If you don’t have compassion during the contemplation period, you are in trouble. A lot of people say, ‘I dropped out, I got burned out, it is too much for me.’ You try to do something, spend a couple of weeks at it and when nothing happens, you give up. You lost the priority and it is put on the end of the list of what ever you have to do. Losing interest, being unable to complete your work, all those are lack of inspiration, lack of compassion. You understand? If in the middle, when you work so much, you feel, ‘Oh it is too much for me, I can’t do it,’ remember, that is the sign you’re losing the compassion! If you have compassion and caring for yourself, it will push you forward. It will be the source of inspiration and the key that pushes you. That’s why it’s important during the contemplation period.
How Buddha Developed Bodhimind
It is customary to tell you here a little story about how Buddha developed the bodhimind. I’ll cut the story short. In one of the Buddha’s previous lives, he was in the hell realm, pulling a horse-cart together with someone else. A terrible officer was beating them up. Suddenly Buddha felt an enormous compassion. He was not worried so much about his own pains, but felt so much compassion for the person who was pulling together with him, that he tried to take the whole thing on himself alone. The stupid officer behind saw that and hit the Buddha on the head, shouting, ‘What do you think you’re doing!’ That caused the death of the Buddha at that time and next time he was reborn as a human being. So, this compassionate mind does not only carry the values that we as human beings see today, but it also carries that much value in the spiritual world, too.
~ Gelek Rimpoche, Lojong: Training of the mind in seven points, 2010, p 17-18