Rodney Smith, in his ego-shattering book, “Stepping Out of Self-Deception” notes three ways that lay Buddhism is inhibited. The first is the belief that monasticism and long retreats are the only way to realise one’s true nature. The second is misunderstanding the teachings of the long-enduring mind so that we believe that awakening can only arrive after a long, protracted practice history. The third, Smith says, is investing the sacred only within particular practices and conditions.
Reflecting on these, I created this journal page:
The time to wake up is now
What am I waiting for?
I don’t need to join a monastery or go off on year-long retreats.
I don’t need the perfect meditation cushion, a Tibetan singing bowl, Japanese incense, a beautifully carved wooden Buddha (nice as these may be!)
I can stop dividing my life into the sacred and “the rest”. Instead I can recognise that any moment can be a spiritual moment.
It doesn’t have to take years and years of diligent practice (unless I convince myself it does).
The question is: Do I want this or not?
I don’t need to wait for the future to be fulfilled.
The time to wake up is NOW! What am I waiting for?