The Search for Truth (part seven)

In the previous column there were discussed some of the ways people make changes to become more receptive to truth. Taking ordination vows is an extreme example as well as deciding to dedicate the rest of ones life to a hermit’s existence or perhaps living in a cave. Others will seek vows such as bodhchitta vows to energetically bind themselves to achieve the transformed state.

However, there are methods we can put in to practice even today and one is to simplify. We could make things easier by giving away what is not used, needed or enjoyed anymore so that there are fewer objects that we need to control, care for, think about or even dust regularly! Even today, I took a carload of things over to Goodwill, so I feel quite happy about that. Another way to simplify is to watch how we spend our precious leisure time and make quality time management decisions to begin or sustain a regular meditation practice.

Another obstacle that often confronts sincere seekers is reading about the lives of holy beings but seeing those stories as something that could happen to others, but not to themselves. Often, Oriental people see themselves trapped in ordinary life but holy beings or accomplished meditators live an unattainable and lofty existence instead of being inspired to action by their deeds.

Since we are still thinking about the search for truth and how to consider how we accomplish our goal of finding or uncovering truth, it is good to understand that some people will instead create a fantasy place in their own minds where they are king or queen, admired, and they will live there as their own private spiritual place. Some create a certain mental place they can visit at will and feel quite okay. Completely at peace and important, they indulge in fantasy escapist life away from thinking about problems but usually this is not spiritual but hiding. However, if you return from that place and quickly become angry for some reason, or if you feel that others are fools, it means that this is a fantasy. Many people doing meditation practice fall into this escapist dynamic and need to be invited back to the actual search and discovery. If we lose our sense of peace from meditation quickly, it probably means that was a fantasy. For people who are attracted to the search for reality, escapist places need to be closed with determination so that sincere inquiry can begin.

A good method to help us gain correct discrimination and avoid fantasy is to remember others who are on the path. The pleasure we feel by joining countless other beings on valid paths to reality means we are not alone in our search. Of course, our search is happening inside us as individuals each with our own experiences, dynamics and karma that are unique. However, even at this moment, we are simultaneously on the path with countless other beings who are also seeking the nature of reality. That produces a kind of rejoicing and pleasure that we can fully indulge with all the creativity that previously we may have channeled into fantasy role-playing. There is a sense of safety in knowing that we are not the only one and countless other beings are also considering seeking truth as important. There are many others also struggling with similar issues and obstacles that we face.

In conclusion, we affirm that the reproducible path to reality encourages us to seek what we do not know. Within this change of attitude, we will be able to find spiritual traditions and authentic guides like a magnet. With a cultivated wonderment and intensity of inner curiosity that drives our sense of seeking truth, we return to a more careful, uncluttered method more aligned with valid, authentic paths to the transformed awakened state. We do not want to become more sophisticated, we want to become more careful and less sophisticated.

This gentle new method of sincerity opens new receptivity that attracts truth, healing the damage of inferior criteria for spiritual seeking so that we become capable of listening more carefully. By seeking what we do not have, this means that we are not yet the perfect container for truth. In the meantime, an open-minded attitude will allow the inner mind such as the subconscious to explore transitional truths that are the actual truth that you seek. When we seek what we need to know next, we become facilitators of the step-by-step path in our own life and own process that will culminate in truths and realities that we will become prepared to know.

These criteria of analysis, sincerity of pure heart and studied simplicity to overcome obstacles are valid everywhere, in all times, and in the future, thousands of years, millions of years in the future, these methods will still be valid. Establish it now deep in your own inner process and you will ring like a crystal bell. You will understand, and you will gain enlightenment quickly. The end.

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