If you don’t go into your own confusion, you may just be a materialist in practitioner’s clothing. Constantly go into your own confusion and put an end to it — this is the practice of a Bodhisattva.
I’ve sat with numerous meditation teachers as they tell an old wise tale (perhaps) about outward efforts of a “spiritual practice” forsaking the opportunity to actually cultivate loving kindness and develop their authentic inner practice. As the story goes, a group of spiritual seekers gathered for a weekend retreat to practice with a famous monk who was in town to teach on loving-kindness. On the second morning of the retreat many noticed that one of the meditation cushions was empty. Deeply committed to their own practice, they continued on without exploration as to the missing person. Returning from afternoon break, one of the retreats attendees walked passed an open doored bedroom with a man lying in bed visibly ill. Rushed for time and noticing that many others would be around to help, the attendee hurried back to his cushion because he’d made a determination to participate fully in the experience and teachings. Soon after, while more than twenty practitioners sat on their meditation cushions in full earnest as the monk guided them through living-kindness mantras of “may you wish all beings well, may you wish all beings happiness, may you wish all beings peace”, the man who had been begging for help and managed to even kick open his bedroom door so people would find him passed away.
So often in pursuit, we miss the actual thing. Confusion is believing the opportunity for practice isn’t always right here with us, in this exact moment.
- The 15th Practice of a Bodhisattva: a return to pure love
- The 24th practice of a Bodhisattva: taking confusion as real
- The 32nd Practice of a Bodhisattva: Don’t say anything
- The 29th Practice of a Bodhisattva: Cultivating a stable life
- The 17th Practice of a Bodhisattva: The call to prayer
- The 37 practices of a Bodhisattva: People who are awesome practice this way
- The aspirations of a Bodhisattva