This life, and the world in which it is being lived, is like a testing ground. I just keep crashing in to things - other people, myself, situations, feelings, impulses. But, unlike that guy over there, I have choices. Results are obtained from the tests he is involved in. The idea is to learn from those results and do the work needed to improve things a bit. So why do I have such a hard time figuring out that much of what I keep doing keeps me in this endless cycle of suffering?
When I look back at my life to this point, it's rather mind boggling to see how many times I've just charged full speed ahead into the same walls...over and over and over again, surprised each and every time that the result is always the same. Talk about a dummy! It's as if at birth some kind of auto pilot switch was activated and I can't seem to override it.
The Buddha offered us a way out of suffering, and he basically said, "Don't just take my word for it, test this out yourself and see if it works for you". So why is there any hesitation at all in getting on with the test? What could be more important than the end of suffering? If my house was on fire would I wait until my favorite TV show was over before getting out and calling for help? If I was having a heart attack or began hemorrhaging would I decide to finish reading an interesting article or even listening to a Dhamma talk before calling 911? No, of course not. Those threats would be obvious, no analysis necessary, mindfulness not even required. Then how is it that I keep getting drawn in by those familiar walls that I keep slamming in to? I'm afraid I continue to spend a lot of time just going through the motions - reacting to the world around me without proper analysis of where the reactions are coming from as they begin. Lately I have been learning to put it together, and just that much is an improvement. But there is still a delay in recognition. So often I find myself poking through the wreckage to identify the cause instead of seeing it coming and preventing it in the first place.
And so the testing continues.
D. T. Suzuki on Satori II
6 days ago