Drupon Rinpoche often teaches that the way to understand the Dharma is to look at yourself. He suggests looking at your ways of thinking, talking, and conducting yourself and seeing if your words and conduct are consistent with the Dharma.

It has been an interesting week, I faced two difficult situations, one business, and one family. The business one went very well if I say so myself! I was able to look at the situation clearly and calmly, contribute factual information and the solution reached works better for everyone. It far exceeded my most optimistic expectations.

The family matter has not gone so well. The monkey had the ox by its nostrils and it was mayhem, or am I mixing metaphors? What surprised me was how different my internal response was in the two equally challenging situations. My words and conduct were far more in line with Dharma in the business situation than the personal one. This unexpected conundrum brought to my attention the power of attachment.

Attachment is a Buddhist term that I don’t truly understand the deeper meaning of. So as you do in situations like this, I Googled it, ~ Attachment, that is the inability to practice or embrace detachment, is viewed as the main obstacle towards a serene and fulfilled life. ~ Ain’t that the truth! Strong emotions of whatever kind do not bring peace and serenity and they often cause suffering for yourself and the other person.

Dharma tells us that the nature of samsara is suffering and a pretty futile endeavour and urges us to let go of our attachment to this life. In these moments when things go wrong, or we do not behave at our best, we often see ourselves much more clearly. We glimpse how attached we are to ourselves, to a result we want, or to what people think of us. The stronger you feel about something, the easier it is to lose your balance.

It is such a reminder that no matter what the circumstances, we should pay careful attention to how we conduct ourselves. Actions do speak louder than words and as Buddhist practitioners what we do influences the people around us. What kind of an example are you setting with your words and actions? Are you inspiring others?

Till next time,
Tania Potter

Oct 2022