Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche teaching on Pride

Tonight, Rinpoche spoke about the second of the 5 Kleshas [or 'Mind Poisons'] - Pride

According to the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, 'Pride comes before a fall' - and that is also one of the insights in the Buddhist tradition.

While it is considered healthy to have self confidence, it is neither helpful to oneself nor to others if we are bloated and full of arrogant pride.

The main problem with pride is that we become so self-obsessed that we become closed to others. We are unaffected by them. We do not see them as they really are - full of good qualities and ultimately possessing the Buddha Nature.

Our pride gives us a completely distorted view of ourselves too.
Having an overestimated self-image is just as damaging and untrue as having low self-esteem!
Either way we are missing the whole point of our True Nature!

We mistakenly choose to dwell in the realm of negative emotions, such as Pride, instead of remaining unaltered in the Wisdom of Sameness. If only we saw ourselves and others as Buddhas-to-be!

Either way, we must come to see Pride as something which is not at all useful to us.

Our pride gives us unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others -

we expect others to respect and admire us for being so fabulous, and when they don't we suffer.

we expect ourselves to be so perfect in every way, and when we discover the awful ordinary truth of it we suffer then too!

in fact, instead of becoming bloated and arrogant with pride, the very same pride brings us to a state of being over-sensitive and so easily hurt... and to think we have brought this upon ourselves!

we create the pride and the fall by oursleves

let's imagine for a moment that there actually is some element of truth behind our pride - let's say we are very beautiful, wealthy, successful, talented

then we should be grateful for that, not proud
afterall we didn't achieve all this by ourselves
usually other people, external causes and conditions have played a large part in our being blessed in this way
so why feel proud?
we should rejoice and be thankful

If pride does come before a fall, maybe it's not all bad that we are brought down low

it is said that we can then become less rigid and much more flexible, humble and open

As with Anger, Pride can be self-liberated

whenever we notice it rising we can simply look at it directly, and see it for what it is.

To have this kind of Pure Awareness is the very essence of our Buddha Nature - simply observe as risings pass through our consciousness.
There's no sense in grasping at risings as they come or holding onto them as they go.

the same for any thought or emotion...

as it arises i accept it
as it dissolves i let go

this is also the Wisdom of Sameness -

whatever rises, i accept it and let it go

That is not to say that a Buddha is completely disconnected from phenomena, like some kind of indifferent zombie - far from it!

A Buddha loves life to the full... all of it... so-called 'good and bad'... equally

The Wisdom of Sameness means that everything is OK... just as it is

This is exactly how and why a Buddha is happy all the time

... they remain confident that all will be well come what may!

... they dwell beyond hope and fear

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