Saturday, August 21, 2004

What is spirituality?

When I asked my friend (refer to Aug 18 post) why he thought my practice lacked spirituality, he said that I was trying to generate spirituality from being intellectual. What I should have been doing was "putting the spiritual at the center and holding the intellect in my hand" in my practice.

"So what then is the spiritual?" I asked because his sense of the spiritual was beyond my comprehension.

I thought he had an entirely different understanding of the subject. Either he was nuts or he knew something I didn't, but it didn't matter because I really felt I was not experiencing "the spritual" in my decades of practice. I mean I can perhaps experience spirituality under controlled conditions (meditations, prayers, etc.) but not in every moment of my life. Most of the times, I have to see things from two perspectives: the physical and the spiritual - if I become aware and have the opportunity to switch my mindset anyway. Naturally, I'd find out that often times the two do not agree with each other. There is no automatic synchronization with the aspects. I hope it will change.

Going back to my friend...

So what then is the spiritual?

He asked me in return: How do you know you're alive? How do you know you're dead?

That discussion happened sometime ago.

I found the answer in the mango growing on the tree (refer to Aug 18 post). I don't know if it's the answer to his questions, but I no longer wonder about spirituality in my practice.

I remember the sutras say "in perceiving the pratityasamutpada (dependent arising) one sees the Dharma, in seeing the Dharma one sees [connects with] the Buddha." (Maitreya and the Venerable Sariputra in the Salistamba Sutra and other relevant sutras)


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