2021-06-17-The Dharmic Life (4 of 5) Intention and Committment
10:58PM Jun 17, 2021
So the topic this week is living a dharmic life with the emphasis that there are these things we can bring into our daily life that will enhance or our sense of practice dedication in in our daily life. That brings us the benefits of a full time, religious life. You know that being in a monastery being in a retreat center, the difference in being in a monastery being a monastic or being at a retreat center living there is not, it's more of a matter of degree, that when a person is living a monastic life, they get all these reminders to practice all these associations and, and schedules and things that kind of puts them back and thinking about the practice or remembering to do it. And people who are not living a monastic life or living in Crete center, it's harder to remember. And sometimes it's, there's a lot of family responsibilities or work responsibilities that pull us into their orbit so strongly that we don't think about practice or don't think about mindfulness being present or the values of the Dharma. But the difference is not a matter of all or nothing. It's a matter of degree. And I think overall, for most people who practice in monasteries, for example. They're not necessarily stellar, monastics and that they're, you know, every waking moment, they're doing the practice. They're doing all kinds of things. And some of them are, maybe not even as dedicated to the practice is some people I know who were late people living in the world. So it's a matter of degree. And, and so all of you if you're living kind of ordinary of a life or something like that, that it's possible to increase the degree to which you're dedicated to get a lot of the benefits of more of a full time or more of a dedicated Dharma life. And if you'd like to do that, that's what the teaching this week's are about. So. So the Monday It was about, just being embodied, being present mindfulness of the bodies, just practicing that through the day is tremendously beneficial. And letting the body be your temple, your monastery. The mindfulness of speech was second day, and, and to care for your speech shouldn't notice why you say what you're doing and the tone of voice in which you say it, then. And there's a whole world of our inner life that gets revealed by if we really pay attention to our speaking. And, and so you know, rather than listen to the abbot of the monastery, give a Dharma talk, listen to yourself speak. And maybe it's not a Dharma talk, but maybe then you start becoming conscious of what you are doing, that it starts moving naturally, you'd want it to be more dharmic if you really listening to yourself. And then there was the dedication to being harmless. That singular kind of essential essence of the whole Buddha Dharma, living a life which is harmless, to self and others. And then today, the topic is commitment, or living with a sense of purpose, and really being dedicated to that sense of purpose. Sometimes when mindfulness is taught, we emphasize that side of mindfulness that has to do with not wanting, not reacting, just being inexperienced, and just coming back to being still being. And, and, and that's, you know, all well and good. But we have different layers of our psyche of our mind different areas of how we engage in the world. And so for example, when we sit down to meditate, we might be really dedicated, just being present, just being and not trying to do so much, perhaps it just let go of the doing mind and just being in and feeling still and quiet and peaceful. And it can be so nourishing to do that. But there was something that brought us to the meditation cushion. There was dedication, there was a commitment, there was a sense of purpose that brought us there to do that practice. So at one point in life, you know, before we meditate, getting to meditation said, there's this sense of purpose and then we can put away that purpose is to sit and meditate. So I'm trying to say that in different areas of life, it's appropriate to look at these different qualities. And the quality I'm encouraging today is to look at your intentions.
