I Want To Be A Better Person!
The cake of compassion’s ingredients
are the six perfections.
We’ve had five builders come to our house about a project: each had a different approach to an agreed, basic problem. Teachers and traditions are like that. We all have a karmic bias, which is also our working base. By wanting to be ‘a better person’, we may be wanting someone else’s working base: this would only confuse and delay progress. Our karmic base was created long ago, and it’s what we have to work with in order to undo that very working base. So, is there any point in wanting someone else’s karma?
Our working base is in the way we see things. For example, I read yesterday, “In the beginning was the word.” Reflecting on that, my thought was, “How can the word be in the beginning?” Before the word must be a motivation, and before that was pure experience – pure awareness – pure consciousness. Once the word is formed, reaction takes place and “The word becomes flesh.” It is the word that creates karma; the idea that takes on a form.
So we can see things differently. Words are merely a translation of experience, and that translation can mean different things to different people. During retreats, we often compared different translations of Tibetan text: we are still relying on the words of a translator, and the ‘right’ one for us is the one that connects with our experience, our working base.
Yesterday I met a very charming gentleman who spoke as if he was mentally offered us cake in his every word! He was so lovely, I thought, “Hmm…I wish I could be like him.” Then I looked at my mind and it just doesn’t work that way, even though it would like to. It’s more direct as it is more angry: it cuts through. The flavour of my cake is more intense, and not to everyone’s taste.
Some builders woo you. Some clarify the situation and give you confidence. Of course, they’re all doing it for money, but we choose what we feel we can trust. We can learn from a builder. We can learn more from five builders to help us choose the one.
Being mindful of the mud, the very moment the mud is recognised, it drops away leaving pure experience – pure awareness – pure consciousness. If our bias is to panic, pure experience – pure awareness – pure consciousness is covered up again. This is our patterning. The more we practise properly, the more the bias weakens. We will have bias until enlightenment.
Breaking the chain of our own reactions creates positive change. When we stop the reaction, space is experienced and we have time to assimilate the situation and reflect. In that moment, we can offer the cake of compassion! This allows space in the other person: that’s how it works. The outcome is a mutual smile – life is funny that way 😀