Dhammapada Chapter 8: Contentment and Difficult Situations

Introduction

This is from the Dhammapada chapter titled “Happiness.” But it is just as much about obstacles to avoid along the way.

Müller version

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2017/2017-h/2017-h.htm#link2HCH0015

  1. Let us live happily then, not hating those who hate us! among men who hate us let us dwell free from hatred!
  2. Let us live happily then, free from ailments among the ailing! among men who are ailing let us dwell free from ailments!
  3. Let us live happily then, free from greed among the greedy! among men who are greedy let us dwell free from greed!

My ‘paraphrased’ version

Throughout our days, we resolve to live a contented and peaceful existence. We will not return in kind to those who treat us unpleasantly. Among the discontented, we shall reside, free of what distresses them.

Throughout our days, we resolve to live a contented and peaceful existence. We will not return in kind to those who see us unfavorably. Among the distressed, we shall reside, free of what troubles them.

Throughout our days, we resolve to live a contented and peaceful existence. We will not return in kind to those who believe us to be a threat. Among the afflicted, we shall reside, free of what affects them.

Practice

  1. Treat everything encountered as a teaching and everyone as a teacher.
  2. Do not go blindly from situation to situation without learning the key lessons. Reflect and make the needed adjustments at your own speed.
  3. It is in a challenging situation that we need our greatest mindfulness, not afterwards. Observe your circumstances with non-reactivity. Then act in a manner beneficial and not harmful to all parties involved.

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