Lojong 13: Be grateful to everyone

J. Kongtrul says: “CONTEMPLATE THE GREAT KINDNESS OF EVERYONE”

Without this world, without others, there is no path, thus no enlightenment.

All the irritations and problems are necessary – Chogyam says, “The details that are seemingly obstacles to us become an essential part of the path. Without them we cannot attain anything at all.” There is no chance to develop beyond self. Feel grateful that others are presenting us with tremendous obstacles, threats, challenges. Without the obstacles and irritations that reveal to us – via our reactions – the truth about our self, we would just remain mired in our delusions.

The other level of this is the realization that our own suffering is always teaching us how to be compassionate. Once we realize that what we suffer, all others are suffering too – that it’s actually all just one suffering – we are truly compassionate, not just compassionate because someone said we should be, or because we’ll get something out of it in the long run, like heaven or good karma or future blessing.

So – we can be truly grateful to all those we encounter. This is a slogan that can be practiced every day of our lives. Something to hang around your neck and try to remember in every situation that arises. Such a practice can be transforming. Instead of becoming irritated, we go to gratitude. Crazy wisdom. Poison as Medicine. Liberation.

For example, when someone makes you angry, thank them for revealing to you that you have this reactive spot that can be pricked into such response. Then focus on the sensations accompanying the ‘anger’ and suddenly you are no longer focusing on the object, and then the anger itself begins to subside.

In fact, if there were only one slogan, this would probably be it. If you can remember this one, it will be enough. If you can only practice one thing, practice this. Notice that like Indra’s Net, this point refracts and reflects all the other points…

Analogs to this include: “Praise God in all things!” (St. Paul) “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.”

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