(Griffith Park- Los Angles, 2010, Manifest Objects and Potential Space)
Wanting to take my buddhist practice to the next level I joined a study group that is part of the New Kadampa lineage. We meet once a week at our local center and have study partners. My partner is awesome! Full of curiosity, honesty, and has a true desire to be a better person. He asked me about the 6 perfections and morality and could I live my life without telling a lie? His question, if I can recall it correctly was: If I did not like a dress that a friend was wearing but they liked it would I say that I did not like it if they asked me... No, I would tell my friend that the dress was fab. I would never do anything to harm someone in this way. My question back to him was why does it matter what I think? Its only an opinion and why would I level my opinion against someone? I know that it is common practice in our culture to have a point of view on every friggin aspect of our lives right down to the soy in our latte with a half twist of what ever! I feel sorry for people that seem to suffer when they can't get their morning coffee's made to their exact specification because after all we can't be happy unless we have EXACTLY what we want when we want it... Really, Really?! I refuse to live life this way.
From my own side, when I stopped feeling the need to impute my point of view out on to the objects that appear to my mind thats when things started to get really really fun! I stopped getting hung up on things because they were not happen to me but instead just simply "happenings" or my favorite way to describe appearance as "jazz" there is jazz going on... or Karma. How I choose to interact with these happenings is where the morality question comes into play. I do the best I can and try and use a very clear razor sharp mind with a compassionate intention. When I check my intention before I speak then I can make sure that I am coming from a place of compassion and not from indifference or ignorance. Telling a friend you like a dress even if you don't see yourself wearing it is not a crime against morality its simply keeping a compassionate mind for someone who does.
I advised my study partner to ask our resident monk for a practice... My thinking was that our teacher would be able to provide instructions to my partner that would help him to understand karma and that will help open up the morality issue to a more grey area vs. a black and white situation... Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. End of story. And as my lovely teacher told me if this gets to heady go back to compassion. Beautiful sweet words of nectar.
Foot note: My study partner requested a practice from our teacher. Beautiful karma for my study partner!!!