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Buddhadharma : Fall 2007
buddhadharma| 37 |fall 2007 into being the awake loser and walk into a job interview. We don’t try to figure any of this out. We just drop into being awake compassion and see what knowing arises. Surprisingly, perhaps, if we don’t try to figure out what we are meant to do, we may discover that we already know. That knowing is naturally present in each of us. It is buddhanature, natural knowing, original mind. It has a thousand names and it is the aim of all Buddhist practice. We may not meet every situation as the expression of awake compassion or awake pride, but our commitment and the continuity of our effort will bring us in touch with the resistance whenever we don’t. We can open to the experience of resistance and meet it with our com- mitment, directly, naturally, without any particular idea of “I should be doing this” or “I should be doing that.” In fact, the feeling of “should” will undermine our efforts. When we try to live life based on an idea of being awake, our behavior will likely be strained and artificial. The point is to make the awake princi- ple alive and present in everything we do, to take it from an ideal encumbered with mythical projections and make it the core principle by which we live. Everything we encounter – through our senses, through our feelings, and through our mind – we meet as awake compassion, or whatever we’ve chosen. If this seems impractical, you might keep two considerations in mind. First, the reason we do this practice isn’t to become competent, knowledgeable, well behaved, or skillful. We are engaging in this practice because we want to wake up and be present in life. Second, as awake pride or awake compassion or awake loser, we are free – free to find new ways to relate to situations, free to envision possibilities in situations that we used to ignore, and free to uncover abilities and qualities that we didn’t know we had. A side effect of our efforts may be mak- ing life choices that are more creative or intelligent or practical, but those are side effects, not the intention, of the practice. Practicing as the AWARen eSS Being The commitment being is like a commit- ment to be a musician, a teacher, or a Some personalities will have more energy for us, some will bring more challenges, but each of them can transform our understanding of what we are and how we experience the world. The key is commitment. (har#51)whitetara(detail),collectionofshelley&DonalDrubinwww.himalayanart.org