Monday, August 18, 2014

Transcending Simplistic Concepts AND Suffering

     "What's asked of us is a kind of integrity, not an idealism. When you're a child, at first you see your parents as all good or all bad, depending on how they are that day. And later on you can hold that they are complex, that they have all of those parts.
     And maybe spiritual practice, to put it in another language, is about seeing life with irony, and metaphor, and complexity. And it confuses our mind to see that there's something good and something painful, all mixed together;  that birth and death come together; that the world isn't just black and white; nor that there's a perfect teacher with everything else being no good. But that there's metaphor, and irony, and complexity, and humor, and tragedy - tragedy in the Greek sense: that no matter what we do sometimes, we will suffer, and birth & death. All these are confusing to the mind. And if you try to figure it out and try to create perfection, you can't.
     But what they can lead you to, and what looking at your relationship to teacher or spiritual practice can lead to is a development of the heart; is a greatness of forgiveness; and wisdom; and a capacity of the heart to come to rest, even though things aren't black & white, because they're not black & white; an ability to be at peace; and to love, and to appreciate & feel gratitude, even for things that are mixed - which is everything. ...
     And sometimes through the disillusionments, and the pains and the difficulties, we come not with our minds - our minds can't do it - with our hearts to see the irony, the complexity, the many levels, the metaphor of it, the incredible dance of our life - and something else shines. It's like Anne Frank's diaries, even in the midst of all of that suffering, she saw that there was some other reality. There is another reality, that's in us. There's a sacredness, a dignity that we can find. And sometimes it's not until we're deeply disappointed for a while that we reclaim that in ourselves."

       Jack Kornfield "Transmission - Receiving the Living Wisdom of Spiritual Teachers - In-depth reflections and teachings on the student-teacher relationship." 

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