Posted by: Upāsaka | 09/07/2015

Lowest Among All

Whenever I’m in the company of others,
I will regard myself as the lowest among all,
And from the depths of my heart
Cherish others as supreme

This verse had been reverberating in my mind for days now. For whatever reason, i had assumed it was one of the 59 lojong slogans and waited expectantly to come across it as read Chogyam Trungpa’s book on the same. i was surprised to find it was part of the Eight Verses for Training the Mind but, reading them again,  i see that they are a really great distillation of the mind training teachings and are,  in fact, even easier for me to use due to the ease with which they can be memorized.

I recall the first time i came across this teaching i was almost indignant but i have come to see it as a skilful means for dealing with what i perceive as an ever present attitude of superiority that i conceal whenever i meet with or see others.  Yes,  the Lord Buddha likened all forms of comparison to conceit but how else to rid myself of the stain of arrogance and self importance until i develop the wisdom to see through wrong view of self?

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Responses

  1. This resonates deeply with me. I’ve been discussing with a few close friends this week how for a long time I had hidden myself in a bubble of spiritual superiority, unconsciously believing that my practices made me better than others who did not practice. Then I realized that this was just another way for me to believe in the illusion that we are somehow separate from each other, a way to reinforce the belief that all others are different from me, that I am more special, in some way, because I’m a spiritual person. The practice of tonglen has been immensely helpful in dissolving some of these misconceptions, although I must be diligent or they might be strengthened again. As I see that others feel joy and sorrow just like I, and as I expand my heart to taken in the suffering of other beings, I see how we are connected. Thank you for sharing this slogan; I have never seen it before but it makes a lot of sense.

    • Sadhu!

      • Sadhu…does this mean one who practices?

      • Sorry. It means “excellent!”

      • Good to know! In India a sadhu is a holy man. I’ve never heard it used to mean “excellent”. Is this a Pali word?

      • Yes, it’s Pali and used in Theravada circles to congratulate someone on a meritorious act of body or speech. Have a great one!

      • Ah, thank you for the explanation. Sadhu!


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