Excerpt About Motivation

Two Motivations that Bring People to the Work

Two main motivations bring people into work like this. One motivation is the awareness of suffering in one’s life and in the lives of other people, along with a desire to be free from suffering. This is the motivation of compassion. The other motivation is wanting to know the truth. You want to know, “What is really happening here? What is the truth about who I am? What is reality?” This is the motivation of love. One motivation is to be free from something; the other is wanting to move towards the truth. Practically speaking, these motives cannot be completely differentiated, because to some extent they accomplish the same thing. It is best if a person has both motives. Wanting to be free from suffering is actually not only an attitude of compassion; it is also motivated by love. You want to be free from suffering because you love yourself, and this love takes the form of compassion towards yourself. To be a student in this Work, you need these two motivations—love and compassion—from beginning to end. This is very tough work. To do the Work with love and compassion means to appreciate that this process is tough; it is an almost impossible task we are undertaking. So it is best not to give yourself a hard time about it. You need to learn to be patient, to not judge or criticize yourself when things do not happen the way you think they should. You need to not be too pessimistic, and also not too optimistic. If you are too pessimistic, you will create a lot of heaviness in your process. If you are too optimistic, you will create too many disappointments. Balance is the best way.

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