I am going to have to ask some of you who have been around for a while to forgive me for repeating myself again and again...but I think it is time for another crack at post number 3. (sometimes I feel there are maybe five posts I just write over andover.....(1: get a teacher 2: yes you really need to bring this into your real life...and on and on a few more numbers.)
We seem to think there is a shortcut...that all we need do is to think the right thoughts, see the right things or even feel the right things......
Those who pretend to walk around as holy as the Dalai Lama and have not had their practice tested as deep and as hard have no idea whether or not they could respond like he or Thay did to their life practice. The fact is ....none of us knows what will hold up when push comes to
shove...we can only hope we will have the strength to stand as these men have. They have what some of us call "street cred"(cred is short for credibility)
When we have a practice that does not work even in the mildest of conditions to keep us on a stable footing on the path......then we lack "street cred".
The native American elder who I used to work with always says "If your religion does not grow corn...then it is useless". If when you are depressed and looking at that bottle of wine...or when your friends are over and you have a hard time saying no...and you wind up drunk on the
floor and in some trouble...then you lack the "street cred"....your religion does not work for you when the going gets rough...and what you are offering to others is a fraud. The problem is ...the only way to know if your way works when the going gets tough is to actually practice in some tough places. This does not mean that we need to deliberately seek out difficult things....life has a way of handing us difficult things to deal with even in the nicest of places. What we need to
take a look at our credibility when we speak. We have to gain an understanding about the depth of our own practice and seek our own level and not try to preach to those who will not believe we have any credibility to speak to them.
The thing is......the more we have suffered, the more credibility we have when we talk about how to relieve suffering. The Dalai Lama and Thich Nat Hanh have a whole lot of street cred.....almost anyone wants to have the results of their practice....
So .......when push comes to shove ...and we are calm...and able to pass through it without getting stuck....then we gain a little credibility.
us.....and no matter how well we negotiated the last trial...we still have no idea how well we will negotiate the next one....and we must, if we wish to lead others through it...inspire confidence in those we wish to lead. I do have faith through my practice that this way works in some
pretty tough times.......
I have had too good karma to have passed a test in a battle...or to have starved in a third world country.....
here is basically a kindergarten practice....
I was raised in a violent and abusive family situation...
It is not a surprise to me that compared to Thich Nat Hanh...I lack a little street cred........
So...I do not care what you think ....I only care if you can walk your path through a little difficulty..
cannot handle life, and if you cannot handle life, you have no business in other people's business. So now you "have seen the light"......
If all you can really talk about is how you could stub your toe and continue walking the path...then talk about that...and those who might stub their toes will benefit.....
No..... I do not sound like a Japanese Zen master....I do not talk like the Dalai Lama...nor Thich Nat Hanh.......I never will........
not borrow Thay's wisdom or the words of the Dalai Lama. Perhaps it would be better if you go off and develop a practice as tried and tested as Thay's and then bring your own wisdom here.....then we would honor it.........In case you have not noticed.....
try and come off like the Dalai Lama is their younger spiritual sibling after they have had a whole five minutes of insight, and little or no actual practice.
Interesting isn't it? Thich Nat Hanh had a teacher..the Dalai Lama had a teacher, Dogen, Bodhidarma, Nagarajuna and Ananda had a teacher....the Sixth Patriarch had a teacher....and for those in the know (a little esoteric secret here) even Shakyamuni had a teacher....he is the Sixth
name on my lineage chart....not the first.....seems a little bit....well ....arrogant to think we can get it by reading a book and pondering a bit on our own doesn't it?
All right...this got longer than I had planned it to....and maybe a bit of post #1 and post #2 got worked in there as well.....but I guess it is what it is. It took pretty much all my free time today to get this whipped into some sort of shape....the grandson was needy today.......
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
Here is a quote from an article by Brad Warner on the common ground
"Nobody's tricked you, you moron," they'd say. "You know what the
truth is. Stop being such a bonehead, and take an honest look at
yourself." Gensa didn't need a Learned Zen Master to tell him he was
in pain when he stubbed his toe that day. And you don't need anyone to
tell you what your life really is either. You sure as heck don't need
me. I cannot possibly tell you anything you don't already know. You
probably agree, since, if you're like most people, you think I'm an
idiot. But you probably also think that somewhere out there in the
land where books are written is someone way cooler and tons more
spiritually advanced than me who can tell you something you don't
already know. Keep right on looking. The publishing industry loves you."
Brad is recounting the tale of Gensa, a monk who gets all upset and is
ready to leave the fricking temple when he stubs his toe on the way
out the gate....and finally understands that he has been deluding
himself that his body is just an illusion, and there is only one who
can delude him...and he will no longer be able to do that anymore.
I just thought I might share this ...for those of you who think the
word moron is not something a Zen priest should say....That no kind of
Buddhist monk would talk like I do.....not only does Brad say it....he
says his teacher's said it to him.
Maybe some of us can fool ourselves into thinking that all Buddhist
monks are sweet and tender, loving teachers who wrap their arms
tenderly around everyone who shows up at the gate.....Here is just a
little point to who is really deluding who.
Many people come here and think that because they fool themeselves,
they can fool me, and all the rest of the rest of the list.
All I ask is that you come here in honesty...and do not ask questions
intended to decieve, muddy the water, or keep yourself in your
delusion because you can delude yourself into thinking you can blame
someone or something else for your misery.
Do not come here and ask questions like "If a man has no teacher, no
sangha, and by chance wakes up, is it not right that he should seek
confirmation from the sources available to him?" ...who exactly do you
think you are fooling? No one really honestly talks like that. The
language is designed to deceive.
Being real and honest.....that is one mark. "I just can't be deceived
by others." and the corollary...
Sorry...but anyone with a true awakening would run not walk to the
nearest person who might be able to confirm, and present themselves as
honestly and fully as they could. The internet would leave too much
room for even accidental deception. It could never be sufficent. So
then answer is in the question. A man who by chance wakes up..would
not be without teacher nor sangha for long. Ergo....no teacher no
sangha...no demonstration of awakening...
(awakening made real...realization)
chance is a dream of realization.
Perhaps we might look to the Sixth patriarch...
by chance) to a monk's chanting of the Diamond sutra. He left as soon
as he could to find a teacher and a temple to practice in. When he was
not found suitible to practice with the real monks...he cut bamboo in
the garden just to be near the teacher and the temple, when it came
time to pick the teacher's successor...
robe...and he had to sneak off in the dark so as not to cause the
"real monks" to murder him in their jealousy. Even so they gave chase
and could not find him. In the story there is never a hint that there
is something wrong with the system......
be deceived. His teacher could not be deceived...certainl