03 March 2012

Praṇidhāna Pāramitā One More Time

I had my Dharma brother make me a deal the other day.  I made him agree that if he ever thought I was doing something stupid or out of line, or if he thought I was acting like an asshole about something, he was to tell me, straightforwardly and without hesitation.

There's a danger in ordaining.  People treat you differently.  They assume you know what you're doing, that you must have "your reasons," and that they're not at all in a position to call you on it.

From where I stand, I think ordaining means agreeing first and foremost to be exposed to the criticism of others.  They are not here for me.  I am here for them.  And if they aren't going to be some abstraction (the impersonal and utterly fictive "they") but the living flesh-and-blood women and men they are, then I need to hear from them.  My job is to become again and again the bodhisattva who hears the cries of the world; to do that, I actually have to listen to them.

I don't know.   I just think I need others to help me toward my own attainment.  And I'm not just talking about a teacher or someone to pass me on koans or something like that.  I'm talking about the whole goshdarn universe.  Everything is teaching me by showing me where there's still too much ego-attachment.  Everyone is giving me good feedback on where I'm still getting in the way, whether they express it directly or not.  I'd just prefer there be no ambiguity on the point.

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