My cheerful happiness of mind.
Worrying never brings me what I want;
Instead, my virtue will be lost.
If it can be remedied,
What reason is there for worry?
And if it can’t be remedied,
What use is there in being glum?
— The Way of the Bodhisattva, Chapter VI
Why is this so? Well, if the situation can still be improved, then by all means, we should happily go and do it! Yet if no matter how hard we try, things just won’t get any better, then since the situation is as it is, what help is it for us to suffer yet an extra toll of being worried?
To me, these words portray a kind of open-mindedness, along with the state of being that it brings in our lives: untethered, free, and gracefully at ease. This doesn’t mean we should just become numb and not care about anything. Rather, this open-mindedness results from a very clear thinking process, by analyzing the cause-and-effect relationships between things.
It doesn’t have to be the case that whenever someone praises us, it must cause us to be pleased, and whenever someone blames us, it must cause us to feel glum… What if somebody flips everything upside-down, calls every good thing we’ve done a crime, and even blames us for a host of terrible things that never actually happened… well, would we then have to live our lives in misery from that day onward?
However, for us as spiritual practitioners, when we come across these adverse situations, or any situation that appears to be bring us harm, it is actually a perfect chance for us to improve. If we see it as a wonderful opportunity, and use it to train our minds, then wouldn’t we feel some trace of joyfulness within ourselves? After all, these situations can help us grow stronger inside.
If we have strength within, then what hurdles in life can ever pin us down? So, let us use every situation we come across to better ourselves! When we become strong inside, will we still have any enemies? Will we still have any foes?