You Can Do Only When You Are Real
Written by Vajratara
To increase the flow of anything in your life, reflect on what you may be doing that is blocking the flow. Often we put obstacles in our own path. There is an old saying ‘as within so without’, I am sure you know the idea. People associate meditation and spirituality with inner peace. Ask “Am I truly in harmony?” If not, seek to remedy it.
Remember that in the Sangha of the Buddha there was no hierarchy. All of the members sat together. Shakyamuni sat as their equal, their teacher yes, but not their leader, not their controller. There was no council of elders, no committees, no airs and graces; such things create division. If everyone in the Sangha is not in unanimous consensus there will be non-action as a community. Action by a majority may be convenient, but like it or not, it is a division of the community.
If you think that you are better than someone else, you have created yet another condition to divide. As within, so without. I do believe Dechan Jueren advised to avoid politics for the same reason. Politics divide, spirituality if genuine, should unite. If we preach “not coming, not going”, “not this, not that”, “not here, not there”, but in practice we use division, in any format, hierarchy, walls, snobbery, whatever, then we are not in truth. If we don’t practice what we preach people will sense it. They may be temporarily attracted to the semblance of peace but quite sensibly will leave when they sense the reality.
Buddha practice is the search for reality. If a method gets you closer to touching reality do you think that Shakyamuni would condemn it because he had not taught it in that format? I very much doubt it. Do you think Dechan Jueren would? Don’t put blocks in your own path. I do not mean this in a condescending way, but I remember that Pandit mentioned in the Dharani class that the students were like children playing in the sandbox. Don’t confuse your level between kindergarten and PhD.
Dechan Jueren had only taught a small fraction of what he was capable of. You don’t even know everything that he did teach, never mind what he did not. So don’t be so quick to judge, this is Hanmi, this is not. Dechan Jueren taught things that few are aware of. If Pandit offers to teach something that Dechan Jueren taught him, but you have not heard of before, are you going to question if it is truly Hanmi teaching? Are you aware of the full expanse of what Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism encompass? Remember that to limit anyone breaks the precepts of our school. Limitation is another form of division, another obstacle on your path.
Also look to your motivation. We understand that rent has to be paid but spreading the Dharma is not about making money. If you act purely to increase income, you are also not in truth. The focus must be to elevate the awareness of all. That is the purpose of the Dharma – it is to genuinely do that, genuinely elevate awareness. It is not to spread “Hanmi teaching” either; that is vanity.
Hanmi teaching is a tool, a means to an end. Remember a fool only looks at the finger and does not see the moon! I believe that Dechan Jueren wanted us to spread the Dharma to help as many people as possible by providing them with excellent tools and excellent elucidation. Chase excellence! You have excellent tools. Master them.
Practice elucidation! It is not for no good reason that Pandit asks people to write essays. If you cannot clearly explain your thoughts, how on earth is anyone going to understand what you are talking about? Getting your thoughts out of your own head and down in words is a good test of your understanding. If you can’t find the words, you probably do not understand clearly. Put your thoughts into words, read them over, test the logic. If you can’t prove your own logic there is every chance that you are leading people a merry dance and maybe further away from reality than where they were to begin with. Reflect on this. If you are afraid of critical analysis of your writing remember that is also vanity. If someone can disprove your logic by elucidating a topic more clearly, thank them. They have helped you understand reality. The path is not a competition.
There are many practices and teachings in fashion in recent years talking of how to attract prosperity. Remember, Buddhism teaches impermanence. Having what you need at a moment in time is being prosperous. Seeking to accumulate for security is fear based. If you are truly in the flow, if you are at one with all of creation, you do not need to grasp, to hold onto anything. If you are going with the flow, as you increase your output in quality or quantity you will naturally increase your income. When providing a service there are often worldly limitations on the quantity of time we can give out. The only limitations on quality are those you chose for yourself, by how committed you are to excellence. “As you give so shall you receive.” Such is the nature of reality. If you want more, give more!