Lojong Cards and Booklet

Lojong Cards and Booklet
This self-published deck and booklet are the intellectual property of Beverly King. Please do not copy or reproduce any photos or blog posts without permission.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Slogan Fifty-seven

Don’t be jealous.
            Jealousy makes us prickly, irritable and full of resentment. It constricts our hearts and causes us to become more self-absorbed. We feel sure we’ve gotten a raw deal, that we are more deserving than another person. Whether we should have received a reward or commendation is not the issue; the reaction it produces in us is what is important. When we’ve become caught in this emotional trap, Norman Fischer recommends we respond with “sympathetic joy.” Can we imagine how we would feel in this person’s shoes? When we celebrate their happiness as if it were our own, we cultivate loving-kindness and weed out jealousy.
Photo: A cactus leans away from a begonia flower.

            My grandmother, who was born in 1896, wore a girdle her entire adult life. Even with the advent of pantyhose, she adamantly refused to give up her girdle. Though she wore it to shape her body, I couldn’t imagine wearing something so tight and constrictive even for a well-formed figure. In a sense, envy can squeeze my mind and heart into an unnatural shape too. It changes my perception and encourages me label myself and others as either “superior” or “inferior.” My thinking becomes rigid instead of flexible, and I begin to see the “haves” as unfriendly competitors. Any possibility of cooperative effort gets squashed. Instead of constructively using an unmet goal as motivation to work toward something, envy transforms it into a troubling emotion – a resentful feeling that sees the person who has what is desired as undeserving of it. Such jealousy affects me in a negative way that may not be readily apparent. The last line from one of Rumi’s poems offers a glimpse: “Jealousy won’t let me scatter the perfume to the wind.” Envy keeps my compassion hermetically sealed, preventing it from benefiting anyone, even myself.

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