Betrayal (Self?)

Life is unpredictable and can be very difficult at times.  The last few months have been very trying for me.  I've been falsely accused of things, been let down, and been lied to.  From this point I have spiraled downward at times and I know I've let others down from the place I was in - too caught up in my own pitiful mind to see and respond to the needs of others.

My initial reaction to difficulty is to over-react, but this is self betrayal.  Each time that I am faced with a crisis and see it as the end of the world then I am short changing myself.  I've been through many troubling times yet here I am - still standing, wiser than ever.  Better to focus on the good things like walks with my wife and time with my grand-daughter.

Sometimes I want to withdraw - fuck everyone, I can do this alone - but that isn't the way of the Bodhisattva.  I won't sell myself short.  Even when I feel cheated and misunderstood I will try to have compassion.  When I fail at that I will have compassion for myself.

However innumerable beings are, I vow to meet them with kindness and interest.
However inexhaustible the states of suffering are, I vow to touch them with patience and love.
However immeasurable the Dharmas are, I vow to explore them deeply.
However incomparable the mystery of interbeing, I vow to surrender to it freely.


~ Thich Nhat Han's translation of the Bodhisattva Vows.

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