Vows by Fly 2019
This week has been particularly difficult. The daemons of the mind sometimes take us by surprise – trouncing our good sense and our eyesight that sees the danger always creeping outside the door. We go blind. Then, we get in trouble.
We must be constant in our vigilance or risk being taken captive by the patterns of selfishness that come disguised as wounds, history, psychological mumbo-jumbo, rights and privileges – any one of a numberless set of costumes that come to deceive us. But there is THAT which is beyond compare – beyond all the nonsense of the mind constructions, THAT which is ONE and the main principality of existence, THAT which has no second. Some call it love, others emptiness, or cosmic consciousness – by whatever name, it is present even when our selfishness crouches at our door and we get sucked into it with open arms.
What must we turn to? What must we know and practice to protect our wily coyote mind? What must we do to protect the play of the road runner who is always ready to lure us into a chase – a chase that always ends in harm.? Foolish harm.
A foolish harm that, fingers-crossed, leads us to remorse and forgiveness; if we are lucky (winds of grace). The luck that aids our awareness enough, that we realize we were caught in the road runner’s race and that we need to stop our coyote mind. Stop running after lures in the mind that harm ourselves and others. If we are able to stop, we are lucky.
Stopping provides time for reflection. Reflection to forgive ourselves. Courage to ask for forgiveness from others who were in the wake of our dust.
And then – we take refuge in THAT – the singular principle that sustains the universe. We take refuge as a student of the Dharma in the knowledge that we are the ever-present manifestation of the mysterious expression of the Truth. Not by a clinging path of having and getting; of trying to rearrange the external material world, but by our realization that all that we are is the expression of this Truth. The sureness which illuminates all of existence. The illumination that helps us realize we share the same consciousness.
THAT, the existence of all the myriad things is strung on the same thread. If the thread is cut, all the myriad things experience the lacerated wound. Our practice is to practice for the entire world – knowing THAT and not me, not the selfish little me, but THAT which is beyond compare. THAT which is birth and death, the cause for all effects, the light and heat of the Sun, the power that generates all things.
As I sat this morning, aware and humbled by my mistakes, I looked for THAT – for God – for all the Buddhas in the three worlds, for all those who surround us in the ten directions – for all the myriad things that are given in unimaginable generosity.
I realized this Presence of the high bird comes in the form of heat from the fire that warms my legs, the Sun’s light that shines through the doors on my back, the sound that never goes away, the strength that comes in the form of a Peace Lily. Whatever intelligence I may have, I realize it is not mine – but is a borrowed knowledge from an inexplicable Source. A gift!
My ability to walk, talk and move is not my strength – but given by the ineffable Source. I must be watchful for the obstacles I build, like a child building sand castles, thinking and acting on them from ignorance.
When I fail to keep my mind on suchness, on this sureness, I challenge the wild road runner to a race and uh oh harm is sure to follow.
It is a breakthrough to know my true refuge is in suchness, THAT which holds this unsettled world, beyond the temptations of winning and losing and all the opposites (worldly winds) and mysteriously rest in reality. This clear knowing comes as an answer to a menacing question – how do we settle in an unsettled world?
The answer is – we keep our mind – all of our being – on knowing the Truth and being with expressions of THAT Truth all around us, right where we are over and over again.
How do we keep our mind on the Truth?
We don’t give up. We practice wisdom.
Where? Right where you are in the middle of life as it is.
May you not give up. May you keep going. May you practice suchness – right where you are.
Renew your vows. Let the Truth awaken you right where you are.
Vows by Fly 2019
May we with all beings realize the emptiness (love) of the three wheels,
Giver, receiver and gift.
Beings are numberless, I vow to save them.
Greed, hatred and ignorance are inescapable.
I vow to abandon them.
Dharma gates are boundless,
I vow to enter them.
Buddha’s Way is unsurpassable,
I vow to know it.
OM NAMO GURU DEVA NAMO
Author: FaShi Lao Yue
Image credits: Fly, 2019
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