“I would say that the thrust of my life has been initially about getting free, and then realizing that my freedom is not independent of everybody else. Then I am arriving at that circle where one works on oneself as a gift to other people so that one doesn’t create more suffering. I help people as a work on myself and I work on myself to help people.”
“One of the classic Buddhist teachings on hope and fear concerns what are known as the eight worldly dharmas. These are four pairs of opposites–four things that we like and become attached to and four things that we don’t like and try to avoid. The basic message is that when we are caught up in the eight worldly dharmas, we suffer.
First, we like pleasure; we are attached to it. Conversely, we don’t like pain. Second, we like and are attached to praise. We try to avoid criticism and blame. Third, we like and are attached to fame. We dislike and try to avoid disgrace. Finally, we are attached to gain, to getting what we want. We don’t like losing what we have.
According to this very simple teaching, becoming immersed in these four pairs of opposites – pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and disgrace, and gain and loss – is what keeps us stuck in the pain of samsara.
We might feel that somehow we should try to eradicate these feelings of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and disgrace. A more practical approach is to get to know them intimately, see how they hook us, see how they color our perception of reality, see how they aren’t all that solid. Then the eight worldly dharmas become the means for growing wiser as well as kinder and more content.”
-from Comfortable With Uncertainty, by Pema Chodron