Verse 4 of Eight Verses for Training the Mind

Reflective Person 

Whenever I meet people of unpleasant character or those overwhelmed by negativity, pain or suffering, may I cherish and care for them as if I had found a rare and precious treasure difficult to find.

When we encounter unpleasant people, or those overwhelmed by negativity, pain, or suffering, we often prefer to ignore or avoid them rather than cherish and care for them.  

We may consider ourselves to be more important or more evolved than such beings, and we usually turn from them, as we do not want to be bothered, hurt, or contaminated by their condition.  

This verse suggests reversing our usual self-cherishing attitude by learning to cherish and care for such people, being joyful and grateful as if we had found a rare and precious treasure.  

To overcome the delusion and egoism of our self-cherishing, we view this encounter as an opportunity to serve and bring happiness to others, rather than a nuisance to be avoided. In this way, our self-cherishing mind diminishes and our compassion deepens so as to embrace all living beings without exception. 

 

Source: Used with permission from Neil Cohen at Naljor Prison Dharma Service, PO Box 1177, Mount Shasta CA 96067.

Photo Credit: Intellimon Ltd.