Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart


our own best friends

best friends2Here’s the thing, folks: who is your best friend? Who do you trust? Who has your back? And who — within broad limits — will you forgive almost anything?

If you yourself aren’t on that list, welcome to adulthood. And how sad is THAT?

Buddhism talks alot about knowing your own self. There’s a meme going around FB lately, that quotes Bodhidharma, the Buddhist monk, on self-knowledge:

If you wish to see the Buddha,
You must look into your own inner-nature;
This nature is the Buddha himself.
If you have not seen your own nature,
What is the use of thinking of Buddha,
Or reciting sutras, or fasting, or keeping precepts?
By thinking of Buddha, your meritorious deed will bear fruit;
By reciting sutras, you may attain a bright intellect;
By keeping the precepts, you may be born into heavens;
By practicing charity, you may be rewarded abundantly;
But as to seeking Buddha, you are far away.     ~ Bodhi-Dharma (d.533…?)

Bodhidharma, woodblock print by Yoshitoshi, 1887.

Bodhidharma, woodblock print by Yoshitoshi, 1887.

The reason is that if we know ourselves, and can find it in ourselves to accept with compassion our own natures, then we can love each other. We can act from and with love.

And as a friend of mine replied, when I posted this, Why does he have to hang out in such a scary place?

Because it’s soooo hard to love ourselves.  I have many many friends & colleagues who seem utterly incapable of recognising the talents, skills, gifts, beauty I see in them. They struggle with deep feelings of inadequacy, even though they are some of the most productive (and empathetic) men & women I know. Since many — if not most — of them are teachers, this time of year is particularly devastating. It’s virtually impossible to give support, attention, & affirmation to others when you’re at ground zero yourself.

Today, take a moment to remember: you know yourself better than you know anyone. And as I told a dear friend recently? Look for what your friends see in you, and honour their perceptions. In other words, treat yourself as gently and kindly as you would a friend. I guarantee that if you make a habit of it, it will change your life.



Previous Posts

a bardo for Richard
My friend Richard died this week. Tuesday, to be precise. And in light of that precision, he was really my sister's friend, at least at first. But because we ended up talking across her FB page, we became friends

posted 4:48:57pm Oct. 30, 2014 | read full post »

foxholes
The word 'foxhole' has multiple meanings. First -- of course -- is the den foxes build for their young: a skulk of foxes. The other comes from WWI -- trench warfare, a hole to (hopefully) save your life. Today's

posted 9:03:25pm Oct. 28, 2014 | read full post »

vernacular scholars, pointy-heads, and regular folks: a tale of bewilderment ~
This is a story about what happens (far too often) when you have a PhD, or at least when folks find out you have a PhD (and I rarely confess to this!). It's the sad story of a culture where folks either react w/ ins

posted 8:43:15pm Oct. 23, 2014 | read full post »

autumn roses, a metaphor
In the spring, when my roses begin to bloom, it's wonderful: it means winter is over! And I'm always ready. But to be honest? The fall roses are more lovely. They're more fragrant, more vivid in colour, just overa

posted 3:47:34pm Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

a happy birthday for my beloved
If you've been following the blog, you know that my beloved broke his ankle about 6 weeks ago. He was unable to walk these past weeks, since the accident and the surgery. Noooo load-bearing on that foot, the doc said. And believe me: we were NOT happy about it. It's amazing what you can't do when yo

posted 5:50:32pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »




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