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Lions Roar : January 2013
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2013 37 shampoo; and protruding from his mouth would quiver the tail of a live fish. What would your moral judgment be of such a being? “Him! A Buddhist? But he’s tormenting that poor creature by eat- ing it alive!” This is how our theistic, moralistic, and judgmental minds work. In fact, they work in a very similar way to those of the world’s more puritanical and destructive religions. Of course, there is nothing necessarily wrong with morality, but the point of spiritual practice, according to the Vajrayana teachings, is to go beyond all our concepts, including those of morality. Right now the majority of us can only afford to be slightly non- conformist, yet we should aspire to be like Tilopa. We should pray that one day we will have the courage to be just as crazy by daring to go beyond the eight worldly dharmas—happiness and suffer- ing, fame and insignificance, praise and blame, gain and loss—and care not one jot about whether or not we are praised or criticized. In today’s world, such an attitude is the ultimate craziness. More than ever, people expect to be happy when they are admired and praised, and unhappy when derided and criticized. So it is unlikely that those who want the world to perceive them as sane will risk flying from the nest of the eight worldly dharmas. Sublime beings, though, couldn’t care less either way, and that is why, from our mundane point of view, they are considered crazy. Develop Renunciation Mind If worldly happiness is not the goal of dharma, then what is it that prompts a person to want to practice? Chances are that stepping onto a spiritual path would not even occur to a person who is rich, enjoys their life, and has a strong sense of personal security. Of Mahasiddha Tilopa; Tibetan thangka, seventeenth century. PAINTINGCOURTESYOFPRIVATECOLLECTIONANDWWW.HIMALAYANART.ORG(HAR#61215)