Sunday, 10 January 2016

"It is as if the Sasana is a Giant Organism..."



“I've come to recognize a certain type of arrogant view in myself, previously unseen, that the individual striving is the only thing that truly counts. I came by this notion honestly as it's a natural outcome resulting from having been raised in a culture that heralds the individual above all else. 

I now realize the absurdity of this notion. We are actually anyway totally interdependent. In regards to Dhamma, it is amazing how every piece, that is, all the paramis, and anyone that participates at any level in contributing any of them, helps to sustain the Sasana for future generations. It is as if collectively the Sasana is a giant organism that is bigger than all of us individually, more than the sum of its parts, and both impersonal and interpersonal at the same time. It is more clear now how the strength of this greater phenomenon, with and because of, all of its pieces has had the richness, adaptability, strength and momentum to survive generation after generation. Without that whole, it is unlikely that this practice I so deeply value would even still exist. 

And even though some do not engage the teachings at the level of meditation, the ones that do are carried on their backs and always have been. For those I once held in mild contempt for not meditating, I now am developing an ever-deepening sense of gratitude. And not only for those in the present, but also the many nameless beings that have done so in the past, as well as of course gratitude for the genius of the system and its originator. 

This unfolding realization has helped to reduce the ego and let go of a very limiting and limited view. Even the simplest acts of veneration are not for me but for the Sasana. Every bowing of the head, every flower placed on a shrine, every swipe of a broom at a monastery, every grain of rice that lands in my bowl, it is sustaining the Sasana. I see that I and others are simply performing roles as suit our current nature, none more important than another, that collectively make up the Sasana. 

A rare phenomenon that for over 2,500 years has held open the door and shown the path to liberation.” 

--Bhikkhu Obhasa, American monk