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Buddhadharma : Spring 2019
62 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY Since the goal is the enhancement of one’s capacity for tolerance and the practice of patience, what is required is to be able to counteract the forces of anger and hatred, particularly hatred. One should use all sorts of techniques to increase one’s familiarity with patience. These include not only real-life situations, but also using one’s imagi- nation to visualize a situation and then see how one will react and respond to it. Again and again one should try to combat hatred and develop one’s capacity for tolerance and patience. My mind will not experience peace If it fosters painful thoughts of hatred. I shall find no joy or happiness; Unable to sleep, I shall feel unsettled. This verse outlines the destructive effects of hatred, which are very visible, very obvious and immediate. For example, when a strong or forceful thought of hatred arises, at that very instant it overwhelms one totally and destroys one’s peace and presence of mind. When that hateful thought is harbored inside, it makes one feel tense and uptight, and can cause loss of appetite, leading to loss of sleep, and so forth. Generally speaking, I believe that the purpose of our existence is to seek happiness and fulfillment. Even from the Buddhist point of view, when we speak of the four factors of happiness, or four fac- tors of fulfillment, the first two are related to the attainment of joy and happiness in worldly terms, leaving aside ultimate religious or spiritual aspirations such as liberation and enlightenment. The first two factors deal with joy and happiness as we understand them con- ventionally, in worldly terms. In order to more fully experience that level of joy and happiness, the key is one’s state of mind. However, there are various factors that contribute to attaining that level of joy and happiness, ones we conventionally also recognize as sources of happiness, such as good physical health, which is considered one of the factors necessary for a happy life. Another factor is the wealth that we accumulate. Conventionally, we regard this as a source of joy and happiness. The third factor is to have friends or companions. We conventionally recognize that in order to enjoy a happy and ful- filled life, we also need a circle of friends we trust and with whom we can relate emotionally. opposite | Rorschach’s Upheaval, 2014