Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Echoes, openings, and simple practice

One small echo of Mitt Lenix's spirit and life legacy is that I've found myself drawn to attend the teachings at the local Tibetan Buddhist monastery of late. The simple, logical, and practical philosophy of loving kindness (which I had only ever seen as a pleasant but largely dismissible bumper-sticker mentality), is really resonating, and my ear likes the heavily-accented monk's voice, full of energy and vibrance and logic.  He uses words like "right" and "wrong" as convenient signifiers; and phrasing like "it makes trouble" and "it's nonsense!" make this most fundamental information plain enough for an eight-year old to understand (which I guess, spiritually, we are).

Once we understand that the inherent nature of every human heart is to seek peace and happiness (as inseparable as heat is to fire), we also have the responsibility to do what we can to reduce, or at least not contribute to, others' suffering, whether by thoughts, words, or deeds. Discerning "right understanding" of what serves the heart's happiness is the first step.

And, if we cultivate kindness in the secret corners of our moment-to-moment thoughts, then we plant the seed of peace in the rich soil of the mind, where it can't help but take root and be expressed outwardly in the world. Moment by moment by monkey-minded moment. 

Practicing loving compassion seeks others' benefit. Basically, "Don't make trouble. There's enough already." It's so simple, but invites constant mental vigilance. Just have to remember: "right effort" includes joy, built-in. Practice with a furrowed brow is no practice at all.