we often come to a spiritual practice because we are suffering and we want freedom from suffering.
sometimes we seek perfection, to be perfect, to act perfect, to be “good” girls and boys. however, this is really doomed to fail. life is ever changing and the rug is constantly pulled out from under our feet and the nuance of life requires flexibility and spaciousness.
so, rather than seeking perfection (whatever that is!) we can aspire for more equanimity, more spaciousness, which is really freedom. freedom to continually open and remain open. this openness allows the space for us to see ourselves, others, the state of our world without bias and really see where the need is, where there is suffering, where there is connection. this openness, this freedom, allows space for love.
The Three Root Causes of Suffering, or the Three Poisons in Buddhism are ignorance, attachment, and aversion. All three of these are a form of closing off, closing oneself off, closing our heart off to ourselves, others around us, and the world. when we stick our head in the sand, we are closing ourselves off from reality. when we grasp at one thing or person or situation, we have closed off to other things, people, and experiences in life. when we lose ourselves in aggression, we have closed our hearts.
“Mature spirituality is…the capacity to open the heart to all that is.”
this is how we reduce and end suffering. this is how we position ourselves to see clearly and say enough to the suffering we see, the consistent killing of our Black family, the all too regular mass shootings, the unnecessary, avoidable poverty around us. the disaster of climate change.
we have closed ourselves off for far too long to the suffering around us, perhaps because it is too painful to witness, perhaps because it feels overwhelming and we don’t know what to do. it is understandable, but it is also not sustainable, when people are regularly, unnecessarily, avoidably dying, and life suffers around us.
we can be brave. we can look at what is happening. we can keep our heart open. feel the tenderness, the rawness, the grief – that is our connection to those who are suffering. this is how empathy is manifest, this is how compassion arises for others and for ourselves (yes – we include ourselves!). then we take the first step that speaks to us. we trust the love in our heart.
and here’s the bonus. when we really open to the world and to others, and to ourselves, we also experience a deeper connection, a deeper love and joy. it’s not just heaviness, sadness, etc…it’s also connection and joy. it is the fullness of the human experience, held in the fullness of our love.
#OpenHeart #path #practice #meditation #EngagedBuddhism #JinpaLhaga