I think most people could tell you, after having lived some years on this earth that what really lasts in memory is not so much what people do, but the goodwill they share with us. When we’re treated with kindness, it stays with us. It can nurture and strengthen us for a long time. Deprived of love, we wither, or become twisted. Cared for, we are healthy and we thrive. After a while we know that love is essential for living.
Turning Adverse Circumstances into the Path of Awakening
I recently heard the Buddhist story of Devala the Dark, who was being cursed by seven Bramhans, ‘but the more they cursed him, the more beautiful, good-looking, and inspiring he became…’
This reminded me of the Tibetan Buddhist Thought Training practice, called changing adverse circumstances into the path to enlightenment. One analogy they use is that of the Peacock in the Poison Grove. They say this mythological bird eats poison, and his plumage becomes brighter, and even more beautiful. The more difficult things are, and the greater the need, the stronger these practices become. In some ways, this is the ideal practice for our times.