Who is taking care of your roots?
Blog Post 32: Who is taking care of your roots?
“As we search Buddhism for happiness, peace, love, and compassion… and begin to find some of it… we experience floating on a cloud. Is that sustainable?”
Many people practice Buddhism in search of happiness. But instead of happiness, they find more suffering and disappointment. The reason is simple. Before the happiness sustains, the cause, condition, and effect must ripen. And the first thing for this, is self-awareness.
It is through self-awareness that we are able to look deeper, to see what karmic seeds and karmic situations we have yet to learn. Some people always choose to be victimized. They choose to see that everyone else around them has something more or something better than they have. The karmic lesson here is to realize this and to make a conscious decision to do purification and be motivated to break away from this cycle. This is the first real lesson at the beginner level.
Many like Buddhism because of the talk about peace, love, and compassion. These are things that everybody wants. In reality however, to practice Mahayana Buddhism one needs to train like a Samurai, to become a great Bodhisattva warrior. One with the goal of leading all beings towards enlightenment – despite enormous self-sacrifice.
This is the intermediate level, when – in fact – one starts to cry a lot. To have heartaches, feelings of disappointment, anger, loss, and helplessness. One doesn't know what to do. This is the time when one needs to open up the body, speech, and mind, and seek refuge in a Guru. This is the real beginning of Guru devotion.
Guru devotion means realizing that we are here to allow the root of dharma to grow deeper and to break through inwards. Our root Guru is the one who makes our root grow deep. Even if we feel comfortable growing in a small flower pot, the Guru sees how the small plant with great potential must be nurtured.
Many believe that the Guru is supposed to be the guiding light but that is not so. The Guru is one who points us in the right direction and passes on the light. It's up to us to keep that light alive. We have to stop thinking that somebody else can be our guiding light.
The Guru gives us the light and tells us to walk in front of him. He does this to make sure that everyone is protected from behind and to keep everyone going along on the right path. We supplicate to the Guru because the lineage Gurus have all done something that is beyond the ordinary. They listened to their Gurus and they followed and practiced according to the advice they were given and therefore they became accomplished lineage Gurus themselves.
Supplicating to the Gurus is a golden opportunity to practice what is considered an essential heart practice. Without the heart, whatever we do will not mean a thing. This is why reciting supplication prayers is an unbelievably great blessing.