May 10, 2011

Dancing with Life

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, from Work, Sex, Money: Real Life on the Path of Mindfulness,

In working with others, the approach of genuine spirituality is to just do it, just help. If you are relating to others unskillfully, you'll be pushed back. A direct message is always there. If you are relating with things directly, there will be direct messages coming toward you automatically. It happens on the spot. This could be called genuine mystical experience.

Mystical experience lies in our actual living situation. It's a question of relating with the body, the physical situation. If you put your hand on a hot burner on the stove, you get burned. That's a very direct message that you're being absentminded. If you lose your temper and slam the door after a quarrel, you may catch your finger in the door. You get a very direct message—you hurt your finger. In that situation, you are in direct contact with things, with the energies that are alive in the situation. You are in direct contact rather than strategizing a result or thinking in terms of molding or remolding your experience. Then the situation automatically provides you with your next move. Life becomes like music. You dance in accordance with life. You don't have to struggle to remold anything. That is precisely the idea of of the absence of aggression, which is one of the key ideas of the Buddhist teaching. Dancing to the music of life is not an aggressive situation at all. It is living with the four seasons, to use a metaphor of how a plant grows throughout the year. This is the idea of lalita, a Sanskrit term that means dance. We might also translate lalita as "dancing with the situation."

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