By Daniel Scharpenburg
Our journey doesn’t transform us, it invites us to transform ourselves.
The path doesn’t really give us anything, the path only cuts things away. Even that’s not right. The path doesn’t cut things away, it inspires us to cut things away.
What do we cut?
We cut through our delusions. We learn to see through the parts of ourselves that are fake. Then only the real remains. When we put down all that we’re carrying, then our true nature is all that’s left. We have the ability to put down our preconceptions and our baggage, although it’s not easy. We’re often pretty attached to these things. We can forget about the labels we put on everything and just be here now. It just takes a lot of effort. We have to really want to train ourselves.
Nothing is really transferred from teacher to student. There’s nothing to gain.
A teaching only serves to make you aware of your own potential, and your potential is much greater than you realize. You have the truth already. When we talk about awakening we’re really talking about not being held back by our preconceived ideas, delusions, and baggage. We are our own worst enemies because we are carrying way too much of that stuff around. When we are held back by these things it’s really hard for us to be still, to be open, to see things clearly.
We desperately need clarity in the world today.
When we’re striving to ignore the nature of the world and our place in it, we can’t be at peace—of course peace is elusive. It’s said in the Diamond Sutra that if we can free ourselves of our attachment to labeling everything all the time, then we will be like people with perfect vision walking in the sunshine. Supreme Clarity.
When I joined the Order of Hsu Yun I was given the Buddhist name “QianMing” which means “Supreme Clarity.” I’m not really into Buddhist names and I definitely don’t think my clarity is supreme, but that’s what inspired me to write this.
We can break through our delusions and see things as they really are. The labels and ideas we have for things are usually rigid and fixed, but reality isn’t rigid and fixed. The truth is that reality is more like a steadily flowing stream. That’s as close as I can get to describing it.
The truth is beyond words.
Words are labels too. It helps to know when it’s time to be silent.
Editor: Dana Gornall
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