The second day of questions focus on the remainder of the principles covered in the talks. After comments on how the dharma subtily changes the personality when you commit to practice. The questions focus on service, which many of us find challenging to our sense of self. The virtue of forgiveness can be the great healer both for yourself and others. Learning to let go of negative emotions is to become human, and rise to the challenge of not to taking ourselves so seriously. Finally, finding your inner guru.
With the principles covered over the first three days the group are now invited to comment and ask questions on a subject that can be a very personal feature of training. This video on the 4th day of recording covers questions on how to distinguish the difference between willfulness and wholehearted commitment to training. Nurturing humility in daily life and working with a strong sex drive that many of us sometimes feel we are possessed by.
This talk completes the trilogy on the principles of the spiritual path with some emphasis on meditation, and the need to always be cultivating the ability to get to know yourself with insight in the context of a spacious mind that points continually to your true nature. There is also attention given to two features that are often seen as controversial in modern western buddhism - surrender and service. These features have shown to be have been exploited by some teachers who want control and power over their students. This danger needs to be guarded against with utmost diligence, but to dismiss these two principles as not being necessary for the cultivation of the spiritual path runs the danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
This second talk focuses primarily on learning to 'Trust your Inner Guru' which means for us buddhists to make contact with and recognise buddha nature. This along with our type of meditation defines this path as being both spiritual and buddhist. All other features of this path can be assigned to the universal pursuit of the spiritual path and other practices too. Many buddhists in the west these days are marginalising the concept of buddha nature as being irrelevant but by doing this how can what we practice be then said to be a spiritual path? It is only when we open to and embrace our own inner nature beyond the conditioning that we are familiar with do we find the bridge to the unconditioned, true liberation from birth and death and our eternal divine nature.
What is the spiritual path and how should it be defined? In these talks this path although common to all those with spiritual aspirations is viewed from a dharmic training viewpoint with it's unique perspective on self and buddha nature. Each of the 12 principles is investigated with only 2 of those principles seen as being uniquely Buddhist. After an introduction, the first principle to be looked at is 'Acceptance of life's Vicissitudes' and how to find the middle way and equanimity in the midst of the up's and down's of everyday living.