The pain is real. That is the point. Turn towards that
pain again and again. It is your open and sensitive heart
hurting. Don’t shut it down – let the hurt open you up –
it’s no use trying to shut it down. It doesn’t get better
that way. It is like trying to kill something that just
won’t die. Better accept that the pain is real.
What else are you going to do with it if not try to
smooth it away? Let it be what it is – open out – let
it hurt and notice again and again that it is this pain
that unites you will all other beings.
Everywhere you look others are suffering just as
you are. It is universal. Everyone longs for that love,
that being known, that being accepted for what they
are – for companionship, for communication deep
and meaningful, for trust, for warmth, for the joy
of discovering what is true and genuine in oneself
So let your heart open and feel the pain of yourself
and of others. That pain cannot destroy you and it
cannot make things worse – at least when you open
to the pain you feel alive and where there is life
there is hope.
The pain is what makes you a human being and it’s
driving you to look for the truth, the truth that
goes beyond the grasping and trying to make things
what they are not, the truth of awakening to what
is truly real and precious in yourself and others –
Notice how you ignore and count for nothing all
those people around you that you think of as not
really your friends. How lonely are they? How
much are they doing to themselves what you are
doing to yourself?
Let the pain in your heart open you to everyone –
every living thing and let the pulse of life pulse
through you and tell you that there is another way
to be. It is the only solution. You cannot kill the life
of your heart and you cannot get rid of the pain –
you can only realise what it is, awaken to what it is.
It is Bodhichitta – the Awakened Heart. I really
cannot see any way round this – whatever words
one chooses to use – I cannot see any way round this.
I wish I could help you to have courage and confidence in this.
— By Lama Shenpen Hookham