Eight Steps to Happiness: Developing Humility
Developing humility is probably one of the hardest spiritual practices for most people. Humility is practicing viewing ourself as lower than, rather than higher than or superior to others. This does not mean that we develop self-loathing in the process, but that we become so focused on cherishing others that our own selfish desires become unimportant to us.
There are three reasons why practitioners of training the mind practice humility: 1) they don’t use up their merit on worldly attainments, 2) they accumulate a vast amount of merit, and 3) because they understand that there really is no inherently existent self anyway. If we view our self or I as the lowest of all and as something not worth cherishing, our self-cherishing mind will naturally decrease and our love for others will increase.
Another reason to practice humility with others, even those we conventionally regard as inferior to us, is because Buddhas can manifest as anyone and anything, and therefore we have no idea who is and is not actually a Buddha. If we regard all other living beings as potential emanations of a Buddha, we will probably treat them with more respect and avoid any negative actions toward them.