I used to find it very comforting in one Vedanta temple or another to see the words from the Vedas: "Truth is one. Wise men call it by many names." Soft, enveloping, comprehensive, inviting, hopeful ... well, I was in a warm-fuzzy phase and needed support and thought I was getting it. And perhaps I was in that particular time: I wanted hope and belief and I received it.
I cannot speak for anyone else but what I found was that hope and belief simply won't cut it. It's like talking about a sneeze without sneezing, a laugh without laughing, love without loving, being devoted to porn without ever getting laid. Experience trumps belief and if experience is what anyone wants, then practice is the means... sometimes delightful, sometimes depressing, sometimes awesome, sometimes awful ... p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e.
In order to practice, you've got to be willing to be a jerk, to be inept, to be a stumble-bum and a klutz. Don't worry, no one else will know: Everyone else may think you're kool and accomplished ... but you need to set aside the kool and the savvy and start being who you are. And everyone stumbles as they begin any practice ... bike riding, carpentry, spiritual endeavor, no different. The object of spiritual practice is not so much to succeed. Rather it is the willingness to fail and begin again ....
Just begin ... and continue. Why? Because experience trumps belief and hope. And it puts your feet on the ground ... for a change.
End of rant.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
I posted this bit of spiritual confetti on a Buddhist bulletin board and thought I would put it here too: