The Unbearable Politeness of Being

Theoretically, it is impossible to become enlightened and simultaneously act in a self-serving manner. Like the surgeon who uses dissolving stitches, a Bodhisattva is one who has inherently dissolved egotistical motives in order to be of service to others; the ultimate metaphysical manifestation of courtesy.

The Dalai Lama and other great masters instruct students to critically examine the teachings and the teacher. While this lazy American practitioner makes no claims as to a true understanding of the dharma, nonetheless it seems important to carefully examine doctrines for their relevance. Personal understanding, grounded in experiential knowledge, is the only foundation to build upon. 

And yet trust, faith, and dedication are also vital ingredients in following a path to knowledge. When one is a beginner, a teacher must be found.

So as we venture into this new year, may we strike the delicate balance of common sense and commitment to a goal that may at times seem elusive and mysterious to the preprogrammed mind.

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