Author Topic: 'A Meaningful Life': encouragement  (Read 5835 times)


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'A Meaningful Life': encouragement
« on: September 21, 2013, 04:20:30 AM »
This post was initially put in a thread about Trijang Rinpoche's daily routine, but I feel it is important to remind and encourage people because sometimes we judge ourselves and others too harshly based on mistaken views and this creates difficulty for many people. It is in fact, one reason some people no longer attend Dharma Centers due to peer pressure and group think. We need clear discrimination, and a kind heart that nurtures and empowers everybody regardless of who they are or how they practice. This is especially important to heed for those of you that think your way of living the spiritual life is superior to others.

When we read the spiritual life stories for example, I believe it is important to remember that the essence of Dharma is training the mind. This can and should be done in every type of situation without discriminating what is and is not suitable or spiritual. Every practitioner has their own particular circumstances along the journey with their own lessons tailored just for them by the Guru. There is no "best" way to practice other than training the mind, and there is no better example.

The lives of the Masters are also quite varied and this shows that there are many different approaches and there are different methods applied at different times during the journey. Trijang Dorjechang's example was very beautiful, definitely, but we must understand that the overall lesson is it is an encouragement to make training the mind the meaning of our life regardless of our circumstances. We should not take them to mean that we are an inferior practitioner if we do not live like Je Milarepa or study like Je Tsongkhapa!

I am compelled to write this because again and again practitioners [read the stories and] fall into a common trap of extreme view discriminating too strongly between what is and is not spiritual. This is a dangerous mental habit, one that has good friends like 'discriminating too strongly between the meditation session and the meditation break', or 'discriminating too strongly between what is and is not meaningful'. While it is important to make some distinctions at different stages of training based on honest personal assessment of our training, it is essential we strive to abide by what I believe defines 'a meaningful life' - to delight in training the mind regardless of where we are, who we are with, or what we are doing.

Lets also stop our bad discrimination habit from going on to judge the spiritual lives of others as well. There is a time for study, and a time to go off the page, a time to contemplate, and a time to put conceptual mind to rest. We will all make our own choices at different stages of our journey and it is important that we learn to empower everyone's mind training regardless of their circumstances. What is the difference between the practitioner-scholar in class all the time, the practitioner-yogi in retreat, and the practitioner-parent? Context.

Do you have benefactors that enable you to sit around doing pujas and studying Dharma all day? Yes? Great, train your mind. Do you have to work all day and take care of a family? Yes? Great, train your mind. Everyone has different karma and different things will bring about realization. For example, it sometimes happens that the person with nearly no Dharma knowledge has profound completion stage experiences, while someone who has studied and trained extensively has great difficulty accessing such experiences. So don't let deluded pride elevate you into thinking you are extra special because you think you're doing all the right things! Don't miss the point entirely!

The only "right way" to practice is to train the mind!

To all of you training your mind, whoever you are, whoever you're with, whatever you are doing, whatever your routine is, the Protector is delighted in you and thanks you for your courage fighting the good fight!