For some years now I’ve identified as a Buddhist but for the past six months I am not proud of the things I have done.
I’ve just gotten back from the 2017 Australasian Festival. This year was the Vajrapani Empowerment and teachings on the stages of the path to enlightenment with Gen-la Kelsang Jampa. This probably doesn’t mean much to you all but this was a very special festival. I rang in the New Year surrounded by my spiritual family, at my spiritual house and making prayers to Mother Ayra Tara.
Every single person I spoke with, at the festival, had an incredible story to tell of how they came to be a part of the Kadampa family.
The festival had me thinking of my origin story. I came to Buddhism some years ago as an extension on the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program I was doing. In typical Abby fashion I wanted to get to the top of the class and be cured within the month.
I went along to the Erindale class where I sat and heard the following quote that changed my life.
“Where would I find enough leather
To cover the entire surface of the earth?
But with leather soles beneath my feet,
It’s as if the whole world has been covered.”
Shantideva: A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life
So many things bother us—the peeps, mostly.
We blame other people or the situation for getting it wrong. We eyeball the hell out of what we think is the cause of our disturbance, we usually set out to try and fix it. We attempt to change the other person’s behavior or the situation into something we consider right, or at least something that will not bother us.
As we all know, we can’t control anyone else’s behavior, and we can’t make another person want to or be able to change. But we can always make the choice to shift our attention inward, to focus the lens of curiosity onto ourselves.
As I prayed to Ayra Tara and made offerings I thought back on the year 2016. I’d let my anger, jealousy, hatred take over. It was a fucking shit year but I should never have let go of my faith in Buddha, Dharma and my Sangha. Never. These things only make me stronger.
I sat in that temple on the verge of tears. I was home. I was surrounded by family, I was safe and in control.
I’ve been a fucking shitty Buddhist and without sounding like a total wanker; I will strive for enlightenment for all sentient beings. I won’t stop until I achieve it.