Shaken to the core by Angelica’s unexpected rant, I rode the elevator up to my apartment. The thought flashed that here was a perfect opportunity to check out the efficacy of Mahamudra. So I sat in lotus position before my altar and watched the flow of my breath until I felt calmer. Then I pulled up the embarrassing scene in the subway.
Other passengers had watched Angelica go nuts: some had smirked; some had shot us looks of disapproval or irritation. Holding this scene in the foreground of my mind, I applied to it each of the six flavors of Emptiness. Tears welled up and rolled down my cheeks as I re-lived the humiliating experience. Strangely, when I was done, I felt peaceful and grounded. Surely Angelica’s outburst had been the result of some inexpressible agony! Compassion for her arose. As the lama had promised, Mahamudra did work!
A couple days later, Angelica called to apologize : she’d cracked up on the subway, she explained, because the following day was Mother’s Day, and she’d dreaded spending it with the woman who’d battered her for years. Unable to deal with the volcanic feelings that shot up every time she forced herself to play nice with her abuser, she’d vented on me. Could I forgive her?
It gave me a real kick to tell her that, thanks to Mahamudra, I already had.
This incident convinced me of the power of Mahamudra. Instead of running away from pain — emotional, physical, existential — I began to apply the six flavors to difficult situations and people. As I grew stronger in the practice, I began to teach it to friends.
One fine day I added another flavor to my own practice of Mahamudra — that samsara is inherently imperfect. This conclusion had leaped out at me after having practiced the other six for quite a while — for beneath my suffering I found lurking the insidious expectation that my life should be perfect; I suspected that most, if not all humans, felt the same way. I rated this flavor so high that I soon moved it up to first place.
If we are already perfect in our essence — which is the liberating teaching of the east — and if we incarnate for some mysterious reason known only to the omniscient, then it follows that the identity we form, as well as the circumstances into which we are thrust, must be imperfect — in order for us to grow.
Today I truly accept that some inscrutable power has designed all of life to be deliberately imperfect — and that’s a thought that makes perfect sense to me, and which restores me to peace.
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A wonderful truth on how to let go of hurt and compassion for the hurting ones. Hope I can use this when I see those horrendous images of people treating animals perversely ..
I think humans who abuse animals should be subjected to the same abuse — just to see what it feels like. One thing I detest about many Indians is that they don’t seem to “see” animals as just as sensitive as they are. Nor do they understand the karma of wounding others. If they did, I don’t think they would do what they do. No one likes to suffer, but nevertheless they inflict suffering especially on those who cannot fight back. So don’t stop giving ’em hell, Meena!
Beautiful! Looking forward to more wise pearls of wisdom in this series.
Thanks Sarita! These “pearl of wisdom” have come down to us through the ages, and survived only because they ring true. I am so grateful I had the karma to receive them, and now to pass them on.
Life is not perfect, nor is it meant to be perfect, nor or we as individuals meant to be perfect. I love it. When I look at the US I see a whole society programmed to expect perfection in themselves, in their children, in their homes etc. etc. And if you can’t manage that perfection on the inside you’d better make damn sure you live up to the standard of outward perfection pushed by the media.
I saw something, recently, that gave me a very uncomfortable feeling. A friend I have known for over twenty years, mainly because I knew other family members of hers came to visit last week. She is a couple of years younger than me, which means pushing sixty. She had had plastic surgery. I didn’t ask how much but I found it a little odd to be talking to someone who sounds like themselves, acts like themselves but no longer looks like themselves. AT sixty years old do you really want to look like a plastic doll?
Obviously the answer is yes for a lot of people, All the character from her face was gone!! How could you do that to yourself? It is this ridiculous push to look good at all costs, to be perfect outwardly, no matter what that makes people do this, isn’t it? I can hardly imagine it, as I would never do such violence to myself.
Your share reminded me of a friend telling me he had stayed at the home of a Hollywood star — a woman adored by millions — who was in her late 60s, but looked like “a plastic doll”. She was miserable, had a boyfriend about 40 years younger than her who was milking her for lots of the green stuff in return for pretending to adore her in public — something like that. All i could think of was — someday this woman is going to die — all the plastic surgery in the world isn’t going to keep the Lord of Death at bay — and people would peer into the funeral casket and see a Barbie doll instead of the face of a fabulous 85 year-old crone!
Dear Mira, practicing Buddhist meditation for over 25 years I look forward to every new day and opportunity to practice further. When somebody come for meditating and to sit onto meditation cushion for the first time in her or his life, through her or his questions I learn myself, too. Because, such a person holds a mirror of Mahumudra in from of me.
Gordana, the feeling whenever I read your responses is that you are a deep meditator — and I see that my instinct was right — there is something about meditation that transforms from within — and a sweetness and a depth become visible or tangible to all others — which is why we meditate, or one reason at least, to transform not just ourselves, but our entire environment. Thank you for being such an active part of my sharing….I love and appreciate it….
On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM, mira prabhu
(Note: originally there were 12 posts, but since several readers said the early posts were too short, we combined 10 and 11, to make a total of 11. So please don’t be confused by the old numbering – we can’t change that right now since it will affect the social media links.)
the brevity of the posts was good for me. i don’t have time to get through as many emails as i used to when i was not working. if you can keep them short then i will read them. if they are long i am much more likely to pass.
when i was not working i enjoyed the longer blogs but now i am trying to get through my mail every day and just deleting ones that take too long. i am on a rampage to unsubscribe from mailers right now. i thought i was mention this to add some balance to feedback.
Ross dear, please just read #10 if you can’t spare the time for the others
It was said by a great physicist who’s teachings I love, that all perceived imperfections/situations that come to us in life are our opportunities for growth and should be looked on as blessings. Without them we do not evolve consciously. So, I look on my difficulties with a new perspective and am grateful for the opportunity to get through them gracefully and with forgiveness so that I can move forward.
Yes, this is a life-changing attitude — same for me! One fine day the world changed — when i took personal responsibility for everything — good bad indifferent – that had ever happened to me — in this and past lives — and the way it happened was really strange….will post a blog about it, because in hindsight, that incident was hilarious. Love!
On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 10:26 PM, mira prabhu
Well written Mira, and very deep!!!!
Thank you dear Ajay! These teachings helped me so radically that I am thrilled when others get a taste….and you are such a strong supporter of all I put out…may your tribe increase!
On Sun, Oct 20, 2013 at 11:25 PM, mira prabhu