NEW MOON - Harmlessness

Published Saturday, 26 July 2014

To harm living beings who,
like us, seek contentment,
is to bring harm to ourselves.

Dhammapada 131

Self interest can be used in our pursuit of right action. When faced with danger we readily feel threatened, our hearts become inflamed and wise discernment obscured. However, instead of losing ourselves in defensive reaction, right training can help us remember that we are all in this together. We all share the wish to be free from suffering. Probably the aggressor has forgotten this fact, hence their intent on harming us; but so long as we are intent on harming them, only increased mutual suffering ensues. Regular recollection on the universality of suffering can protect us from falling into this vortex. Spending a short period of time each day considering how we are all looking for contentment, can give rise to feelings of empathy and compassion. This is not an argument of which we will be convinced by speculation alone, but if we immerse ourselves in this contemplation we could find the benefit for ourselves.

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