Friday, February 28, 2014
Living, Dying and Perfection
When Buddha lay dying in a forest grove, surrounded by 500 of his disciples, he said to them with his last breath:
****"It is in the nature of all things that take form to dissolve again. Strive with your whole being to attain perfection."******
Perfection, I find, is a word that gets misused. People have an idea of the "perfect body", the "perfect life", the "perfect job" or the "perfect partner". I have none of these by social standards, but for me and from my perspective- I am perfect and am always actively working towards perfection. Because perfection to me is pure, is honest, is authentic and content. I strive to be perfect, not by starving my body or working some bullshit job that I don't like to buy things that I don't need-- but I am perfect because I am moving from a place of purity...pure love and pure devotion. One of my (Indian)teachers last year was amazed by my spiritual practice and he said to me, "Why? Why do you do all of this?". And I responded, "Because I want to be pure." I didn't hesitate with my response, and I didn't think about it. It was my truth. And that's my hope. To keep moving through this life with grace, motivated by truth and honesty and love and hard-work and a deep understanding of all things, especially of myself.
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying says....To learn how to die is to learn how to live; to learn how to live is to learn how to act not only in this life, but in the lives to come. To transform yourself truly and learn how to be reborn as a transformed being to help others is really to help the world in the most powerful way of all.
Thomas Merton wrote: "What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless but disastrous."
We need to wake up to the urgency of the need for spiritual transformation, and the urgency of the need to be responsible for ourselves and others.
Thank you Sogyal Rinpoche for this beautiful exploration of life and death! It has so inspired me and I hope that it helps all of you as well.