Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Third Verse of Langri Tangpa's Eight Verses

I know I said I would write a commentary on two of the verses at a time, well it was too much hard work for me so I have decided to just do a verse at a time. Here is the third verse:

In all actions, may I closely examine my state of mind, and the moment a disturbing emotion or negative attitude arises, since this may cause harm to myself and others, may I firmly face and avert it.

Get lost! Are you serious? Are you trying to turn me into a pussy? Now with that last verse about putting myself lower than others I thought you were trying to turn me into a doormat and now I know you are just trying to turn me into a push over!
This reaction is perfectly normal, in such a dog eat dog world where everybody is screwing over everybody else why the hell should we control our ‘negative attitudes’? Well there are two reasons why you should really try to practise this verse.
The first reason is short term and the second is long term. In the short term if you can be mindful of your thoughts and emotions as they arise and then ‘firmly face and avert them’ you will feel peaceful and happy in the moment. It’s simple and obvious really, think about your head as being like a fish bowl. If we fill that fish bowl with angry, jealous or spiteful thoughts and emotions then it will be a pretty horrible place to live. However if we don’t let thoughts and emotions, especially negative ones, into the fish bowl it will be nice and fresh and clear and the fish of our awareness can live their happily.
In the long term if you can monitor and control your thoughts and emotions and stop yourself from acting on them you will have a life filled with abundance and joy. Our emotions and thoughts become intentions which become actions, if our actions are on the back of negative thoughts and emotions they will only bring suffering. No matter how just it may seem to act out of anger or outrage, if we do we will only attract suffering to ourselves and others. If we can control our thoughts and avert negative attitudes from taking hold of us then our actions will become skilful. If our actions are skilful, then because of the law of cause and effect we will start to experience positive results.

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