I am using Weeping Buddha and the lojong sayings and commentary from Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness by Chogyam Trungpa as a study, together.
I’ve been practicing tonglen for almost three decades, and it is my main practice.
This is the sixteenth weekly installment. To start at the beginning go here.
This follows on the heels of “driving all blames into oneself” and is interrelated.
The idea is that being insulated (like Siddhartha, the prince) from the problems of the world and the irritations of people will not allow you to see your own egoistic shortcomings. Expressing your shortcomings as you deal with sickness, death, sadness, or even that you didn’t get your dream deal on Black Friday, offers you the opportunity to reflect on your poor behavior. You won’t change anything if you are too comfortable.
When the Tibetans talk about the hell realms one of them is the realm of the gods.
Even gods and goddesses have egos, and because they are too content and their every whim is catered to, they don’t turn inward to take a look at themselves.
Our realm, the realm of enough calm and comfort that there is time to reflect, while there still is enough angst to deal with in whatever positive or negative way is your style,
is the very best realm with which to come to some sort of self-reflective enlightenment.
Currently I have to give thanks for the turkey who rents space in our building.
He’s decided he doesn’t like me because he projected something on me that actually wasn’t true. I tried to let him know I didn’t feel that way. He’s decided that we won’t talk, ever. Okay, so now I am left to contemplate this whole mess. Alone.
What I can tell you is that I have to watch how I now act because when my feelings are hurt then I want to toughen up. I have to acknowledge the tendency in myself that if another lets something go on for a looooong time with no resolution, I turn off to resolution at all. I have to watch how every time I see him I don’t spit venom, because it doesn’t serve him or me, frankly. I have to watch how it is hard for me to let go of what is going on when another person decides to let things be uncomfortable and/or at war, when there was no war in me. I have to look at the war in me — was there war in me?
No, though I was tired of him leaving kitchen messes piled so that we had flies and gnats and the smell of garbage and had to make sure we cleaned up so our clients coming into the building don’t think of this as a reflection on us, and I wrote him a note about that — and it was a decent note. He doesn’t like notes and so takes a note as an affront, when in fact I rarely run into him and leaving a note is easier if I haven’t run into him over several days. I have to watch my tendency to eventually hate — yes hate — someone who will not resolve truthfully something between us. Underneath that is that I really liked him.
Hurt feelings. Sadness just outside our studio doors. Frustration. How to let go.
This is daily until I get through it on my own.
And so, I give thanks this Thanksgiving for the turkey in our building.
In this weekly commentary on the lojong, I am not open to the feed becoming
a debate for people to nitpick Buddhism or my interpretations of Buddhist concepts.
(There are lots of places for debates.) I am more interested in hearing about
YOUR life or how the lojong affected you or your practice awakening in some manner.
For more info about why, go here.