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General advice paraphrased by Lama Zopa Rinpoche

by Kadam Geshe Karag Gomchung

This teaching was paraphrased by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, written down by Ven. Lhundup Damchö and edited by Nicholas Ribush in August 2003. Geshe Karag Gomchung is quoted several times in Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand.

Even a small, present suffering causes previously created negative karma to finish and brings happiness in future lives. Don’t look at suffering as negative or an obstacle. Rejoice. Be happy to be suffering.

If somebody praises you, it’s bad; if somebody criticizes you, it’s good. Praise causes pride and arrogance to arise; criticism causes you change your bad qualities into good. Criticism is good—it makes you a better person and allows you to practice Dharma. In this way you can benefit others and bring peace and happiness to yourself, both now and in the future.

If you are wealthy, you have the great suffering of accumulating and protecting. If you are a beggar, you have freedom from desire for this life, which results in the inner wealth of peace and happiness.

Comfort and pleasure are no good; discomfort and suffering are better. Comfort and pleasure exhaust your merit; discomfort and suffering exhaust your negative karma.

Any suffering you experience, like illness, is a blessing from your guru. It purifies your defilements. It is also a manifestation of emptiness. Suffering is merely imputed by your mind and therefore devoid of a real self. There is no real suffering existing from its own side; no real illness existing from its own side; no real pain existing from its own side; no real problem existing from its own side. Problems that appear to be real are like problems in a dream. The experience of them is totally empty—they do not exist at all in the way they appear and you believe.