I have titled this post “progress in the Dharma.” I want to be clear about what I mean by that (and describe what this post will be about). It is not supposed to be a catchy title to hook readers. Rather, I am making progress in my heart and it is showing up when I repeat inspiring stories of enlightened masters. How can I tell? Good question. I’m not 100% certain I am making progress, but at least on one level I believe I am. Read on to discover what I am trying to get at.
To provide a bit of context here: I have been doing treatments with babies over the past few weeks (craniosacral treatments to help the infants unwind any birth trauma). Therefore, on some level, I have made a commitment to do my own pre- and perinatal psychological work (on myself first, so I can do it more easily for others). And I have been assisting in teaching Vagus (Nerve) System work – moving toward self-regulation and emotional stability by resourcing the social nervous system (strengthening the parasympathetic nervous system). And on top of all this, I had a bit of a fight yesterday with a good friend, which triggered me and I got poor sleep last night in a new and different bed as a result.
With all of that in mind, today I had about 20-30 minutes to kill at work, so I was talking with a friend there about Dharma teachers and great enlightened masters and their stories.
I mentioned Asanga and how difficult it was for him to attain enlightenment (with Maitreya Buddha). http://www.lamayeshe.com/article/chapter/asanga-and-maitreya-buddha
I mentioned a couple of the stories about Patrul Rinpoche from the Snow Lion’s Turquoise Mane. That book has an incredible array of inspiring stories by the way! And it is so cheap?! http://astore.amazon.com/kirmoosblo-20/detail/0062501836
And the most bizarre thing happened to me as I was relating these stories: every time I got to the kicker about how the realized master was acting extremely compassionate or displaying Bodhicitta and skillful means, my voice cracked and I teared up. I got emotional just relaying a simple story!
Well let me tell you something. For me, this is progress. I have gone entire decades wishing I could cry. I was in the military for five years and I may have cried once that entire time I was enlisted. There were times I gave up on my desire to emote through crying because it was so foreign and distant! And now it is happening three times in a row, within a 10-minute span, as I relate these Dharma stories?!
Something is up. Either the person I was talking to has a special connection to the Buddha-Dharma (quite possible, as he is very sharp, both logical and intuitive) or I am making progress with my own heart chakra work or my lack of sleep caused me to be unusually, radically emotional today (or some of all of the above!). I never teared up for any other reason tonight though, so I think I can rule out that last option.
No matter what is the case, I love telling those stories as they inspire me to do my own personal Dharma practice. And if there is a willing listener who is not shutting down upon hearing the stories and seeing my joy in telling them, then that is a great start! 🙂
Thanks for listening to my confused mind ramble on and on,