5 Jun
Posted in: Books, Practice
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Fully Available and Responsive

It’s been a while since I’ve quoted from Dancing with Life, by Phillip Moffitt. I’m reading it again with one of the Monday night KM groups, and it just keeps speaking to me more and more clearly every time I pick it up.

For example, this from the section titled: Finding Liberation from Suffering is Not the Same as Abandoning the World (p. 191 in the hardback edition)

The  knowing of cessation [from suffering] does not necessarily mean that you retreat from the world. The Buddha certainly didn’t just sit in bliss for years after his full realization of cessation [enlightenment]. Instead, he spent 45 years teaching and dealing with the mundane problems of living in a community, including jealousy from other teachers and accusations and resentments from the lay community.

The same is true for you; you are not practicing cessation in order to be somewhere other than where you are. Just the opposite is true; Knowing cessation means that, for the first time ever, you are able to be just where you are in this very moment, fully available and responsive.

… In the Zen tradition, it is taught: “Before enlightenment chop wood and carry water, and after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” Life continues to be an ever-chaning stream of moments, but how you perceive and relate to the stream changes. The difference is that because you now know the essential insights, you are able to live wisely and be in harmony with life in this realm, however it manifests. You do what needs to be done without taking it personally or being attached to results of actions.

Or as Ajahn Sumedho says, “We do things because that is the right thing to be doing at this time and in this place rather than out of a sense of personal ambition or fear of failure.”

(image from: A Whole World, by Couprie and Louchard)


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