We the lesser Buddhas
Our crucial task is to strike a balance, to find a middle way, to learn not to overstretch ourselves with extraneous activities and preoccupation but to simplify our lives more and more. The key to finding a happy balance in modern lives is simplicity. Once the time complicated, it is just to simplify our lives.
Those who survive near fatal accident or a NDE (near death experience) describe a panoramic life review: the most important thing in life is human relationship and not materialistic things. Every single act one does is recorded, even if one ignores it at the instant of action, it always comes later. Life review takes place in glorious presence of a ‘being of light’. Whatever we have done with our lives makes us what we are when we die. Everything counts .
When you look deeply, you realise that there is nothing that is permanent and constant. We ignore the truth of impermanence therefore we have anguish in facing death. As you think more and more about a tree, you will discover that everything in the universe helps to make the tree what it is, that it cannot at any moment be isolated from anything else; that at every moment its nature is subtly changing. This is what is meant by “things are empty”, they have no independent existence. Modern science speaks us of extraordinary range of inter-relations.
Gary Zukav writes in The Dance of Wu Li Masters that the macrocosm and microcosm are nothing but change, activity and process-a flux. Subatomic world is a continual dance of creation and annihilation, of mass changing into energy and energy into mass. Transient forms sparkle in and out of existence, creating never ending forever newly created reality. Similarly cells of your body are dying , neurons in the brain are decaying, expressions on our body and face are changing. What we call our basic character is only a mind-stream , nothing else. Today we feel good, tomorrow we feel opposite. Look at a thought as it comes, it stays, it goes. The past is past, future has not arisen. Present thought becomes past. The only thing we really have is now-ness, is now.
Insight of Buddhism is that life and death are in the mind, and nowhere else. Mind is revealed as the universal basis of experience- the creator of happiness as well as creator of suffering. Mind has two aspects. The ordinary aspect of mind is that which senses duality, discrimination, rejection. It plots thinks, desires. It is flickering, unstable, cunning, skeptical, distrustful. It has a false, dull stability self protective inertia, stone-like calm of ingrained habits. The other aspect is the nature of mind- untouched by change or death, primordial, pristine awareness, intelligent, always awake, knowledge of knowledge. Nature of mind is not exclusive of our mind only. In fact it is the nature of everything. To realise the nature of mind is to realise the nature of all things. The logical mind seems to be fascinating but it is the seed of delusion. That is why people are often of sensed with their theories and miss the point of everything. We are fragmented into so many different aspects.
We do not know who we really are or what aspects of ourselves we should identify with or believe in. Contradiction, dictates control over inner lives scattering in all directions leaving nobody at home. We have taken energy from nature and have perverted it to create a mask. A mask behind which we try to disguise our real self: we forget our origins and skillfully manipulate relations and materials to protect self interest. In the fog of emotional instability and mental anguish we forget our deep-seated Buddha nature.
By Sashibhusan Rath