A heart of sharing and letting go has been behind the whole process from the start; one appreciates it in others,
|In that light, it even seems that the point of community practice is to bring up the self-views and disengage the compulsion to act on them, to believe in them, or to despise them. And of course, they can occur and be unchecked in apparent solitude. So with writing this, the silence has to share the space with the feeling, the thinking, and an 'I' function, and not get cranky and obnoxious about all that. Marvellously, this reluctant realisation eases up the sphere of the mind, and when the mind is at ease, less unwholesome thoughts come up. In fact one begins to enjoy the ease and without effort, stop thinking altogether...|
But wait... I suppose what I meant to say when I started this was: 'Thanks for everything!' Although I have experienced much deep reluctance in being part of anything, still the sharing has always been there. The alms keep flowing in, the teaching flows out and the effects of the practice flow both ways. A heart of sharing and letting go has been behind the whole process from the start; one appreciates it in others, one finds that's one's actions are going that way (whatever the personal image of inadequacy may say) and eventually one trusts that above all. But if I had to be guided by an idea of sharing, there would always be the doubt: 'Well, what do I have, what do they want, it's probably not worth while...' Real human presence (even just being with myself) reminds me that: 'Sharing is already happening, "I" am the result of that, now why don't I let something good happen through me? Why don't I get out of the way of a clear response?'
So a new year, and the 'beginning again' of a Winter's retreat allows for that simple and happy acknowledge-ment of Sangha and community. It's good to see a fellow ('sister'?) journal appearing, in Britain at least, called 'Community' and put together by a team of lay people. This is great. As 'Community' successively fattens and embellishes itself, this monastic offering grows leaner and more modest - as becomes a samana. Yet we may arrive, not at the imagined conclusion of dying out altogether, but at something more grateful: a quarterly acknowledgement that the Dhamma has been well-expounded by the Blessed One. Indeed it is good, indeed may we be glad!
Luang Por Chah's Birthday