Thursday, November 11, 2010


And how does a monk dwell Aware?

Herein a friend dwells contemplating any body as a void frame only;
as a transient, painful and impersonal neither-me-nor-mine appearance,
while alert, ballanced and deliberately aware, thereby overcoming
any mental rejection of reality, arisen from coveting
this world
Exactly so does he dwell with regard to any feeling..
with regard to any mood and mentality..
with regard to any phenomenon..
Only precisely so is a Noble One Acutely Aware!

The words that caught my attention here were: Awareness that helps over come any mental rejection of reality, arisen from coveting this world.

Profound words with such depth in meaning!

It was only in my 20 day course that I realized the constant evaluation I engage in every situation I am in. Whatever happens in the course of my day, I keep telling myself, " I like this, ...." "I don't like that..." -whether it be the events, incidents that occur or what I read about or what I hear being said.

In the recent incident that happened in my life, I noticed that I did the same thing. Although my awareness of this tendency has increased in the past few years, some old habit patterns take more time to change. After all, as my 30 -day meditation teacher Meena Tank said, "Hum ab tak arhant toh nahi bane..." ( We haven't become a fully enlightened person yet). But definitely in the process of learning to get free from the bondages that keep us in this samsara.

mental rejection of reality

Ever so often life presents us with situations that is so difficult to accept. We wonder why is this happening to us? What did I do to deserve this? This is unfair! He/she/they should not do this to me. This is injustice! But the fact is what happens, happens. Rejection of what happens only increases our suffering.

The following is a beautiful zen story that mirrors my thoughts:

Is That So?

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger her parents went to the master. "Is that so?" was all he would say.

When the child was born the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. "Is that so?" Haikuin said calmly as he accepted the child.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth--that the real father if the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.

Haikuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was : "Is that so?"

What is amazing in this story is that this zen master accepted the reality as it is. There is no point in saying -This is not my child, your daughter is lying. It would only lead to arguments and counter arguments, when everyone one concerned especially the girl and the master know it is a lie.

Accepting it the way it is, going about doing the things that needed to be done, unmindful of the censure he was facing by his village people is so remarkable! Probably, it this acceptance that made the girl confess the truth--albeit after about a year and return to apologize. And here again --all that the master said was "Is that so?" This comes from a total lack of coveting of anything in this world--not even the child who he took care of with love!

It is this coveting this world: our reputation, our belongings, our possessions, our prestige, in short anything that we think is ours, is what prevents us from accepting reality the way it is. If we did this (accept reality), we find things unfold in way that the truth will reveal itself--we just have to allow it to happen with no interference.

How do we overcome coveting? Isn't it ours? Our jobs, our possessions...

They do seem to be ours.. but actually not.. because we weren't born with it, nor are we going to take it with us, when we die. We are going to leave it here when we depart from this world. And when we know that coveting is actually causing us so much misery, why not give it up?

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