This is the real Dharma

Renunciation is often misunderstood, and can therefore seem scary! “Oh my goodness, I have to give up everything”!?!

Dharma renunciation is much more subtle than that: it means not holding on. This has far reaching implications and effects. We still do the best to our abilities, taking care of whatever comes our way, but we just let it go when completed, as there is always the next moment to deal with. Otherwise, we sentence ourselves with labels, identifying to others who we are and what we’ve done, like those generals who parade their medals!

From a Dzogchen point of view, our innate nature is non-dual awareness called Rigpa (other traditions give this non-duality different names). In non-duality there is naturally no attachment to anything – even Rigpa – so that is, in itself, renunciation. This is essence Rigpa, and it’s quite dry…nothing doing!

 However, there are three more stages, Rigpa expression – essence love, Rigpa display – shining brightly, and Rigpa ornament – Dharmakaya, the real thing! At our stage, we experience a baby Rigpa.

 So renunciation doesn’t mean not doing or having anything: it means not holding on. Not holding on to laziness or discipline, meditation, chanting, study… Holding on involves duality. Renunciation is non-duality…the real dharma.

Even though we know that everything we do and have is impermanent, it may express an awareness or consciousness which may have implications for others observing: that is why we do things in a modest, caring and compassionate way. It may work as a good virus, and spread!

I always thought that renunciation was some sort of middle way – not doing anything too well, as that involves desire. That was totally stupid and sloppy of me: I was disciplined but lazy, cutting off my half my abilities. It was exhausting as I was pulling in two directions at the same time, and it was a headache for everyone around me!

letting go is a relief, as there is no status to hold on to,
and no medals to show off.

 Here is the challenging aspect of renunciation:
we always have to take the back seat.
The world does not think much of those who do not project a status,
so we have to just smile, and be content.

 Renunciation is respecting this illusory world,
but not taking it too seriously.
We wake up when we let go of our dream.

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