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Put yourself first

How awful does this sound? As trained Mahayana practitioners we can’t but be shocked by such a statement. I was.

However, unless and until we have attained an unwavering realization we do have to put ourselves first. Not our egos. Our fundamentals.

I have sometimes seen myself trying to please others to the extent of straying from my own truth. It has nothing to do with the path of the Bodhisattvas, with generosity, or empathy. It comes from a completely different place. A place of lack, a place of need for acceptance, and recognition.

This is easily misunderstood. Because those who are drawn to the altruistic path of Bodhisattvas are naturally more inclined to care for other people, to be gentle and easy going. So for them, putting themselves first sounds like self-centered heresy.

But the thing is: if we do not remain true to what we are and cannot connect with our inner nature before anything else, there is no path and there is no real help we can give. It is not by denying ourselves that we become true Mahayana practitioners.

We have to stand our ground and be self-reliant in order to walk the Bodhisattvas’ path.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Karma Norbu ཀམ་ནོར་བུ

    I think that it’s easy to forget that the Bodhisattva training is that of the spiritual warrior. We need to train our mind to be strong, steadfast and resolute whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in, otherwise how can we help others?

    “Warrior-ship here does not refer to making war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution. Here the word “warrior” is taken from the Tibetan “pawo,” which literally means, “one who is brave.” … “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

    – Chogyam Trungpa

  2. Tsering

    Thank you Norbu!

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