As I read chapter five from the book Small Boat, Great Mountain, I am reminded of the great wisdom from my Buddhist practice. Each chapter in this book is packed with so many gems. I could truly spend a year on each one. Reading, rereading, and putting into practice, again and again. So, as my committed practice class moves onto chapter 7 tonight, I hang out this morning, two chapters “behind,” revisiting the words I’ve already read on two other occasions, digging deeper on topic of the Immanent and the Transcendent. On this reading, as the birds sing lovely melodies outside my open balcony door, the author’s words help me shift out of the self-inflicted loop of pain, into a familiar, yet seemingly new, perspective. One of compassion and acceptance. For myself. For that special other. And for the beautiful connection, which will always exist, be it past, present, or future. The words of Ajahn Amaro remind me that when we live without compassion and acceptance we live with an obscured reality. It’s impossible to see things clearly.
I’m ready to let go of clinging. I’m ready to see with clear eyes, and an open heart. This doesn’t mean I won’ t still feel pain, or that I won’t have tears. This doesn’t mean that I won’t still spill my heart out in verse. This doesn’t mean I will hold myself to too high of standard. I will not pretend I am an enlightened one. I will have to keep coming back again and again to the words and the wisdom of the sages.
“When we find that quality of total acceptance and absolute nonaversion, where there’s kindness and compassion, then there’s a tremendous quality of ease and release. For what kind of wisdom are we developing if it packs up and departs as soon as the going gets rough? A sincere spirit of loving-kindness is the most challenging thing to establish in the face of extreme bitterness and pain because to do so requires finding spaciousness around these experiences. This is where the heart most easily contracts and impacts itself. But we can pick up that quality and say, ‘Yes, this too is part of nature. This too is just the way it is.’ Then, at that moment, there’s an expansion around it. We feel the space of emptiness that surrounds and pervades it and we see the whole thing is transparent. We see in that spaciousness that not only is there space around it, but there is also light coming through.”
Enough said. Thank you for this beautiful reminder Ajahn Amaro.
Thank you for your beautiful book.
Copyright Suzanne Norton 2015