Day 3 – I’m finding that blogging each day has been helpful in keeping me accountable to my intention to sit everyday. My hope is that over time I will be able to transform my need to be accountable in order to sit and have it become part of my daily routine. I am confident that it will happen if I continue to be diligent in this early stage.
After my sit this morning I read: Invoking the Bodhisattvas Names, the first 6 of the 14 Mindfulness Trainings and another passage in the Discourse on Knowing the Better Way to Catch a Snake. Here’s a passage from Invoking the Bodhisattvas Names:
“We invoke your name, Manjushri, We aspire to learn your way, which is to be still and to look deeply into the heart of things and into the hearts of people. We will look with all our attention and open-heartedness. We will look with unprejudiced eyes. We will look without judging or reacting. We will look deeply so that we will be able to see and understand the roots of suffering, through the impermanent and selfless nature of all that is. We will practice your way of using the sword of understanding to cut through the bonds of suffering, thus freeing ourselves and other species.”
The last sentence spoke to me. In thinking about using the sword of understanding to cut through the bonds of suffering I see clearly how often we cause ourselves to suffer based on a simple misunderstanding. It is easy to think that our perceptions are accurate and true – and not only that, but real and concrete, something permanent. Seldom do we clearly see things as they are, people as they are. And without clear sight we cannot have understanding. And without understanding compassion cannot be born.
Thay (Thich Nhat Hanh) teaches us to ask ourselves, “Am I Sure?” When I encounter someone who is being rude to me and I immediately think of what a jerk that person is, am I sure that I know what is actually going on for that person? When we can stop and ask ourselves, “Am I Sure?” our situation has the power to change right away. Looking deeply I can see that I cannot possibly know what is going of for another person on every level. When I get in touch with the nature of interbeing it is easy to see that we are each a lifetime of experiences, relationships and emotions. Much life have we each led that has created this moment in time. It is a deep practice to not be so sure.