connect with that part of each person you meet. Be aware of your motives, what motivates your actions. Be sure that your motivation is altruistic. The more of us who conduct ourselves in such a way, the more we’ll enjoy this life.