Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Virtue and Enlightenment

I was speaking a few days ago with someone who has spent several decades on the Tibetan Buddhist path.  She said that morality was important -- that one couldn't access the higher states of consciousness without having the right perspective on behavior.  (I'm paraphrasing, I hope accurately.)  And it occurred to me as we spoke that this is where most of the Buddhist paths diverge from the nondual path I've come to embrace more recently.

The nondual path, also called the "direct path," says that we already are what we are seeking.  We don't have to do anything to attain it.  This means that the worst "sinner" and the best "saint" are equally "enlightened."  And I'm using quotes here because there really is no such thing as enlightenment.  We go after this thing, only to find out it was there all along. 

I can only speak for myself, but I know that when I had my first glimpse in 1978 of this perfection that is sometimes called the "enlightened consciousness," I suddenly knew that I had to do exactly nothing -- that it is a free gift that only requires being born into human form.  (I won't go into whether dogs can realize their Buddha nature.)  Of course, if you believe that you have to do certain things before realizing universal consciousness, then that idea will keep you from knowing that it is a free gift.  But even if you think you have to do certain things, that free gift can come upon you like lightning and suddenly you discover that nothing was ever required.

I know for me that was a big relief  -- because, like nearly everyone else, I thought I had to struggle to "improve."  And so, it is a blessing to know that in this one thing -- the only thing that really matters -- without any preparation, without any preconditions, Life itself just opens to itself and knows itself through a human form. 

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I love to get comments from readers who want to mutually explore Truth as we at the same time remember that the words are just fingers pointing...