The practices of tolerance and compassion are not just for Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama; they are essential for anyone who wants to live a happy life.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche helps us see that our mind’s self-centered habitual patterns are the source of our suffering. Realizing this, we begin to appreciate that others suffer in the same way. This sympathy with others is the seed of compassion, but developing true compassion requires the practice of tolerance as well.
How do we apply tolerance to develop our compassion? The practice of tolerance refers literally to our ability to tolerate or observe the raw emotions that arise in us during challenges and to not react to them. We also learn to tolerate the reactions that arise in others. As we practice tolerance we gain an important insight: by going beyond reactions we find freedom from our self-centeredness. This insight emboldens us in our compassion and kindness towards others and the conviction that altruism is the basis for our own awakening.