The more we seek a position in front of others, the more we are truly seen.
Dhamma practice is a way of discretion. A way to move through the world and not be seen as someone or something above or superior to others and so having influence on them.
We sit silently, walk calmly, serve tirelessly and speak gently. We share our time and ability bringing the best of our 'selfless' selves in a compassionate embrace with life.
To be a loving and almost invisible force for good in the lives of other beings we share our time and this planet with.
These are the trainings of the disciple, to become more and more subtle in the world. Not to take a special or particular place in front of others, but to make our loving practice with simplicity and integrity. Dhamma is not a business and so hierarchy with badges, sashes and special places in the Dhamma Hall does not exist for us. This is a difficult way to train because it does not feed the ego or self identity. Reflect; who is that that wants to be someone? That being is the cause and then later, the recipient of all your difficulties.
We care about the perceived opinion of others and often modify our behaviour to fit that or rebel against it. Both extremes take us only to unhappiness.
All difficulties arise from a self identity. From 'me' comes 'you', from 'us' comes 'them', from 'worthy' comes 'unworthy', from 'deserving' comes 'undeserving' and so it goes. All divisions, all politics all religion comes from 'self' and without this insidious aspect of existence there is only oneness and unity. When we train properly and take our practice into every aspect of our life, we reflect upon our intentions, and the truth behind what we say and how we say it. As we become less and our heart becomes more we will share the best and most beautiful part of ourselves for the benefit of others. Dhamma is so beautiful. It is a precious gift in our life and not to take care of it is to waste this wonderful opportunity we have to awaken.
The Dhamma paradox is the you don't awaken, awakening happens when 'you' are not there, and so our path then becomes clear. Let go, let go, let go.
And so it is said, that the best way to live is with integrity.
To live with integrity you must be free from fear.
To be free from fear you must cultivate a loving heart....
To cultivate a loving heart you must let go of 'self.'
This is the Dhamma.
If we ourselves do not value the integrity of Dhamma, who can we find to do it for us?
May all beings be happy.