Approach. . .
Whatever activities you are involved in, whether they are mundane or spiritual, you need to approach them with intelligence. You need to ask yourself, “OK, what qualities are needed to fulfill this role? How should this job be done? What information is needed?” You need to acquire the necessary skills and qualities, to listen to and learn from others, and to change yourself. As for learning, you all know how to do this. It can sometimes be difficult to listen to and learn from others, but we need to do it. And finally, we need to change ourselves: if you are lacking certain needed qualities, then learn to develop them. If you see you have some faults, then slowly work on transforming these faults; don’t just leave them as they are. Otherwise you will never improve.
In terms of the dharma, we need the intelligence of knowing the natural state and of never parting from the motivation of bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment. These days many practitioners are losing bodhicitta. Sometimes I also find myself thinking, “Can I really reach enlightenment? Is it really possible? And in any case, will it really be of benefit to others and to myself?” The state of enlightenment, buddhahood, is the ultimate benefit, the ultimate bliss, the ultimate peace, and the ultimate, unsurpassable method to benefit oneself and others. That being so, we need to develop the wish and determination to attain enlightenment. This is bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment. So as practitioners, we should (with intelligence) embrace life’s teachings, reflect upon them genuinely, and put what we learn into practice genuinely.
Peace and Love, Jim