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Buddhadharma : Spri 2007
buddhadharma| 29 |spring 2007 True confidence begins with a trust in the instruc- tion that reveals this nature. Once you have expe- rienced firsthand that it works, of course you feel confident. This also is directed to the source of the instructions, the one from whom you received them. You are grateful to him or her, as well as to the entire lineage of transmission through which the instruction came to be passed on to you. That is true devotion. These two, effortless compassion and unchangeable devotion, join forces so that your training quickly grows deeper and deeper. Your practice is strength- ened to the point that it is unshakeable, like when a strong gust of wind causes a huge fire with plenty of firewood to blaze even higher. The great master Atisha wondered what it meant to be really learned and concluded that real wisdom is to understand egolessness. True ethics are to have tamed or softened your own heart; whenever that is the case and somebody actually cares, is watchful and conscientious, that is real ethics. What is the foremost virtue? Atisha said it is to have a profound sense of caring for the benefit and well-being of others. What is the foremost sign of success or accomplishment? Not clairvoyance or miraculous powers, but to have fewer selfish emotions. These may sound like just a few simple sentences, but they are very profound and of great benefit when you take them to heart. (Above) Blue Gold Buddhafield 1992 (detail) MiCHaelNewHall