This is part 39 of my series on Lojong, Buddhist mindfulness training.
How are your days filled? If you are like so many others, you’re busy running errands, answering e-mail, attending meetings, responding to requests for our time, meeting obligations, and on it goes. We keep very busy and in the west we are often applauded for how busy we are. We might have a clear goal in mind with all this busyness or we may not; maybe it’s just the chaos of living. How often are we doing all of these things with the (unspoken) goal of looking good, seeking recognition, of someday being rewarded with more money, a promotion or some other reward? What is the goal of all this busyness?
When all of our actions take on the goal of benefiting all sentient beings in some way as this slogan suggests, we begin to look at our actions with a different lens. We begin to see where our actions are somewhat aimless and perhaps unnecessary. We see where our time is being spent and how it might be better spent. Perhaps we begin to whittle down our activities to only those that have meaning for us and our smaller (or the larger) world.
When you become aware of how your actions might be helping others it also helps you to bring more compassion to those you are helping and also to yourself. And sometimes, we need to cut out those activities that really have no meaning so that we can better tend to ourselves. In tending to ourselves we become more attuned to the needs of others.
How can you view your actions differently?