There are, of course, levels of discourse. And nowhere is this more apparent than when talking about the subject at hand. For short I’ll call that Vow.
In the early days of Buddhism, in the time of the Buddha, I believe there was a simple way to enter the community of monks. The Buddha, or perhaps one of his close followers would say: Come Monk! And that was it. This simple form was a mutual recognition of….mutual recognition of…that which inspires the heart, enlivens the heart, to follow that which the Buddha was pointing out through the way he was living and what he was saying. No doubt there were people who came to join the growing band of devotees who were not invited in. That would be for one reason or another and who know now what they might have been. Being female was one reason, and that changed due to the Venerable Ananda’s representations to the Buddha.
In the intervening centuries becoming a monk has become formalized to a huge extent. The center of the wish remains the same whether it be ones vocation to be a monk or ones vocation to be an IT professional for example. (I do have to stress however that living the life of a monastic isn’t a life style choice, it goes deeper than that.) What I’m pointing to is the fundamental of vow/wish. I’d go so far as to say this is common to all, although the form that takes is vast and unfathomable in its’ expression. Unfathomable because what one encounters in the world doesn’t always look like it’s inspired, deep, honorable, worthy, worthwhile etc.
So here in this post there is a focus on the deep, for most largely unconscious, level of what it is to be human. A human with other humans. Buddhas together with Buddhas. As I am sure I remember hearing, Buddhas come in all shapes and sizes.
See the comments section attached to yesterdays post.