“We live on the promise that somehow, sometime, we will complete ourselves, we will fulfill the gift of this life. That completion is contingent on something out there: a person, a thought, an idea, a state of mind, a situation. And as much as we live our life like that we also enter spiritual practice like that. And much of practice, if not all of practice, has to do with recognizing those places where we are still invested and still holding on, trusting something other than that complete truth of our perfection within practice. It is about recognizing that truth, bringing it to light and then radically turning away from our attachment.” Trust Your Own Perfection,Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj Sensei,Gateless Gate, Case 45, Wuzu: “Who Is That Other?” Featured in Mountain Record 29.1, Fall 2010
My weakness is looking for the state of mind to make me feel better. I see life as a mood-altering experience. My clinging is to ideas or feelings that promise fulfillment. I have long let go of the hope in other people or situations to help me feel better. No person or organization has ever cut it, not even Jesus.
In general, I am more interested in meaning than pleasure. Having dealt with depression most of my life, I see pleasure as fleeting and suffering as more likely to endure. This makes me more of a natural Buddhist than a Christian any day. Meaning is consoling, whereas I can sometimes produce my own endorphins to make myself feel better.