“For those of you who want to attain enlightenment, do not study many teachings. Only study one. What is it? It is great compassion. Whoever has great compassion has all Buddha’s qualities in his hand.” —Lord Buddha

In the undeluded purity of self-appearance, there are no names for love and faith…. But since all sentient beings grasp at the uncatchable display of appearance, all our phenomena become heavy and substantial, and we create the duality of self and other, the conceptions of ordinary mind, and the karmic delusion of habit. Since all habit belongs to either the deluded panic of samsara or the noble path of enlightenment, it is best to develop the positive habit of the path of enlightenment that always creates the positive energy of love and faith, until we attain the selfless appearance of the buddhas.

Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra (Father-Mother). Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Fransisco. Copyright John Bigelow Taylor, courtesy of Tibet House, NY.
Guhyasamaja Akshobhyavajra (Father-Mother). Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Fransisco. Copyright John Bigelow Taylor, courtesy of Tibet House, NY.

Love and faith share the same essence of deep caring. The only difference is that love is aimed toward sentient beings, including those who are less fortunate than we are, while faith is aimed toward sublime beings, including all buddhas and enlightened guides. The nature of love is to give positive energy to others in order to benefit them and to release them from suffering. The nature of faith is to trust in sublime beings in order to receive the blessings of wisdom energy that benefit oneself and others. True faith creates the vast love of compassion that benefits countless beings.

If we rely on ordinary, dualistic mind, we cannot have deep and lasting love either for our equals or for less fortunate beings, because ordinary, dualistic mind depends on the uncertainty of temporary circumstances. This uncertainty easily causes disinterest, hatred, or betrayal. If we do not believe in the unending continuity of mind, we will only consider the immediate, tangible circumstances of our connections to others, rejecting or accepting them as these circumstances change according to what is the most expedient for us. Ordinary love that arises from the karmic results of habit can seem to have the qualities of being genuine, loyal, and stable, but these qualities only mask the potential for the opposite qualities of insincerity, disloyalty, and instability to arise if circumstances change. Because ordinary love has no depth, it is automatically limited. If it becomes unpleasant, we stop feeling it. When we only react to circumstances, we are really just considering ourselves and our own reactions without respecting or caring deeply about others. When we feel isolated and want to be loved, we show love to others in order to receive love from them in return, but when we are satisfied, we forget about others. This is not enduring and continuous love. It does not cause the impartial compassion of bodhisattvas because it depends on our personal, selfish desire.

If we do not believe in anything beyond what can be experienced directly with the obscured perception of dualistic mind, we will not recognize that our awareness is limited and we will only care about our immediate experiences. Our main interest will be in our own temporary benefit, even though this benefit is easily lost since it depends on unreliable, temporary circumstances

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