It is in knowing that there is an underlying truth that one achieves the only real enlightenment precisely at that point when, out of compassion for the suffering of living beings, one deliberately refuses to attain the stage of final nirvana and enlightenment unless all other living beings attain it too.
Thus, the paradox is that in refusing what is traditionally considered to be the ultimate goal of Buddhism and other sacred paths, is that it is in choosing to remain behind to serve as a guide, one really acquires the only true enlightenment and nirvana. Our greatest endeavor becomes assisting others in finding and following their own way – through and by the stories we tell and the lives we live. In doing so we become free to find our own path and our destiny.
Finding ways to illustrate perfection as our own imperfections are laid bare. How does our attempts at perfection reflect our virtues? As we are here to become an expression of this highest endeavor. To create a truly compassionate and enlightened world, we must start within ourselves. And this means working with our own mind―in whatever state we find it.
Often referred to and seen as our highest aspiration…. To be the right person – with the right voice – with the right platform – at precisely the right time. So it will be that on no one’s shoulders will the burden become too great. That with every difficulty there is relief. With the virtue of good intentions directed to all things, the way becomes clear. With this we go forth and accept the mantle as our mentors – the dragons, or angels intended.
We are to seek only the path that leans on our highest attributes. Making 2022 the Year of our growth… with eternity’s blessing, leaving self-doubt as to our identity behind. Finding tranquility in doing nothing beyond or outside ourselves.
Why I love reading, writing, and gardening. Gardening and landscaping design being an expression of my own limitations and imperfections. As I move ever closer to the inner perfections within myself while creating a place attuned with nature where there is common interest and no contention present. Entering or capturing the flow of energy that opens the door and my heart/mind to see what lies beyond the status quo. Letting nature and the past teach and show me the present telling the next step forward. To enter the eternal flow of not knowing and seeming paradox. Leaving behind outcomes that keep me tethered in one place as my spirit and surroundings soar with unlimited possibilities unafraid and going there as I become nothing but an expression of the immeasurable. To know we all are the seeds of change as we are meant to simply be an expression of endless and infinite virtue.
To stand on the shoulders of our peers. Mistakes only lessons to be reminded of from where we came that serve to guide and take us there. Relationships past and present – teachers meant as expressions of who we have always been as the wisdom of the ages again flows through us. Living as an expression of light, love, and virtue that defines who we are yet to become as our highest aspiration shines through and as us.
We begin again where we left off acknowledging that we must first establish a sense of place in our minds with structure and habits we adhere to. Always stretching beyond where we think we can go or have been before. The only constant being that we are forever in transit. How do we create this sense of place whose aim is to remind or define us to be the right person for the times as we live from the inside out while staying behind with compassion for all we encounter?
How do we do things that encourages others to change – to make their lives better? Becoming a conduit and showing them the way. I think that’s what I was reminded of while living and teaching in Qufu, the birthplace and home of Confucius. How do we define for ourselves the meaning of benevolence and virtue espoused by Confucius and Lao Tzu 2500 years ago? To endeavor to become our authentic selves as we learn how to express and become the right voice for the times we live. To raise the bar to seemingly unattainable heights.
Seeing ourselves beyond the present. For some it is to be a coach, others as teachers, and for most simply to learn what it means to be present – to have a presence. Along the way, we are to become custodians of something beyond ourselves and ultimately authentic. To be nothing special. Just finding our platform to live as if knowing who we are, why we are here, and remaining constant all the time. Simply to be present. Learning to teach – teaching to learn. Adhering to the ancient saying that when we are ready the teacher appears… and when we know the teacher departs.
Finally, the ancient shaman taught us to look first to the stars and then to see the stars within and as ourselves. With this insight comes responsibility and ownership. That we all are to become mystical following our highest endeavor with outward compassion for all things we encounter. To act from our heart without distortion from false teachings and inadequate understanding. Remaining true to ourselves comes with the realization that honesty is the beginning of wisdom.
To the right the ancient dragon depicted in the stars at the Taoist Cave adjacent to the Buddhist Temple and Leshan Buddha south of Chengdu in Sichuan, China.
This begins with accountability and knowing who we are. Why this acknowledgement is the beginning of the realization that we have a purpose first in aligning with innate universal truths and the stars from which we came. Stewards now of what we know to be infinite. Looking to the nighttime sky we recall our past as if the stars are the campfires of our youth lighting our journey showing us the way. It is from this place we enter the realm of compassion for all becoming the sage and the bodhisattvas.