Sometimes we just need to make a break from our current situation. To cut ties. To say enough is enough. And to move on to pastures new.
If you’ve been with your teacher several years and you’re still bouncing in and out of happiness maybe that time has come for you?
There is a story in the Zen Buddhist tradition of a monk who was freezing with cold one winter evening.
Having no wood left to put on the fire, he took the wooden Buddha from the shrine and threw it on the fire.
Of course all the other monks in the monastery were horrified. The Buddha rupa (statue) was one of the most venerated and reverenced items in the monastery. How could this monk do such an abhorrent thing?
There is a deeper meaning
But the truth was that whilst the other monks were focussed on the ‘outer’ form of their religion, the other monk realised that the statue was just a piece of wood.
And whilst the other monks were trapped by the ‘power’ they had given over to this inanimate object, the ‘naughty’ monk was not trapped by such mind-made conventions.
And whilst he was free to still reverence the Buddha, he was also free to act in a way most conducive to a happy and contented life.
People get stuck in an unhelpful loyalty to teachers and traditions
Unfortunately people get stuck in an unhelpful loyalty to teachers and traditions. Especially when that teacher is kind and nice and charismatic.
And many of these teachers are ‘chosen’ by their students at the beginning of the student’s ‘internal’ journey….
When they have least experience of the spiritual path.
When they least know what it is that they should be looking for in terms of guidance and help towards achieving their goal.
And teachers get stuck in an unhelpful symbiotic relationships with their students
Because much as we might not like to admit it. Much as to say it is a bit like throwing the Buddha rupa on the fire.
Teachers haven’t usually got it all figured out.
They make mistakes.
They can grow to like the adulation from their devoted disciples. And come to believe they are the ideal image they have presented to their disciples. And have allowed them to come to perceive.
They often have, in the end, fallen for their own story.
Got caught in their self-made trap.
So what are we to do
Much as I hoped the controversial title of this blogpost might grab your attention, I am not in the business of telling people to f*ck off.
Nor am I recommending this to others.
At least on any level but the symbolic.
But I am suggesting this is an area we can constantly been vigilant about.
Have we given away our power? have we abdicated responsibility for our own ‘progress’ on whatever particular path we find ourselves to be on?
Have we slipped into the belief that this person – our teacher – possesses something that we do not.
And that somehow we need something from them in order to proceed.
We do not want to stand in our own way.
We do not want to be the impediment to our own progress.
And we need to recognise that there is only one person who can really get us to where we want to be.
And that is ourselves.
And that we really may need to kill the Buddha….
If be see him by our roadside.
Or we may get stuck right there, on the side of the road.
Trapped in an eternal conversation.
Never reaching our ‘goal’.
Advanced Mindfulness is a method of resolving mental and emotional conflict, removing emotional blocks and limitations from our past, and allowing the natural state of happiness and presence to sine through. Sagara is an experienced Advanced Mindfulness Practitioner whose mission in life is to help empower people to be able to work with their emotional states, to live happier, less stressful and more fulfilling lives.