The beauty of silence.
Many years ago, just after the attacks on the twin towers in New York, I was speaking with my teacher and I explained how uncomfortable I now felt living in this world so close to beings whose whole idea of life was not based in love and sharing, but it seemed more and more about violence, greed and hatred.
He just laughed lovingly and said, "Michael, this is how it is for all Masters. Their Dhamma heart is open and that is why they live in the middle of the forest or the top of the mountain away from people. They want to serve the world and so they make themselves available to those who come to train, but they do not want to be part of the brutality of beings who cannot find a Dhamma path in their life."
Vipassana Meditation is a returning to our loving Dhamma heart, to that place of deep and profound silence where the reality of this being that we call 'self' can be met, understood intuitively and reflected into day to day life.
To sit and simply be with the mind and physical sensations as they arises and pass away in an endless cycle, we meet the truth that we carry. That we are small in the eyes of the universe and that we are alone. That no one can make us happy and that no one can break our heart, only we do that. That no one can take away our pain and insecurity in life, only we can do that. That no one can awaken us, only we can do that.
In every moment the possibility to be free from the cause of our unhappiness exists if we are brave enough to sit with the truth that each one of us carries.
As I say often, the Buddha did not get enlightenment, he realised it.
To realise this truth we have to go to the same place he did, not the Bodhi Tree in Budh Gaya, but the silence of the mind not confused by the endless chatter of the ego (self identity).
In the worldly life everything is opposed to this silence with noise and distraction everywhere. How can we awaken when we are continually being bombarded by trivia and delusions as to who and what we are and then told how we should live and be?
How can we find our liberation when we are afraid to be still, to be in silence.
Not everyone is ready for awakening, this is an obvious truth, and so not everyone is ready for true Vipassana and Dhamma practice. Life and living beyond technique and religious, social and gender politics.
But it is silence that the heart speaks. The head is always shouting, whilst the heart is only a whisper in the market place. To hear this voice of truth we must return to silence and so allow our fear to fall away.
In this way we will be happy and then without intention or design, share that happiness with all beings.
My teacher was the greatest gift in my life, but the work that had to be done I had to do for myself.
Offered with humility.
May all beings be happy
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