Reality is a Bitch.
People talk about ‘My Reality’ and ‘Your Reality’. There’s ‘Ultimate Reality’ and ‘Conventional Reality’.
When I was a real estate agent I used to wonder, “What estate isn’t real?”
When I was an active alcoholic I thought everything was real (and very painful!)
…And then I got to Dharma classes! What an eye-opener that was!
‘Everything is just illusory’, they say. ‘Reality is dependent on Mind’, she said. ‘Everything is buddha-nature’, he wrote.
I was REAL-ly confused!
Thankfully, I came across sayings like “This too shall pass”. I get that.
“When we all look at a single coffee cup, we see different perspectives of the same thing”. That’s an easy one to understand.
Seeing things from another’s perspective showed me the significance of ‘Reality’.
The Buddhist Masters and other authors have changed my life forever. I can automatically see others point of view easily today but it has taken a lot of practice, prayer and meditation to be here.
Today’s article is about throwing up few ideas and mantras that you might like to use.
Form is Empty
One of the toughest things I have ever had to think about is this. Form is Empty! (By the way, this is not a lesson – merely a prompt)
Great Tibetan master, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, in The New Heart of Wisdom, says, “The profundity of the ultimate of the aggregate of form is the emptiness of form, which means that form is empty of inherent existence.”
“EMPTINESS OF FORM IS THE ULTIMATE NATURE OF FORM…”
This profound understanding may take you several lifetimes so don’t stress.
Something a little simpler for me is the beautiful, loving teachings of Vietnamese master Thich Nhat Hanh. He says he was taught gathas as a young monk in 1942 that has kept him in good stead since then. Here’s one I love.
Hearing the bell,
I am able to let go of all afflictions.
My heart is calm,
My sorrow ended.
I am no longer bound to anything.
I learn to listen to my suffering
And the suffering of the other person.
When understanding is born in me
Compassion is also born.
Eckhart and Einstein
Perhaps a ‘middle way’ between these two ideas is written by Eckhart Tolle in ‘A New Earth’.
He says, “..ego…this illusory sense of self, is what Albert Einstein, who had deep insights not only into the reality of space and time but also into human nature, referred to as “an optical illusion of consciousness.”
That illusory self, he continues, is the false basis of all other conceptions or misinterpretations of reality.
He concludes that if we can recognize illusion as illusion, it disappears. GOOD NEWS!
All of this is fairly okay if you are living in the present.
However, it gets difficult in the past – where memory is even more faulty than our faulty first impressions.
When deciding to make amends for past inaccuracies, errors, or misdeeds, be light about it, because the other person’s perception and memory are different to your own.
I like to make amends – that is, do something compensatory/reconciliatory, than just bring up old feelings and bad memories.
And then let go.
Reality is a Bitch – and Memories are her Bastard child.
Living in the present moment with compassion for others has helped me live a joyous, happy and free sobriety.