Remembering Our Role In Avoiding Negative Emotions

Hatred is a terrible emotion. I don’t have to clarify. We went through with hatred for so many years. All 8 years of George Bush and Mr. Cheney. Plus four years of Obama. We went through with hatred, we have now reduced that a little bit, but still it is very much hatred. Either that hatred brought fear or fear brought hatred. These two combined together work very strongly within the individual.

Today many of us, me – all the time – travel by plane flying here and there. You have to take off everything – almost everything. Even after 9/11 began, you didn’t have to take off shoes at the airport – until the shoe bomber came in. From then on we had to take our shoes off and almost everything else off. Then the underwear bomber came in near Detroit and I presume we have to take the underwear off too! So far we don’t, but you have to go through this machine where everything is transparent.

Anyway, can you imagine that Americans will tolerate that? Can you imagine that Americans will tolerate the loss of their individuals rights/liberties – no way! It was no way Jose until 9/11. 9/11 came and created fear/hatred combined together – so we are happy to take off our shoes. Many, according to the news, true or not, say they are happy to take their shoes off, saying, “We are safer.” Safety is more important than this. So that is the fear, right?

So it is quite clear how all these negative emotions influence our life. Buddha has been telling us this for 2600 years. We heard it, but it goes over our head in our ear very often. Even today we do that. We hear it and most of it will pass. That’s what happens. So we are talking about these emotions. The bottom line where we control our life is by controlling our negative emotions. And this is the controlling of our mind.

And when you avoid engaging in negative emotions, not only have you avoided engaging the mind in negativity but you also build tremendous positivity. That positivity is coming out of stopping that negativity. When you stop that negativity, you gain something within you. That is your positive deeds.

It is so important. We need to know what are positive deeds. The word in Tibetan is, ‘tra wa’ – the separation from negative emotions and then the positivity you gain is the result of that. That is how practitioners engage in practice. It doesn’t remain outside of you. It’s not in temples or churches or synagogues. It is within you, within your own body, within your own mind. It doesn’t depend on how you dress, how you function. I mean it does function a little bit, but it is within you.

So recognize. Today we talk about obsession, recognize the obsession, acknowledge it. In other words, remember, this is obsession. Obsession looks like this, sounds like this, feels like this. So it is obsession. So I will avoid it. I will avoid obsession under any circumstances. And that is how you make up your mind.

Similarly, hatred. Hatred you should always avoid. Hatred does not prevent violence. Hatred does not prevent that, although we try to prevent violence by hatred. It is the human culture. Human beings think, “I have to get you before you get me.”

That’s what George Bush used to say, though George Bush is supposed to be a good person according to His Holiness. He may be a very good person, no doubt about it, but his policy said that. So that’s hatred and obsession. Then there is jealousy. And then, pride. The Tibetans call it pride. The word in Tibetan is ‘na gyal.’ However I think it is more or less narcissism. It is self admiration. Oneself is great. I am the one. “I am still the King,” as in the movie “Dark Crystal.”

It is that sort of pride. It is so much egoistic and so much really – true narcissism. You think, “I am untouchable, nothing can hurt me.” It is all me, and me, and me. And that’s how.

Then there is ignorance. That is of course not knowing and also wrong knowing both. Ignorance is a little more complicated, so I will engage it on another day, rather than combining all of them today.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, Jewel Heart Ann Arbor, May 27, 2012

Scroll to Top