Thought for the Day

Wednesday 18 September

Suffering is the ancient law of love; there is no quest without pain; there is no lover who is not also a martyr.

— Heinrich Suso

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

Practically speaking, in order to learn to love, we need a tool for transforming anger into compassion, resentment into sympathy. We need some kind of brake to apply when the mind shifts into high gear under the influence of anger and other negative emotions. The mind is so used to having its own way in almost everything that all it knows is how to race out of control.

How many of you would ever step into your Pontiac or Toyota if you knew the brakes could suddenly fail. I could say, “You have plenty of gas, a big engine, gorgeous upholstery, and radial tires. Why don’t you go ahead?” You would reply, “But I can’t stop the thing!” Amazingly enough, most of us manage to travel through life without knowing how to brake the engine of the mind.

We can all install a simple but effective brake – the mantram. Whenever you feel agitated, annoyed, impolite, or downright angry, keep repeating the mantram. Gradually the mind will race less and less. When the brake is thoroughly road-tested, you will have the equipment to be patient and kind in every situation. You will be ready to face the tests that real love demands.

The Thought for the Day is today's entry from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By.