But like me and my inability to even read the news, we tune out the suffering. We tune out our awareness of the infinite sufferings of infinite beings. But all of us are connected to all of the sufferings of all of the beings who have ever lived, who have ever suffered, who have ever died and who are alive and suffering and those who will live and suffer and die. This is our interdependence. This is all happening within us. We’re currently in one of the safer periods in the history of our planet. We have more medicine, more tools, more travel, better communication, more education than ever. There have been plagues and slavery and abuse and insanity and it’s all been going on since the beginning of time. The horror show continues. It’s not just the latest shooting that we should be concerned about. I think about this stuff every day. I think sometimes people look at me and see the look on my face and in my eyes and wonder, “What the fuck is going on in this guy’s head?” I’ll tel you what’s going on.
My sponsor told me that since my disease is progressive, my recovery needs to be progressive. I think we can practice the fundamentals without becoming fundamentalist.
The problem with the addicted state and our fixation on it is that we refuse to accept that it is not real, not permanent and not what we have convinced ourselves that it is. However, as anyone who has lived through teenage heartbreak knows, this too does indeed pass. But there’s knowing it on a mental level, where we tell ourselves that we understand the concept of impermanence, and there’s a deep, experiential knowing of this Buddhist principle, where we feel it at the core, at the root, at inception. That’s where delusion dissolves and we begin to break free. My Zen teacher used to say, “A little crack opens up..and the light comes in. That’s the beginning.” But the beginning of what?
…if they see someone at a meeting sharing about their problems one day and on the meditation seat teaching Dharma the next they might not understand. This diverse application of principles and membership in different groups can leave some people feeling a lack of trust. They might say things like, “Who does this guy think he is?”, “He thinks he’s better than us, “Hey, that guy’s trying to make money off of 12-Stepping,” “I’m not going to yoga, he’s trying to start a cult,” and so on. This makes my situation somewhat complicated. While historically there have been many cults in the history of yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism and even in 12-Step, there is no Kool-Aid being served here.