Monday, February 12, 2007

Dharma Quote: Lost in Dharma

From Snow Lion Publications:

Dharma Quote of the Week

Not to Be Busy

Tibetans say that once upon a time all the yaks that live in Tibet were living in India as water buffalo. It was very, very hot in India so some of them decided if they were to keep walking to the north they would get to a place that would be nice and cool. So they climbed up in the mountains, and as they were climbing their hair started to grow. Because of this the water buffalo in India often turn their head and look out expectantly and they are waiting for their brothers who have wandered off. In a similar way at one time all the buffalo of samsara and nirvana were living together and one day some of them wandered off and came into samsara. They keep looking around to see who else is there and where the other half is, because the basic quality of our ordinary sense of self is that it is very lonely. Something is missing in our lives and we don't quite know what it is, but we keep looking and looking to find this missing part. We can look for it in terms of possessions, we can look for it in terms of the form of our body, trying to change it through dieting or hair style or whatever. You can look in terms of friends. Anything. And this keeps us very, very busy. Sometimes the busyness can be very exhausting, but when we stop then we feel lonely. So we get busy again. Dharma is very helpful here if you want distraction because there are many kinds of ways to be busy in the dharma. You can focus on having lots of dharma possessions. You can focus on learning the text by heart, on the mantras and mudras, on serving the tsog, on doing meditations. There is always something to be busy with.

In Tibet many, many people practiced dharma but not so many seem to get enlightened. There are many kinds of dharma and if we practice in a way that doesn't focus on the essential point but on secondary and tertiary levels it is easy to get lost. It is really important, given that we have limited time, to focus on what is essential. Many people when they get a plate of food will eat the things they don't like so much first and leave the special thing to the end. But when when we apply this to life we can make a big mistake. The time for deep practice is now. You can learn all about Padmasambhava and what his clothes mean and what his hair style means but if you don't know the nature of your own mind then knowledge about Padmasambhava is just some more concepts.

~ From Being Right Here: A Dzogchen Treasure Text of Nuden Dorje entitled "The Mirror of Clear Meaning", with commentary by James Low, published by Snow Lion Publications.

No comments: