By the Crimson Bands of Tonglen?

"The force of generosity", it’s a line from the Dali Lama’s Taking Refugee chant. Sometimes I want a Buddhism church to learn the rules, instead of this auto-didactic approach. Funny that, the auto-didactic approach is probably more Buddhist. It’s a weird term , generosity as a force. Yes, your supposed to be generous but not to generous. Because your supposed to be be a good person , no one is supposed to be bad and no one ever wants to think of themselves as selfish. But there you are, not giving away money to the bum on the street, making snarky comments about your co-workers clothes, dumping on the fat person walking across the street. But Buddhism trains you differently.

Tonglen is the practice of taking the worlds pains into your own heart, so the slightly alcoholic, slightly mental homeless guy, you take on his pain, his bewilderment, his illness, and send him light and positive thoughts as if it was your own pain. yeah right I can do that, sure.

When you feel hurt over having to do the dishes, as you breathe in, you take on the pain of everyone doing the dishes across the world as you breathe in all that dark sticky amorphous mass of Steve Ditkoesque evil just pores into your heart, filtering thru the cracks and penetrating the steel bands you’ve wrapped your heart in. Each crack lets a little light out. And as you breathe out you let the cracks widen and send out with your light, shattering the steel bands around your heart. It really turns the act of doing the dishes into an adventure in Dr. Strange land.

And it becomes a palpable force, because whatever anger you have over doing the dishes, being left to clean up the mess of your family gets turned into an act of generosity and healing for all the people across the world who are stressed for time, frustrated that they have to clean up again because they just cleaned up yesterday, and just want to be doing something else.

And in sending out healing energy, light to everyone you start with yourself. So I get to acknowledge all the headaches I’m going through, all the hassles and stress ahead. And in giving out energy suffering from the dishes I get to acknowledge "Damn this is a a pain in the ass " even if it is just doing the dishes.

So it’s fascinating how the giving away of thoughts cleans one’s own mind and it gets easier to do the dishes and go on to the next task. I’m not enlightened but my coffee cup isn’t groady anymore.

2 replies on “By the Crimson Bands of Tonglen?”

This post is great and the punchline hilarious. While Wong may channel the pain of the world’s dishwashers, Mr. A would do his own dishes and that’s it.

There’s a Ditko story about getting bled to death because people keep asking for simple things, it always struck me as so wrong in so many ways, to bad he draws so nice ’cause Randian Libertarians are total nuts.

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