Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: At Ease -Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 761 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: At Ease -Khenpo Sodargye
« on: January 08, 2017, 12:22:13 pm »
At Ease

People living in the world—be they nobles or commoners, rich or poor, powerful or lowly—are all subject to mood swings of happiness and sadness unless they have attained the ultimate realization. All kinds of mental afflictions—remorse, fatigue, pain, hatred and apathy—can pop up for no reason at all. Suddenly, the whole world seems to be arrayed against oneself. At other times, a person’s whole being is filled with bliss; one feels upbeat, energetic, joyful, and carefree, as if even the sun exists solely at one’s service. In this way, anyone incapable of taking the helm of the mind is at the mercy of the roller-coaster torture of bitterness and sweetness.

As spiritual practitioners, we should recognize that all these are nothing but confused, phantom displays of the mind, as it is said: “Calm and peace are the nature of things, busyness and disorder are the fabrications of humans.” When confronted with the ups and downs of this world, we should maintain an imperturbable mind and save ourselves from extreme mood swings.

Khenpo Losang Chophel at the Larung Gar is an excellent example in this respect. The furnishings at his place have remained almost the same for over 10 years. His prayer wheels, scriptures, statues, portable furnace, and few articles of everyday use are all arranged neatly and nicely, pleasing to the eye and inspiring to the mind. He often sits up properly on the bed, either reading or practicing. However the world is changing turbulently around him, he is ready to deal with it with equanimity.

What about people like me? Soon after my arrival at the academy, I rented a place first, and then I built a straw house, a sawmill slab house and all the way to a two-room home of solid wood. I spent a lot of energy on these frivolous activities. Burdened by my sack of flesh and bone, and for providing a temporary lodging for it, I kept on remodeling. Quite often, I asked myself: When will I learn to be content with a little plank hut, where I can just sit on the bed to immerse myself in Dharma bliss?

People busy themselves constantly—today it is singing songs with someone in white, tomorrow, dancing with someone in black, and the day after, hitting the bar with someone in red. Or today, doing a seven-day Zen meditation; tomorrow, chanting Buddha Amitabha’s holy name; and the day after, requesting an empowerment on Great Perfection…. Although an impressive label can be given to this kind of approach, for instance, “combining the three practices of Zen, Pure Land, and the Secret Mantra all together,” yet in the end, nothing can be accomplished.

A genuinely spiritual person sees the vanities of the world as transient as fleeting clouds. It says aptly in Tending the Roots of Wisdom:

Unmoved either by gain or loss,
Leisurely he watches the flowers in the garden bloom and fade.
Uncaring about either coming or going,
Freely the clouds in the sky roll out or fold in.

Thus abided, even if one lives in a hustling and bustling marketplace, one can still maintain a tranquil mind as if no one is around.

25th of March, Year of RenWu
May 6, 2002


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