I found this website which also has a handy daily Lojong slogan with brief commentary. That's the source I'm using for each day's slogan, hence starting in the middle.
My hope for this thread is to collectively grow our aspiration to care for others, helped along by these pithy sayings.
Please share your thoughts, observations, resources, or anything you feel might help.
Today's is #33 Don't bring things to a painful point. Another translation is Do not strike at the heart.
Some commentary I found:
This is incredibly hard for me. It's so common to idly chat about the faults of others, e.g. politicians, often with words I'd never use in their presence. The words serve no wholesome purpose. The result is only to whip up my anger and sense of separation and superiority over others. The same temptation exists on Dharma Wheel.Acharya Judy Lief wrote:We all have lots of faults, and it is easy to get caught up in dwelling on them. It is easy to see all the things that are wrong about everyone and everything else as well. We may feel that we are doing somebody a favor by pointing out to them where they fall short, convincing ourselves that we are only doing so for their own benefit. But focusing on people’s most vulnerable areas, their most painful points, can undermine their confidence and their ability to go forward. Likewise, focusing on our own faults can be equally discouraging.
What happens with this focus on the negative is that our critical attitude becomes so entrenched that we can only see what is wrong, and we become blind to what is right. By critiquing other people, we may feel good about ourselves in comparison. But in order to keep feeling good, we need to keep finding new targets for our faultfinding, in order to shore ourselves up. Deep down we do not trust ourselves, so we need to keep convincing ourselves in this way.
According to this slogan, instead of pouncing on people’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities, we should be providing encouragement and support for their strengths. That is what we should notice and point out, not just what is wrong. The idea is that it is more skillful to encourage positive qualities than to criticize what is negative. With this approach, we are not using others to heighten our own confidence nor are we undermining other people’s confidence by reminding them of their inadequacies.
In real life, I sometimes am tempted to respond with a passive-aggressive comment when hurt rather than bringing that hurt to my practice.
Seeing others with the eyes a mother has for her only child, with Chenrezig's eyes, is incompatible with trying to "strike at the heart" of others to wound them. I'm finding mantra practice helps this quite directly. It replaces negative storytelling, like a carpenter who uses a good peg to replace a rotten one. Old habits die hard, but I'm trying