Showing posts tagged faults
One of the most common ways of not acknowledging our faults is to blame others.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso (via stardust-seedling)
(Reblogged from crimson-twinkie)

Recognizing our Faults in the Mirror of Dharma, Part 2

One of the main functions of Dharma teachings is to serve as a mirror that reflects back our own faults, so that we can see them and stop pretending that they don’t exist. Once we recognize the faults within our own mind, we can apply the remedy to counteract them and work on improving ourself. The mirror of Dharma also helps us to distinguish between desirous attachment and love. We often confuse these for each other, thinking that they are the same or that they must go together. But love and attachment are not the same; a mind of love brings us only happiness and a mind of attachment brings us only suffering.

Although we need to be aware of faults, we should not identify with them and start thinking that we are intrinsically faulty, angry, or worthless. We are not our faults; our true nature is Buddha nature, and this is what we should identify with. Our minds are contaminated with faults and delusions, and those faults can be removed if we apply Dharma skilfully.

The first step to removing the faults from our mind is to recognize them when they show up. This is mindfulness practice, just being aware of the quality of our thoughts and not allowing the negative ones to take over and make us do or say something negative that we will regret later.

Some people argue that one of our main problems is a lack of self-esteem, and that we need to focus exclusively on our good qualities in order to boost our self-confidence. It is true that to make authentic spiritual progress we need to develop confidence in our spiritual potential, and to acknowledge and improve our good qualities. However, we also need a clear and realistic awareness of our present faults and imperfections. If we are honest with ourself we will recognize that at the moment our mind is filled with defilements such as anger, attachment, and ignorance. These mental diseases will not go away just by our pretending that they do not exist. The only way we can ever get rid of them is by honestly acknowledging their existence and then making the effort to eliminate them.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
Unfortunately we have become very skilled in recognizing the faults of others, and we devote a great deal of mental energy to listing them, analyzing them, and even meditating on them! With this critical attitude, if we disagree with our partner or colleagues about something, instead of trying to understand their point of view we repeatedly think of many reasons why we are right and they are wrong. By focusing exclusively on their faults and limitations we become angry and resentful, and rather than cherishing them we develop the wish to harm or discredit them. In this way small disagreements can easily turn into conflicts that simmer for months.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
The fact that we are oblivious to our faults does not prevent other people from noticing them and pointing them out, but when they do we feel that they are being unfair. Instead of looking honestly at our own behavior to see whether or not the criticism is justified, our self-cherishing mind becomes defensive and retaliates by finding fault with them.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
The main issue here is not so much whether or not from their own side living beings have faults, but what is the most beneficial way of viewing them. From a practical point of view our main spiritual tasks are to remove the delusions from our own mind and to improve our love for other living beings. To accomplish these tasks there are great benefits in looking at our own faults - our own delusions and non-virtuous actions - and great disadvantages in looking at the faults of others.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
We need to think about our own faults because if we are not aware of them we shall not be motivated to overcome them. It was through constantly examining their minds for faults and imperfections, and then applying great effort to abandon them, that those who are now enlightened were able to release their minds from delusions, the source of all faults. Buddha said that those who understand their own faults are wise, whereas those who are unaware of their own faults yet look for faults in others are fools.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
For the effectiveness of our purification practice we need to recognize our own faults, which are our delusions and our non-virtuous actions. This also applies to others. And for the effectiveness of the practice of loving kindness toward all living beings, we need to understand that the faults that we see in the actions of living beings are not the faults of living beings, but the faults of their enemy - their delusions. We should practically appreciate these teachings; we do not need meaningless debate.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
Buddhas see that delusions have many faults but they never see people as faulty, because they distinguish between people and their delusions. If someone is angry we think, “He is a bad and angry person,” while Buddhas think, “He is a suffering being afflicted with the inner disease of anger.” If a friend of ours were suffering from cancer we would not blame him for his physical disease, and in the same way, if someone is suffering from anger or attachment we should not blame him for the diseases of his mind.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”