The practice before and after enlightenment

I previously wrote in this blog:

“Tenshin Reb Roshi also taught that the paramitas are how we get to this awakening and they are also the practice after we have digested this teaching and are awake. The bodhisattva training of the 6 paramitas: generosity, patience, ethics, enthusiasm, meditation and wisdom, is how we work with the world of imputation before and how we express the illuminated mind afterwards. Our practice is this constant study of the mind. We study how we become disoriented and spun around and our process of reorientation, over and over. “

I have been very moved by this teaching and in the last month, really working on Tenshin-Roshi’s instruction that I took away from the retreat.

  • Welcome everything
  • Practice generosity and patience as our response
  • Before and after awakening

I have found this practice very simple and easily at hand when I’m moving through the day. It’s not a new practice certainly, but do I actually remember to do it? Each moment with these practices can see the transformation of difficult circumstances into practice or openness or we could even say nirvana. Samsara and nirvana are one moment and one practice space.

I was recently in what I consider one of my most difficult circumstances. Reactivity was in me and in everyone else in the room. These were ancient karmic responses among family. I usually just “wanna get out of here” and for most of my life that is what I’ve done – escape. This time, I realized how much generosity and patience was needed to stay in this room and get through it. It seemed like every few minutes or every 15 minutes, I needed to remind myself to forgive and be forgiven, to let go, and to be patient. I needed to remain in the moment without control. I thought to myself – this is the most generous situation I could be in – forgiving myself and others continuously.

I was taken with the feeling of how much generosity and patience could be mined in difficult situations. Through the depth of deepening patience practice, one can open up any moment. Since then, it automatically flashes through my mind, in trying situations, that if I practice patience and generosity, this moment becomes deep and open and free.