Even a million silver coins will not satisfy worldly desires.
The wise person knows that worldly pleasures are ultimately short,
and leave only unhappiness behind them.
Dhammapada verse 186
The old way
I come from the old days.
I trained with a master as a monk and a lay-man for twenty two years and humbly and gratefully accepted the position of the true disciple. I committed to the practice and surrendered into Dhamma.
I had met other teachers before and each one in their own way had led me to the place of total acceptance into the loving path of self realisation. Slowly, slowly my life became clear. I wanted to no longer be the victim to fear and all the unhappiness it brought, and so my training began.
I sat for thousands of hours in meditation.
I sat with pain, boredom, joy and everything else that the mind can present and accepted this as the way of things. I never chased a life changing moment and any insights and understandings that came to me were not dramatic and exciting, but rather gentle and another opening of the heart, in the same way that snow slides from a leaf in springtime, without any drama or intention, but always at the perfect moment.
I had many interesting experiences, but was always told, 'just watch them, they will pass'.
This is the essence of Dhamma, that whatever arises passes away and is not what you are. Do not to cling to that which is impermanent, it is the first part of unhappiness. Here we have the difference between experience and insight. Experience arises and passes away and has to be held on to, explained and rationalized to give it value. Insight remains because it is not the getting of something, but a letting go of the part of you that is still deluded as to the nature of the mind which at all times is the the architect of your life. This is called the 'Path of Purification', to let go of the things that do not bring happiness to you.
I never attended any weekend courses of 'self development', and I never received any certificates to hang on my wall.
The purity of being was what was valued and the words of the Buddha when he said, 'he who sees me sees the Dhamma, and he who sees the Dhamma sees me'. There are not two different things happening, only the oneness of truth.
My life and my training was not dramatic. I served my teacher and he served me, in this way we both served the purity of Dhamma.
When he felt my understanding was clear enough he sent me into the world to teach, to share the Dhamma with others. To give service.
Sharing Dhamma is not a business, it is an act of love, to serve the other so that they may find the true source of happiness in life.
When Dhamma becomes a business, integrity is the first thing to leave the Dhamma hall.
So, I live to serve Dhamma and share my understanding with others. To live at the point of purity and non compromise. To be true.
With awareness we see.
With love we accept.
With wisdom we respond.
This is the whole of Dhamma.
May all beings be happy.
When a buffalo goes out of his enclosure to the edge of emptiness, his whole body passes through the gate, but not the tail. Why is this?
No matter how highly we place ourselves in the life of others, the reality is that everyone will survive without us. As with all Dhamma truths, its realization brings peace and balance.
(From A Journey to Awakening by Michael Kewley.)