Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Uphill

We read about how, when we enter the stream, we go against the flow of water.*

Not to be guided by habitual habits or by already acquired karma, we create new karma.

It is not an easy path. If we let go for a moment, the stream will take us by force and carry us away.

The stream path ends at its beginning where a few drops of water come over a rock.

Branches and debris block our way, but we persist.

No, life is not easy. Living is not succumbing to the flow.

In Qigong we learn to stand with our knees slightly bent. A giant cannot push over a tiny old master. 

P.S. I was wrong here... we go both with the flow and against the flow:

“Māra, the personification of reactivity, is conquered not by eliminating every last reaction from one’s mind but by finding a way to become impervious to his attacks. We acquire freedom from reactivity yet without the reactivity ceasing to occur. If we observe these impulses and do not feed them, they will die down over time and diminish in frequency. But, as this text makes clear, Gotama continued to be subject to Māra’s attacks even after his awakening. As long as we are embodied in flesh, nerves, and blood, reactivity will be part and parcel of what it entails to be human.

I doubt that the Buddha used the same word sota (stream) in two conflicting senses by accident. Here he says that the practice of dharma “goes against the stream,” but as we saw in the previous chapter, he described the practitioner of the dharma as one who “enters the stream.” In the first case, sota denotes the stream of reactivity; in the second, it refers to the stream of the eightfold path. By combining these two metaphors, we arrive at an image of two streams of water encountering each other head on: the stream of the eightfold path flows into and goes against the stream of reactivity. The result is turbulence.”

Batchelor, Stephen (2015-10-28). After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age (p. 64-65). Yale University Press. Kindle Edition.


I guess “not by eliminating every last reaction” would be not to live in a protective shell, not going on long jaunts to far away places. Perhaps the idea of Buddhism bringing peace has to be replaced with Buddhism bringing turbulence.


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