Praise and blame is the first pair of the 8 worldly concerns. They are all about the ego. Being praised the ego feels reinforced, it feels good. When we are blamed, conversely, the ego feels belittled, it doesn’t feel good. The ego tends to simplify by distorting into either black or white. One episode of praise makes us feel as if everything we do and everything we are is 100% good. Conversely one episode of blame makes us feel as if everything we do and everything we are is 100% bad. This is the distortion of ignorance, exaggerating or denigrating the situation. In reality some things we do well and receive praise, while other things we do not so well and receive blame. On a deeper level praise and blame are the causes for wisdom. Navigating the turbulent seas of our own mind, the Buddha found freedom within the mud of our mind. His experience was that the lotus grows from muddy water. This very being that I am right now, riddled with praise, blame, cravings, doubt, jealousy and anger is the perfect ground for wisdom. The train has left the station. The journey has just begun.