Are You Doing the Inconsequential?
- TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 25.08.07
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Click here if you do not see pictures____________________________________Realisation: Are You Doing the Inconsequential?
Though the enlightened transcend this world, enlightenment is only realised in it, - stonepeace
Life is short. Too short in fact, to do anything inconsequential. For fellow Buddhists, that which is inconsequential would be anything that does not, in some way, be it directly or indirectly, lead to the increase of compassion and wisdom - which in turn leads to enlightenment (a.k.a. True Happiness). But can we afford to not do the inconsequential at all? You might be stuck in a job you don't like - but to quit might have dire consequences for survival. The alternative then, is to not make the job inconsequential. In other words, make it as meaningful as possible, no matter how mundane it seems. The line separating the worldly and spiritual aspects of life is a dotted one. With noble intentions, the worldly can become spiritual. In fact, being in the midst of the worldly can offer golden opportunities to practise and perfect spirituality. Yes, think dirty office politics, difficult customers and such. Every single conflict is a challenge to rise above.
What about what we do after work? Many pastimes are inconsequential in nature. An instance is window-shopping - wandering randomly to look at worldly items, when one already has enough. It's a symptom of drifting in life. We might look foward to increase of the material, while the increase of spirituality is neglected. This is the the age-old tension between materialism and spiritualism. But we can't survive without anything material. Is this a dilemma? Instead of getting everything you want, get only what you need - with not a thing more or less. The line separating materialism and spiritualism is also a murky one. What makes the material spiritual is when it aids the increase of spirituality. Even the Buddha-to-be needed food and shelter for the quest to enlightenment. Learning to be content with the bare essentials of life is part of the path to enlightenment, since enlightenment is a blissful state of ultimate contentment.
As you should be aware by now, the difference between the worldly (or material) and spiritual lies in how we perceive them. As such, Buddhism is not "anti-worldliness". Rather, for those ready, it encourages making the worldly spiritual by transforming the mind. Someone rich would be nothing more than a materially well-to-do person. Yet the very moment he uses his wealth for worthy causes, he becomes spiritual too. Of course, complete spiritual practice is more than donation of money - it includes doing every other thing necessary to perfect one's compassion and wisdom. Excess wealth is otherwise inconsequential for the spiritual path if one already has enough. It is exactly because the difference between materialism and spiritualism can be vague that many become slaves of materialism - when what they truly need is the unconditional and lasting True Happiness that spirituality brings. -Shen Shi'an
Craving for spiritualism makes it materialism. - stonepeace
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