November 24, 2010

Rebel Buddha—Fish see everything in the ocean, except the water


During the month of November, the Tricycle Book Club is discussing Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's Rebel Buddha! Look for daily excerpts from the book on the Tricycle Blog to inspire the conversation, which is happening here.

From Rebel Buddha:

"In order to see the way forward, we have to see where we are now, which means we have to see our own culture. It's not just some other people who have cultural habits and attachments, customs and points of view. We have to see that culture exists on both sides. Whether we come from the American or Asian side, we can be like fish swimming in the ocean. Fish see everything that's in the ocean, but they don't see themselves or the water they're swimming in. In the same way, we can easily see the habits and customs of others, but we can remain blind to our own. As we become more conscious of our cultural environment, we begin to see how we put our world together. We start to recognize how we construct culture and identify with mind, and how mind labels everything and stamps it with values. Once we see this connection, we're seeing the water itself, the unbiased wakefulness that pervades our experience. We need this kind of clarity in order to avoid becoming simply importers and exporters of culture. There may be a market for it, but that's not what we're here for. It could be our livelihood, but it's not our spiritual path."

Have something to say? Visit the Tricycle Community Book Club to discuss Rebel Buddha!

Image: from the Flickr photostream of Tarotastic.

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