Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.
One of the terms that crops up all the time in teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche is "merely labelled". Every time we receive some sort of stimulus, we apply labels to it. The first label might be "flower" but it might also be "pink" or "pretty", or in this case "weed". This is Lantana, it is both pretty and also a noxious weed in Australia. Without knowing that I would definately have labelled it "pretty", I mean it is pretty, let's face it. It's a 'good' label. Knowing that it strangles out great swathes of native plants though makes me also apply the label 'bad' to it.
We make these judgements and apply these labels all the time don't we? One day the beach is glorious, another day the sun's too hot, the sand's getting in your shoes, I'm going to get sunburned... The beach hasn't changed, so what has? You. Your mind. Your attitude. The way you choose to label it. That's what Rinpoche is trying to make us see, everything around us we have labelled. It's important to challenge those labels, and examine how true they are.