Friday, June 29, 2012
Do not have patience
I myself cannot find any satisfaction with Buddhist teachings and practices that doesn’t promise me a quick escape from birth and death. This is why I entrust myself to Amida Buddha, because I am in a hurry to become a Buddha.
I know that some virtuous practicers might interpret my hurry as laziness in spiritual matters or as lack of patience. I don’t deny anything, but when I deeply contemplate the rare chance of being born a human and how easy it is to fall again in the lower realms or when I see that even in this life, thoughts resembling those of animals, hungry spirits or hell dwellers often appear in my mind and in the mind of others, I feel that I do not want to assume any risk of failing to quickly become a Buddha once and for all.
To have patience on any spiritual path where personal power is important is not always a virtue but an illusion. It is to not be aware of one’s own lacking capacities and those of other beings living in this last Dharma age, and to not know what it really means to become a Buddha or a Free One. It means to not be aware of the subconscious karmic energies which come from the distant past, from eons of drinking the poison of ignorance and of evil deeds. It is not to be aware of the fragility of this life and of the possibility that death can come at any moment and catch you unprepared or not yet entered in a stage from where you cannot retrogress.
What patience should I have when I confront myself with such dangers? What patience can I have with me when I contemplate the wickedness of this world and my own inner darkness?
When I see the state of mind of my close friends who do not read even a single Buddhist book, not to mention even practice anything, unaware that there is a path to escape birth and death, not even wanting to escape it…when I ask myself where will these people go after death and worry that I myself might wander in samsara still unenlightened and not free, incapable to help them or myself, how can I have patience?
I ask myself: Where will my parents go after death? Where are my dear grandparents now? What can I do for them? Where will my dear animal friends go, driven by the power of their karma? Where will my dog Rocky go, lost even in this life?
These are very important questions to me….And I am dear reader, that if you love your kids, wife, husband, parents, grandparents, friends, etc., you too ask yourself such questions. But how can you really help them to receive true freedom from birth and death if you do not become a Buddha, possessing infinite wisdom and capacities? Indeed not only for you, but also for all beings, you should follow the Buddhist path.
So, can you afford to be unsure about your own Enlightenment, do you allow yourself to wait many more lives until someday, who knows when, you will attain something? Can you afford the risk of losing again or forever the beings you love? What is more important, the support you give to them in this life, when due to your own ignorance, you do not really know what is good or evil, useful or not useful for them, or the gift of freedom from the suffering of repeated birth and death?
How can you help others if you do not become a Buddha, and how can you become a Buddha by relying on yourself? This is the most important question. If you haven’t attained Buddhahood until now, when do you think you will attain it?
Please, awaken yourself from the dream of self-satisfaction! The ego cannot overcome itself by any method. There are many false spiritual sensations and many illusory Nirvanas when you rely on your own power, and the time seems always enough to do anything both material and spiritual. If you lack the sense of urgency and you are patient in the grave matter of birth and death, then you already wasted this life in human form which is so hard to obtain. Every day in which you do not become a Buddha is the day you may die, and to die unenlightened and not free is the most dangerous thing that can happen to you.
Mara, the celestial demon, likes to play with the minds of virtuous practitioners and often whispers in their ears: “do not be afraid, you have enough time, be patient, rely on yourself alone and make another effort…. look you are almost there!.... think how many wonderful spiritual experiences you had this week…” - until one day, death comes suddenly and unexpectedly like a thief and you die the same person, maybe a better one – a small drop of water in an ocean of poison and illusion – but still not enlightened and not free, incapable of doing something for yourself and others.
In such an outcome, Mara would certainly smile, filled with satisfaction: “how I love these virtuous practitioners!”