Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pushing Your Limits, by Arden Ruttan

Gaining enlightenment is probably one of the hardest accomplishments a person can achieve. Living a life that is crystal clear in every thought and everything you do is obviously not something easy to do.  It takes thousands of hours of focused practice and a total willingness to change by letting go of attachments and ego-clinging.

Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche ' s student
Serving others can take many forms
Many people feel that just by sitting on a meditation cushion for countless hours they can achieve. If while sitting you just let your mind wander, is that still considered focused practice? An important part of Buddhist practice is being opened-minded enough to accept teachings to help the student break through their egos and attachments.  Rinpoche recently discussed this in an article when he stated that a noble person is one who is able to “not be bound by convention.” An open-mindedness to teachings that might be considered unconventional though essentially rooted in the same tradition is an important factor for growth on the Vajrayana path.

So when a master as awesome as Shang Longrik Gyatso Rinpoche gives you some seemingly impossible task like “don't sleep for a week” or “do 100,000 prostration in three months,” the same logic applies. You can gripe and moan to your friends about how insane the request is, or you can recognize it as a unique chance to learn (or unlearn) something, a chance to quickly make some real progress that you couldn't get from just sitting on a meditation cushion. Either way the choice is yours. No one is going to force you or confiscate your Dharma robes. The worst that will happen when you refuse to rise to the challenge is that you’ll miss a chance to get a little closer to enlightenment.

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