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Lions Roar : September 2012
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2012 78 destruction and chaos for the students. Marpa’s example and approach to Mahamudra experience was based on complete commitment and basic sanity, in which he accepted his everyday life situations. At the same time, he was able to see those situations as the path. You might think this sounds like too big an undertaking, but it is extremely simple, if your patience permits. If you have real commitment, this means that you trust yourself and you trust that there is something true in the teachings. Commitment reflects how much you identify yourself with the teachings and with your own life. Once you are committed, then you have no choice. This is true for both master and student. As far as the master is concerned, once the students commit themselves to the path, it is like they are passengers getting into an airplane. In the middle of the flight, the captain can’t kick out the passengers; he has to hang on to them. At the same time, the passengers might find it very claustrophobic. There is no chance to chicken out at all. At that point, it’s too late. Either you get on the airplane or you don’t. Once you’ve gotten on the plane, there’s no way out. You can’t even hijack the airplane. Once a person is committed to the Kagyü lineage, that person becomes part of the lineage forever. It doesn’t matter whether you are a star, a chief, an ordinary dishwasher, or a clerk. It’s all the same thing. As Marpa aged, his experience of continual Mahamudra messages became his natural home ground. He didn’t have to struggle to tune into anything. Things would just happen naturally, spontaneously. That comes when one reaches the level of an old dog—such occurrences are no longer new to you. You know how to tune into situations quite simply and easily. Marpa’s life example is applicable to us. Any one of us could work our way through situations very simply and directly, as he did. ♦