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Enduring Success

August 27, 2012

Book coverIt is often seen that human beings can endure problems quite well, but cannot endure success. When we are successful and have everything we desire, it can easily go to our heads. There is a great danger of losing our common sense and becoming careless and arrogant. As it is said, “Nothing corrupts a person more than power.” Very powerful people sometimes become so proud that they no longer care about their actions or about the effect they have on others. Losing any sense of right and wrong, they create severe problems for themselves and everyone else.

Even if we have all the success we could dream of—fame, wealth, and so on—we must understand that these things have no real substance. Attachment does not come from having things, but from the way our mind reacts to them. It is fine to participate in good circumstances, provided we can see that they have no real essence. They may come and they may go. When seeing this, we will not become so attached. Even if we lose our wealth we will not be badly affected, and while it is there we will enjoy it without being senseless and arrogant.

From Daring Steps: Traversing the Path of the Buddha, by Ringu Tulku, edited and translated by Rosemarie Fuchs, page 92.

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