The 8 Verses for Training the Mind or How I’m Getting it Wrong

In an effort to transform myself, I must start with honesty.

I am stubbornly selfish & self-centered, paranoid and overly suspicious of people’s motives. I find it hard to trust people or understand their behavior. Because of these obstacles it is difficult for me to develop empathy. More often I am uncomfortable being around other people or perplexed by their actions or hurt by their words.

1. I have very little capacity for loving kindness.

I often, without knowing it, talk down to people. I have always had an enormous ego. (unwarranted of course because I have never done anything worthwhile in my life) And even when I’m not speaking, I stand or sit with an air of superiority. In everything I do or say I am always trying to impress people. Or impress upon people how great I am even after years of being homeless.

2. I have not learned humility.

I have an impulse control problem and I am quick-tempered. In an instant I can go from thinking it – to doing it – to regretting it. I am too often guided by anger & fear or passion & desire and none have ever led me to any lasting happiness but mostly despair & heartbreak and loneliness.

3. I have never been able to control my emotions.

I am too quick to anger when injured by negative people. I am constantly confronting them or else avoiding them altogether. When someone, through their unpleasantness, makes me uncomfortable or angry instead of trying to calm them, I attack them. Instead of trying to help them, I try to hurt them back.

4. I have little to no patience

I always have to get the last word. I always have to win an argument. I am right and they are wrong and nothing else is important not even the truth. The only thing I care about is getting the last word.

5. I am quick to argue and always need to be right.

I hold grudges for years and years. When someone I consider a friend wrongs me in some way, I hold the feelings of betrayal indefinitely. I am a hatred storing machine.

6. I do not know how to forgive.

I avoid pain. I avoid complications and I keep a wall between myself and the world. I am always afraid of getting hurt. At times I neglect people in pain to avoid feeling the pain myself. To avoid sharing their pain.

7. I am selfish and inconsiderate.

I spend too much time at play. I avoid responsibility. I spend too much time thinking about sex and games. I spend too much time watching TV and movies. Reading comic books and surfing the internet. And porn much too much porn.

8. I am lazy and unfocused

I am all of these things but I do not want to be any of them. I do not want to continue to be the person I have described. And I do not have to be.

With a determination to achieve the highest aim
For the benefit of all beings
May I hold them dear at all times.

Whenever I interact with someone,
May I view myself as the lowest amongst all,
And respectfully hold others as superior

In all my deeds may I probe into my mind,
And as soon as mental and emotional afflictions arise-
May I strongly confront them and avert them.

When I see beings of unpleasant character
Oppressed by strong negativity and suffering,
May I hold them dear for they are rare to find

When others treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn,
May I take upon myself the defeat
And offer to them the victory.

When someone in whom I have placed great hopes,
Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways,
May I regard him or her as my precious teacher.

May I offer benefit and joy to all both directly and indirectly,
And may I quietly take upon myself
All of their hurts and pains.

May all this remain undefiled
By the stains of mundane concerns;
And may I be released from bondage.

I wish it were as easy as just wishing it.  But it takes effort and diligence. It requires that I keep a watchful eye on all my sins.

As long as space endures,
as long as sentient beings remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.

– Mel


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