The wise person will give up a lesser pleasure to obtain a greater joy.
Dhammapada verse 290.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
People have asked me in my Dhamma life of more than fifty years, what sacrifices I had to make.
The answer of course, is none. I did not sacrifice anything; I only prioritized my practice.
I intuitively recognized the value of a life based in love and awareness and once I found my Master I sat at his feet (figuratively) and spent time living with him (literally) during twenty-two years of our association, dedicating myself to the words of truth and the practice to understand them.
Conventionally there were many times when things were difficult. I had to travel a long way to be with him even for a weekend and I had to sell things and take three jobs to find the money to pay for my fare and then leave a donation in gratitude for what I had received. Was it worth those hardships and that effort?
Of course. Dhamma is the greatest thing we can give ourselves to. The word itself means truth, so what can be more important than applying ourselves to understanding the truth and the reality of things.
For so many years I lived in the world whist all the time remaining a committed disciple with my teacher. Naturally I continued to meet difficulties during that period of my life, but I held on to one expression that would always bring me back to my Dhammic loving centre.
This sentence comes from the Samurai tradition in Japan, but it is suitable for everyone wishing to stay true to their path in a world filled with confusion, doubts and external pressures.
Here, I share with you that expression, and how I used it in my training all those years ago.
I am only one thing. What is that one thing?
I am a disciple of Dhamma.”
However, I am a disciple of Dhamma who is married. I am a disciple of Dhamma who has children. I am a disciple of Dhamma who works in a factory. I am a disciple of Dhamma who is a disciple of a Master. I am a disciple of Dhamma who lives in the world. I am a disciple of Dhamma.
My position, as I meet life, is to stay in this place of being a true disciple.
Being a disciple of Dhamma is how I relate to my marriage. It is how I relate to my children. It is how I relate to my work. It is how I relate to my Dhamma Master. It is how I relate to the world.
To be a disciple of Master is a wonderful thing and a true gift in our life, but to be a disciple of Dhamma is the most important thing. Masters come and go, but Dhamma remains.
Only ego feels it can make a sacrifice, to reluctantly give up one thing for something else, but the heart is not like that.
The heart intuitively sees the value in practice and cannot understand the notion of giving up the so called pleasures of the world for something far greater, a sacrifice.
So, there were no sacrifices only a priority towards a life that leads to the liberation from discontent and an open heart that shares its love with all beings.
May all beings be happy.
A Master was walking along a path with a disciple and carrying a small bag on his shoulder.
“Master,” asked the disciple, “what is in the bag?”
“Nothing,” replied the Master.
“Show me,” demanded the disciple.
“How can I show you nothing, ” the Master, answered, “I can only show you that the bag is empty.”
Everything we experience happens within our mind.
From Higher than happiness, by Michael Kewley