The following is an excerpt from the book The Seeking by Ramesh Balsekar. I found it very useful, so I offer it to you:
My point is, how do you know what you are looking for is real? Real in phenomenal life. How do you know it is not an illusion?
And the answer to that is, ‘I know it is not an illusion because I have experienced it. When I am on a holiday, when I am resting, I have had the feeling of floating with life. I have had the sensation that this moment, what I have, is what I want for the rest of my life.’ You see?
You have had the experience, therefore, you can know that it is available in this life. When you had that why did you lose it?
Think of it, Rajhans, and you will come to the conclusion, every time you had that feeling some thought has shattered it. You had that experience; a thought comes ‘Oh! I left something undone in the office’, that feeling you have may be stirred, but it is not shaken, it is not broken. Similarly other thoughts happen, which are on the surface, they may stir your feeling but they don’t shake you out of it. That feeling is not shattered.
Therefore, what kind of thought has in your own experience shattered the peace you were enjoying in the moment? And you will find, if you go into it, that the thought which has shattered your peace in the moment is a thought of something you did in the past – the past may be twenty years ago, ten years ago or last week – something you did last week, or ten years ago, which you know you should not have done or something you could have done for your friend and did not do.
Therefore, my point is, what surely breaks the foundation of that peace in the moment is a thought of something you did and you should not have done, or something you could have done and did not do – shame and guilt. Or a thought of hatred and malice towards someone, exactly the same thing, who did to you what he should not have done, or did not do for you what he could have done.
So you go into it, make your own research and I can tell you, with confidence, that the thought which truly shatters the peace everyone has enjoyed sometime or the other, is a thought of shame and guilt for one’s action, or lack of action, or hatred and malice towards the other for the same reason.
The Buddha said, he gave straight away the question, ‘What will enlightenment do for me?’ He said, ‘Enlightenment means the end of suffering.’ Straight. Enlightenment means the end of suffering.
So we have to find out what Buddha means by suffering. Buddha was no fool. He knew from personal experience that even after his total Understanding, he could never know what the next moment will bring and if the next moment is suffering, pain, it has to be accepted and the pain has to be suffered.
Knowing that, Buddha categorically and boldly says, ‘Enlightenment is the end of suffering’ and my interpretation of what Buddha meant is, ‘Enlightenment, total self-realization that no one is a doer, neither me nor the other, removes the suffering which smashes the foundation of the peace whenever I have it.’
And that suffering is the enormous, massive load everyone carries. A load of shame and guilt for one’s own action, and hatred and malice for the other’s action. Remove this load and you truly do not have to wait for the peace to occur.
Remove this burden of pride and arrogance for good deeds, shame and guilt for the bad ones, hatred and malice towards the other. Remove that burden and you will find that you do not have to look for peace; absence of this load is the presence of what I am looking for. See what I mean? That is my concept, Rajhans.
Therefore, I put it to you, according to my concept, all that any spiritual seeker can have is just this – never being uncomfortable with myself, never having to hate myself for anything, never having to be uncomfortable with the other, never having to hate the other. That is all! If out of self-realization you expect much more than that then you will have to look elsewhere, my concept will not help you.
We now sit IN PERSON at the Angel City Zen Center in Los Angeles on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings. For details check aczc.org
Angel City Zen Center now meets on ZOOM several times each week often with Brad giving the lectures. We’re even having an online retreat in November. For details check aczc.org
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