Yes, I think it’s time for me to expose myself. Sort of a Buddhist “Full Monty” if you will.
I always do my best to write mindfully and with a gentleness. But I think perhaps there is not enough personal exposure in my writings. And if this is to be of value to anyone, I believe that exposure is necessary and most relevant.
First of all, let me say that I struggle every day. Now Bhante tells me there is no struggling in Buddhism, yet I admit that I do. This tells me I lack the awareness to fully understand his meaning. To say that I understand acceptance is easy to do, but in practice I stumble often. My desire to control has continued to be my villain. And while my desire is based on wishing others to be happy and free of suffering, my ignorance often prevents me from accepting their suffering and nature. Compassion and equanimity should allow me to see others as they are, and be loving and kind. But my desire to help, guide, or “fix” them is highly delusional.
So why do I perpetuate this wrong view and behavior? Good question my friends!
I can only surmise that it is my lack of training and understanding of the dhamma. I do study daily, and I mediate every day. But I see that I must be patient with the self, as I am still very unskilled.
I recently heard Buddhist Monk Matthieu Ricard talk about a saying in Tibetan Buddhism when talking about meditation. “In the beginning, nothing comes; in the middle, nothing stays; in the end, nothing goes“.
Right now, I feel as though I am in the middle, where nothing stays. I admit to you, this is difficult for me. I felt as though I was making good progress on my path, and now I am spinning my wheels like I am stuck in the mud.
I am searching for the answers right now, and remain determined to practice. There is no certainty that I will advance in any way to a higher level of existence or wisdom. But I will continue this Right Effort as long as I am able.
The Buddha said, “Help yourself, no one else can help you. You are your own savior.”
I believe this is true, and I have confidence in the teachings. I have confidence in the Buddha, the dhamma and the sangha. The blessings of the Triple Gem have brought me this far, and I find great comfort in this.
Please know too that your loving kindness and support continue to be my teacher and encouragement.
May you also be at peace, and may you be well, happy and peaceful.