May 7 : Motivations to Set Every Morning
Every morning we set a motivation and think that today, the most important thing I must do is to guard my body, speech and mind so that I do not harm anybody through what I do, what I say, or even what I think. That is the most important thing — more important than anything else today.
The second most important thing is to be of benefit to others as much as possible. Thoroughly cultivate that as your motivation simply for being alive today. Our purpose for being alive is not just to keep this body alive, to eat and sleep, and have pleasure. We have a higher purpose, a higher meaning: to really work for the benefit of living beings. If the purpose of our life is simply to keep the body alive and have pleasure, then at the end of our life, we have nothing to show for it. The body dies and all the pleasures, like last night’s dream, are gone. But if we work for higher motivation, higher purpose, do what is beneficial for all living beings, then there is happiness and benefit now.
At the end of our lives, the benefit that we have given to others continues, as do all the imprints of the attitude of kindness, the attitude of care towards others. All the imprints of having generated that positive mind go on with us into the next life. Even at the time of death, that kind heart brings incredible benefits and carries through into the next life.
The third motivation, our long-term purpose, is to become fully awakened. In other words, to have the wisdom, compassion and skill so that in the long-term, we will be able to be of the greatest benefit to all living beings, even being able to lead them on the path to awakening. We change and develop a kind heart that positively influences every single living being we encounter, and through that influence on them, it spreads out to all the people they know.
Spending one day with a positive, long-term motivation may seem like a small thing, but when we think of the ripple effect it has now, and the benefit it has in future lives and for progressing along the path to liberation and awakening, we see that even one day spent with such motivations of kindness and of directly and indirectly benefiting sentient beings has tremendous outcomes and many good results.
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