The Emily Dahl Foundation Helps Others – The Emily Dahl Foundation

The Emily Dahl Foundation Helps Others

Compassionate Friends Gala raises $5,000
It was Emily Dahl herself that was always focused on helping others.  
Emily knew that the essential way to practice exchanging self for others is to regard the suffering of others exactly as our own suffering and to help others as if they were ourselves. We need to completely change our old motives and selfish actions! Abandoning self-cherishing and cherishing only others is the best method for helping yourself. Nurture the mind that cares only about alleviating the suffering of others with a sincere, generous, and uncrooked attitude. This is how the truly peaceful and happy one's act, renouncing themselves and focusing only on the well-being of others.

We are nowhere near approximating this state of mind. Every time we encounter any living being in hardship, we should feel as if that other being’s body and mind are our own. We need to cultivate this attitude to the point where we experience whatever is happening to that other being’s body and mind as also happening to us. If we do not equalize others with ourselves, many realizations will not come.

We can mentally picture a bodily injury like a toothache and feel the pain from that, so why not do the same about the pain of others? We can train our minds to feel another’s bodily sensations or mental anguish as our own. Originally our body was linked to our father’s and mother’s bodies, but the mind learned to regard it as our own, thinking, “This is me.” Why does such a concept arise so early and so strongly? Why do we take such good care of this body?

The answer is that we have become habituated to thoughts like “This is me” and “This is my body” since beginningless lives. We have excelled in training the mind to grasp at the “I.” We take better care of this body than we do our parents’ bodies, even though ours began from theirs. Exchanging oneself for others is an essential practice to achieve ultimate happiness for ourselves and others.

As ordinary people, we often complain about others abusing us, disrespecting us, and harming us. But if we practice exchanging self for others—the letting go of self-cherishing thought and cherishing others instead—these troubles simply stop. As we do this practice, we will find we no longer receive harm from others and instead experience much peace, happiness, and success. Practice becomes easier and liberation and enlightenment become that much closer. Every moment of every day becomes one of contentment and happiness. Cherishing others is like a great holiday for the mind, a wonderful vacation from the oppressive self-cherishing thought.

If we do not realize that categories such as “good,” “bad,” “friend,” “enemy,” and “stranger” come from our own mental labels, we will see harm coming to us when somebody says words we interpret as unpleasant. In a flash we will see an enemy abusing us. Our suffering will become tangible.

Therefore, self-grasping and self-cherishing are the real enemies to be kept out at all costs. As we overcome them, we will be destroying the creator of all problems, the delusions. If we peel back the layers of thought to find out why we repeatedly experience depression, disharmony, anger, attachment, dissatisfaction, jealousy, pride, and ill will, we will see that at the core of all our troubles is the thought “I am the most important; my happiness is paramount.” Numerous negative emotional states spring up because the “I” doesn’t get its way.

The Emily Dahl Foundation, June 23, 2022