On Gandhi’s tomb it reads "Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him.” This quote ran through Ram Dass’ mind as he was covered in clay, naked on the beach, getting ready to throw the frisbee. He asked himself, and us, “do you throw the frisbee or not?”
Given all you heard in this week’s lectures, what are your thoughts on how you might balance this notion in your own life given your unique karmas and experiences?
I feel like it’s always right to protect a being and prevent killing when we are able. I can’t remember which ones right now, but I read in more than one Dharma book about that specific scenario of saving insects from predators. The spiders will find another meal. They are always on that mission. We can maintain compassion for them while remaining equanimous and protecting their prey. I always get a good feeling from people who won’t kill bugs and insects. It’s a sign of expanded compassion. Dharma teachings led me to stop killing mosquitoes when they are biting me.
I’d love to hear more about where you read that. I would love to know it was ok but I don’t have any of the specific rules memorized on the subject. I thought it was Dharmic to intervene, but Maharaji was not happy with me. He seems to be less mad today lol. Maybe I needed to have the experience, talk about it with my Bhai and hear your conclusion! How cool would it be if that is it!! It feels right. If I’m to be a realized Bhakti, my compassion needs to be pure, perhaps it’s the good feeling I needed to lose. My attachment to my action!
I’m intoxicated constantly by Ram through my guru lineage and I now have Maharaji smiling so loving across from me and throughout my being right now is the clue that this was exactly how I was meant to learn this. I’m in the hot fire right now and it’s emotionally intense. I hope I haven’t been too forward in my exposition of my metaphysical beliefs, but see my guru lol
Wes, you’re a high one, thanks for the spot!
Admittedly, this is one that very much dogged me years back, when the happenings of my life as a young adult were for the first time snowballing, turning tender with the insecurity that the definitive end of childhood brings on, whispering, seemingly, or urging in some natural way the imperative nature of conscious spiritual pursuits. I was still very much in a robust phase of active learning in my life, unwittingly assembling the right sorts of foundational skillsets and other miscellaneous vehicles which would carry me through once I did finally happen upon a lucid sense of what “enlightenment” or effective spirituality was, where it could be found and how it could be learned, etc. …
The pre-dialectical phase of going deep, with conscientiousness, into each and everything, configuring some personal system by which to assess the utility of any given behavior in the behavior system you’re still mapping, or learning how to map… wondering in a very artificial way which, and this is somehow a convention of these paths, gives absolutely no consideration to the social norms of the social context the practitioner often times isn’t blown away by…
At that phase in my life, that was my karma… I had a lot to learn about the world and had a lot to cultivate and develop internally through life experience. I was a student both in school and in the abstract frameworks of my very subjective experience, grinding and waiting for some day in which the student could become the master, or at least a day I could be lazy and idealize “thoughtlessness”/open-toed shoes…
These days how I do it is by participating in something like Sangha…sharing serious and also comedic Dharmic insights in a communal setting, or exchanging…while also then prioritizing following my bliss, a decent amount of which really can be constructive, if not construed as…service…
Wow😲 that was excellently and elegantly put! I have personally grown up in such acute, intense and seemingly focused melodramas that often am looking for where the method starts breaking down or becoming dry of spirit. I am still working on my desire to feel good, or take pleasure in my actions for moralistic reasons. I can see it’s much further than dualism like that but haven’t practiced enough to let that go.
To Jackie/Raghu More Sangha plz lol
The world really does expect…mastery from us…and for me that’s where the methods or artificial constructs…have the bottoms fall out in a sense…that’s where they become super real. It isn’t as decadent as the opulence housed by the wisdom which permeates these sorts of retreats unconsciously creates a sense…this is the stuff of every day life, of human/individual survival in the face of everything that has ever been known to “do a creature” “in”. It takes time to figure this stuff out, but time is of the essence, and we really are called in some sense in our lives to do something constructive for future generations. Any tension or suffering we experience in our lives really are in service to as much…it’s a social mission no one can opt out of, not even the Sanghas of renunciates.
It helps to know though that it’s the shadow people are under as they rush which seems to animate them in a way in which they communicate to you that you should speed things up as well. It’s because they don’t have it figured out and they themselves aren’t necessarily on the right path, it’s an unconscious game of duck, duck, goose…pass the buck…hot potato… until we accidentally tag in some mouthpiece of the universe who then increases others consciousness.
Seems like you’re already on your way, being here, and having those sorts of observations!
As I look over my long life of 80 some years, I see that decisions I made that I thought/judged as right or wrong at the time, were all ways that I learned what I needed to learn and discern instead of judge. Perhaps the actual decision isn’t as important as we think it is and the lesson is to make lemonade when you get a lemon and to share the lemonade with others, and to rejoice in whatever your message is.