Do We Have To Be Special To be Spiritual?
The Buddha saw that everyone has Buddha nature, but we’re asleep. The word ‘Buddha’ merely means awake and pure, so from that point of view, no one is special … equally, we are all special 😀 .
We do not need titles, shaved heads, long beards, robes, thrones, fancy buildings, hoards of devotees. We don’t have to be monks and nuns. We only need an open heart and an open mind, uncluttered with elaborations and rituals. The important thing is to have genuine compassion born from empathy, to be able experience and feel what others feel – and we cannot do this in an spotless, ivory tower, merely quoting text. An empathetic mind and heart is what matters.
‘Spiritual’ merely means non-material; that is consciousness. We all have consciousness, and the potential to realise that we are that consciousness. If we wrap ourselves up in ‘spirituality’ and ‘religion’, we will not experience the rawness of life. The Buddha had to do just that. He left the safety of his father’s palace and saw for himself the poverty, ugliness, old age, sickness and death in the world = suffering.
We have to do the very same thing – experience life with all its deceptions, knocks and trauma. It is only through genuinely experiencing suffering that we will wish to escape this suffering: in this way, compassion for others is engendered. Until then, we will enjoy the nightmare of conformity, covering up how we truly feel – in the same way as everyone else.
There is nothing special about enlightenment from an absolute perspective. It is only special from a relative point of view, and a relative point of view is ignorant of the absolute point of view.
We’d all like to think that we’re special, but in the realisation of non-duality, special doesn’t exist.
We have space all around us, don’t we?
We are aware of this space, aren’t we?
Space itself is empty,
and we are aware of this emptiness of space.
Likewise, pure consciousness is empty,
and we are aware of the empty nature of consciousness.
Space and awareness are therefore a unity.
Space is a symbol for the empty nature of consciousness,
so instead of searching for a holy place,
look at space!
That empty space is a reminder of the essence of our being.
No exotic toys needed!
There is nothing inherently wrong with titles, shaved heads, long beards, robes, thrones, fancy buildings, hoards of devotees – but we may reify them, cling to them, become bound to them … the word ‘religion’ means ‘to bind’.