Not Too Dry, And Not Too Wet
The Buddha said, “Not too tight, and not too loose.”
The following can equally apply; “Not too dry, and not too wet.”
There are cycles of expression in the teachings – there are dry times and there are wet times. Perhaps the ‘new age’ approach is the age of wetness. Individually, we go through both dry and wet times and, somewhere in the middle, the mud is just right 😀
There may come a time when we find that our approach to a teaching differs slightly from that of the teacher. The teacher isn’t wrong – and we may not be wrong either. We genuinely find that a certain emphasis attracts us; this is natural, and is the reason why there are many traditions. Some move with the times, while others go back in time. Our paths might have different emphases, and different approaches to clearing personal confusion.
Quite often, a student (or child) will see things differently. A teacher (or parent) may be strict, while the student or child may tend to be looser. The converse may also be true, when the teacher or parent may be soft and gentle, while the student or child turns out to be more focused.
Being too dry, we may become bound by the theory of emptiness and forget awareness; as a result, we lack empathy and compassion, as we are too academic. Nothing disturbs us as we are focused on our knowledge.
Being too wet, we may forget or ignore emptiness, feeling too much in love with our self and how we feel. Religious people are like that; they feel wonderful but are easily disturbed, lacking the ability to truly empathise and have compassion.
The Middle Way
Genuine (rather than theoretical) empathy and compassion come from personal realisation of the nature of mind – empty awareness that knows that every sentient being is the same pure awareness that goes unnoticed.
A genuine sadness – and even anger – arises. It is this sadness and anger that we have to balance for the arising of energy that is needed to do something about it. We no longer have to feel guilty that we see things slightly differently from others. Everyone follows their heart and mind, and it is that that we are balancing.
Whether the mud is soft or hard,
it is always workable.