From the inside out: reflections on the mind l Worship

By Sal Barba | Dec 20, 2017

“When man’s consciousness is restricted only to the immediate vicinity of his human self, the deeper roots of his nature do not find their permanent soil, his spirit is ever on the brink of starvation, and in the place of healthful strength he substitutes rounds of stimulation…” Tagore Rabindranath


Our mind is an amazing creator of bliss and emptiness. It also can be the creator of a living hell when we refuse to understand what our mind is creating, or when we refuse to broaden our view to a compassionate reception of the natural and pervasive existence of suffering.

We are creatures of imperfections, and we suffer because of our imperfections. When we are chronically focused upon our immediate self, we will certainly suffer because reality is viewed as “all about me!”

However, by suffering, we become aware of it, and this awareness, particularly awareness without demeaning oneself or others, arouses in us the motivation to become perfect.

However it is that we measure what we overcome through our examination of our imperfections, to that degree we become freer and happier.

Therefore, a mind that is perfectly free from its suffering is a mind that is perfectly happy!

Tagore, the great Indian sage and philosopher suggests if we retain our suffering mind exclusively to the agency of self, we will starve our soul and live a shallow life—a life without depth!

Born in Germany, the late Lama Govinda was one of the first Westerners to introduce Tibetan Buddhism as an initiate in the tradition says, “The perfected one does not call any suffering his or her own, but retains the capacity for compassion, as well as the joy of helping and the shared joy that arises by taking part in the well- being of others.

"Thus, compassion becomes the raison d’etre of the perfected person, and is one of the most essential signs of inner maturity...”

Therefore, as one evolves in his or her psycho-spiritual development the more he or she liberates themselves from the obstacles their mind creates, and the wider becomes their spiritual horizon.

This direction of our mind diminishes the possibility to seek happiness, liberation or salvation for oneself without inclusion of all other beings!

This has nothing to do with social welfare because our motivation arises from an inner attitude of altruism, out from which our actions relating to others arise spontaneously without generating altruistic intentions from pride or self-centeredness, no matter what circumstances arise from what life doles out.

Therefore, from a Buddhist perspective, an unchanging ego does not exist, there is no self-existent soul-entity (but maybe an omni-relational soul-continuum), therefore, any drive for one’s own happiness or liberation is not possible without inclusion of all beings. This is the Bodhisattva operative of the Great Way in Buddhist Mahayana teachings.

It is not satisfying to obtain one’s own liberation without attainment of liberation for all beings. From this inner attitude of altruism, we can discover solidarity with the suffering of others.

Within our solidarity of suffering with others, self becomes selfless, and we experience a freedom from the deluded trap of becoming a savior of mankind! Instead, we learn to stop fleeing from suffering through chronic stimulation and attention distracting phenomena, and skillfully learn to rest and relax in suffering.

Our inner altruistic attitude can free us from our perceived view that suffering is terrifying and has power over us.

What can naturally arise in our awareness is the discovery that suffering now becomes a source of inner strength.

May all of us examine our motivation, and attune ourselves to cultivate an inner attitude of altruism.

Try on the path of a Bodhisattva for this Holiday season for all of those who appear before you not matter what kind of creature they are!


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