“Respect for oneself is also translated as a sense of shame. Think, “I am going to avoid negative activities because I respect myself. These are my beliefs and principles: I want to be a good person, and share nice things with my family and friends. I will not do any unwholesome activities that only lead to disappointment and discouragement. When there is negative activity happening, my self-respect prevents my involvement. Out of respect for my own self, I have stopped energizing neurotic habit patterns.”
This may mean thinking thoughts like, “I have been born into a good family and I should continue to stand tall,” or “I am an educated person and know better, so I should not do that.” Or “I am a decent person, so I should uphold higher qualities. I’m not going to imitate others who have spoiled their lives.” This is called self-respect.
We also have respect for others. There are activities that may not bother you, but out of concern for their effect on others, you will not do them. For their sake think, “I have to keep a good standard here. I should not disappoint them or compromise their dignity. I took the bodhisattva vows. And as a bodhisattva practitioner, in honor of the lineage and the teachings of the Three Jewels, I should do this, and not do that.” This kind of mindful respect and consideration is a form of wealth and prosperity that benefits both oneself and others.”
Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche
Advice from a Spiritual Friend: A Commentary on Nagarjuna’s Letter to a Friend (pg 131)
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