Posted inHenry's Messages

Message from Henry: Most Profound Opportunity

June 20, 2017

Perhaps the further we go, the more of a student we become, and the more teachers we have… until there is nothing that is not our teacher.

Last week I wrote about not getting tossed away from our practice by things we don’t like that arise in the course of it. After it was posted someone sent me a far better and briefer statement:

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will you ever be polished?” ~ Rumi

*******

We can be very quick-witted when it comes to movies, TV shows, novels. A slight hint here, a little clue there, and we immediately get the sense of a character, a scene, a plot.

But with the story called “my life” we often aren’t so fast. We don’t get it. What is this experience that’s going on, what am I supposed to do with it, how long will it last? etc.

Buddha was quick, according to traditional narratives. As a youth he had his “four encounters” – with aging, sickness, death and a wandering monk. In each case, a mere glimpse was enough to get him thinking. As Stephen Batchelor mentions in his new book, Secular Buddhism, Buddha realized that each sight was pertinent to himself: he would grow old, sicken and die. And that monk had likewise recognized the personal nature of the above three points, and his life as a wandering ascetic was a response to the human predicament.

As a result, the course of buddha’s life began to change. He started to find his way to his path. He realized that whatever else it might be, life could be taken as a most profound opportunity.

*******

Perhaps the further we go, the more of a student we become, and the more teachers we have… until there is nothing that is not our teacher.

At the same time, there is nothing at all to teach, and no one to teach or be taught. Yet each thing is so clearly teaching that. What a mystery!

Message from Henry is from our June 19, 2017 Newsletter.
Image: Mountains by roegger, CC0 Public Domain from Pixabay.com

 

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