Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Think Well of Us and Judge Us Not Too Harshly

“Tomorrow, without doubt, you will be leaving us. When you arrive at your destination, think well of us and judge us not too harshly.” - The doum tree of Wad Hamid.

My wife recently said that she would cry if and when the Dali Lama passes from this world. She, and I, find solace in his words and his laughter; we could not bear the thought that he would eventually leave this corporeal place.

“Would there be another Dali Lama?” My wife asks. “What would happen to the Tibetan people?”

The Tibetan people would live just as they did before and after; the spiritual presence of the Dali Lama would persist. No government could dictate the presence of a religion before religions; Buddhism would be as it always has: detached from this worldly madness.

Its songs would be righteous. Your mind tricks would not take its place. History would kindly remind us that you have run afoul with your words; enemies of mankind would be in their proper place.

I’m a man, I listen, I am not afraid to die; or else I’d be hiding in my place, listening to your lies, quietly carving my soul away to your duplicities.

Through the round of many births I roamed

without reward,
without rest,
seeking the house-builder.
Painful is birth
again & again.

House-builder, you're seen!
You will not build a house again.
All your rafters broken,
the ridge pole destroyed,
gone to the Unformed, the mind
has come to the end of craving.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Commentary to the Dhammapada, Verses 153-154

But the young would be reborn in your image. They would go away to schools, learn the modern Jedi mind tricks. They would return to Tibet as many young have returned to their roots in Africa and the Middle-east; they would cut down the doum tree, drill the precious riches, sully the saints, spit on the graves of the once sacred journeys. You would buckle them down to your riches; let them do your dirty work. You would teach them the deconstructive ways.

"Why are you trying to build something spiritual when you can build something material?"

The young would fall to your guiles.

“What all these people have overlooked is that there’s plenty of room for all these things: the doum tree, the tomb, the water-pump, and the steamer’s stopping-place.”
- The doum tree of Wad Hamid.
辋川集 | 宫槐陌 



This narrow path beneath the great trees
is edged darkly with thick greening moss.

We keep it swept clean before the gate, in
expectation of wandering mountain monks.

          Wang Wei, (701 - 761 AD) - translated by Jin Kong                                             

"With a selfish attitude, oneself is important, and others are not so important. According to Shantideva's advice, a technique to help in turning this attitude around is to imagine- in front of yourself as an unbiased observer- your own selfish self on one side and a limited number of other beings on the other side- ten, fifty, or a hundred. On one side is your proud, selfish self, and on the other side is a group of poor, needy people. You are, in effect, in the middle- as an unbiased, third person. Now, judge. Is this one, single, selfish person more important? Or is the group of people more important? Think. Will you join this side or that side? Naturally, if you are a real human being, your heart will go with the group because the number is greater and they are more needy. The other one is just a single person, proud and stupid. Your feeling naturally goes with the group. By thinking in this way, selfishness gradually decreases, and respect of others grows. This is is the way to practice."

"If there is love, there is hope to have real families, real brotherhood, real equanimity, real peace. If the love within your mind is lost, if you continue to see other beings as enemies, then no matter how much knowledge or education you have, no matter how much material progress is made, only suffering and confusion will ensue.

"Human beings will continue to deceive and overpower one another. Basically, everyone exists in the very nature of suffering, so to abuse or mistreat each other is futile. The foundation of all spiritual practice is love. That you practice this well is my only request."

-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "The Path to Tranquility: Daily Wisdom."

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