Lojong 38: Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness


My mom’s Yahrzeit is today… she died a year ago.

Before Thanksgiving, during the dark of the moon, I began finally sorting through
the boxes of things I am storing for family who said they wanted this or that.
As I am sorting through tons of pictures that she never had time to put into an album,
I remember the fun times she and I had up until I went into my terrible teen years —
and she responded with her neurotic crazy mother self.

And independently, I decided to go back to my Lojong practice with the sketching
and my off the cuff take on each slogan, from years of practice.
I stopped a year and a half ago because I could not be involved in my Mom’s death
and family crap and business and and and…
I opened to where I left off and the next one was:

“#38: Don’t seek others’ pain as the
limbs of your own happiness.”

Wow.  No coincidences.

I can’t share what I wrote on the next page about this coincidence at this time,
but know that right now we have a lot of this as an example in our lives,
both personally and professionally.  The various commentaries talk about karma
in these matters, and this is one place where I just don’t see it —
I see people ripping off many for not their fair share of the pie,
not what is owed to them, but stealing… not being generous… harming others while trying to feather their own nest… and see no bad karma coming to them.
I still wouldn’t do that to another, but the threat of karma seems quite empty here.
It has not been a meaningful slogan to me in past,
mostly because it is not my poison to do this to others (I have my poisons),
but this day it is, as the Universe is conspiring to give me a front seat view of these people.  It is effecting our livelihood and our ability to be comfortable going into retirement.

I’ve studied through the slogans a dozen times in my life;
these are my musings on the slogan currently, not a formal interpretation.
For that reason they are less about straight Buddhist teachings,
and I think able to be shared with most practitioners of other faiths or no faith
(unless yours doesn’t allow you to read any other tradition.) 

If you have time and the inclination, I published the WHOLE  thang here!

In this weekly commentary on the lojong, I am not open to comments becoming
a debate for people to nitpick Buddhism or my interpretations of Buddhist concepts.
(There are lots of places for debates.)  I am more interested in hearing about
YOUR life or how the lojong affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
For more info about why, go here.


About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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2 Responses to Lojong 38: Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness

  1. dweezer19 says:

    It is not even in my wheelhouse of intentions to ever try to forward my gains at the expense of anyone else. In fact, I have likely sabotaged my own progress in an effort to defer to another’s well being. It is just who I am. As I have mature, seeing the ugly truth of human beings has not been an easy part of my own karmic journey. When one does not lie, it is difficult to accept that deception iS alive and thriving on this world. 😔


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