Sunday, August 7, 2011

Taking stock

For the past year and a half I have doubtlessly experienced the fastest personal development ever. I know that if I think of the person I was before meeting Lama Ole and Buddha's teachings, I can't really recognize myself. It is actually embarrassing to think of how angry I was, so full of resentment, so quick to feel offended, and so easily a victim. I remember how sad I felt, how lonely, how unfair I found the world and how horrible everyone (from traffic, to strangers, to my partner, my friends and even my mother) was.

The transformation has been vital, for how can anyone survive in such a dark cloud of negativity. However years of meditation, of reading, even of psychotherapy cannot equal the transforming power of housing our Diamond-Way group for the past year and some months. Becoming responsible, at last, for my own growth, and for my actions at an ultimate level, gave me the key to my own inner power.

Working with my friends was not easy, many discussions came about, and like our lama says "people who discuss become enemies, people who meditate become friends". Fortunately, we meditated more than we argued, and we also shared many good moments, parties, cook-outs, beach outings, movies, all moments that helped to water the seeds of Sangha-ness. We really came through! We became best friends, we worked really hard together, we learned to trust one another, and to understand that in the end we are all about the Dharma. Our good intentions became good impressions and I am ever grateful for all the work that everyone did to cement our friendship.

At a more personal level, it involved many strong changes. Changes in my personal habits, regarding smoking weed for example, or the way I would approach people to ask for their help. I had to undergo a huge transformation. Open myself to the many mirrors that were reflecting my shortcomings. I had to step on my ego that wanted me to be the purest, the smartest, the quickest, the most devoted, the best meditator, the friendliest, etc. ad infinitum. It is upon coming face to face with my flaws, with the things I did not do well that the greatest change came about.

As it turned out, I was not the best communicator, nor was I the best meditator, I can only think I was truly a good cook, that statement remains, I think, uncontested. But the others went beyond contesting into really looking into the dark little corners where I felt safe. Like Lama Ole says "development happens beyond our comfort zone". And I must admit I now know a lot about what lies beyond this comfort zone. These past two months of traveling have showed me so much about the nature of my mind, my character and the ways in which I relate to the outside world that I am once again changed. A new transformation is taking place, only I can only witness it now, not really take in the actual results.

One thing is certain, I have grown up. I am wiser than I was before. The development of our meditation group in San Salvador gave me insights I treasure, even if most of the time I was unaware what was going on, my mind stream kept all impressions and quietly helped me mature and learn. 

I am not trying to write about how wonderful I am as a human being. Like I said, I started like a quite obscure, frightened little thing, and the way to Enlightment is vast and long before me. I am just taking in the wonders of human development, and I feel amazed and happy to see how it's changed me.

As I sit in this tent, surrounded by my friends on the way, I know we are all in this together, trying to become wiser, and to have more clarity, and become more useful and beneficial to others and to the world. The flow of good impressions touches us all, and I thank myself for taking a risk, for leaving home behind, for taking another risk and spending my savings on this Europe tour following my lama, strengthening the bonds with my friends on the Way. I don't know what the future holds, and much to my dismay and anxiety, I am speaking of the near future, as in ten days from now. But I trust Space, that has brought me so far with nothing but blessings, I trust myself, for I know I have become someone one can depend upon, and I trust the teachings that get me through everything that happens with a smile.

Tilopa said to Naropa "Cut all ties of involvement with country or kin, practice alone in forest or mountains retreats. Rest, not practicing anything. When you come to nothing to come to, you come to Mahamudra."

Ok, I am far from coming to nothing to come to, but I think development happens one step at a time.

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