Vajrasattva Retreat 2005:
Motivations by Miles - Mar 26, 2005
"As long as you
are clear in your heart that what you are doing is for others, it
doesn't matter how poorly you are doing it. Just keep at it and
everything will fall into place."
Birth, old age, death, rebirth. Ya, ya
all fancy terms that describe "omnipresent suffering."
For me these terms are too vague and I never can cultivate any deep
feeling that would provoke the 'fire-on-my-head' urgency that is
required for real practice. So, hopefully this motivation will spark
a curiosity in you to strongly seek a personal understanding that
our current suffering is unacceptable!
The following is a list of three sufferings that have sparked some
curiosity in my mind, but I highly recommend taking the time to
sincerely and creatively do a personal inventory from your own heart.
- (Note: control can be interchanged
with understanding.) What control do we have over anything? What
is control anyway? Do we have control over the external world?
What people will say or do to us? No. Do we have control over
our body? Do we have control over when our body needs sleep, go
to the bathroom? No. How about the mind. Do we have control over
our feeling, senses or our different thought patterns/emotions?
Do we decide when we're going to feel depressed, angry or compassionate,
silly and for how long we will feel this way? Are we not directed
by past karma, ingrained habits and a confused sense of self,
reality? (Who are we anyways? Do we react in all occasions trying
to uphold this vague label, "self" that is changing
- (How about on a practical level?) How
much control of mindfulness do we have? Personally, no matter
how much I believe I will have a meditation with some concentration
and have the capability to hold onto my set intention/motivation,
I have yet to have one single meditation where my mind wasn't
distracted or daydreaming.
- Not having control over my thoughts and
state of being in these peaceful conditions makes me wonder
what thoughts will run through my mind when I go back to the
insanity of home. This is terrifying because negative thoughts
only contribute to this tortured world! (Do you want change
this? Will today's meditation help purify this?)
- This suffering is so outrageous that
I think that that is why it is easily and often overlooked. Death.
We are always one millisecond away from dying- I mean done, story
ends, 'curplunk!' Nothing goes but karma. If we honestly and continuously
felt death to be real would anything change? If you were going
to die in ten breaths what would not be so important? Would breakfast
cross your mind? Retreat almost ending? No. We would be trying
to cultivate a good heart- a strong yearning to let go of attachments
and realize wisdom. Life would change and we would want to practice
all the time, yeah? But in conclusion, personally, I think the
real suffering of this suffering stems from my own stupidity.
I ignore death and let my life slip away without caring. Regretting
always taking this choice will be in my future. (What do you want
to familiarize your mind with?)
- This next suffering is the kicker (match
about to be lit on head). Think of your closest most cherished
friend (mother sentient being). The one to whom compassion
arises on its own without delay.
How does your heart feel towards them? Is there a willingness
to drop everything, no matter what, solely to help him/her?
Now, see the truth. They will die
allow yourself to
experience this inevitability- they will be gone forever.
They are slowly slipping out of your life and we are watching
them die in every moment we have together.
- What can we do for them? Can we prevent
their death, the final separation, the last good-bye? No.
Can we choose their next rebirth? No. This is too bad and
is quite possibly our greatest suffering.
-What are your feelings now about your practice? Is ego is
cut and diminished through seeing suffering. No longer in
control. S naturally we want to seek refuge and protection-
a way to developing our good qualities so that we can be of
- So, we can choose this morning to use
the time that we have left as meaningful as we want. We are
what I feel to be the seven luckiest people in the world!
Are we doing the best thing in the whole world, for the whole
world or what:?
- We can say, "this is our moment
and it will used most wisely!"
- Visualize merit field, feel all
beings around us, and you lead us in taking refuge..