Thursday, March 02, 2006
Well, today I had to witness something very disturbing. Three 8th graders were caught smoking. I was sleepy, fading in and out of consciousness reading my dream yoga book in the teacher’s room. It was about 4:00, the three young boys were quietly standing frownyfaced in the corner, then suddenly I heard a teacher yelling, one of my favorite teachers, he is usually very funny and kind, but they get very angry and I almost feel like laughing because I know it is just a show. Only this teacher also began to slap the students over and over in the face. I was shocked, and almost stated to cry. One kid in particular always has bruises on his face. He is missing most of his teeth and is very angry all the time. His parents are “Crazy” says one of my teachers. So, like he really needs his teachers to hit him around too. Damnit. Of course, the teacher who did this smokes everyday on the balcony of the school, his own cigarettes sitting on the desk nearby.
And this morning I also was surprised when another teacher pulled in a troublemaker by his ear, ow!, then made him kneel on the floor, slapped his face, and then drew some eyebrows on his face with a marker. Students here often pluck their eyebrows for fashion, sometimes till they are a thin line, sometimes till they are gone. I guess this boy‘s eyebrows were too thin. The problem is he will receive this punishment every morning until they grow back. Same school has black hair spay paint that they use on kids whose hair is not dark enough (again, many students like to lighten their hair for fashion).
And in the middle of it all, I’m trying to read Dzogchen teachings like these from Longchempa, the great 14th century Buddhist saint from Tibet.
“Know the state of pure and total presence to be a vast expanse without center or border. It is everywhere the same, without acceptance or rejection. Blend the nature of mind and its habit patterns into non-duality. Because entities, whether subjectively conceived or directly experienced, are present as ornaments of one's own state of being, do not accept or reject them. And, because they are not divided into self and other, the apparitional, spontaneously present objects are the play of pure experience.
Listen: this majestic awareness, freely transforming itself, displays the integrated structure centered around the inner reality of form.
Everything that exists and appears displays itself in the space of unborn reality. In this inner reality there is nothing to accept or reject. All that exists is displayed by me, the supreme ordering principle.
Listen: this teacher of teachers, the majestic creative intelligence,
Displays the integrated structure centered around the inner reality of communication. Everything that exists and is designated displays itself as linguistic communication coming from the unborn field and is gathered into this inexplicable inner reality of communication, the supreme ordering principle's symphony.
Listen: this teacher of teachers, majestic creativity displays the integrated structure centered around the inner reality of awareness. Know everything thought or attended to to be the substance of the unborn ordering principle itself. The realms of form, communication, and awareness of the creative intelligence are the three naturally occurring, uncontrived integrated structures of reality. One who understands the reality of these integrated structures as complete in a moment without having been set up, has understood the core meaning of the spontaneously complete inner reality.
Thus, because all that is present as form, sound, and thought ever since they appeared in time has existed as these three unborn integrated structures, from the start live this great natural non-duality without going into any conceptual analysis. Through realizing beings and their worlds to be these integrated structures, affirmations, negations, antidotes, and hindrances will definitely be freed in their own place.”
Longchempa was most famous for never having any possessions and just living off of the land. He preferred sleeping in caves and in the forest, and did not believe in building monasteries, even though he had many followers. He saw solitude in nature as a source of spiritual awakening.
For him, nature inspired peace and clarity, enabling practitioners to unite with ultimate joy, to attain the oneness of universal openness and luminous clarity. Reminds me of my friend Eli.
Posted by David at 12:54 AM
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