Ringu Tulku Rinpoche
Teachings on Bodhicharyavatara
Chapter 6: Patience
In these next two verses we are looking at how we receive praise, or criticism; how when someone praises us we can carried away in the glory, develop pride and forget our path of renunciation, because if we indulge in adulation it develops an attachment to the samsaric way. If we are on the receiving end of praise it shouldn’t feed our hunger for recognition, but be accepted with humility, with an understanding of the way even good things can change in a flash into something negative. On the other hand, being on the receiving end of criticism even when it is not intended as such can be hurtful and generate hostility, so we should also look for the truth in what is happening, recognising our personal fault-lines when they are exposed to us, be thankful to our enemy for the reminder, and leave aside our angry hurt pride. This is true patience.
If we dwell on the criticism, we become resentful, and forget our own potential. There is no room for martyrdom here. It often happens that a negative interaction comes through misunderstanding, and knowing this can help us to look compassionately on the other person. Having that attitude may even generate a new resilient friendship.
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