Once there was a Bodhisattva by the name of Dipankara, who was a deep meditator and a very advanced teacher, much loved by people. He lived in India and he traveled around in the Tibetan area with a man to help him carry his bag and cook his food, and this man was a very unpleasant person. He had a really bad temper; he was quite rude, and on top of that he was a terrible cook. Of course people begin to notice this person’s bad manners and they feel sorry for Dipankara. They go to him and say,
“Venerable Sir, why don’t you just fire your servant and we’ll be very happy to cook for you and help you in whatever way you need.” Then Dipankara looks at them and says, “Venerable Sirs, you don’t understand: this man is not with me as my servant, he is with me as my teacher. He teaches me tolerance and patience.”
Here is a really fine example of how to use and work with human relationships in training. Wherever you are you can take whatever happens as an occasion to train, and that means you have to look to yourself to make the change.
Available only as part of the winter 2016 Kindle or pdf version of the Journal