Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > The Way of Being and Becoming

 
 

Adoring & Being & Becoming

Jan 3, 2022


A Season the Land Rests

A Season the Land Rests

Inn Along the Way - Chapman Farm - Damariscotta, ME

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Late Korean Buddhist Teacher, Daehaeng -


I truly didn’t appreciate just how hard it is to get people to have faith in this treasure they’re carrying around within themselves.


*Like Lions Learning to Roar: Dharma talks by Seon Master Daehaeng.

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A disciple asked the Sage, "How do I become a Buddha?" The Sage said, "Be yourself. What the Buddha is, is you." Asked the disciple, "When will I know I've become myself?" "When you're yourself, the question will not arise," replied the Sage. "When being yourself, the mirror in which you see yourself isn't - there's no room for it anymore." "One last question," the follower said. "Can I ever fully be myself?" "Yes and no. You are and not. All things by being what they are, are that. How can they not be? To be is to be yourself, as a maple leaf is a maple leaf. Still, you become yourself until realizing it with your whole being. The knowing is at a cellular level. Then, you live with the apparent opposites of knowing and not knowing what you are, but it is no longer a problem to you - it just is. You are flowing like all else."


*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."

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Gautama the Buddha died of food poisoning. He soon knew he had accidentally been poisoned. So, he told the host not to give the food to his disciples. He said his disciples could not digest it. He complimented the dish, however.

Later, Gautama could not sit up. He wanted to prepare his followers for his departure. Lying down on his side, he addressed them with his arm and hand supporting his head. In this pose, it is said Gautama underwent Mahaparinirvana, or the final release into Nirvana, not to be reborn again.

The Buddha's dying posture became sacred. As a ritual, many Buddhists began lying down in the posture. Many portrayals of Buddha in the pose exist. Tradition has it that Buddha died in Kushinagar, India. Kushinagar, therefore, is a major pilgrimage site. One can go there and see a massive stone statue of the Buddha lying peacefully in this position.

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The spiritual path is becoming what we aspire to be, not just emulating it or adoring it in someone else. One may aspire to be like Buddha, even be a Buddha. Those who follow Jesus may wish to be like Christ, even be a Christ.

A cult of adoration can grow up around a spiritual being. Zen Buddhists sometimes say, "If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him." This saying warns against the adoration of Buddha without becoming a Buddha and not realizing Buddha is more than a person - Buddha is you. Jesus said, "Why do you call me 'Teacher, Teacher' and do not do what I teach?" Adoration can spur one on the Way as a means, an inspiration, however. Yet, rightly to adore someone like Jesus means to become a Jesus. One is not to use Jesus as avoidance of becoming a Jesus.

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In relationship to beings who inspire us to walk the Way, they cannot walk the Way for us. In worshipping them, that of Truth in us meets that of Truth in them. In this sense, anyone who captures our adoration can be our Teacher. We honor them by embodying the qualities they embody. They show us our True Self.

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In English, persons speak of the artifice in which one presents herself as a posturing. Posturing means being a charlatan. We cannot fake ourselves to realness; instead, authenticity removes the imitation from us. We become more real, more aligned with our aspirations. Whatever we do, we can ask, "Am I pretending? Or am I being real?" Or, "Am I using this to become what I need to become?" We can ask such questions until not needing to. The Sun does not need to ask, "Am I shining?" When you are being that you are, you are like that Sun.

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A Christian follower asked the Sage, "Is it okay to engage in tradition and ritual? Or will that hinder me?" Said the Sage, "It depends on you. Form arises from and guides us to the Formless." "Can you," asked the man, "give me an example?" "Yes," replied the Sage. "When one engages in the Eucharist, like a superstition or memorial meal, or because the church says so, and isn't intent on becoming Eucharistic, what good is that? Whom does it help? Only good for a time provided it leads to awakening to becoming the Eucharist for the world. Did not Jesus say, 'Take up your cross?' So, you go to the Eucharist to be it. Being it means you are becoming it. You follow a path to become what the path points to. The path is always to somewhere, to become something. When you turn Christ into something only to adore, that is a cult of sentimentality. If you could find where Christ walked and left footprints, do you think you could become Christ by stepping in those footprints? Be a Christ by creating your own footprints on Earth."


*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."

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*©Brian K. Wilcox, 2021.

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse.

 

Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > The Way of Being and Becoming

©Brian Wilcox 2022