December 02, 2010

Going Forth into Homelessness

Kiley Jon Clark of Homeless Meditation Practitioner's (HMP) Street Dharma recently wrote a really great blogpost titled 'Description of teaching meditation in a Homeless Facility' on the Tricycle community NING website.  Our NING site is separate from tricycle.com and requires separate free registration.

Here is an excerpt from Kiley's post,

I want to tell you about a friend of mine that lives at the Homeless facility where I work. He's in his late twenties, and although he is completely blind, he always seems to find his way to our Meditation Group.

A couple of weeks ago, he called me over and said in an excited voice, “You want to see my meditation rocks?” And of course, I said that I did. So, he reaches in his pants pocket and pulls out these three ordinary looking stones.

“Here, hold this one” he says proudly, “It’s a petrified shark’s fin.” “And here, look at this one, it’s an unpolished diamond.” “And the last one here, it’s an ‘Indian Rock.’ You use it to find water when you’re thirsty.”

So, I looked them over and handed them back, thanking him for letting me see them.

Then his face lights up again, and he says, “You know what? I got something for you!” He reaches into his shirt pocket, pulls something out.

He said, “I want you to have this, Kiley. It’s extremely rare.” And he places it in my hand and whispers, “It’s a Wish-fulfilling Jewel.”

Folks, it was just a normal, everyday peach seed. He must have found it on the ground and knew that it was quite different from all the other rocks.

Of course, there is a spiritual lesson there. It has something to do with looking at this Peach Seed World and instead, seeing something wonderful.

There is a story about a very rude monk, whom walked up to Buddha and demanded to see the Tusita Heaven.

Suddenly, in a flash, he found himself standing beside the Buddha in a Jeweled Kingdom of Light. It was almost too beautiful to look at with his natural eyes, he started to weep. He saw jeweled trees, jeweled grass, and even a jeweled sky.

This land was filled with the most incredible Beings, each completely whole and contented, perfectly emanating the Light of Divinity.

But all too soon, he was back in the market place. Still weeping from the experience, he screamed, “Why did you bring me back!” And gently Buddha took him by the face and said, “I assure you, monk. We never left this place.”

Buddhism teaches that the difference between Heaven and Hell is only point of view, our perception of things.

Throughout my years of being a drunk, getting arrested, causing my wife to leave with the kids, and all the other damn fool mistakes that I’ve made, I felt like I was struggling in Hell.

I never expected to meet the Love of my life and SoulMate, Diane. I never dreamed that the relationship with my children would be repaired and they would come to live with me. I never thought that I would be the student of such a Great Humanitarian and Teacher like Lama Tulku Tsori Rinpoche. I never thought that my life would be dedicated to working in the Homeless Community.

And I certainly never thought that I would be going to India...

But interestingly enough,

“I assure you, monks, I never left this place.”

 

Read the entire piece here.

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chaos_ac's picture

Thank you very much for the excerpt. I will check out the original post now.

nagkpa2's picture

i resonate. I was ordained in 1998 and then a getsulma, a tibetan buddhist nun, 2002 and became homeless and an official beggar. I already had three marriages, AA history and recovery and age and 30 years of a root lama and practice. it has been a wonderful blessing to be alive and in iNDIA and Nepal to take teachings and to work in the NGO with the refugee communities. At 62 i feel more committed than ever to the Buddha and his advice and contemplation of that advice. so rock on.....and may the blue bird of happiness s....on you over and over again! ani karma tsultrim metok Parkin