A short teaching on the topic Habitual Tendencies.
Photo thanks to OKC website.
Our world is based on our habitual tendencies. All our feelings, emotions and the way we react is based on that, and that is, in turn, further reinforced by how we act and react. All dharma practices are directed at our attitude – how we see things -, at our emotions, and at our habitual tendencies, which is the deepest of these three. To practice dharma is to work on these. “I am my dharma practice.” Whatever practice we do, it has to connect with how I work on this and transform it, and then it becomes true dharma practice. And it is said that when it’s deeply transformed, it’s not only transformed in oneself, but the environment is transformed too.
What transforms this is wisdom and compassion. Wisdom is to see clearly the nature of oneself and everything, and understand that there’s nothing to grasp at. Most of the negative habitual tendencies are based on fear and craving. When we understand there is no need for these, that is the beginning of changing the habitual tendencies. Compassion is the opposite of all five negative emotions. All negative emotions are based on self-centeredness, and so is ignorance, which means holding on to “self” and thereby separating oneself from everything else. Compassion is releasing the self-clinging and opening the heart. Compassion is said to be the most important experience to develop in order to negative emotions and, thereby, negative habitual tendencies be slowly transformed.
Heaven, hell, and all the six realms is nothing more than habitual tendencies. In a nutshell, transforming our way of seeing, feeling and reacting is the practice. It’s difficult to change, so we need to practice again and again. Vajrayana especially is geared to working on habitual tendencies.
Summarised by MS
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