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Newsletters

2016

July

N° 44

Awareness is the way to complete liberation.
Non-awareness is how we give up our life.
Those who are aware already live
in the light of wisdom.
Those who are unaware live as though
they are already dead.


Dhammapada verse 21

The legacy of training.

Some years ago I was interviewed by a journalist for a modern spiritual magazine. Usually I decline such things as I seem to be so far away from the popular understanding of 'spiritual' practice and am often confused by what is considered real training.However, I answered her questions as best I could and was surprised when she exclaimed towards the end of our time together, "wow, you're really radical!"

When I was an adolescent I was afraid of life. Everything disturbed me and it seemed that there was always an ongoing battle to control my environment so I would feel secure. Of course, it was never really effective for me in the same way as it is never really effective for anyone else.Then I met meditation. Then I met a Master. Then I met the training. Then I met me.These things became my life and I quickly saw the value of surrendering into the practice rather than continually trying to make things more comfortable for myself. The notion of quick fixes, instant enlightenment, certificates and personal prestige never occurred to me, and I was simply and lovingly instructed to 'do the work'.
To sit with the mind. To be accepting of what it presented and to let go of my attachment to it as being who and what I am.
I was told not to believe anything, but to test the words of the Masters. To deconstruct the notion of self identity and not simply build a different one to replace it.
In my final meeting with my Master, a Burmese Buddhist monk, with whom I trained for almost thirty years, he said, 'Michael, I have never tried to teach you Buddhism, only Dhamma'. I travel and teach and lead intensive retreats because of his explicit instruction to me to do that. The reason; so that others may benefit by hearing the Dhamma, and putting into practice the teachings of liberation.
None of this part of my life was ever to be about me, only the offering of Dhamma.
So now, and for the past twenty five years, I share my training with others. On our retreats you are instructed to sit in silence, to move slowly and elegantly, and make every moment a moment of training. Whether you are sitting, standing, walking or lying down, and every possible variation of those things. Not to follow the mind but to be one with it. To be at peace with it. Discipline is required of course, but it exists in an environment of love. In the end it is clear; the work that need to be done we all have to do for ourselves.
To allow the self identity to fall away and let the heart, that fearless loving part of you, to open and manifest into your life.I don't understand how any of this can be called radical.It is only the way I was trained by a loving caring Master.
It is now only what I share with my disciples.
Often people from other styles of training disagree with me, but life is the true test of the depth of our practice. Sooner or later we will meet the consequence of our deepest wisdom, or persistent delusion.
Offered with humility.

May all beings  be well and happy.
 


*******

Koan

Seijo, the Chinese girl, had two souls, one always sick at home and the other in the city, a married woman with two children. Which was the true soul?

Dhamma quotation:

True freedom arises when you do not want anything from anyone else and so, from this fearless state, you will be at peace with yourself and all beings.
This is the beautiful gift you will bring to the world by letting go of the addiction to 'self'.
One less being demanding that life always will please and satisfy them.
(From Loving Awareness - Michael Kewley / Published by Pannadipa books)

Follow Michael on twitter @MichaelKewley and Facebook

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