Everyone’s born with a Dharma toolkit. Everyone. With these tools, we sculpt our worlds and ourselves.

But without the necessary skills and knowledge, these tools are used incorrectly, and the sketches we receive are unreadable. Our measurements are off, our proportioning skewed, and our brush strokes are jagged and broad.

So we sculpt worlds and selves that are devoid of their full potential, lacking the beauty and subtlety that the schematics ask for. The tools are none other than seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking, feeling, perceiving, urging, and attention. The schematics are the contact received each time the eyes see a sight, the ears hear a sound, etc.

The skills and knowledge are the teachings like the Four Immeasurables, the Perfections, the Seven Factors for Enlightenment, the Four Noble Truths, the Three Marks, and so on.

The mind is the clay.

Without adequate skills, we tend to sculpt gruesome worlds for ourselves. Never able to make our creations match the sketches we’re given, we grow frustrated, fearful, greedy, and jealous. We cling and crave. Tormented, we behave in ways that can cause others torment, damaging their own sculpted-worlds rather than trying out best to help them craft and preserve their own beautiful designs.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even when the sketches handed to us by the senses call for grotesque sculptures, we can sculpt them, “Just so,” so that even in the anger, fear, and sadness handed to us through the senses, there’s a sense of the subtle rightness of it all. That things could have never been any other way than they are right now.

Because sometimes things aren’t all that great; sometimes things are fuckin’ awful. But we still add an extra layer of “taking it personally” onto it when we can’t sculpt our experiences in ways that perfectly reflect the data we’re being given.

So, Buddha practice is all about learning knew skills and the rationale behind them in order to be better sculptors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s