Another way this perspective on training can be described is by examining the difference between subjective and objective views. Enlightened vision sees reality, the truth of everything. This is the objective view, where no pre-judgement is in play. We human beings with our desires and aversions almost always have a subjective view of the world – we see it in terms of how it relates (or doesn’t) to our preferences and expectations. Employing the wish for enlightenment, simply by returning to the mind of zazen, gives us the ability to drop the subjective, and just see what is there.
Seeing our selves as we really are has some potential pitfalls however. Allowing our lives to be guided by bodhicitta means we will become aware of things about ourselves which will be disturbing. Regrets about things we did in the past can be a heavy burden. And having a driven goal of becoming an exemplary trainee will mean we disappoint ourselves regularly when we fall short in preceptual practice. This is another layer of ‘what we have to train with’. Being a perfectionist can easily result in suffering because we never seem to meet the standards we aim for. And we are less open to compromise which can result in our dealings with others being unharmonious, fractious. The answer of course is in remembering letting go – and compassion. And keeping going.
Note: I was personally touched by this talk and saw the benefits others are likely to derive from visiting his words, published here on Jade over several days. Thanks to the Reverend for permission to do this. Listen to the talk.