My Experience on the Path
When Jiryo Sensei first asked me to make a page expressing my experience along the path thus far, I had just sent him an email doing just that...he suggested that I include it or something similar in my contribution to the website.
Upon reading his request, my mind went into over-drive, trying to produce the most 'insightful' and 'enlightening' piece of writing it could. Many times I sat down to write, not knowing where to start or disliking the only idea's i had. After a few months of this 'inner-conflict', suddenly, it dawned on me. With more clarity, I experienced the Path once again.
When we are too concerned with our ego and how others will 'rate' our progress on the Path, we wander from it. When we consciously try to 'manipulate' the Way, we cease 'hearing' what it has to say. Until we drop this ego, at least momentarily, until we drop our pre-conceived idea's and until we see the world as if a child, with nothing hindering our 'openness'...we miss the beauty and simplicity of the world around us, the Path.
With this in mind, I will try to speak from the heart. To describe to indescribable, the unconditioned. The Path we all walk...and the Truth we occassionally glimpse.
Below is the email I sent to Jiryo Sensei unedited, unchanged, just as I wrote it...as I experienced it.
"I just wanted to say how wonderful the Dharma is. It has brought immense peace to my heart and it is always 'revealing'. To see things...to actually see them from time to time, is magical. I am beginning to see what you meant by 'living as a stranger' within Samsara. Things become 'panoramic, a gift it is impossible to repay. It's quite amazing that once you 'open the door', there is no desire to close it once more. Seeing the other side, and what lies beyond, my only wish is to walk through. To strive forward. I think perhaps too, I am beginning to 'truly' see the importance of the Bodhisattva Ideal in our practice. When you see things, slightly more clearly than you ever have before, It brings with it a tremendous desire to show others what you have seen, because you become aware that there is 'more to it'. And that 'more' is simpler than you could have imagined."
When we choose to walk the Path (and when we don't), everything becomes the Path. There is nothing outside of it. Our quite moments of contemplation become our meditation. Our inner-wisdom becomes our Sutra's and our realisations are our 'glimpses' of the Truth in all things. The Path is not something we turn on and off when we enter and exit the temple compounds. It is not limited to our Sutra readings, meditation or Gongyo (morning and evening service) prayers...It is our everything. And when we see that, we realise the very real lessons we learn from moment to moment. This is our 'everyday practice' orMainichi Gyo...It is the Path. So far, I have come to realise that the Buddhist journey is a very personal journey. No one can give it to us, we cant buy it and theres no shortcut. We walk it every day, every moment. We need to 'open our eyes'...that is our practice. And when we do, we get a glimpse of the way things are.
Thank you for reading my humble page and visiting our website. My humble and sincerest hope, is that it may in some way help others on their path. I close this article with the words of the Buddha as found in the Pratyutpanna Samadhi Sutra (Pan Zhou San Mei Jing/ The Samadhi of being in the presence of all the Buddha's Sutra):
"The mind in which fabricated perceptions arise is false, when these fabricated perceptions are absent, this is nirvana"
Reverend Jikai Dehn