Strangely, we have come to a stage, in this time and age, when who we really are needs proving. Because we have started to believe that we are something else.
Think about this: we are all created as good, loving, patient, generous, compassionate, fearless, human beings. But we have become opinionated, confused, impatient, angry, jealous, anxious, fearful and self-centered. Look at children, aren’t they fearless? They are not scared of putting their hands into a burning candle flame or peeping precariously over a balcony railing? They wouldn’t have a problem sharing whatever they have with another. They would gleefully hug, embrace and kiss. They are simple and caring. And look at ourselves: we are complex and are afraid of every step we take, of every decision we make. We are jealous, silently pining to acquire what others have, and don’t have inhibitions demonstrating our hatred for others openly – especially now with social media offering everyone, virtually, ‘freedom to express’. We seek to earn a living but never a want to be living through anything we do. But we also are lost, we are searching for something. So, we enrol for “Bhagavad Gita” classes or church sermons, we read countless books on spirituality or attend Programs on self-improvement. Yet, while all spiritual thinkers and all scriptures champion and point to us going back to being loving, caring and giving as the most intelligent way of living, we demand proof. We ask if this will really work? Ironic, isn’t it? That we need justification and validation to convince ourselves of who we truly are.
A spiritual seeker, like us, Wahiduddin, has this wonderful learning to share on awakening to who we really are: “The ultimate goal of spiritual practices is beautifully summarized in this centuries-old Zen teaching wherein Master Nanyue Huairang encountered his disciple Mazu Daoyi, who was deep in meditation, and asked him:
“Noble one, what are you trying to do, sitting there in meditation?”
Mazu said, “I’m trying to become a Buddha.”
Master Nanyue then picked up a nearby piece of clay tile that had fallen from the roof, and began to rub it briskly on a stone.
Mazu asked, “What are you doing?”
The Master said, “I’m polishing this tile to make a mirror.”
Mazu said, “How can you produce a mirror by polishing a piece of tile?”
Master Nanyue replied, “How can you make a Buddha by sitting in meditation?”
Oh what a wonderful little story this is! The goal of our spiritual practices is not to become something else. Our spiritual practices will never magically transform us into something that we are not. The tile will never become a mirror; that is an unrealistic goal, and an unrealistic goal will be met with failure upon failure. The goal of all our spiritual journeys is not to make us into something that we are not, but rather to awaken us to the truth of who we really are!”
Whether we get the proof we seek or we find ourselves by seeking within, one thing is for sure: unless we go back to the true nature of our creation, to who we really are, we will never find inner peace.