Nov 21 2022 - Jewel

Simply put, the immediate quality of my experience can’t be improved by improving it. It can only perfected through surrendering and facing it squarely. Then clear light flows. Discriminating, hoping, and craving discard the jewel of our awake nature for some imitation glitter. You can feel this immediately as a kind of fall and descending into muck.

At the same time there is no compassion without wading through this muck. This action of losing and finding, losing and finding is practice and realization, the Dharma wheel turning. It is exactly how we extend our practice to all beings, how else could we feel compassion, and why else would we even bother with practice all?

This is exactly the billion times waking up that Uchiyama Roshi spoke of.

Now when we forget the previous jewel of our true nature,
a sorrow arises from deep within our soul.
When we open to this sorrow fully,
it becomes the natural antidote that dissolves our self-forgetting…

The Jewel Inside

The jewel inside has grown dusty.
What out there could have captured you so
That you forgot all about this one?
Feel the tragedy of that error,
And see: Even now, the tears of your grief
Are washing the dust away.

Although we continue to lose the jewel of our awake nature, it is through finding it,
again and again, that it becomes ever more forged within us.

- Poems for the Path, p. 31

I get caught in the hope for a better career, the hope for extinguishing all my harmful Karma immediately. I want to live in the perfection of intention, but that is impossible to do with just force. When that fails I fall back into a more basic craving for escape into the computer and virtual world. I touch that and feel so incredibly unfulfilled, disappointed, and fall into a kind of depression. Not this, not that, then what? Until I find my way back to just this I am lost.

I can live the ultimate way of life (34) but I can only start from exactly where I am in these karmic conditions. It’s possible they will change, but slow is fast here. There is no rushing. Karma dissolves in the light of the infinite present moment which is manifest in these karmic conditions right here and now. Rushing is an act of violence against form, an attempt to subvert true law that will only create more disharmony.

So this work then is another act of holding two realities in my heart, this karmic one, and the expression of Vision that I see, feel, and sometimes long for. As I walk along, we’ll find out just how far I can go living this Bodhisattva vow.