December 11, 2012

A Horse is a Horse, Our Own True Nature

I loved how several of you have shared your objections to horses and whips and made the case for personal freedom.  (I am a rebellious horse, myself.) 

Despite the pain of the metaphor, it was developed by Chodron to explain a gentler way of looking at our own true nature. 

In fact, I can change the metaphor. Let's say we look at our own unique history and family lineage, and see that we are part of a lineage of bad horses.  We don't have to whip ourselves or subject ourself to a whipping!

Everyone knows, horses do their business. As an example, the Tibetan Buddhist tradition had a long line of revered teachers,  each of whom had much horse poop to "compost" during their spiritual development.

If you have studied Tibetan tradition, you will nod your head as I share some quick story lines: 

Tilopa was a madman; Naropa was so cerebral that he was a pain to work with; Marpa had a terrible temper  (his plan was to rake in profits from translating books from India, to translate into Tibetan); Milarepa was a murderer;  Milarepa's student was  Gampopa, a very arrogant student; finally Gampopa's primary student was the first Karmapa. All we know about him, is that he was very ugly!

Such "worst horses" are examples of our own wisdom and our neurosis. Says Chodron, "They are good examples of people who never gave up on themselves." 

Those in the Tibetan tradition  bow down to each of these teachers, accepting that all were very much human. The point being, each of these Teachers blew it at some point and their mistakes served to motivate them. 

Don't be afraid to look back over your own lineage to find your own compassion and understanding of where you fit (or don't). Be who you are right now.  This is the way you can befriend yourself and find  your "own true quality."

CH 3.


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  2. I have spent my life rejecting my religious heritage because I associated with the terrible things I thought happen to me.

    I now see that my religious heritage was based on really sound life principles and it was the people that used it wrongly and it as a result I think I have been hurt.

    I now know I must not resist anything in order to be free. I must embrace the past and let life wash over me.

    When painful thought come up I can look at them an know they are just thoughts and they can't hurt me.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~