A commentary by Gelek Rimpoche
A fragment from chapter 4: The actual practice.
All beings are extremely kind
With a determination to accomplish
the highest welfare for all sentient beings,
who surpass even a wish-granting jewel,
I will learn to hold them supremely dear.
The first verse [of this method of Langri Tangpa] says to look at all sentient beings as more important than a wish-fulfilling jewel. Langri Tangpa himself said: "All sentient beings are the creators of all enlightened beings. And I recognize that." That''s why we should consider everybody else as more important than ourselves. Because of that, no matter who you''re going with, no matter who you''re dealing with, no matter where you go, you will consider yourself to be of lesser importance than they. Because they are the creators of all the enlightened beings. (Now you might say: "Is there a creator in Buddhism?" But that''s a different issue.)
If we could do that, there wouldn''t be any problems for us any longer, because we would no longer get angry with anybody, we would no longer get jealous of anybody, we would no longer hurt or harm anybody, because we''d respect everybody. Our problems are our negative emotions. Our negative emotions make us very competitive, very jealous, very mean, all of these. Even tiny little ants can be jealous and competitive with a huge elephant and bite him on the trunk. This is a good reflection of our mind and its dealing with negative emotions.
So far we have been cherishing ourselves. Self-cherishing is our habit. Now we try to change that; instead of cherishing ourselves, we not only cherish others, but we consider them more important than a wish fulfilling jewel.
What we do here is observe our habitual thoughts, that say, "I am more important than anybody else. My well-being is more important than anybody else''s. I am willing to sacrifice everybody else for me." Such thoughts are our normal habit, because our concern for others is limited. Some people we don''t even care about at all, some we do care about, but our caring is limited.
Now Langri Tangpa suggests that we should replace these old habitual thoughts by caring for all beings and seeing them as more important than we are. Think, "Whatever I have now, I have because of the kindness of other beings. My material comfort is the result of the labor of many, many beings and my spiritual development is the result of the kindness of many beings. Other sentient beings also provide me with a base on which to generate compassion, for which I should be very grateful and totally indebted to them."
If you want to generate compassion and there is no object on which to generate it, then you even cannot generate compassion. Without them, there would be no compassion, without which there would be no bodhimind, without which there would be no Buddha. All this comes from the kindness and compassion of all beings. Therefore, it is so important for us to acknowledge that we are indebted to all beings.
© Jewel Heart 2001