When things are diffiuclt it is good to remember impermanence and think ‘This too shall pass’.
Right now we have obtained a human rebirth and have the opportunity to attain enlightenment through Dharma practice, so if we waste this precious opportunity in meaningless activities there is no greater loss and no greater foolishness. This is because in the future such a precious opportunity will be extremely hard to find. In one Sutra Buddha illustrates this by giving the following analogy. He asks his disciples; ‘Suppose there existed a vast and deep ocean the size of this world, and on its surface there floated a golden yoke, and at the bottom of the ocean there lived a blind turtle who surfaced only once in every one hundred thousand years. How often would that turtle raise its head through the middle of the yoke?’ His disciple, Ananda, answers that, indeed, it would be extremely rare.
In this context, the vast and deep ocean refers to samsara – the cycle of impure life that we have experienced since beginningless time, continually in life after life without end – the golden yoke refers to Buddhadharma, and the blind turtle refers to us. Although we are not physically a turtle, mentally we are not much different; and although our physical eyes may not be blind, our wisdom eyes are. For most of our countless previous lives we have remained at the bottom of the ocean of samsara, in the three lower realms – the animal, hungry ghost and hell realms – surfacing only once in every one hundred thousand years or so as a human being. Even when we briefly reach the upper realms of samsara’s ocean as a human being, it is extremely rare to meet the golden yoke of Buddhadharma: the ocean of samsara is extremely vast, the golden yoke of Buddhadharma does not remain in one place but moves from place to place, and our wisdom eyes are always blind. For these reasons, Buddha says that in the future, even if we obtain a human rebirth, it will be extremely rare to meet Buddhadharma again; meeting Kadam Dharma is even more rare than this. We can see that the great majority of human beings in the world, even though they have briefly reached the upper realm of samsara as human beings, have not met Buddhadharma. This is because their wisdom eyes have not opened.
What does ‘meeting Buddhadharma’ mean? It means entering into Buddhism by sincerely seeking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and thus having the opportunity to enter and make progress on the path to enlightenment. If we do not meet Buddhadharma we have no opportunity to do this, and therefore we have no opportunity to accomplish the pure and everlasting happiness of enlightenment, the real meaning of human life.
Modern Buddhism by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
When we are harmed by others we naturally assume that they are the cause of our suffering, but in reality all the harm we experience is the result of our non-virtuous actions we have committed in the past. If we want to eradicate such harmful effects we must learn to accept them patiently as the fruits of our own actions. Each time we do so we purify the non-virtue that led to that experience andensure that it will not affect us again. Patiently accepting harm with a positive mind gradually purifies non-virtue and sows the seeds of future happiness; but retaliating to those who harm us only sows seeds of future suffering. Therefore wishing for happiness in the future and retaliating with anger are contradictory. Seeing this, we should try to prevent anger and always practise patience.
~ Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - Ocean of Nectar pg. 94 ~