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The Manner We Take a look at Issues, by John Aske – Buddhism now

ButtercupsAs I drove down the highway, a woman wandered throughout utterly absorbed in one thing on her cell phone. She was now not dwelling in the true world, however in a fantasy one through which the hazard of being run over by a passing automotive, didn’t exist.

A instructor as soon as instructed me that there’s a phrase that summarises the principle Buddhist teachings, and that’s sati (consciousness of your self and the world round you) — however actually being conscious. Because the Buddha mentioned: ‘Within the seeing, solely the seeing; within the listening to, solely the listening to …’ Usually, we’re mentally concerned with considering, questioning, fantasising, hesitating, and so forth. However the consciousness underlies this the entire time. It’s like a lake through which psychological fish (distraction, liking and disliking) swim. The strolling train that brings the thoughts repeatedly again to itself, brings us up towards this, powerfully. It’s not uncommon to see a meditator on a retreat looking at one thing, as if they’ve by no means seen it earlier than — they haven’t! In these moments, the attention has been away from obstacles, and has a vivid sense of the world that out of the blue opens to us. No surprise we’re startled and enchanted, like a toddler who out of the blue sees the world afresh. However not like an grownup, a toddler is developing and reconstructing its world like a set of toy constructing blocks, whereas the grownup doesn’t need its world image to alter, or unhealthy issues to recur. The difficulty is, unhealthy experiences usually recur as a result of in refusing to simply accept that they occur, we block the prospect of accepting and releasing them, and in addition as a result of all that arises, if left to itself, ceases.

After I was younger, the world was stuffed with vivid conversations and motion. Not solely the tongue moved, however the physique communicated as effectively, with gestures and expressions. Because the well-known Zen story went ‘thoughts moved’, if solely to acknowledge and greet one other a part of human nature. The communication was profound and easy, and jogs my memory of the story of the Buddha being requested by Ananda: ‘Certainly, the corporate of all these good folks should be half the pleasure of the holy life,’ and the Buddha replied: ‘Not half the happiness of the holy life, Ananda, all of it.’

No 10 Ox and his HerdsmanBecause of this on the finish of the Oxherding Footage, the herdsman returns to {the marketplace} ‘with bliss-bestowing palms’, and the reward of connection into the human household in its true residence, within the Buddha-nature that all of us share.

However now, as an alternative of enquiring into that quiet house that folks really feel inside themselves, they shrink from that and from others who would possibly inadvertently remind them of it, to ‘defend themselves’ and the little field containing their egos, and to keep up the soundness of that image of themselves. By throwing overboard the nice lifeline of communication, we threat drowning in pursuit of security, forgetting that because the mediaeval poet wrote: ‘All stands on change as a midsummer rose.’

Most of us are lower than spending ten years or extra in a cave within the Himalayas, and wish the assistance and firm of different human beings to get by means of tough occasions. I do know I did. However a need to shun the corporate and converse of different human beings and discover a haven elsewhere, loses sight of what Ajahn Chah known as ‘our true residence’ that can be the true freedom that we actually search.

Because the poet James Turner wrote in a poem known as Elsewhere:

The reality about you isn’t what you attempt to be,
another person, some other place,
someplace sooner or later.
The reality is what you truly are, now.

If you don’t attempt to change
then the whole lot adjustments.

Elsewhere is right here for somebody.
Concern your self, not with that,
however what’s right here for you.

Then you may see and hear.
Then when somebody desires
to get by means of to you,
they gained’t see in your eyes a distant look.
Be right here to your mates, for strangers too.

To be alive, to be absolutely awake,
is to take your right here with you
in every single place you go.

[Thanks to James Turner for his kind permission to use this poem.]

No 10 Ox and his Herdsman

Classes: Buddhism, John Aske

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