If you wish to change the world,
begin with yourself.
—H.H. the Dalai Lama
Both Gautama the Buddha and Jesus the Christ taught us that the practical antidote to fear, anger, hatred, ego-clinging, greed, pride, guilt and other pathological emotions—the causes of human suffering—is kind compassionate engaged action toward others—the thought, intention and action for the benefit of all beings. Indeed, this is the greatest secret of human happiness; the happiness that cannot be lost; Happiness Itself.
We have seen that the mindstate from which such thought, intention and action is generated and then expressed is known as bodhicitta—awakened heart-mind. And selfless bodhicitta is the primary cause of our freedom from suffering, our indwelling, “innermost secret”, always present safe place, the “innate intrinsic awareness” of our always already present gentle, loving Wisdom Mind from which kindness effortlessly, spontaneously arises for the benefit of others, and therefore of oneself.
Wisdom Mind abides not in the past, nor the future. Past is but a present memory. Future is a present, often fraught anticipation of that which has not even happened. And this present moment is to brief to grasp and hold. So there is no use seeking it elsewhere. This moment now is present upon each wakeful, mindful breath. This is the real. Yet, we must learn from our past. And the future is created by our thoughts, intentions and actions in this beautiful impermanent moment now. We create our positive and negative karma now.
Thus does kindness and compassion begin at home, with oneself. So stop beating yourself up for having what can often be a rather nasty, narcissistic self-ego-I. We all have it. Yet it’s not our true identity. All the masters have told it: Wisdom Mind is the always present Presence That I Am now—human Happiness Itself.
Recall that ego-I self-judgment is subconsciously projected onto others as anger, hostility, even hatred. Give up, at long last the fruitless effort to be justified in your destructive negative projections. Only ego is always right. Your Wisdom Mind Presence is pure forgiveness. So, forgive yourself, and others constantly. Thus do we take full responsibility for our present mindstate whence arises our happiness, or our unhappiness. Thus is Wisdom Mind your choice. And who is it that makes this choice to connect? Yes; it’s your self-ego-I.
Your already awake, ever present Wisdom Mind—bright innermost Presence of That—is the power of all-accomplishing Love-Wisdom; even when we forget. Again, the heart of wisdom is love, expressed as desire and intention to benefit other beings.
First century Buddhist Dzogchen founder Garab Dorje told it well, “It is already accomplished from the very beginning”, already awake, deep within us. No need to think about it. No need to believe it. No need for polemics, as I have perhaps overdone here. Recognize it upon each mindful breath. It is always present here, now.
Post-practice Dedication. Therefore, offer the great good that is generated by each little mindful practice thusly: “May I, and all beings be free of suffering, and the causes of suffering. May I, and all beings be happy, and have the causes of happiness”.
No Self Help: Your Compassion Meditation. This precious meditation becomes a powerful contemplative mantra prayer—OM AH HUM—when repeated a few times. Practice it for three to five minutes and feel its effect upon your present heart-mind state. Spoiler: it lifts your spirits and makes you happy. Share this happiness by becoming a volunteer. Find a way to do some good, not just for family and friends. Open to receive, and it shall be given unto you.
Feeling down? Don’t bother trying to think it through. No need to ask “Why”? The why question is unanswerable—a self-ego-I stalling tactic to keep you stuck. You may stay stuck for as long as you choose to stay stuck. All excuses for doing so are equal. Please don’t indulge such demeaning self pity. Choose to turn your mind away from self, and toward helping others. That will make you happy.
Brief Summary. If not Why, then what? “How” is the proper question. How indeed. Breathe mindfully for 36 seconds, or for 108 seconds on your mala, always in your alpha brain rhythm posture, with the OM AH HUM mantra prayer going in either the conscious foreground, or the subconscious background. If it feels good practice for a few minutes. Take refuge here often. If you are seeking a mindfulness meditation payoff, how about a bit of instant peace/bliss? Feeling really good about yourself?
Open your heart-mind to effortlessly receive this inner peace and subtle bliss that is already present in your wisdom mindstream. Know that even this small act will help others. And that helps you. We are all in this reality thing together; are we not? Your compassion meditation will never leave you down for long. Don’t waste your precious time pathetically moping about. Apply the mindful antidote at once. It is your instant connection to your Wisdom Mind—peaceful, blissful bright Presence of That!
Please consider this great truth: helping to bring others to their happiness through your mindfulness practice—the thought, intention and action to benefit others—is the very foundation of your own relative material success, and as well, your ultimate happiness—the harmless happiness that cannot ever be lost.
We are not separate from one another. We, and everything that arises and appears to sentient beings being here in cause and effect (karma) relative spacetime reality are altogether an interdependent, utterly interconnected prior and always present unity participating in vast unbounded whole itself. We all share That; even when we least feel like it; and whether we believe it or not. We feel it upon the breath. Remain close to the breath. It’s like coming home. Tat Tvam Asi; That I Am! That is the truth of the matter. Thus it is. So be it. May I and all beings be happy.