Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Saturday, January 31, 2015

My business partner's gift to me

I went to the zendo this morning for sutra chanting and zazen. Some lines from Torei Zenji's Bodhisattva's Vow on the usefulness of abuse struck me as particularly relevant:

That very abuse conveys the Buddha's boundless loving-kindness. It is a compassionate device to liberate us entirely from the mean-spirited delusions we have built up with our wrongful conduct from the beginning-less past. With our open response to such abuse we completely relinquish ourselves, and the most profound and pure faith arises. At the peak of each thought a lotus flower opens, and on each flower there is revealed a Buddha. Everywhere is the Pure Land in its beauty. We see fully the Tathagata's radiant light right where we are.

Perhaps Janis Joplin sang it over the Coral Sea even more poetically:


That's Australia off our port side, Brisbane behind us, headed north to the Great Barrier Reef.

Dwight shared with me on the trip that his mother taught him that you can have security or you can have growth, but you can't have both simultaneously.

I've spent my adult life ranting against bourgeois sensibilities, disdaining the very comfort, convenience and security that I fearfully clung to, too much a coward to risk venturing down an unbeaten path. I was trapped in dualistic thinking just like Dwight's mother - I could follow my bliss, be an explorer/oceanographer, or I could have security. When my business partner made his pitch to me, what clinched the deal was "zero financial risk" to me. Of course in the end, it is I that am bearing the entire financial burden of other people's foolishness. I was ingenuous (GRE vocabulary!), I was ingeniously (alliteration!) manipulated by others, and I got screwed. But my screwing is also a compassionate device that has quite effectively liberated me from my attachment to my delusion of security. Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.

The truth is: security and growth are mutually exclusive, and simultaneously; security and growth are one and the same thing. (Outside of human consciousness, the notions of security and growth have no meaning, so do they exist in reality?) The toggling between the two perspectives is entirely in our heads. I wish I could have learned this without getting screwed, but I was so entirely entrenched in the dualistic perspective and so very attached to my delusion of security, perhaps a spectacular screwing was the only effective medicine for what ailed me.

Financing my business partner's supercharged Miyata, home improvements, European vacations, state of the art electronic equipment, and giving all my money to his creditors is just the cost of my liberation. 

Thus spake Eliot:

A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)

My father praises and compliments me (Thank you, Dad!) for being graceful and composed through this long, drawn out screwing, and for being patient with greedy, petty people. Part of my gracefulness and patience is my inheritance of my father's personality, and part of it is my focus on the gift of my liberation. There is opportunity in every crisis.


2 comments:

lagalag said...

Well said.

Back at work?

Manai'a Explorations said...

LAGarooni, I spent all day Tuesday in a car - a long meditation. I found clarity of feeling on two accounts: 1. I want more adventure/risk/stimulation in my life. 2. I want more exercise/fitness/health. Said negatively, I am presently bored and sedentary. Yes, I am back at work.