This is part 47 of my series on Lojong, Buddhist mind-training.
When practicing lojong, it’s easy to think of it as simply a mental exercise. This slogan asks that we look at our thoughts, speech and body. I’m reminded of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say”. We can meditate on the idea of lojong, of building compassion and loving-kindness, but if what we say and do doesn’t reflect that what’s the point?
Ask yourself if what you do and say is synonymous with what you believe. If it isn’t either you don’t really believe it, or you need to start practicing what you preach, so to speak.
Gentleness, awareness and openness are needed to build more compassion. Instead of spewing hatred toward those with vastly different points of view (yes, I’m thinking of racism and discrimination), we can stand our ground, we can be unequivocal in our thoughts and actions and still maintain a gentle attitude toward the other party. We don’t have to agree with them and we certainly don’t have to silently sit by and watch and wait for someone else to fix the problem. But we can remember that this is a human being that has been taught hate and fear and condemn the actions while maintaining compassion for the soul.
Spreading loving-kindess doesn’t mean that we must just sit idly by and pray or hope that things will change. We still must act.