Sunday, September 16, 2007

Buddhist advice

Buddhist writers love to give advice.
The hallmark of the enlightenment process is in being 'here' and not 'there.' Indeed, the focal point of continuity is in being here at all times. The famous message of Ram Dass to 'Be here now' is what results when one is adept in this practice. It is laborious in that it requires great perseverance — we are up against lifelong patterns — but it is a major enlightenment practice because it can break through our basic conditioning.

The secret of success in continuity practice is to eliminate any sense of failure. From the moment we begin, we are successful. The only measure of success is this moment, right now. Are we here? If we are here, our practice is perfect.

The fact that we have just returned from out yonder, or that we might take off again in a few seconds, is not relevant. Without this practice, we would always be spaced out. We would rarely experience being here. Thus, each moment we are able to break the pattern, we have succeeded.

— David A. Cooper, Silence, Simplicity and Solitude
As you may be tired of hearing me say, my question for David Cooper is, "Were you 'here' while writing this piece?"

But one thing I like about Buddhist advice is that it's so positive. One never fails. As Cooper says, "From the moment we begin, we are successful." What could be better than that!

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