Thich Nhat Hanh often said that a view rooted in an understanding of emptiness can save you from being caught in any rigid view or belief-system, but that if you get caught in the view of emptiness, nothing can save you!
He meant that spiritual practice is fraught with the dangers of disassociation and spiritual bypass, with notions of transcendence, and avoidance of personal, social and ecological, responsibility.
What if your spiritual practice, whatever form it takes, leads you to a precise integrated openness? What if it liberated you from subjective ideas of “true” and “false” and provided instead the great spaciousness that allows you to proceed in your, life informed by grace, gratitude, and the boundless creativity and good-humor that flows naturally when your heart and mind are free?
Truth is what is Useful
What if you were to ask yourself WHY you believe the things that you do?
It’s not a question we’re in the habit of asking.
Most of us are so busy sorting out WHAT we actually believe that we hardly have time for it.
Think of it like this .. we hear so much about fake news in the media. But guess what! We’re full of our own internal version of fake news. Most things we believe about ourselves and the world are based on hearsay, habit, inheritance, bias, fantasy, and hope. Happiness, creativity, and well-being evades us.
But what if you were to dive into the deeper parts of yourself and start asking harder questions? How much could that lessen disappointment and uncertainty? How much could you transform shame, regret, anger, resentment, obsession, and inertia?
We assume you function okay in the world. But what if there was something more than okay?
When people ask us do describe Buddhist teaching and practice we say: –
Everything’s connected, everything’s alive, everything matters, everything’s conscious.
It has been suggested that the historical Buddha recreated elements of our ancient collective Paleolithic past, both in the creation of the community (which excluded no-one) as well as in the teachings themselves. Everything’s connected, everything’s alive, everything matters, everything’s conscious.
That same description could be applied to almost any traditional or indigenous spiritual path.
In our own years of practice and teaching we have instinctively stripped away the trappings that are often associated with modern Buddhist practice.
When you understand that everything, every being, every object is part of the web of existence .. When you respect it as a fellow being .. When you allow yourself to feel its presence and significance .. When you realize that there are many forms of knowing besides your own human consciousness .. then maybe “they” will think you’re really crazy, or maybe, just maybe, you’ll enter a quieter, more serene and empowered relationship with the world and the circumstances of your life ..