A Dharma Glimpse by Karmadeva
Recently I’ve been reflecting on my work and life in general. I worry that I’m not concentrating on the important things; especially in terms of my practice. I do a lot of interfaith work and my concern has been why?
The reason for my uncertainty is; I had to refuse to take on a mentor role. This was with a student wanting to learn about Pure Land Buddhism. This made me wonder why I’d been attending multi faith events yet not teaching the dharma when the opportunity arises. Much of what I do in terms of inter faith brings me into contact with a lot of people, some very important and high ranking faith leaders, politicians etc. So I then ask the question – is this about my spreading/teaching the Buddhist way, or is it to satisfy my ego?
Reflecting only raised more questions – why do I attend Islamic, Christian and Jewish events? None of these people are suddenly going to convert. So therefore what have I achieved? Would I have been better off going to meditation at my temple? Attending more Buddhist services? I haven’t visited Malvern for months and my Birmingham dharma friends rarely see me.
As I had reached a point where the more I looked at these issues my mind raised even more, there were no answers forthcoming. I turned to an old teacher from my vow 22 days and explained my predicament. After several days thinking about my question he said: All practice and all we do is nembutsu, therefore all my work is valid.
This helps. It tells me that I need to think of my life rather than my work. Is my life balanced? Do I see friends and family enough? Do I have right view right speech and right mind?
I know I should end with some philosophy on what all this means or answers that I’ve reached. I’m sorry but there is none. My mind still wanders and reflects. I’m full of doubts and restless due to this. Again I think of another teachers words “so this is how it is to be human” the reality is I’m a foolish being. Maybe, as Shinran did, I should just refer to myself as a shaved headed fool. What I hope for is a sign from the universe, but then maybe I’m following that sign already. I hope so.
Namo Amida Bu.
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