May 13, 2008

Words for Buddhist Livin'

Three quotations from Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, from Ocean of Dharma: 365 Teachings on Living Life with Courage and Compassion.

The Lion's Roar

The lion's roar is the fearless proclamation that any state of mind, including the emotions, is a workable situation, a reminder in the practice of meditation. We realize that chaotic situations must not be rejected. Nor should we regard them as regressive, as a return to confusion. We must respect whatever happens in our state of mind. Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news.

All-Encompassing Friendship

Maitri could be translated as "love," "kindness," or "a friendly attitude." Having a friendly attitude means that, when you make friends with someone, you accept the neurosis of that friend as well as the sanity of that friend. You accept both extremes of your friend's basic makeup as resources for friendship. If you make friends with someone because you only like certain parts of that friend, then it is not complete friendship, but partial friendship. So maitri is all-encompassing friendship, friendship which relates with the creativity as well as the destructiveness of nature.

Full Moon in Your Heart

The teacher, or the spiritual friend, enters your system much as medicine is injected into your veins. According to the tradition, this is known as planting the heart of enlightenment. It is transplanting the full moon into your heart. Can you imagine the full moon coming through your living room window and coming closer and suddenly entering your heart? On the one hand, unless you are terribly resentful, usually it is a tremendous relief: "Phew. The full moon has entered my heart." That's great, wonderful. On the other hand, however, when that particular full moon has entered into your heart, when it's transplanted into your heart, you might have a little panic. "Good heavens, what have I done? There's a moon in my heart. What am I going to do with it? It's too shiny!" By the way, once that moon has entered your heart, it cannot be a waning moon. It never wanes. It is always waxing.

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