Rinpoche here reminds us that all of these instructions are directed at working with the mind, with our own inner dialogue; we are training ourselves to see where we fall into the old habitual tendencies that govern our behaviours, which––despite the immediate pleasure or happiness they may bring––are not actually in the best interests of ourselves in the long term, and never of others. Thus the next five verses give us an example of the possible mental exchanges we might have with ourselves regarding influences to our decision making. It is an unequivocal fact, he says, that the direct route to the gates of hell is through indulging our own selfishness and negative emotions.
The answer to redirecting this comes in the form of developing self awareness and discipline, spotting the habitual responses that work for personal gain and halting the resulting behaviours––before we act out. It is a training, and sometimes requires us to go against our own natural responses with a willpower and firmness. That way we will begin to see results that in turn encourage us to bring about a permanent change of attitude.
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