‘Spotting the workings of delusion’
Led by Randula and Martin.
Photo thanks to Martin
Our next day of practice is on the 13th of June. You have the joys (?) of a double act – Randula and Martin :-).
We will send an email when registration opens on Saturday 6th of June at 7pm. No need to rush we will leave registration open for 24 hours till Sunday 7th of June 7pm. We will then offer places to those who register randomly on a lottery basis – this is so that we keep the registration process fair for those who may have technical issues.
What’s happening now…
…Until such time we thought we would carry on in our practice and ponder on what is happening now…
….. and as we did this, we noticed a change in the air …. and it didn’t feel like spring
Photo thanks to Isu from her journey to St Klida (https://diaryofatourist.com)
We realised we could sniff some change in the air – a dark cloud hanging over us. We looked closely, it seemed delusion was having a hay day with changing conditions – tampering with mere mortal’s feelings and thoughts. It has been quite successful at creating confusion, stress, anger and frustration and amongst the many emails we received displaying the workings of delusion, Martin received this email yesterday which we thought we would share.
Practice has been quite challenging in the last week or so as I’m struggling a bit with anger about politicians and keep getting distracted by it. I hope it will pass soon otherwise I may have to take myself off to a hermitage in the Isle of Skye or Timbuktu!
Perhaps you can relate to the experience our friend is going through. This is Martin’s reply..
We forget that when we experience anger, it is simply conditions causing it to flare up. We blame the external conditions; we don’t see that when anger flares up, it is like putting a twig on burning embers – the twig bursts into flame – but the twig isn’t the source of the fire.
It’s like, when you throw a stone at a dog, it chases around looking for the stone – you can see it blaming the stone. We should be like a lion. The lion looks for where it came from – and chases the person who threw it.
So rather than blaming the conditions which cause anger to arise, we should investigate the true source of the anger, understand it – and let it cease.
Don’t be fooled by letting go – it is so easy to think we are letting go, when what we are doing is getting rid of it. Watch out for strategies – don’t be fooled by the clever tricks of the mind. There is only one way to bring anger to an end – we have to bear with it.
The essence of the Buddha’s teaching is that whatever arises by a cause must cease – it is impermanent. If we don’t add fuel to the fire the anger must cease. If we can bear with it – whatever ‘it’ is – if we can watch it to the end – we will realise freedom. We’ll know its nature is to cease – by letting it cease in its own time, we’ll realise cessation. The challenge is to stay with it, to bear with it unconditionally.
You’re opening up over and over to, ‘anger feels like this’. At first it’s good to name it – but then let go of the name and just rest in the feeling without the thought ‘anger’ – that’s how you know it as it really is. Just rest in the feeling and don’t stop – keep looking at it. Freedom lies in unconditional acceptance. You won’t be free if you look away; give in to following a strategy – trying to get a result – trying to escape.
The whole thing is an amazing act of kindness – towards oneself as well as the external cause of your anger. When you see clearly how painful this is – you see that unconditional acceptance is the greatest kindness. You are not unconditionally accepting the wrongs of the world – but the nature of the world – Dhamma – the truth of it.
And you don’t need to go anywhere to see it – if you go to Skye your anger will follow you – and you’ll be even more angry – you have to let it cease right here.
And so we leave you with that to ponder -just notice when delusion is taking us for a ride…
…. we then realise the air never really changed – spring was always here!.
Wishing you all well in your practice and hope to see you on the 13th
Randula and Martin