I wasn’t sure if I would be able to visit Switzerland this year. It is a long journey all the way to Europe. As we grow older, long distance journey becomes rather tedious to say the least. I have been visiting Switzerland for the last six years. However, even though the journey is rather cumbersome, once I am in Switzerland, it’s worth the trouble.
Everyone tried their best to make my stay as comfortable and as pleasant as possible. Whether it’s my Tibetan hosts or Swiss hosts, all of them did their utmost to make me feel happy while I am their guest.
It made me think about the notion of the Buddhist belief in others before self. When we talk about it, it seems like an incredibly difficult if not impossible proposition. It didn’t make me feel this was something I would feel compelled to think seriously about or be convinced of its wisdom. Not because I didn’t belief in the concept but rather, the sheer magnanimity and charitableness was mind boggling. I saw it as a wonderful beneficence but something that seemed almost out of reach for ordinary people like myself.
The hospitality and genuine care I received from all those families I stayed with made me realise the incredible goodness human beings are endowed with and this in turn made me realise the immense gratitude I owe to all those who cared for me and on a larger context to all sentient beings. It opened my eyes to the innate goodness of all beings and how I have benefitted from such reservoir of good will. This rekindled my own sense of care and good will towards the others. I saw the secret of altruism is to engender unconditional kindness to others by seeing their immense goodness. It is through cultivating love for others by seeing their wonderful qualities of kindness, charity and humanity which automatically endears them to us. This helps to feel strongly for their wellbeing and happiness. It cemented my conviction that loving others through learning and experiencing their virtue awakens the mind which leads an individual to enlightenment. There is no doubt it is a journey for life and infact many live times to actualise such a exhilarating mental state but to get just a tiny understanding of it makes it a worthwhile experience. It helps us to have deeper love and appreciation of the good will of others towards us.
I, therefore feel a great sense of gratitude to all those who have either directly or indirectly assisted me in the way of contributing for the expenses of my journey or wellbeing, or having me as a guest in their homes for a week or two or whatever the duration may be. I sincerely thank all of you for your incredible generosity, kindness and selfless assistance rendered to me.
I would ask everyone to read the teachings as often as possible to keep your minds engaged with the Dharma. Be kind to everyone including the animals. Remember, kindness is the way to happiness.