February 04, 2010

(Almost) Daily Words of Wisdom from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

One of my favorite newsletters is Carolyn Gimian's "Ocean of Dharma." You can sign up for it here and join nearly 10,000 others who receive jewels of wisdom from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche two or three times a week. Here's today's, one I particularly liked:

Keep the Moth Out of the Flame

When you are trying to help someone, you have to have humor, self-existing humor, and you have to hold the moth in your hand, but not let it go into the flame. That's what helping others means. Ladies and gentlemen, we have so much responsibility. A long time ago, people helped one another in this way. Now people just talk, talk talk. They read books, they listen to music, but they never actually help anyone. They never use their bare hands to save a person from going crazy. We have that responsibility. Somebody has to do it. It turns out to be us. We've got to do it, and we can do it with a smile, not with a long face.

From "Helping Others," in Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala,  page 180. Order your copy here.

Many thanks to Carolyn!

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klrje's picture

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The hummingbird competes with the stillness of the air | Cho's picture

[...] Tricycle » (Almost) Daily Words of Wisdom from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche [...]

David's picture

Dear Pat R...
A few years ago I was talking with a young woman and she told me that her mother was in the hospital and was in pretty bad shape. The young woman had been wondering whether she was doing the right thing by doing whatever she could for her mother since the mother was fierce about her independence. I told her that as long as she was acting from love she didn't have to worry about it. We can't get into somebody else's head and we can't fix someone else's karma. What we can do is work on the quality of our own intention. And if you know your action is arising from love you can't do better than that.

Bergie0208's picture

I really appreciate the principles of Buddhism. The stuffs really interest me.
What I like most is the meditation.


BeZenMyFriend.org is a place to pause, relax, and contemplate the world all around us. There is beauty everywhere. We have only to look. Take a moment from your busy lifestyle... Be Zen, My Friend.

Pat R's picture

In this situation, I'm always wondering if this person really needs help, or am I being judgemental, patronizing and not accepting the person as s/he is. Comments?

A Gift of Dharma for 2.4.10 « Rev. Danny Fisher's picture

[...] Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala, page 180, and it comes to us via James Shaheen at the Tricycle Editors’ Blog (via Ocean of Dharma): When you are trying to help someone, you have to have humor, self-existing [...]

Waylon Lewis's picture

Thanks for posting this, boss. Love that quote—how do we help others without engaging in idiot compassion, and hurting ourselves and enabling those we're trying to help in the first place. Love Trike—I often laptop it up at the (Buddhist-owned) Trident Cafe & Booksellers here in Boulder, Colorado, and they hang many copies of old Tricycles on the old-fashioned news racks...amazing quality going way back, I remember reading some of same issues when I was young punk at Karme Choling, in VT.