Roadblocks to compassion
Fostering compassion calls for restraining
those factors which inhibit its development and cultivating those
which are conducive to it. When we lack inner restraint unethical
conduct flourishes rather than compassion.
In this lesson you learn how, cultivating inner
discipline, you can begin
to perfect an overall state of heart and mind
from which all actions spring — developing an ethic
A major undertaking
Do you find the prospect of inner restraint daunting?
Reflect on how you practice restraint in your life
now. Remember, compassion is an emotion with a
component of reason. That is, it is practical.
How do you choose, by reason, where restraint is
The Dalai Lama acknowledges the challenge and then
I cannot deny that this is a major
undertaking, but at least we are familiar with the principle.
For example, knowing its destructive potential, we restrain both
ourselves and our children from indulging in drug abuse.
In your example(s) of self restraint in
the previous reflection did you attempt to understand
the destructive nature of the actions you were
rather than just attempting to suppress negativity?
Acting ethically isn't a matter of obeying
Do you think that being told that anger is
destructive is adequate to prevent it from arising
and being expressed?
order our lives externally but ignore the inner dimension, inevitably
we will find that doubt, anxiety, and other afflictions develop,
and happiness eludes us. This is because, unlike physical discipline,
true inner - or spiritual - discipline cannot be achieved
by force but only through voluntary and deliberate effort based
It is from understanding our mind that we come to understand
our emotions and their impact upon ourselves and others. Inner
discipline is not something we will or grudgingly agree to;
it comes from a deliberate and voluntary effort to understand
our emotions, our responses, and our impact on others, through
discipline and restraint.