The disciple who loves the Dhamma
and always reflects on the Dhamma
will not fall away from it.
Dhammapada: verse 364
Practice is everything
Sometimes we need to be pushed, sometimes we need to be encouraged. Sometimes we need to feel isolated and alone and sometimes we need to feel supported, but in every instance it is ourselves who must make the effort of practice.
When we do make the effort for practice we will receive the results of that effort, when we make no effort for practice we will receive the results of making no effort for practice. The equations in Dhamma are always very simple and it is ourselves who will determine the quality of our lives in every moment.
We must understand that without the consistent and determined effort of practice there are only empty words in the air.
People talking about Dhamma, often expertly, as though they know, but never really understanding what Dhamma truly is. In the end all arguments and clever intellectual discussions show only a vacuity of true understanding.
Dhamma is beyond words and so there is nothing to say.
It is beyond opinion, so there is no side to take.
It is beyond religion so there is no war to be won.
It is beyond the intellect, so there is no argument to make.
Talking about awareness is not being aware. Talking about love is not being loving.
When we carry our Dhamma practice intuitively in the heart, life and our way of living will always be beyond words, ideas and opinion. There will be nothing to say, explain or justify, only a life to be lived naturally and spontaneously in every moment.
Dhamma 'just is', and to become one with this 'just isness' requires us to make the effort for practice. To train ourselves to go beyond our usual habits of boredom and impatience and surrender into the reality of each moment.
This practice is not to get something, not even to understand something, but only to see the truth of this being that we call 'self' by letting go of all the misunderstandings, wrong views and ideas that we carry.
To truly know Dhamma we must embark upon an intense unlearning process. To let go and let go and let go until there is nothing left to let go of.
When we are finally free from all the ideas, views and opinions that we have gathered and cultivated through the years, we will rest in the tranquillity of a clear and spacious mind. Here there is only peace, love, compassion and wisdom. Responding beautifully moment after moment to what life offers. This is a goal truly worth pursuing!
However, first we must meditate, to be still and allow our past to arise. To patiently and lovingly be with what is presented to us and then gently and wisely allow our attachments to it as being good or bad right or wrong, to fall away.
To every mind state we experience we can always apply the same wise and accurate reminder that, 'this is not me, it is not mine, it is not what I am.'
As we understand this simple truth more and more, our life becomes clearer and we become happier as we graciously release the roots of our suffering and unhappiness.
When one more person turns to the true Dhamma practice of 'letting go', the whole universe benefits.
Now there is one less ego in the world demanding that everyone and everything be the way they insist it should be, and one more person living beautifully and harmoniously with 'what is'.
Dhamma is simple and practice is everything.
Whatever we may think about ourselves and our life, we all now have a wonderful and unique opportunity to transcend the mundane and live a life that brings benefit not only to ourselves, but to all beings.
However, to do this we must practice – it is an inescapable truth.
As Zen Master Gasan wisely said,
'Studying the Dhamma intellectually can be a useful way of collecting teaching material, but remember, unless you meditate constantly, your light of truth may go out!'
It is not my place to change the world.
It is not even my place to change you.
My place is only to share the Dhamma,
so that you may change yourselves.
May all beings be happy
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