Cultivation entails giving up whatever has little value . . . (Click image for video)


Are we asking “Can I?” 

Or “Should I?” 

Being able to do something does not necessarily mean we should.

Walking down the street, do I heedlessly drop a piece of paper on the ground? Carry it to the nearest trash bin? Take it home to add to the recycling bag?

Dining with friends, do I order the meat like everyone else? Do I order a vegetarian option? A vegan one? Do I say I just feel like tofu tonight? Say it’s for health reasons? Do I explain that I don’t need, or want, to take another’s life to support my own?

Sure, I can toss the paper aside. Yes, I can order whatever I want on the menu. But does being able to do something mean that I should? That I don’t need to care about small things like a piece of paper or one serving of meat?

Or do I have a responsibility to those my decisions impact? And also, not coincidentally, my own future karma? When with others, do I act the same way they do? Or do I decide to take the more arduous path of making conscious decisions on increasing subtle levels?


When praised for an accomplishment, remember . . . (Click image for video)


First comes patience. 

Ultimately, there is just happiness.  

When others strongly want something, we should practice patience. How? Defer to them.

If it’s not an issue of, say, principles or safety, why not? Will it really make a difference to us to let the aggressive driver into our lane? Yes, he’s annoying. But no, it shouldn’t make a difference. Who is to say whose journey is more important. Or urgent. And does this honestly matter? Is it worth the price we pay? The anger we feel?

There’s also the embarrassment of hearing ourselves proclaim “I won!” when we exit the road and the car is still behind us. As our blood pressure normalizes, a realization befalls us: we just created another enmity. As if we didn’t already have enough.

The next time your wishes do not concur with someone else’s, remember that we are not more important than others. Any tug-of-war on this issue is not important. Only patience is. Very likely, you will see how patiently accommodating the other person will make everyone a winner.