Keeping our focus on Relative Bodhicitta, these verses point to the impossibility of attempting to generate compassion while focusing on one’s own suffering, of not seeing the sameness of ourselves and our fellow human beings and our common wish for happiness. The verses address our baseless fear of bringing more pain onto our lives through taking on the suffering of others. This thinking, Shantideva says, is counter productive. By extending our awareness to the suffering of others, and making a comparison, we put our own problems into perspective; in fact our own suffering is diminished by looking beyond ourselves and seeing how small it is relative to the greater suffering felt across the earth.
Developing this understanding will help us feel better, less anxious and preoccupied with ourselves. We may even come to feel joyful.
Shantideva takes an even harder line when he says that a bodhisattva should be ready to put their own life on the line when working to alleviate to suffering felt by others, particularly when the opportunity arises to help multitudes of people, and Ringu Tulku relates the teaching of the Dalai Lama, ‘The wisest way of helping yourself is through generating compassion and trying to help others. Life will then become meaningful.’
You can can also view the teaching on the Chapter 8 page along with the other teachings on this chapter. All previous sessions on Chapters 1–8 are available in the Courses section of the Teachings Archive.
New sessions will be posted twice a week, usually on Tuesday and Friday. Every Friday we will send a mailout with links to all new teachings posted during the week.
Rinpoche has kindly agreed to answer questions regarding these teachings once in every two weeks in a live webinar on Zoom, which will be simultaneously streamed on this website. Next webinar will be on 21st February. You are encouraged to ask your question live in the webinar, but if you are more comfortable with submitting it in writing, you can do so by using the comment area below. Please reflect on your question carefully before you send it, and be concise and only use one short paragraph and less than 80 words.
Vous pouvez également envoyer des questions en français. También puede enviar preguntas en español. Sie können Fragen auch auf Deutsch senden. Puoi anche inviare domande in italiano. Presubmitted questions in other languages are also welcome and they will be translated to English.
In any other questions and for technical help, please contact us at Teachings Archive.
These teachings are dedicated for all who are sick and dying of corona virus, and for all who are tirelessly working in order to help them.
Your questions are most welcome. Archive members can log in and leave their questions for Rinpoche as a comment below, so that others can see them too. Please be concise and only use one short paragraph and less than 80 words. Questions longer than that may have to be edited. Questions will be collected from here in the evening day before each Live Q&A.
Non-members can either sign up to become a member to leave a comment below or simply use the form here to ask Rinpoche a short question. In any other issues and for technical help, please contact us at Teachings Archive.
If you would like to make a personal offering to Rinpoche along with a message, please use the button below:
You can find out more about how to support the archive, while gaining access to Rinpoche's online teachings, using the button below.