A Journey In Consciousness

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Dharma

The term “Dharma” basically means THE UNIVERSAL TRUTH. Simultaneously it means more than that. The term also represents THAT WHICH WILL LEAD YOU TO THE EXPERIENCE OF UNIVERSAL TRUTH.

Therefore, we may ask, “What is the signature of Dharma, how do I recognize that I am facing a substantial expression of Dharma in a body of teachings and in a teacher?”

When you have a substantial encounter with Dharma, there should arise a process that makes tangibly clear to you the methods that you unconsciously use to create suffering for yourself. Tangible is key here. As this process unfolds for you, you should feel … AHA! A competent Dharma Teacher will have the power to initiate this process. YOU should have the power to implement on your path the instructions that will keep you from repeating the same mistakes that led you to suffer in the first place. YOU should have the power to listen and heed once you determined you are looking at a Wisdom Source.

As a result of a substantial Dharma Encounter, the level of your suffering should begin to diminish. The level of your well-being should increase. But also there should arise for you a daily program of practice that is both attitudinal and technical, as without you making the decision to work on yourself, nothing much will change for you. Even direct contact with the Most Radiant of Buddhas will not save you if you do not do your own work in a way that is steady, sincere and substantial. You must play your part and be responsible for your growth by watering the flowers in your garden daily and weeding and conditioning the soil.

Coming back to the methods we use to cause our own suffering. The most difficult part really consists in facing within ourselves our inner demons and shadows, those parts of our selfishness and ignorance that run as very strong and crystallized behavior patterns and may have done so for a long time. To deal with those ingrained behaviorisms is really difficult, we do not want to look at our deepest fears and greed, we do not want to know we are capable of mean or self-centered behavior. Yet a true Dharma Connection will take you to have a face-off with your inner demons and will invite you to dissolve these inner demons in the Void. To accept this as part of the work is only for the most courageous and many people who enter the journey may bail out when reaching this specific point and the mirror gets to be too close.

This brings us to the term The Void. A substantial expression of Dharma in teachings or teacher will have the capacity to take you to the experience of the Void … if … and only if … you cooperate with the process after having made the decision to work on yourself, be responsible for yourself, and implement the teachings in your life and not run away when those inner demons that I mentioned make themselves known to you in ways that you will find distinctly uncomfortable.

The experience of The Void is what will happen to you if all the ingredients of your spiritual practices come together just right and your efforts flower in that process that some people call The Great Work. And it is for that reason that a great wise man once said, “Don’t bother to start the Great Work if you don’t have what it takes of finish it.”

The Void or the Great Silence will unfold when the mind stops and for the first time insight into the nature of reality is gained. Please note the way I have phrased this. I did not say that YOU will gain insight into the nature of YOUR reality, even though English and most other languages would lend themselves to express it in this way. I did not express it in this way, because that is not what happens. When the normal mind process comes to cessation in the event of extremely deep meditation, whatever you consider to be your s e l f evaporates, because your known self is just an artificial construct that depends on the constant functioning of your mind, saying … I am this, I am that…. constantly.

When this normal routine process is suspended, Silence arises. When this Silence continues to deepen, it turns into Infinite Space. That Infinite Space of course was always there, but it now becomes revealed… revealed to who or what? Revealed to the space occupied by your body. It is revealed … to matter, which has been asleep, but now is transformed into Radiant Awakened Space. The arising of this experience in the disappearance of the experiencer… is the most precious of the precious. You cannot imagine it.

The above expresses as clearly and as best as I know to express what will happen if you have serious and receptive contact with a Dharma Source. May it become a tangible reality for you.


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