2023-07-06-Gil-Aspiration (4 of 5) Universal Aspiration
6:15PM Jul 10, 2023
So this topic of this week, aspiration is something very dear to me, my journey along Buddhist back practice. It's related to the topic of intention, and wise kind of way of letting desires bubble up from within from some deep wise place within. And, and some degree, the aspirations which the deeper intentions with which we want to live our lives, in some ways are among the most important aspects of our lives. And getting clarity about our intention, clarity about our aspiration. And using the word aspiration rather than intention, as suggests, also that we're talking about something that is can be grand or big or central intention might be something very specific. And that could be broad and general. But aspiration is a little bit more has in my mind, my, my breathing has more of a wide, broad largeness to it, it's like really central is like the hearts aspiration, the hearts deepest wish or something. And the reason to refer to it that is that as we settle in meditation, as we relax and calm, we're calming the agitations, that are always going to be there. If there is conceit, if there's self preoccupation, if we're being driven by desires for what I want, desires, or what I don't want, or if we're caught up in fear, not all fear. But a good part of fear is rooted in our a certain kind of self concerned self preoccupation. It could be that it's a preoccupation with my emotions, my feelings, my reactions, that might look like our concern, our preoccupation is with someone else, someone else's suffering, and we're really concerned about them, what fuels it is our own distress. And if we're distressed, there is a way in which that has its roots in our self concerns, how preoccupation are some idea that, that we have to take my distress, somehow seriously, or something. It's a complicated ecology, this inner life of ours, and the degree to which known and unknown, it's, it's centered on self concern of self attachment, is actually quite large. So as we begin to as we as this practice, may be any spiritual practice deepens and deepens. And we're calming and calming and letting go and relaxing. The self concern, relaxing the anxieties and fears, relaxing the desires, we have relaxing, the hates all activities that take energy and take stress and takes effort to some way even though it might seem like it's effortless, that there's no me behind it just there. It's actually as we settle in quiet, we see the effort, the energy that goes into it, and that, that effort can be softened, can relax, we can begin to slowly stop. It's not easy to do. It's a slow process. But the goal, the treasure that's found in the end of that process, is an experience of living a lie being alive, which is not self concerned. Not self preoccupied. I like the word preoccupied. So it really stressing that there's something extra going on, in the self concern and there's an attachment there's a tightening, there's a a driven pneus there's a preoccupation. And, and, and so then, at some point, what becomes what becomes here for us is attention, awareness, presence, heartfulness, that doesn't have the limitations that come with self preoccupation. That doesn't come with an as we're less self preoccupied. It's a simultaneous movement or a parallel movement is to not be Eat, preoccupied with others. And some people feel like they're supposed to be preoccupied by others is an expression of their compassion, their care, it's, it's an expression of their love. And, of course, you're supposed to be loving. Well, yes, but not all the time, we're not required to do it 24 hours a day, it's okay. And you can feel the okayness in meditation as we deepen to it's okay to let go of all preoccupations, all the effort to think can be concerned with others and oneself. And so there's a certainly selfishness begins to dissolve, but also a parallel kind of movement that make up an English word. Other Other issues this, we're we're kind of caught up in creating others and the view of others interpretation of others are. And there's so much of this other issue Enos that goes on, where we are projecting idea of other people and what they need and what they want. And, and I saw that I was raising my children, that I projected onto them when they were small kids going to school, my own challenges that I had at school. And so as when they got to be certain age and went into the playground, some of the terrible things that happened to me in the playground, I got worried for them, they were going to have the same thing, and I have to protect them make them safe. And it was a projected onto them, it was an other issue this, of of making them into something that had more to do with my thoughts than it was about who they were. And so the softening and relaxing of others, this, of an selfishness is one of the gifts of meditation. And it isn't that we're abandoning ourselves or abandoning others, it's the opposite. Now, that becomes kind of a universal sensitivity, universal care, that can be there. That's not restricted in any in any particular direction. And so as we have compassion for others, and are looking into studying the aspiration, the desires we have for the alleviation of suffering, one possibility is that we check in and see is our compassion, impartial, is it? Is it available to everyone? Is it unlimited is not restricted? Are we not? Are we not being selfish? Sometimes there's a lot of selfishness in compassion, some people do it, seemingly for themselves more than for the other, to overcome our own distress about people suffering, we try to fix them or help them. And sometimes we're other business, we're kind of making another projecting another, and our care for others is more still caring for ourselves, because we're caring for that projection that we have of what's happening to the others and what their suffering might be like. And so this deeper way, which is not actively concerned for self or others, but 100%, available, to be responsive. And that's, that is a kind of universal compassion, universal aspiration, that is possible. And it has the expression that we're caring for everyone concerned. And so what's the best for everyone concerned, is is part of this universal care, universal aspiration of compassion. And it's important because if we're part of a group, a couple or a spat, family, or neighborhood or work team or something, things will go much better. If if we're not singling out one person to be or some, some subgroup of people who are the ones we have to care for the most. And we have to kind of be selfless towards ourselves or put aside other people's needs and situations, including our own, so we can care for others. Everyone's equal player, everyone's equally justified for our care. And I know families where and the parents
sacrificed themselves in an unhealthy ways for the purposes of their children. And the children grew up kind of skewed, because he didn't understand that part of what being in a group is in a family is is to compromise is to care for everyone to include everyone as important players and having a role and respecting everyone's kind of needs and finding a way How to compromise or balance every one situation. And if children learn that from an early age, then it's just second nature. But the parents pour all their concern into the children, without any concern for themselves, the children get kind of a skewed message. So that that was I used that as an example, to all kinds of situations. And so this idea that we have, you know, as we have a desire to alleviate suffering, to investigate, to look at the nature of that desire, the nature of the aspiration, and can the aspiration be universal, where we're actually caring for everyone concerned. And there might be a kind of a priority given to someone who's suffering the most. But not at the expense of everyone else in the room, everyone else in that kind of connected. And I think one of the brilliant things that we can do is to take the time, not to rush to compassionate action, unless there's a real need for immediacy, but rather to take the time to look around and say, what's best for everyone here? How do we care for everyone? How does everyone out there go forward here to relieve the suffering that everyone has in this situation. And what I'd like to believe, is that when we stop and do that kind of wider care wider inclusion of everyone is our circle of care, that this is actually a powerful medicine for everyone involved, the people who are suffering the most, to feel and sense that it's not just about their own suffering, but there are others here also, so that their circle of care opens up so that they're not tripped up by excessive self concern themselves, for their own suffering, which is maybe horrible. But there's a way in which that's maybe maybe beneficial for others to kind of, include others in the picture if they can, and, and appreciate that others are being cared for to and the medicine of universal aspiration. That is not just the universal aspiration, that's the medicine, but the inner freedom of non preoccupation, non attachment, non prioritization non kind of
you know, the absence of partiality that I think can be inspiring, and its own medicine, for the suffering of the world. So so too. So what I've tried to summarize summarize this idea of universal aspiration. It's less, it's a little bit less than I'm suggesting that we try to have as a policy, to have universal aspiration for all beings. But rather, we the practice is to release ourselves from partiality release ourselves from limiting, we are carrying our love. And, and the byproduct of that, I hope will be a universal care, universal availability, for compassion to be concerned with the welfare and well being of everyone who was in that circle, that, that were involved in, in this moment, whether it's a circle of two people a circle of four or 15 or 100,000, you know, whatever it seems like the right you know, you know, range seems appropriate for their circumstance. So, thank you, and may your circle of care, be broad and wide in all directions, and then we'll continue tomorrow. Thank you.