On this blog, some articles have a similar theme as they are linked, but putting them together in one article would make it too long and heavy. Also, some time is needed to reflect and elaborate. The whole blog is an ongoing process of realisations and refinement.
At teachings, we receive generalisations whereas, in isolation, we have time to reflect and investigate whether something is absolutely true in all circumstances. As the Buddha said, “Do not take my word for it”, I’m doing just that! Halfway through writing an article, something else always seems to occur. Write it or save it?
I separate culture and religion from practical teaching. Culture and religion aren’t bad in themselves as they may be a stepping stone for some to enquire further, but we can spend years treading water, fascinated by the moon’s reflection while failing to realise that it is the seeing that is the reality in the first place.
As there are many levels of understanding, others’ company can cause confusion as their view and ours may differ. We may not see ‘it’ the same way – but the seeing is the same! 😀
Seeing ‘it’ differently can and does cause separation and hostility, even within spiritual groups. Shunning is rampant. Fear is rampant.
Shun: Old English scunian‘abhor, shrink back with fear, seek safety from an enemy’ … enemy?!
Having been away from Dharma centres for nearly seven years now, I have learnt so much more. The problem was that teachings are usually public – which is good – but as a result, subjects are never investigated in any depth, and we go through the same questions and answers every time. So many words … !
Maybe it’s different for you. And that is the whole point. Our spiritual path is our own confusion that we have to eliminate – or rather, illuminate. There isn’t a group realisation, where we all suddenly become enlightened.
By the way, being shunned was so helpful – it forced me to let go! We make the Dharma our own, not by making it up, but by living it.