Verse 6 of Eight Verses for Training the Mind

Our View of Others . . . 

When someone whom I have benefited or in whom I have placed great trust and hope, harms me or treats me in hurtful ways without reason, May I see that person as my precious teacher.  

When we are kind to people, helping them, giving them our trust and hope, we naturally expect to be treated kindly in return.  

When people repay our kindness and trust by harming us or treating us in hurtful ways, we often react with anger, hurt, or disappointment.

After such an experience, we may find it difficult to give them our love and respect. This type of ordinary love is conditional and impure.  

As practitioners, we want to embrace a situation such as this with skillful wisdom, compassion, and unconditional love. Therefore, it is essential that we have a way to transform these difficult experiences into the actual path to enlightenment.  

To accomplish this, we learn to see a person who harms us or treats us in hurtful ways, as our precious teacher. This person becomes our precious teacher because of the priceless dharma lessons we receive.  

Through their kindness, we also receive the ripening and purification of our own negative karma, which is the inevitable result of our having done a similar thing to someone in the past. In this way, we can see how even our worst enemies can be our greatest benefactors and precious teachers. 

 

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

Photo Credit: Intellimon Ltd.