Shuba’s Weblog

Journeys of the soul…

The wisdom arising from commitment..

on October 15, 2007

Each morning, I remind myself of the three refuges I took at the mindfulness retreat. Beautifully written, they are as follows:

I seek refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows my the way in this life

I seek refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love

I seek refuge in the Sangha, the community that practices in harmony and awareness.

They are beautifully written because all the three jewels exist within oneself. atleast the first two do. The third usually follows when one finds the first two. The ‘Buddha’, the one who shows us the way in this life. Who can this be, but our divine self, that part of our self that always knows the right thing to do, that enlightened part of us that always knows. always loves and is always pure. and the one who can show us the way of understanding and love, through our own insight. Through our own clear mind. The mind that is free of attachments, and that can see the truth for what it is. like one can see the bottom of the ocean through clear water.

At the retreat, I had the choice, whether I wanted to take up the three jewels and the five mindfulness trainings. It was a commitment. and it involved reciting them regularly, and practicing them. Some part of me hesitated. But part of me knew that these words agreed with my inner-most being. I trusted that heart of mine and I took up the trainings, knowing I would fail sometimes, but my commitment would remind me of the way.

For that is what any commitment is. A reminder. We all already know all the lessons there are, within our heart. Yet, our commitments remind us-of the intentions we set. They remind us of what we really want. 

I remember a friend once saying, he did not believe in marriage commitment. He could love someone and be completely with them, without requiring some kind of contract. This is a friend from long ago, but somehow I’m remembering it today. Because thats one way of looking at it. The other way of seeing the picture is that marriage is a commitment. It is a way to help us, when things get tough, to remind us of our intentions and our love. and there will surely be times when that reminder will be needed. That commitment need not be a ‘marriage’ per se. But marriage serves as one of the ways. When we recite our wedding vows, at that moment, we commit to loving and honoring our beloved in every way possible. Which means, in every way that we are aware of. There will be times when we will fail. When we will get caught up in the drama, and we will hurt one another. And yet that very commitment will remind us of our true intentions, of our true love for one another. One of my lovely friends has renewed her wedding vows three times with her husband. I now understand why that makes a difference.

Do we need a reminder? I think we need a reminder for everything. We need a reminder to be our true selves. We don’t often enjoy our own blessed company. We don’t often appreciate our own wisdom. We seek other’s opinions, approvals, at times because we do not trust our own Buddha. Yet, the Buddha is always there, untainted by any action or emotion. So, yes we need reminders. I need to stop at a red light to realize that I am in a hurry. and that I don’t need to be. Not at the cost of the present moment. I need a reminder of my sister’s voice to make me realize how much I love her and miss her. I need the reminder of the calm blue sky to make me realize how soothing nature is. I need reminders. I think at some level, we all do, some more than others.

This weekend, Abhi and I had one of our squabbles. (Yes, we do have them-thats what makes us the perfect couple 😉 ). I was mad at him, and was sitting upstairs waiting for him to come and apologize. I was angry. and I’m not fun to be with, when I’m angry, my nose flaring up like a horse about to bolt. And suddenly, the words I say everyday as part of my mindfulness trainings came in my mind: ‘I vow to resolve all conflicts, however small’. That is part of the fourth training, in addition to ‘loving speech and deep listening’. I have been saying it everyday, though not always realizing the full import of it. But at that moment, it flashed clearly in my mind as a bolt of lightening. I knew what I had to do. Needless to say, I went downstairs. we talked. and we reconciled. At that moment, it was my commitment to mindfulness that had served as my reminder.

Reminders are good! :). And there are plenty, we just have to look for them. As Thay says, it may be in a child’s smile. In the blue sky. In the sound of the clock chiming. In the alarm clock. In the birds chirping in the morning. And as Stella writes, in the lovely quote she copied for me from Sogyal Rinpoche, ‘slowly you will become the master of your own bliss, the chemist of your own joy, with all sorts of remedies that are always at hand to elevate, cheer, illuminate and inspire your every breath and movement’.

Reminders are my remedies. I hope you enjoy yours.

Peace, S.

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