All the same, I know that my good fortune in being able to practice the Dharma in this life is a rarity. I honor that good fortune best by not wasting the time and resources I have. Kalpas? Days, maybe. I'm already over halfway to the end of this time around, and I don't know how it goes from here!
I've been thinking about Dharma time-wasters, things that aren't necessarily wrong, just – how to put it – beside the point, at least as far as my own practice goes; others may well have a different list, one that doesn't include things on mine.
Here we go:
1. Taking time and energy figuring out how aspects of the Dharma square or don't square, converge or don't converge with insights of other religions and practices. That work can be done by others. I don't have time enough to plunge the depths of the Dharma in its own right.Do I stick to my principles here? Not as often as I would like, and not as often as would be helpful. Still, it's good for me to have some point of reference to get back to when I don't.
2. Trying to figure out why a Dharma brother or sister doesn't see things like I do. Who could begin to know?
3. Trying to get a Dharma brother or sister to see things like I do. Blind leading the blind.
4. Trying to find good reasons why so-and-so got authorized to teach the Dharma. Again, who could begin to know the minds of others? If I find someone's teaching helpful, that's fine. If I don't, maybe they're being of help to someone with hindrances or issues different from the ones I have.
5. Figuring out how and why I got to this point. I had to give a "Coming to the Path" talk once. Lies and more lies. Once was more than enough.
6. Wondering where it goes from here. Twist my nose, please, if I ever breathe the slightest view on that matter.
7. Fretting about the state of the Dharma in town, in the lineage, in America, in the world. I'm just going to assume it's mappō time, and work like the dickens not to make it worse.
8. Wishing greedy, power-thirsty, or delusional teachers would be exposed for what they are and sent packing Again, not my job. There's a sucker born every minute, and it's not up to me to save them from themselves.