Monday, February 7, 2011
Meditation Monday: The Simple Teaching
Sutra: Master yourself according to the law. This is the simple teaching of the awakened. ~The Dhammapada of Gautama the Buddha. 500BC~
Man is born unconsciously, although he has the potential to become conscious. And the potential will remain only a potential unless you work hard to actualize it. One is born with an intrinsic capacity to conquer oneself, but your whole energy becomes extrovert. Living with people who are extrovert, ambitious, desiring this and that, the child also starts imitating. He learns from others -- from his parents, teachers, priests, politicians -- and these are all in the same boat. Somebody is after money, somebody is after power, somebody is after fame, but nobody seems to be interested in one's own self. Nobody seems to be ready to go on that great pilgrimage of self-discovery. Buddha says master yourself. If you are at all interested in mastery -- and who is not interested? -- then become interested in self-mastery. Don't waste your time in trying to domintate others.
"According to the law" does not mean the law of the state or the law given by the priests. "According to the law" for Buddha means according to the ultimate law of life and existence. There is a tremendous harmony -- anybody just a little bit sensitive, intelligent, can feel it -- life is a harmonious whole. It is not a chaos, it is a cosmos. Why is it not a chaos? Because a law runs through and through it like a thread in a garland. That thread is invisible, you see only the flowers, but that thread is keeping them together. Existence is a garland; there is a thread, a sutra (sutra means thread) a very thin thread, almost invisible, running through the whole of existence, that makes it a cosmos instead of a chaos.
"According to the law" in the words of Buddha means: Be in harmony with nature, existence. Don't fight it, don't go against it. Don't try to go upstream, to flow upstream. To be in a let-go with existence is to follow the law. aes dhammo sanantano - this is the inexhaustible law. If you relax, if you allow the law to take you over, to possess you, you will be overflooded with it. You need not go on an ego trip. The river is already flowing to the ocean -- you will simply flow with the river. No need to swim either - float, and you will reach the ocean.