Creating a spiritual Appetite in others
Real Buddhist’s aren’t concerned with finding more people to be Buddhist with. The same can be said of people involved with life. They aren’t looking for people to life with. The people that life with other people, life with them regardless. Genuine people don’t need, nor try to build clubs of genuine behavior. Sometimes of course they accidentally do, in the case of religious institutions, where people think having a certain religion or teacher, is somehow special and genuine in and of it’s self. Then of course the teacher dies, and the institution continues, commemorating the intelligence of their wise leader, without having to put up with the teachers living wisdom.
What real Buddhists, and genuine people of all religions have in common is the understanding of emptiness. Particularly in Buddhism, the center is empty. It is allowed to be empty, and emptiness is the practice. Now that sounds vague, but it can be pretty much summed up; that Buddhists don’t get carried away. Buddhists get a new boyfriend, how exciting! Then they drop it. Dropping it doesn’t mean kicking the boyfriend out, or abandoning a relationship, not by any means! Dropping it just means, a new boyfriend, how exciting, so what! This ‘so what’ is the emptiness we’re speaking of, in the allowing sense, ‘so what’ doesn’t censor the world. The emptiness is the whole world arising! It’s nothing! When we instead try and make nothing, or one part of the world into a Big Deal, we miss out.
We don’t look at our world like a mandala. Certainly not from an enlightened sense. When we do think of ourselves in the center of the world (like a mandala) we think of we, we think of a serious me. And then the world as it relates to us. Which is true and fine and real for many people, but there’s something more, and that is emptiness. The something more is something less, in the center of an enlightened mandala there is nothing. The me fails to exist, and in that failure everything exists accidentally. Everything!
A serious me has plans, goals, desires, its all serious! It’s all a storyline that solidifies the energy of life! It turns a fluid future into a solid unmoving, unplayful present.
Anger is a good example. Another something we usually take serious, I mean it is serious, but it can be drank like a coffee. Sometimes it’s frothy, sometimes it’s strong, sometimes it gives us a buzz, and other times all those things happen and we are left unproductive with a bad headache. Anger is like coffee in the sense is that it is simply energy. When we take anger, or whatever and don’t direct it, if we just are angry, it can actually connect us to life itself. It is life itself! It’s like coffee though. It’s dangerous, intoxicating, and requires that the practitioner abandon trying to use gloves.
Very easily, and certainly anger will burn us. This though might just be an example for us now. It’s energy, but it’s wild, utterly unpredictable, and first requires a felt understanding of emptiness. This is why we’ve spoken of emptiness first! The wild full commitment to life is the third and final vehicle. It is the vehicle of total commitment. It is self knowledge so powerful that one can open up to life completely and trust. It is a training in helping others so disciplined in helping others it doesn’t need to stop and think how to help others.
Before we get there we must understand and respect; the practice is tiered. We must absolutely start with self knowledge. We can’t get anywhere without thinking of ourselves first. Then second, after coming to know ourselves, we are able to stop our self obsessive patterns and reach out, open our self known- vulnerable core to others. This is how we help! Even if they tear down our temple, the discipline of this second vehicle is the practice of NOT LASHING OUT! The worldly practice is acceptance of others, and seeing cause and effect, that we have awareness because of the cause and effect in our life. Other’s do not have awareness because their life has different themes. At the core, there is no difference between us and others, it’s just the overlay of experiences that differs. So why don’t we practice compassion?