Different doesn’t mean wrong. 

Thousands of years ago, only trusting those who looked like you could have saved your life.

Strangers, people who looked different, might well kill you. Reasonable in light of how they too had been taught not to trust those who didn’t look like them. So with survival the foremost concern, humans had a good reason to distrust anyone first, outside their family; then, their clan; and, in time, their village.

Gradually, distrust embedded itself in our DNA and store consciousness. In dangerous times and circumstances, such distrust was understandable. But most of us now live in a very different world. Distrusting others because they appear different doesn’t save us; it eviscerates us and crushes others. Why?

Differentiating arises from dualism: me vs them.

It personifies ego attachment: I’m right, so whatever they think and do is wrong.

It shows ignorance of causality: if they gain, I lose.

It robs others of happiness; gives fear, not fearlessness; kills hope. It holds the ultimate power to destroy he who destroys.



Wanting something is not enough.

We need the right conditions.

As much as we wish for something to happen, without the right circumstances, it can’t.

What we now have or lack, what we enjoy or suffer, all came about due to our past thoughts and actions. The same principle will hold for tomorrow. There’s no magic wand to wave; it’s all up to us. Now we need to purposely apply the principle to our life.

For example, wishing to find a Buddhist master to learn from is not enough unless we are unbelievably fortunate and our newly arisen wish coincides with the necessary conditions. In that case, finding our master occurs naturally, not unlike a chain of falling dominoes. Lacking such incredible good timing, such good fortune, we need to create the necessary conditions by learning and practicing where we are. When possible, we can also attend retreats.

Having patiently and diligently created our conditions, in time, we will meet the master.

And intuitively know—this is the one.


Being kind is not necessarily being gentle.
Sometimes, true kindness is being stern.

One of Buddhism’s four all-embracing methods is kind words.

Picturing this, we might come up with a doting grandmother smiling as she tsks “Alan” to her grandchild who just laughed at her. Ah, such kind words! Not really.

The kind words will likely be those from the shocked mother who turns to her son and firmly says, “Alan! That’s not the right way to treat your grandmother.”

The mother then goes on to explain why it was wrong, what the right behavior would be in the circumstances and tells her son why he should apologize to his grandmother. While the grandmother said what we’d imagine a grandmother would say, the mother’s words were the truly kind ones because they taught the type of behavior that her son will need to get along well with people.

Kind word aren’t soft words, but those that help us become better people.