There are some very practical aspects of the practice that I have discovered on my own, but never heard any teacher talk about. Most Buddhist teachers talk about Buddhism. Meditation is the central practice of Buddhism, but it is not always the most interesting part. I can see the temptation to talk about what the Buddha said, which is critical, and the more juicy, philosophical concepts.
Also, some of the things I have discovered are kind of disappointing. I never promised you a rose garden. Buddhism is about knowing reality, which sometimes bites in samsara, which is why we try to awaken and get off the wheel of samsara.
Your practice can catch up to you. What I mean by that is that you may well hit periods of elation, or even bliss, which is really beautiful and feels delicious and you want it to go on forever, even though you know it won’t, at first, anyway. One way to understand the goal of practice is to expand the bliss until it takes over your awareness and your life completely and you are always blissful. Remember, when bliss first arises, abide in it, do not try to grab it or cling to it.
But by catching up to you, what I mean is that, even when you have bliss readily available, or especially when you have bliss readily available, it becomes the norm, and the norm is kind boring. If you are not fully awakened yet, you still live with the lingering oppression of samsara that sort of sits on top of the bubbling bliss below.
It’s really kind of not fun, but we know that it is just a mind state and that all is impermanence. This, too, shall pass.
So, as always, just keep on practicing until you break through to the next level.
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