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Buddhadharma : Summer 2012
SUMMER 2 0 1 2 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 17 that situation, not the one you wanted or expected. One last point: blame is a form of mind killing. It reduces the complexities of a situa- tion down to one emotionally charged point. It blinds you to the role of other factors. It provokes reactions that lead people to act against their interests. Thus, when the blame game is running, stop. Stop right there. Step out of your story. Step out of your judgments. Step out of your obsession with who’s right and who’s wrong. Step out of your racing mind. Take a breath and meet the world you are in. FROM THE E-NEWSLETTER OF UNFETTERED MIND (UNFETTEREDMIND.ORG), MARCH 2012 STRESS IS A WASTE OF TIME Gyalwang Drukpa, the head of the Drukpa order of Tibetan Buddhism, knows what it’s like to be stressed out, and says nothing good comes of it. MY FRIENDS TELL ME how much stress they are going through because of the econ- omy, business, family, and all sorts of things. Out of curiosity, I checked the dictionary for the modern scholars’ explanation of stress and found this definition, “Stress is the con- sequence of the failure to adapt to change.” I think, to a certain extent, they are right about this. Stress is the result of inflexibility and non- acceptance. In other words, it is caused by strong attachments to certain things, to cer- tain ways or outcomes, to expectations. When there is strong hope or expectation, there is also fear that this expectation will not come true, that things may not go according to your plan or your wishes. So stress comes. When my friends stop their daily practice and I ask them why, they tell me it is because they don’t have time. Some of them even tell me that I can’t understand. I’m not in busi- ness so I wouldn’t know what stress is. I laugh to myself when I hear this; if they knew how many people I have responsibility for, how many children I am feeding, and how many monasteries I take care of, they would know just how much I do understand. I remember when I was thinking about setting up schools for nuns, one in Ladakh and one in Nepal, I worried a great deal. I sat there all day, wor- rying and calculating. At the end of the day I realized I had done nothing all day except worry. Nothing was achieved and a day was wasted. Being stressed is a waste of time and it kills our creativity and potential. Instead of spend- ing all that time worrying, I encourage my friends to get back into their daily practice. When you feel stressed, you often feel stuck and indecisive, so a little time spent medi- tating and relaxing is of great benefit. You remind yourself of the meaning of imperma- nence, the preciousness of life. Even if exter- nal situations are going wrong, you can still be fearless and have the courage to be okay, to live a fruitful life and be flexible. You can be genuinely happy because this happiness comes from your inner guru and doesn’t depend on external circumstances to be a certain, fixed way. I always hope that my friends and students will pick up their path and practices again; it is the backbone of life and happiness. With- out this understanding, it is easy to be over- whelmed by the ups and downs of life, but with this grounding, we can take a lighter step and get less caught up in these debilitating feelings. FROM EVERYDAY ENLIGHTENMENT, PUBLISHED BY RIVERHEAD BOOKS, MARCH 2012