Eating poison

When I was introduced to the subject of mental afflictions, I thought, ‘Oh no, I’m flawed. I’m ignorant. I have a lot of attachments and aversions. I’m stuck with unhappiness for the rest of my life.’ But then I heard an old proverb. I don’t know if it’s based on fact, but it goes something like this, ‘Peacocks eat poison, and the poison they eat is transformed into beautiful feathers.’
“Having spent most of my early life crushed into a little ball of fear and anxiety, I know how strong mental afflictions can be. I spent thirteen years thinking I would die-and sometimes hoping I would, just to be free of the fear I felt. It wasn’t until I entered retreat and had to face these afflictions head-on that I learned that ignorance, attachment, and aversion were the material I was given to work with, which, like the poison peacocks eat, turned out to be the source of great blessing

– Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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