It's good advice. It takes our focus off the pain and suffering, the blame and sadness. It reminds us that while bad things happen, good things also happen. As the Zen saying goes, life contains 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. Maybe, these days, the number of sorrows seems larger, seems infinite. But that also raises the number of joys. They may be small joys -- wildflowers growing in a random spot, a sunset that stops you in your tracks, rocks on a beach, a kiss from a child, a smile from a stranger, strong coffee -- but they are there. Make your own list of what brings you joy. Please do. It's important to remember that those things, those people exist.
You never know where there might be a bodhisattva ... so just consider anyone who arouses bodhicitta in you as being a real Buddha, whether a deity, teacher, spiritual companion, or any else. -- Patrul RinpocheExamples of bodhisattvas -- helpers -- and Buddhas, or awakened beings, don't exist only in texts and stories. They are all around. Do you know Naomi Shabib Nye's poem "Gate A-4"? It is a lovely story of how a tense, miserable four-hour flight delay became a veritable party, a event celebrating our shared condition.
That's what the Buddhas do -- they help us to see our own enlightened nature, the joy of our interdependence. They remind us that everyone loves something, even if it's cookies (or tortillas). And we can build on that.
As Shahib Nye writes:
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and I thought, Thisis the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in thatgate—once the crying of confusion stopped—seemed apprehensive aboutany other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women, too.While the world seems dire, look around. Look for the buddhas. Be a buddha. Do what you can to help others see their true compassionate nature instead of condemning them and shutting them out.
This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.