Somehow Naropa still doesn’t understand that that which he seeks has been with him time and again. Not realizing this, he grows despondent. Naropa is embarrassed and feels he cannot go back to the monastery. He feels like a personal failure knowing that the Guru has presented himself but that he was unable to perceive and engage. Bereft, Naropa prepares for suicide thinking that “this body fashioned by former deeds” is the problem and that in a subsequent life with a different body he will meet the Guru.
He’s right about his body, but it is not his physical body that is the issue. Instead, it is his body of his thoughts, the compilation of his attachments and sense of personal “I.” We all have been in Naropa’s position, though maybe not as caricatured. And we might not have considered suicide, but we all have given up. Sometimes that has been due to frustration and so we give up angrily, sometimes we are exhausted and relinquish our sense of control. Sometimes we recognize that “it” was the wrong direction or the wrong choice and so we stop moving in that direction or the path of that choice. We often give up too easily, and when we have it usually is the “I/me” that has made that decision. It is here that the change or introspection or letting go needed to happen, and like Naropa, we couldn’t or didn’t think we could. Then sometimes we don’t give up or let go even though the something is obviously harmful, like an addiction or negative thought. The truth is we all are seeking peace of mind, acceptance or appreciation or love, and the feeling of purposefulness of fulfillment. Naropa was too. But what the Guru kept offering him was that in expressing those qualities he would discover them more fully.
When Naropa is just about to slit his wrists, a voice comes from the sky.
“If you have not found, how will you find the Guru if you kill the Buddha?”
In other words, we are what we are seeking. Naropa will be able to receive Tilopa’s teaching only after he has accepted that he-Naropa already has within him that which he needs. The role of the Guru is not to give us something we don’t have but to assist us in uncovering what we are: Buddha. We are already enlightened. We are already Christ and a warrior of Compassion. We are already Gandhi, Mandela, or Martin Luther King willing to stand up for what is just. We are already creative geniuses, amazing parents, and completely capable of joy and inner fulfillment. If we don’t feel or think that, it’s because of “the matrix.” We’ve bought into the smallness of “me,” of its loss or gains, its feelings of inadequacy or pride, and its measuring of itself, everyone, and everything else by external quantities. Instead, let us experience the quanta of Presence and miracle that is the full potential and Presence of oneself and that all that exists.
The Guru’s role is to point-out what IS, that we ARE, and that ALL is the flowing of the wave of ceaseless harmonious existence perceived through the smallness of particles. As we realize that we are not particles but are in fact the flow of pervasive unlimited awareness-potential expressing unlimited potency and creating our Now, then we stop killing the Buddha-nature-Self.
Tilopa appears, walks up to Naropa telling him that from the first encounter with the leper woman they have never been apart. Tilopa says that the “defilements” or erroneous thoughts Naropa has in his mind are why he could not get it. Then, Tilopa accepts him and offers him what he had been giving him all along: the teaching. Specifically, Tilopa gives him the teaching of the Wish-Fulfilling Gem which in a sentence is that “it’s all in our mind.”
Is it that simple? Can it be that simple? Yup, it is. Bliss or happiness, anger or frustration, love, loss, sentiment, blame, shame, creative inspiration, letting go, surrender, peace – it’s all in our mind. Our mind is a wish-fulfilling factory constantly creating the matrix of our perceived reality. Fostering pride and elitism within, Naropa was unkind, disrespectful, and petty time and again. Yet each instance his mind could have perceived something else and his actions might have been different. In either case, his mind fulfilled its feed-back loop.
The beauty of how powerful we are is that small change can easily lead to significant re-patterning. But we have to stick with it! If we and our parents didn’t repeat the ABC song over and over again, we would not have become literate. I can’t imagine my life without all that comes from learning my ABC’s. As we repeat the Buddha-Christ of us, the Gandhi-King, the Duncan-O’Keefe, or the Einstein-de Bingen, the caring, listening, creative, daring of us then those wishes are fulfilled for ourself and the world.
Meditation changes everything because it creates a relation with the Guru within. Meditation training in The Practice of Living Awareness begins a new round for Beginners and Intermediate practitioners. All are welcome to check it out. It’s free, online, and for a modern humanity. Join a group in meditation Monday-Thursday at 9 a.m. ET through Spirit Fire’s site. Podcasts are posted at Living Awareness blog for use at a time convenient for you. Establish a meditation practice. Like learning our alphabet, you will be amazed at the results in your living awareness.
Anyone wanting information on the Intermediate level of The Practice, please contact me at info@SpiritFire.com .