The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha Changes

Summer is turning.

The roiling clouds of a few days ago herald a new coolness in the air, a drop in this South Central Pennsylvania humidity, a call for light blankets around 3 a.m., a renewed dedication for being outdoors, in the sunshine!
Sometimes changes come tripping lightly, a sprite who whispers and grins.
Those are the times I feel freely tugged along, energy swaying with the travels to who knows where.
Other times change comes barreling down like a freight train, and what's left behind on the tracks in a pathetic excuse for a brave heart. Here, all squished and bloody, is what used to be a sweet, open relationship to the universe, in whatever form it might offer itself.
Blood on the tracks; that seems to be the trend recently, but here I am, none the less.

Who or what that "I" is might be the question.

After days of struggles with Koans that have no solution now, one thing happened that sort of blew it all out of the water.
I lit the candle on the altar, I lit incense. Hands together in Gassho, I bowed and recited the Verse of the Kesa, as I do every morning.
But this morning, there was an addendum to the Verse, and this is how it goes:

Vast is the Robe of Liberation
A Formless Field of Benefaction
I wear the Tathagata teaching
Freeing all Beings.*...In whatever form that liberation might take!
my own view in italics

I stopped short.
In whatever form that liberation might take?
That's not in there!

But then I thought, Of course it's in there, you've just never noticed it before.

I bowed and stood back. Yes, that's in there, not as I learned to recite the Vow, but as I have learned to intuit the Vow's hidden-in-plane-sight secret.
I realized that liberation has as many forms as there are sentient beings, and even a liberating change I do not like is still a liberating change for someone who does like it, and who am I to deny them that change?

The Vow of the Kesa doesn't say anything about a personal aversion or attachment surrounding the act of "Freeing All Beings", it simply encourages us to act, which is truly what we sign up for when we agree to manifest the ways of the Bodhisattva!

Look again, my True Self suggests, it's not about what you think someone needs or wants, it's about what they think they need or want. It's about their ability to finally take responsibility for a chunk of their life that once kept them deeply anchored in suffering, and going on a discovery mission to uncover what works, for them!
Not for me, though that would sometimes be damn convenient....

Now to get out of my head, where "liberation" has too many resptrictions.
And on to another Vow--Delusions are Endless, I Vow to end them!

and then that little voice pipes in, Beginning with myself!

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