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Tuesday, July 9, 2019


I'm reading a wonderful book about a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Bishop Tutu on joy. It's called "The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness."

Here are a few quotes:
Too much self-centered thinking is the source of suffering. A compassionate concern for other's well-being is the source of happiness... All dharma teachings agree on one point - lessening one's self-absorption... When we focus on ourselves, we are bound to be unhappy.
This lesson, I think, is essential for us all, whether on a spiritual quest or just working on being a better person. I see this so urgently needed by those seemingly delicate people who tell themselves they cannot bear divergent points of view, those often called snowflakes. I see this in ego driven people from whatever walk of life. I see this need in the true believers of the world. I see it in wannabe spiritual leaders. etc etc. etc.

I agree each of us would do well to observe ourselves. Where do we see self-centeredness? Where do we come up short in compassion? How often do we ask ourselves what we can do to be a blessing to others in a pure way? That is, caring without any expectation of attention or thankfulness in return, just caring because that's who we are.

Without honest self-observation, we are doomed to suffer. With compassion our problems/challenges become a part of the whole, we are not alone. We see that others have far deeper problems, everyone has something that pains them, and as we focus caring upon others, our selfish suffering morphs into joy.

The old saying applies here, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Lord God, Divine Presence, Holy More, lift me out of my self-centeredness. Open me to true compassion. Lead me to focus on what is actually important. 

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