The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

192 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYINGTHE LOGIC OF COMPASSIONWe all feel and know something of the benefits of compassion.But the particular strength of the Buddhist teaching isthat it shows you clearly a "logic" of compassion. Once youhave grasped it, this logic makes your practice of compassionat once more urgent and all-embracing, and more stable andgrounded, because it is based on the clarity of a reasoningwhose truth becomes ever more apparent as you pursue andtest it.We may say, and even half-believe, that compassion is marvelous,but in practice our actions are deeply uncompassionateand bring us and others mostly frustration and distress, andnot the happiness we are all seeking.Isn't it absurd, then, that we all long for happiness, yetnearly all our actions and feelings lead us directly away fromthat happiness? Could there be any greater sign that ourwhole view of what real happiness is, and of how to attain it,is radically flawed?What do we imagine will make us happy? A canny, selfseeking,resourceful selfishness, the selfish protection of ego,which can, as we all know, make us at moments extremelybrutal. But in fact the complete reverse is true: Self-graspingand self-cherishing are seen, when you really look at them, tobe the root of all harm to others, and also of all harm to ourselves.1Every single negative thing we have ever thought or donehas ultimately arisen from our grasping at a false self, and ourcherishing of that false self, making it the dearest and mostimportant element in our lives. All those negative thoughts,emotions, desires, and actions that are the cause of our negativekarma are engendered by self-grasping and self-cherishing.They are the dark, powerful magnet that attracts to us, lifeafter life, every obstacle, every misfortune, every anguish,every disaster, and so they are the root cause of all the sufferingsof samsara.When we have really grasped the law of karma in all itsstark power and complex reverberations over many, many lifetimes,and seen just how our self-grasping and self-cherishing,life after life, have woven us repeatedly into a net of ignorancethat seems only to be ensnaring us more and more tightly;when we have really understood the dangerous and doomednature of the self-grasping mind's enterprise; when we havereally pursued its operations into their most subtle hidingplaces; when we have really understood just how our whole

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