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Illusion

Buddhist legends recount stories of Mara the demon king, the great tempter, the creator of illusions. One such story is of Mara travelling with his attendants through the countryside when they encountered a man doing walking meditation and whose face was lit up in wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him.

Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, “A piece of truth.”

“Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?” his attendant asked. “Oh no, not at all” Mara replied. “Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it.”

The story is a reminder to hold what we believe to be the truth lightly, to be ever open to perceiving a larger more inclusive version of what is true, to not become a prisoner to illusion and false beliefs. 

This is as true in the practice of Reiki as it is in any other human experience.

Security

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of humans as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

~ HELEN KELLER.

While that quote is most often used in a motivational context, and in that context it is useful, it’s a limited viewpoint. Life is never nothing, has always been (and is) a daring adventure no matter what the external appearance may be.

You are unique. There is no one else who has ever lived exactly the same life that you have lived or will live. How your life unfolds is an adventure into the unknown. At no point was getting to where you are now guaranteed.

Congratulate yourself for having made it thus far. There is always uncertainty, even risk. No one knows what choices you will make, or can say with certainty how your story will unfold.

The truly mind-blowingly daring part of the adventure however, is in the possibilities that it holds if you are willing to take risks. Perhaps you will risk choosing love over fear, risk choosing to live as fully as is possible, to perhaps discover that now is the only time there is, that you are the one you have been searching for.

When I complained to my abbot Ajahn Chah, considered by millions to be a great saint, that he didn’t always act as if he were completely enlightened, he laughed and told me that was good, “because otherwise you would still be imagining that you could find the Buddha outside of yourself. And he is not there.”
- Jack Kornfield ~ After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.

Good Question

I owned a brand new car once, which was an entirely delightful experience. I took very good care of it, washed it every week, kept it in good mechanical condition. But the reality is that it was a means of transport, a set of wheels to go places, and it did that so very well.

For some however, a vehicle is much more than transport. That shiny sleek powerful machine becomes a symbol, an extension of their image of themselves.  Even so, no one says “I am this vehicle”. That would be absurd. The vehicle is not who they are.

The mind isn’t so discriminating however with its “vehicle”. We say “my hand”, “my leg”,” my body” as if it belongs to someone, a someone who is the vehicle that is the body. But its not so.

Living with non vital body parts or a limb removed in no way diminishes our sense of being a self, although our thinking  about our body may require an adjustment.

Then there is the mystery of sleep. For close to one third of your 24 hour day, one third of your life,“you” are not actually there.

So if “I” am not my body, and “I” am not always there, then who am I? Really?

Little Deaths

In a lifetime there are many little deaths, some big some small. A phase of our lives comes to an end; a career change; the end of a relationship; a serious illness; and the like. Each time, we die a little death and perhaps grieve the end of the story of the self that we believed we were up until that life changing event.

A story is told of Mikao Usui. Having found inspiration in his studies of the sutras (his ah-ha moment!) he sought advice on what to do next from the abbot of the monastery where he had studied.

The Abbot is said to have given him the very zen advice, “Die one time.”

Dying to the story of the ego mind, awakening to the nature of who we really are is the nature of the zen practice, and the very essence of the nature of healing.

Therein lies the revolving door of life and death and of healing. Die one time, awaken to who we truly are, who we have always been …or die the many little deaths on the road to that realisation.

War is Obsolete

At the end of the talk someone from the audience asked the Dalai Lama, “Why didn’t you fight back against the Chinese?”

The Dalai Lama looked down, swung his feet just a bit, then looked back up at us and said with a gentle smile, “Well, war is obsolete, you know.”

Then, after a few moments, his face grave, he said, “Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back…but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”

That’s the insanity of war, the insanity of the separated mind’s way of perception.

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