The other week, we talked about the example of our reality being like a dream. Even science says that the universe is similar to a hologram. Right?

So, this study, this science, and spirituality or the philosophy, the Buddhist philosophy are starting to cross paths. This is an amazing time. It is a golden era. 

We are in a golden era but there is a problem also, you see. We tend to overvalue negativity much more than positivity. That is an issue. We have to be aware of that.

So, if we can overvalue positivity much more, then that is what is going to matter.  That is what is going to take form in our life. Do you understand?

We should not overvalue so much negativity. My advice is that you should avoid negativity unless you use it to learn from it.  The point about learning from negativity is to know what to avoid, what not to do in the future, and, also,  to be able to advise others that the direct result will be suffering. Then, of course, you can help others to deal with it.

In that instance, negativity is good. We should value it in that sense, but, only if you use the negativity in your life as an example of what you do not want in life. I mean, I always use my life as an example.

Here is an interesting scenario.  Take a mother who has raised five children by herself.  For 20 years, she has been doing two different jobs.  Like this, she has been able to raise her kids, feed her kids, educate her kids, pass them through university plus maintain the house expenses, and do everything else a mother needs to do. Right?  Will she be in the newspaper?  Will they feature her in the headlines? No.

Yet, you take a mother who suddenly lost control, who is maybe a junkie or who has mental issues or like that. In her rage, in one second of delusion, anger, and reaction, she goes crazy and kills her son. That woman will make headlines everywhere.

What was more difficult?   Was it more difficult to raise the kids for 20 years or was it more difficult to just lose control of your mind for one second, one snap of the fingers?

Do you understand what I am saying?  Of course, I mean killing your son is probably super difficult, but it is an example of how we value things.

You can kill an insect-like that, but can you put an insect together? No. Nobody can do that, not even science.

I mean, they cannot even build the pyramids 4000 years and 5000 years later even though the prototype is much smaller and the Japanese scientists have all the financing they need.  They are not able to replicate the pyramids even on a small scale, okay?

Forget about putting an insect together, again. So, what right do we have to impose ourselves on the insect? Do you see what I mean?

Like, if we cannot create it, then, certainly, we should not destroy it… That is the thing… creating is so much more difficult plus we do not have the power to create life.  We only have the power and the responsibility to keep life functioning in our bodies.  Creating is so much more difficult.  It requires so much more work and time than destroying even if we had that power.

All of this is an example of evolving and devolving.  You know, good and evil.

If you cannot put it together,  do not take it apart… What right do you have to take it apart… to destroy it?  This is starting with your own body. 

Your body is, also, a reflection of what is happening with humanity and the world. So, as a matter of fact, at the end of the day, we realize that everything is very interconnected. My point is that we value negativity a lot.

I have a friend whose parents gave him all the freedom in the world. Everything he ever wanted he got. I mean, this is compared to the culture in which I was raised.

I grew up in India with Tibetans. Consequently, I have a very oriental, Asian kind of mentality which is collective, not so much individualistic. It is so different.  Like… there, the values are not the same as in the west. So, for him to have so much freedom and support to do everything he wanted was incredible to me.

When he was at a young age, he wanted to travel. They always facilitated everything for him, you see.  They offered him everything that he wanted. They always gave him love.  They were so kind to him.

I asked him, ‘What is the one memory that you can remember the most… from all of that beautiful, amazing childhood?’

He said, ‘That one time my mother slapped me’.

Exactly! That is the point that I am trying to make. We overvalue negativity so much more. We put it in the front line. We make it big. We make it important.

Then, that is actually what is prevailing in our life. We are projecting that.  We are creating that reality.

So, even if there is a lot of negativity that has happened in our life, there is some positivity, also. If we overvalue the positivity much more than the negativity, that is what is going to prevail. That is what is going to be there.  That is what will be present if we do not give so much importance to negativity. The negativity is going to lose importance.

We are going to learn from it.  When we learn from it, we can even use it as a tool to improve. Then, we can help others.

So this is, also, a mechanism about how to adapt positively to any situation. In the long run, this will bring us a balance in life because we are equanimous.

It is about perception, as well. It is about how we perceive. We are the ones who choose how to perceive something. Once we chose how we perceive things, then, our attitude in life will start slowly changing.  That is our responsibility.

7 Comments

  1. John Wyndham

    Hi Tenzin,

    This is the big challenge, how to derail permanently Negative Thinking. I suppose my question has always been why do we consistently ignore the possibility of the Buddha Natures within us all and by that I mean every living being regardless of where or what we are doing. I find it illuminating and re-assuring that A Buddha can see through our pretence and delusion as to our potential. And yet we are the ones that need to do the work on ourselves alongside the unconditional aim to help others.

  2. Adam South

    Thanks for sharing, felt like I read this at just the right time!

  3. Andy Wistreich

    Thanks for this beautiful teaching at this time, when it looks like the world is getting darker. [Well, in the northern hemisphere it actually still is, but that’s not what I meant.] Within the darkness there is tremendous light, if we can but see it. So much positivity rising.
    In a few days it will be solstice (winter solstice in the northern hemisphere]. It’s an important turning point in natural time. We’re part of nature, so it’s a turning point within us and the whole world. It’s a good time to let go of negativity and embrace what’s good within us and in the world.

  4. Rosalyn Williams

    Dear Osel La
    I agree there is no need for negativity especially in Britain . Chaos , we don’t know what the government is doing !
    Should we applaud or grumble?
    If we are positive more likely change will be for the better that is very important. To enjoy life is a wonderful thing.
    I am guessing but recognising suffering is a good thing , search for its cause , don’t get depressed, don’t lose self esteem , try not to waste your life by becoming a playboy.etc.
    It’s true when your happy you can achieve most things.
    I find it quite hard to be in such changeable circumstances but it’s an opportunity to become more flexible , but I do have a tendency when I am on my own to say ‘well I don’t care ‘ so haven’t got it quite right yet I am still looking for emptiness !
    Thank you , It is so true and also Buddhist philosophy and practices are a great help. Thank you for bringing these teachings to our attention
    Love
    Ros

  5. Margaret Bachtler

    Thank you Tenzin Osel for your commentary. It gave me an opportunity to dissect my thoughts on the subject of choosing positivity and my purpose in life. In Buddhism we place value on becoming aware of how our mind works so with that knowledge we can change our thinking. It is important to be able to identify our mental conditioning so that when indicated we can use that awareness to intercept our thought process. Psychologists use the Rorschach test to identify our perceptions through subjective stimuli (the inkblot). It is interesting that some people see the negative and some see the positive when looking at the same thing. What we focus on gets bigger. We suffer less when we see the positive. Also, positive thoughts facilitate positive actions. So if we pay attention we can choose positive thinking which in turn not only gives us joy but helps in actualizing our being of assistance to sentient beings. Additionally, by analyzing our thinking we can learn to choose to cherish others more often and choose not to think less of ourselves but to think about ourselves less. We aim to reduce the self cherishing.

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