Shared Goals Of Spiritual Development

Good morning and happy Easter, everybody. Either last year or two years ago, I remember I had a very interesting joke about Easter, and I told it here on Easter Sunday, because somebody asked me a question and now I completely forgot. This morning I tried to remember, and I do know where the story comes from. Something very funny, something to do with the eggs. That’s about it.  

So, all these great traditions, like the Judeo-Christian tradition, Buddhism, Hinduism and they are all really something like, 2000 – 3000 years of our human history. To make our life better and more useful, helpful, to ourselves and others and future generations. That’s probably the goal of living beings, not only human beings, but all living beings. They have this goal, and religion becomes one of those contributing towards betterment. Whatever religion it is, whether it is coming from Eastern traditions or Abrahamic religions. That includes Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions. It is for the betterment, contributing towards our species’ goal.

Buddhism is one of them. So we have to remember this is our goal: betterment, easement of our life and the lives thereafter, honestly. So Buddhism is one of them, it’s Buddha’s contribution towards that. Yes, it is true, Buddha’s teachings are based on his personal experience. Besides that, I am quite sure, but don’t know well enough to say, since I no nothing about the Judeo-Christian tradition, that it has to do with their own personal experience too, otherwise how [could it work]? Then within that, you have to accept the spiritual development. Otherwise, everything will become totally black and white. I don’t mean black and white, but it all becomes materialistic. But, it is spiritual and then it definitely has to be experienced, and you have to accept that. Spiritual development is something that is very much individualized. I don’t think it is uniform. Even within one system, say Vajrayana Buddhism, spiritual development is unique for each individual. It is very much in between the individual practitioner and the Lama Yidam inseparable, in that person’s practice. Within that sphere it materializes.

And it is real and it is perfect. Not only is it real and perfect for a moment, but it remains real and perfect forever. Thereafter, that individual functions within that sphere of work. This is real and true, and also rare and difficult to find. That’s why every spiritual development is more individualized than uniform. But, on the other hand when you become totally enlightened, you become totally enlightened. You become almost oneness on the mental level. The sphere or realm in which existence functions, probably functions the same way. Because of the individualization of the spiritual development, different traditions I think must have come in. Yet there are so many similar principles. There is great similarity between the 10 commandments and the 10 non-virtues. I am quite sure that Moses didn’t have a conversation with Buddha on a webinar, as we do today. But it is the same thing in principle, in each and every individual experience. That indicates that virtue and non-virtue are reality, whether in the East or West. It is very, very similar. The cultures are different, the looks are different, customs are different, but the principles are becoming similar. That means that virtue and non-virtue are real and true, although we say that everything is empty and not real, and all that. That is also true.

~ Gelek Rimpoche, Excerpt from April 5, 2015


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