Though they were not meditators or very religious in their own right, they taught me very fundamental Buddhist principles simply by way of their conduct in everyday life. Like the baby bird, I instinctively followed their glide. By their example, and not by their command, I learned truthfulness, patience, generosity and unconditional love. Throughout my life, they have been unfailing examples of these and other virtues. And as any good Buddhist will profess, these virtues constitute the very foundation of the Buddha’s teaching. Later, when I was in my early twenties, I recall someone asking me how she could convince her young children to become interested in the Dhamma. She seemed keen to uncover what sneaky tactic my parents had employed to manipulate me into going to the temple. I remember suggesting that her best bet would be to, quite simply, be a true example of the Buddha’s teachings herself - to give her children the foundations of virtue and love and then let them find their own wings. I vaguely remember she was not too satisfied with my response. It’s not so easy, after all, to really practice what we preach.
Can we bear to acknowledge the complete interdependence of psyche and culture, while working to differentiate ourselves from identifications with collective norms and ideas?
While the unity of the human race must be championed tirelessly by Interspirituality, we must also leave ample room for the messy complexity, the blood and marrow, that diversity demands.
Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply. You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful. It is like a plough that breaks to ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the pain of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decide not to love again, or you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds.
The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. They will become part of yourself and thus gradually build a community within you.
Those you have deeply loved become part of you. The longer you live, there will always be more people to be loved by you and to become part of your inner community. The wider your inner community becomes, the more easily you will recognise your own brothers and sisters in the strangers around you. Those who are alive within you will recognise those who are alive around you. The wider the community of your heart, the wider the community around you. Thus the pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear.
For your reference, my other Tumblr is Silence | Sounds.
Speaking of feedback, I recognize my selections have changed since becoming a PhD student. Has this alienated you? Inspired you? I’ve noticed less engagement, and specifically a distinct lack of interest in more academic postings and a preference for short (perhaps more popular) Buddhist soundbites. I suppose that’s the bane of Tumblr in general, but I must admit I feel a little disillusioned :(
It’s hard to be authentic in a consumption-oriented world.