herenow wrote:Maybe I'm just looking for a shortcut
Maybe I'm just looking for a shortcut,
Don't know if you've found a connection here or are even following this any more, but for what it's worth, you might find it useful to turn your intense awareness on that sense of aloneness.herenow wrote:I know I'm not alone.
Looking For The Buddha
Achaan Chah had been unusually tolerant of the comings and goings of his Western Disciples. Traditionally, a new forest monk will spend at least five rains retreats with his first teacher before beginning his ascetic wanderings. Achaan Chah stresses discipline as a major part of his practice - working precisely and carefully with the monks' rules and learning to surrender to the monastic style and to the way of the community. But somehow Western monks, like favored children, have been allowed more than the traditional space to travel in order to visit other teachers. Usually when someone does leave, there is no fuss and not much memory. Life in the Dhamma is immediate, full, and complete. Achaan Chah has said that from where he sits, "Nobody comes and nobody goes."
After only a year and a half of practice at Wat Ba Pong, one American asked and received permission to travel and study with other Thai and Burmese teachers. A year or two later, he returned full of tales of his travels, of many months of extraordinary and intensive practice and of a number of remarkable experiences. After completing his usual prostrations, he was greeted as if he had never left. At the end of the morning Dhamma discussion and business with monks and visitors, Achaan Chah finally turned to him and asked if he had found and new or better Dhamma outside the forest monastery. No, he had learned many new things in his practice, but actually, they were to be found at Wat Ba Pong as well. The Dhamma is always right here for anyone to see, to practice. "Ah yes," Achaan Chah laughed, "I could have told you that before you left, but you wouldn't have understood."
Then the Western monk went to the cottage of Achaan Sumedho, the senior Western disciple of Achaan Chah, and told all his stories and adventures, his new understandings and great insights into practice. Sumedho listened in silence and prepared afternoon tea from the roots of certain forest plants. When the stories were completed and the insights recounted, Sumedho smiled and said, "Ah, how wonderful. Something else to let go of." Only that.
Yet the Westerners kept coming and going, all to learn these lessons for themselves. At times, Achaan Chah would bless their travels; often, though, he would tease.
An English monk, vacillating in his search for the perfect life, the perfect teacher, had come and gone, ordained and disrobed, several times. "This monk," Achaan Chah finally chided, "has dog droppings in his monk's bag, and he thinks every place smells bad."
Another English monk who had come and gone from the monastery, to Europe, to a job, to a marriage engagement, to monkhood several times - was seated one dat at Achaan Chah's cottage. "What this monk is looking for," Achaan Chah declared to the assembly, "is a turtle with a mustache. How far do you think he will have to travel to find it?"
Out of frustration, another Western monk went to Achaan Chah asking permission to leave. Practice and surrender to the monastic life were hard, and this monk had began to find fault with all that surrounded him. "The other monks talk too much. Why do we have to chant? I want more time alone to meditate. The senior monks don't teach newcomers very well, and even you," he said to Achaan Chah in desperation, "even you don't seem so enlightened. You're always changing - sometimes you're strict, sometimes you don't seem to care. How do I know you're enlightened?"
Achaan Chah laughed heartily at this, which both amused and irritated the young monk. "It's a good thing I don't appear to be enlightened to you," he said "because if I fit your model of enlightenment, your ideal of how an enlightened person should act, you would still be caught looking for the Buddha outside yourself. He's not out there - he's in your own heart."
The monk bowed and returned to his cottage to look for the real Buddha.
herenow wrote:I also think everyone one has this and can do it _right now_.