From another part of the Mahayana Buddhist World--Soto ZenHow Do You Know You are Practicing Correctly?
This story was from Zen teacher Uchiyama Roshi, telling of a man who wanted to practice Zen meditation. He apparently said nothing about wanting his family to share his practice. But he wanted to know how to tell whether he was doing his Zen practice correctly when at home:
"The other day,someone came here and said he would like to come over more often (to the Antaiji temple) and do zazen (Zen sitting meditation) under my guidance, but that Antaiji was too far from his house to do so regularly. He said he would continue to practice at home and wanted to know how to avoid doing zazen incorrectly.
'I told him that if his wife and children say, 'Daddy has become nice since he began to do zazen,' his zazen is being done correctly.' "
(The Teachings of Homless Kodo
, page 69)
If someone's practice via a particular sangha
is generating a chain of cause and effect that is bringing an unpleasant impact to persons sharing their lives with the practitioner, their pain is a signal that the practitioner needs to apply insight to how he or she is practicing.
A Buddhist in the Mahayana tradition, which includes both Zen and Vajrayana, practices for the benefit of all beings, whether they consider themselves Buddhist or not, and whether they are members of the practitioners sangha
--or are not.
We are all in the ultimate sense, interconnected, for in the ultimate sense, we are not inherantly separate.
If one's method of Dharma
practice is bringing pain to someone else we share our lives with, then, no matter how righteous and happy we feel, there is some hidden strand of afflictive emotion that has escaped our scrutiny, and is generating a thread of cause and affect within our practice that is harming others, and ourselves.
'Daddy has become nice since he began to do zazen,' his zazen is being done correctly.'--thats the sign that a beneficial chain of cause and effect is being generated.
And benefitting all beings is very much more than trying to recruit them into ones sanga
We are advised by our Grave Precepts to beware of darkening our own bodies and minds and the minds of others with intoxicants.
Crusade mentality is an intoxicant and is a subtle one for its a mind state that can be generated in loyalty to a person or group and because it generates feelings of intense pleasure and energy and gives no obvious hangover, one doesnt have the incentive to examine the chains of afflictive emotion that create crusade mentality and bring misery to those who share our homes and workplaces and suffer by their not wishing to share our crusade.
The great difficulty in discernment is that its possible to have experiences of intense pleasure and certainty while doing things that harm others. This is what makes crusade mentality the most dangerous form of intoxication.
Valontin wrote 'I really wish that all the problems disappear'.
They will disappear if we understand that crusade mentality, as a collection of afflictive mind states, a combination of greed, hate and illusion has no place at all in supporting Buddhist practice. When this is understood, is taught,and is lived out day by day, the problems will disappear.
Society warns of the dangers of drunkeness and drug abuse. Hangovers feel dreadful and teach most of us to be cautious.
But crusade intoxication is far more seductive for it masquerades as virtue, does not make persons obviously ill, and leave them throwing up in the toilet.
And society is foolish, considers crusade intoxication a good thing, ('the purpose driven life') rather than what it really is, a collection of afflictive emotions.
Worst yet, society in its ignorance of Dharma, will grant tax exemptions to those intoxicated by religious crusade.
But even this experience of 'feeling good' whilst on crusade will contain subtle layers of afflictive and delusional mind and body states.
A true teacher would assist students to understand crusade mentality as a collection of afflictive emotions and as a form of intoxication, rather than trying to make it a source of energy to promote the sangha or lineage claims.
One does not have to be a fully realized Buddha to understand that crusade mentality is nothing more than intoxication, and far more dangerous because of its subtle nature.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2009 11:15PM by corboy.