Lesson
14

Taking the Path of Ethical Compassion

4 of 5

Changing our attitude

I feel that the essence of spiritual practice is your attitude toward others. When you have a pure, sincere motivation, then you have right attitude toward others based on kindness, compassion, love and respect. Practice brings the clear realisation of the oneness of all human beings and the importance of others benefiting by your actions. Ethics for the New Millennium

As we have seen throughout this course, the Dalai Lama emphasizes the importance of broadening our focus and awareness, opening our view beyond ourselves.

Focusing on ourselves we close our inner door.

Thinking of others automatically opens our inner door. 

But what about me?

But when we think of sharing others' suffering, we instinctively think of how our own pain feels and turn from the thought of sharing the suffering of others on top of our own. There is, however, a qualitative difference between the sense of pain that you experience when you are undergoing your own personal suffering — where there's a sense of being overwhelmed and out of control — and the experience of pain as a result of sharing in someone else's suffering, where you are in control.

Going beyond your own concerns to take care of others brings a feeling of inner strength that profoundly affects how you experience your own pains and troubles.

With a shift of attitude comes a shift in our perception of "trouble" and "suffering."