#25 – Don’t talk about injured limbs.
Pema: Don’t try to build yourself up by talking about other people’s defects.
When we have been bruised, without thinking, we discuss and complain how others have blemished us. We proceed to catalogue all of their shortcomings. We proceed to do this to get people in our corner, since feeling as the victim. It is a natural occurrence as a human who suffers. I, among many others here in the world, have done the same.
As I contemplated on this mind-training slogan today, I can see how it holds me back from experiencing true freedom and joy. Do I need to make others miniscule to feel majestic? It is an attempt to control what is uncontrollable. It is also a way to feel secure while feeling insecure in a disappointing circumstance.
This can occur in disagreements with loved ones and friends, co-workers, business partners, clients, or anyone at all. The key with today’s slogan is as it states, don’t talk about it. This does not mean not to acknowledge the grief we feel within our heart and mind, because of course we do need to attend to our emotions and nurture ourselves. But, is there a need to continuously point out the faults of others? Does it truly serve us? No, it doesn’t and we know this, and we forget. I know I have forgotten.
When the temptation comes, I have to stop and internally visit what is in my heart and mind. Is it suffering? Am I seeking revenge in some way? Do I desire this person to hurt as much as I am?
Stopping and taking the moment to sit with this discomfort brings the liberation from suffering. Certainly, there are many times that I had wished I had done as such in my pain. This awareness while practicing this slogan definitely brought this to my awareness. May I continue to be aware in all situations I experience. May I be kind to myself and to others. May I acknowledge my suffering. May I use skillful means to attend to my feelings. May we all be at peace.
The next card for 4/18 is #48 – Train without bias in all areas. It is crucial always to do this pervasively and wholeheardedly.
Pema Chödrön’s Compassion Cards – This practice is lojong (mind-training slogans) and they are powerful reminders on how to awaken our hearts. They are also found in “The Compassion Book.” You choose the cards at random, read the commentary, and then try to live by the meaning of the slogan throughout the day.