And, and why do you do things? What's really the intention, the sense of purpose underneath it, and not the surface purpose or surface intention. But what's really, really the hearts intention in doing whatever we're doing what's the inner lives reveal deeper, deeper intentions and sense of purpose. And what we're trying to do. And just to look at that, to be mindful of that, is a whole valuable practice in itself. To take it to a step further, is to spend some time reflecting on your deepest intention. What's your heart's deepest wish? If all things could be, you know, provided for you? If Genie came along and said you can I can provide you with anything at all? And what would you What's your hearts deepest wish? Not what your desires are, or your ego is, but what if you really get quiet and listen, what is your heart most want? What's the deepest intention? I think this is so valuable that I sometimes encourage people to that it's more important to spend time every day reflecting on your deepest intention than it is to meditate every day. And clearly, I value meditation a lot. So for me to say that's even more important is your reflect on your deepest intention. And this is something about how important I think this is, and, and do it over time, not just do it one day that decide what it is, but keep coming back and looking at it and looking at it every day. Because it morphs and changes and you see different angles of it, or you see layers and go deeper and deeper over time. If you find that your answer the question, what is your deepest intention, with a negative statement? My deepest intention is not to be afraid, that's fine. But you might want to see that, if that negative thing was accomplished, what then would be your deepest intention? If you could feel safe, then what would be available for you? And, and so then, and then, with this reflection of reflection, or purposeful life and intentional life, what you're living for, and not so much from the ideas of shoulds insurance. And, and but really what's the heart's wish? What's the heart's deepest intention. And I emphasize the heart because it's a kind of a metaphor for what's some inner depth, where it seems to arise out of us in the most natural way we can imagine, it's like not an effort for it to come, but really feels like it's integral to who we are in some deep, intimate way. And then there's a commitment to that. And living a committed life is something if you have, if you have something that's wholesome and valuable, that's your purpose or your intention, then it's a wholesome thing and a valuable thing to have a commitment to it. And there are so many things, wise things a person can do in one's life. And in some part, some people, they just have too many choices, just in tremendous amounts, like going into a supermarket these days, and all these choices. That to make, whereas in the old days, you went to a little market and there wasn't so many brands and choices, you kind of just were took what was there. And so for some people in the modern world, there's so many choices and ideas, what we should be doing and people can get. So busy doing it all the different things that are called on to do a wise life is one that is able to let go of even wholesome things to do good things to do. So that we could really focus on a few things really well. Sometimes, if we do a lot of different things, we don't go very deep in any of them. And some things are really so valuable and so useful to give ourselves over to in a fuller, deeper way. And really see it all the way through
to the other side all the way through to the depth of it or the heart of it. And this Dharma life, if that's what your insert interested in doing to topic of this week, that dharmic life. If this interests you, if this is what you would like to do, there's no obligation to do it. But if this it's it's worth really spending time on your sense of purpose with it, your intentions with it, and, and also your sense of commitment. And maybe there's a way of being more committed, so that you are this is what you're doing. You're clear And his purpose and, and, and you maybe put aside this some of the things you do, which don't really fit that purpose that dilute your possibility of engagement and involvement and really let it grow and develop. If you were watching more movies on the computer every day by a factor of, you know, twice, three, four times longer than you ever meditate, you know, that says something about what you're committed to what's important for you? And maybe it's okay, maybe there's a higher purpose that comes from watching TV or TV programs. But But what, you know, what are you what do you want your life most to be about? By the time you get to be old or going to die? Do you want to look back and list all the TV programs and movies you've seen? It's odd, that was a life well spent. Or do you look back at your practice life, your dharmic life and realize how much you've changed and grown into, that was a life well spent, or your life of supporting other people. So, a committed life and, and having a commitment. There is a plenty of times in Buddhism, Buddhist history, Buddhism and Buddhist traditions, where the sense of commitment even takes the form of a vow. And it's almost that what goes on when we take refuge is to hold on to the refuge, we have deep faith and commitment, conviction. And we hold on in a wholesome way. We dedicate ourselves, we limit ourselves to some degree, this is what I want to do. So as you go through your daily life, maybe your daily life doesn't change any. But the sense of commitment is to bring practice to everything you do, and, and bring it into embodiment with speech with all these things. But whatever you're doing, you're going to do it in a committed way, committed to the practice as you do it, as if that's more important than what you're doing. So at work, practicing as your work is more important than getting a raise for example, or, or in all kinds of things. So, intention, commitment, dedication, devotion, can be one of their great supports and nourishments and for a dharmic life. And you might want to consider at least for the next 24 hours. What is it that you are committed to? And what are the if you really reflect deeply? What intentions Do you want to have for your life? And when you look back over your life, the end of it, what would you like to look back and see how you live that life? And and is that reflection give you something to be committed to in a devoted and relaxed way, but still committed. So thank you very much, and we'll continue one more time tomorrow on this topic.