Wisdom and compassion: 'I should phone my mother'. Bremen Oct 1994

How do wisdom and compassion inform us in our ordinary human relationships, both formal and informal? We might start with a question. Do human beings, do we as human beings, know how to behave to each other?


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Karma Thegchen Chö Ling Dharma Centre, Bremen, Germany
15 October 1994
Transcribed by Liz Fox
Not Edited


“…In meditation one can start to be aware that a thought arises, and one is caught up in that thought: “I need to phone my mother”. So, I am sitting in the meditation and the thought arises “Dash!, I haven’t phoned my mother”. Now if my meditation is not very powerful and my mother is very powerful I jump up for the telephone! If my meditation is a bit stronger I can maybe put that thought on hold, have a kind of trace attention to the content of it, but let the form of the thought pass through, knowing that, of course I will obsessively think of my mother soon after!”
“… So what is the relationship between me, the thought and my mother? Just as in meditation we try to have an attitude of openness and tenderness to our thoughts, so we also need to be open to receive the tenderness of the world. Because it’s the tenderness of the world that supports us.
If we have to do it all ourselves, as if we were acting against the world, we will get exhausted. But real strength arises through the world moving through us. We are enworlded, we are part of the world and that is our strength. Our thoughts come, not as our thoughts, but as the thoughts of the world passing through us. And in that moment of non-duality all the strength, all the richness that we need, is there…

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