Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A matter of perspective.

You have two eyes with a field of view of about 200 degrees.  Even with those two eyes, you know how much each eyes perception varies.  Close your right eye and you lose some perception, your depth perception changes, your ability to process and respond becomes impaired. 

What would happen if we had four eyes? Or a hundred? 

The lens through which we see the world is shaped by our sensory faculties.  Would we react differently if we had a 360 degree view?  If we could see up and down, right and left?

We see the world through our own eyes, but what if we could start to see the world from others perspective?  Would we be more compassionate and understanding if we could appreciate others point of view?  If our perception wasn't so limited, would we be more responsive and available to others? 

Breaking down barriers and obscurations to our view is an important step in developing wisdom.  No matter how much we meditate, if we always see the world the same then nothing will change.  We need to change our view, shift our perspective.  

Friday, February 24, 2017

Unconditional love.

We are all familiar with love.  We love our family and close friends.  We would do anything to help them.  We take joy in their success, we suffer in their pain and loss. 

We don't often think of this love as conditional.  If we were asked, we would most likely say that it is unconditional love. 

We love them when they make mistakes, or lose their temper.  We give them the benefit of the doubt.  We cut them some slack.  Regardless of the conditions, our love for them endures. 

But this type of love is also really conditional love.  They are those close to us, those in our inner circle.  They are those that we rely heavily upon and who give us support and comfort.  Those are the conditions of our unconditional love. 

But what does unconditional love really look like?

It is never forsaking anyone from your heart.

It is a mind that never gives up hope, is willing to give them another chance.  It is allowing mistakes and imperfections.  Cutting people some slack, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

People are going to do bad things to us.  They are going to deceive us, act out, cause us grief.  But we never close the door.  We never say we are done.  It's never over.

Keep the door ajar.  You don't need to invite them back in, let them come on their own terms.  But keep the door ajar.

By not forsaking others, we give them a chance.  We keep the aspiration that they find happiness and be free from suffering.  We continue to show up, regardless of the conditions. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

The scariest place.

The scariest place is our present state.

Strip away the impulse to reinvent yourself.  Strip away your efforts to improve your lot or accomplish something first.  Strip away your chances of being healed, or cured, or made better.  Strip away whatever it is that you are hoping for or would like to happen.

Right now, as you are, what is revealing itself.

Apply your practice.

Reveal the Buddha within.  

Friday, February 3, 2017

Go to places that scare you.

Padampa Sangye made a prophecy to the great female saint Machig Labdron, part of which includes:

Go to places that scare you.  In haunted places, seek the Buddha within yourself.  

He revealed to her that the fruit of her practice was to be found in those places that evoke a lot of emotional and mental discomfort.  Rangjung Dorje says:

Rest wherever your mind is afraid and terrified- that is a place of practice.  

Where do we encounter a lot of resistance in our lives?  What places really challenge us, push our buttons?  Where do we feel intense aversion and the impulse to leave?

Those are the places we should be applying our practice.

Our practice should include a place we can go for refuge and find peace and clarity, where we can rest in our natural buddhanature.  But it should also include places that scare us. 

Can we discover the Buddha within amidst fear and uncertainty?  We should try.