Effective Help

13537784_1111045645635687_6628435373537746961_nMany of us have the tendency to overextend ourselves when attempting to help others, and then suffer the inevitable consequences of expending our life force in a way that compromises physical, emotional, and mental integrity.

However, we need to attain peace and clarity for ourselves as a pre-condition for manifesting the capacity to help others. We cannot give what we do not have. We cannot help when we ourselves feel helpless. But we are not helpless. We have taken Refuge in the Three Jewels, and we have undertaken to practice what the Buddha teaches, the Dharma, in the association of the Noble Assembly.

Whatever Dharma realization we may have, we need to maintain and augment. We are accumulating stores of wisdom and merit, but we cannot yet express them fully at once, because at this stage they are easily exhausted.

We can be there for others, but we must guard against allowing their afflicted emotions and wrong views to inhabit our consciousness, precisely because we desire to help them. Dwelling on thoughts of fear, loss, and chaos when others are suffering is not helpful to them, to us, or anyone.

Compassion is not expressed by “feeling the pain of others,” but rather by acting wisely to reduce their suffering. We cannot do so by adding our own suffering.

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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2 Responses to Effective Help

  1. Lou says:

    Prajnaparamita?

  2. Pingback: Effective Help | Zen Flash

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