I wanted to follow up yesterday’s post with a post about taking responsibility for your own practice.
Sure you can take guidance, advice, inspiration and ideas from other people, but in the end, it’s you who has to walk the path.
Fortuitously, I received an interesting tweet this afternoon from a new Twitter acquaintance called @olddutch.
It said, “Buddhahood is the piss in the latrine @mybuddhistlife”.
This got me thinking about a Zen saying: “If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.”
It turns out the piss in the latrine one is a Zen saying too.
Reverence is important. Mentors are important. Being able to open up and set aside your defensiveness and fear so you can actually let another human being act in your best interests without being all cocky and stand-offish is important. It takes a certain level of self-respect and self-confidence to let another human being guide you.
But in the end, it’s you who will reap the rewards of taking or not taking any particular piece of advice. The final responsibility for your own life rests with you.
I’ve met several people in my life who are considered highly realised beings. Some people think they’re Buddhas or avatars.
Each time I came away with a clear feeling that if I was going to get anywhere with all this spiritual stuff it was going to be as a result of my own efforts.
So don’t feel lost because you haven’t found your guru yet. Don’t feel like you can’t really start the ball rolling until you’ve received transmission or initiation from some bod in a baggy dress. The time is now. You have all that you need. (And when you make moves based on that, the universe has a funny way of providing you with the other stuff you’ll need along the way).