Monday, September 21, 2009

Seeds Like Dharma Rain

"When you listen to a Dharma talk, just allow the rain of Dharma to penetrate to soil of your consciousness. Don't think too much, or argue, or compare... Just allow your consciousness to receive the rain..." --Cultivating the Mind of Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

Consciousness, writes Thich Nhat Hanh in his book, Cultivating the Mind of Love: The Practice of Looking Deeply in the Mahayana Buddhist Tradition, "is said to be composed of two parts-- store consciousness (alayavijnana) and mind consciousness (manovijnana). In our store consciousness are buried all the seeds, representing everything we have ever done, experienced, or perceived. When a seed is watered, it manifests into your mind consciousness.'

"The work of meditation is to cultivate the garden of our store consciousness. As a gardener, we have to trust the land, knowing that all seeds of love and understanding, all seeds of enlightenment and happiness, are already there. That is why we don't have to think too hard or take notes during a Dharma talk. We only need to be there, to allow the seeds of love and understanding that are deep within us to be watered. It is not just the teacher who is giving the dharma talk; the violet bamboo, the yellow chrysanthemum and the golden sunset are all speaking at the same time. Anything that waters these deepest seeds in our store consciousness is the true Dharma."

Dharma deals with the present moment. The Dharma is not just a matter of time. If you practice the Dharma Way, peacefulness and joyfulness are there as soon as you embrace the Dharma. A healing takes place through embrace of the "dharma-in-the-now." Embracing the now, you are in the ultimate dimension as Mahayana teaches. There is nothing more real than this moment, the ultimate moment of now. As all seeds are already contained within; at any moment you may become what you are most deeply. The Lotus Sutra teaches this is possible.

When we are in the state of mindfulness, we are in the now; we dwell in warmth, peacefulness. When mindful, we are fully engaged in the present moment, and we experience a quietness, a calmness, peacefulness; we may be inspired with strength, confidence, joy and happiness. There is no fear, because fear is what has not yet occurred; we are not in the past because it is already past. At present moment, we dwell with ourselves as we are, in this moment, present. Forming or joining a Sangha for support and practice is a good idea. Sangha may be composed of two or more persons.

To Mahayanists, in the present moment, the Lotus Sutra teaches us, "we too, can be everywhere at once. From any point in the cosmos, people can touch us wherever we are, and wherever they are. We are not at all confined by time and space," Hanh informs the reader. He further explains this is so because of the nature of inter-being.

Gaining the energy of compassion, as Hanh describes it, in deep practice of the Lotus Sutra, "energy, of compassion, in you will transform your life, and make it more beautiful. Compassion is always born of understanding, and understanding is the result of looking deeply."

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