Thought for the Day

Friday 15 May

Thou must be emptied of that wherewith thou art full, that thou mayest be filled with that whereof thou art empty.

— Saint Augustine

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

In India we have a flaming-hot chili pepper called “little thing” in my mother tongue. It is smaller than your little finger, so small that you don’t take it seriously; but even a tiny bite will burn your mouth. Self-will is like that; a little dose of it can cause harm for a long time.

The remedy, in the Buddha’s language, is nirvana, from nir, “out,” plus vana, “to blow.” You don’t snuff self-will out in one day; you have to keep blowing away, in meditation and then during the day, especially in your relationships. This world is a place where we learn to return good will for ill will and love for hatred, to work harmoniously with others, and to put other people’s welfare before our own. You keep blowing for years and years and one day the fire goes out.

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