A Useful View of “Independence”

A great rock is not disturbed by the wind; the mind of a wise man is not disturbed by either honor or abuse. – Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama)

I heard someone say that one of the hallmarks of a good life is to be immune from both the good and bad opinion of others.

The ol’ Dalai Lama knows this too.

It’s easy enough to say “Yeah, I don’t worry about the negative things people say about me. I know who Iam.”

Having it be true is another thing entirely.

It’s just as problematic, I believe, to only be concerned with the bad things people say. In that pursuing the approbation of others takes us just as swiftly and surely from our well-being as anything.

The cure is to remember – and know – that at our core we are goodness and well-being. The only reference point we need is the barometer of our soul.

Whether we chase after complements, or avoid criticism, we’re still running. We’re running from ourselves towards something, that while it may feel real, is false.

Practice being still and calm and listen for the still, silent voice within. It is the voice of truth.

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