Reflections on the Sacred


A 19 year old young man said something startling to me the other day.  Reflecting on his meditation practice and his life, quoting from something he recently read, he reached the following conclusion:

 One pays with oneself.

Think about that.  

As his listener, I felt a rush of pure joy, the kind one feels when one’s heart recognizes truth.

It makes sesnse, doesn’t it, that the cost of crossing the bridge into spiritual waters would require nothing less than oneself, what Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche refers to as one’s “me-ness?”
Unfortunately, “me” goes where angels fear to tread.

Yup, a rush of inspiration lasts only so long.  When the rubber hits the gravel road, I’ve worked all day, it’s 6pm, and I haven’t meditated, the naked truth no longer quite cuts it for “me.”.   I’d rather pay for a foot rub, or at least get a shower and watch some CNN.  You?

Don’t you think most egos, (well, mine at least,) don’t like the cushion?  I mean, after the initial romance, aren’t we kind of dying to get off of it?
The Dzoghen Ponlop Rinpoche draws an interesting analogy:
(I paraphrase…)

~ * ~
‘For many of us, our meditation cushion is like a really nice acquaintance.  Like someone we see, say in Starbucks, each morning or each week…  We are really glad to see this friend at the latte bar as we start the day.  To smile and wave hello and then goodbye until tomorrow. It’s a very nice, very pleasant and comforting experience.  We think we might even like to get to know our friend someday.  Maybe have lunch, if we aren’t too busy….  But somehow, someday never quite comes, isn’t it?   um… maybe, forget the lunch.  Why disrupt something so nice?  It could become like work, an obligation.  What if we won’t like them later?  What if she or he won’t like us?  This could be painful and a general pain in the ass. We might even avoid Starbucks altogether and have to look elsewhere for our latte.   That would be no fun at all.  Better to keep it at a pleasant distance. … oh…, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about myself.” 
~ * ~  

As a buddhist, I often contemplate how, at the hour of my death , will I have wanted to have spent my life?  I will have wanted to travel that road, gravel and all.

How will I ever make that happen?  By lovingly limiting “me,” and taking heed of the wisdom of my 19 year old friend.

Deirdre Cole

One Response to Reflections on the Sacred

  1. Will I still cling to the idea that I didn’t meditate enough? better? longer? deeper? as death approaches. Am I not inspired by the buddha within the observer, or must the thinker within force “the cushion” on the self? Form is emptiness……emptiness is form.

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