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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Darleen's Ethical Dilemma

It wasn’t that Darleen wanted to do the right thing as much as she did NOT want to do the wrong thing or, to be more honest, did not want to pay for it (in sorrows, or tears, or misfortunes, or even years). It was just a set of five rules, that (while NOT mathematically daunting) did seem to exact a price, of sorts, for she observed in many of their adherents: the rigidity, self-satisfaction, and arrogance of a man, who armed only with a hammer views all problems as nails.

Darleen wanted to do the right thing, but she also wanted to do the right thing IN the right way, the sustainable way, the way that fueled her peace, and love, and joy, and creativity. That is why she came to see me. And this is what I said to her then, and what I say to you now:

Before there were 265 vows, before there were 36, or even 5, there were not any at all. They were not necessary. There was simply an eight fold path, and half of those folds pertained to love and to a kindness of communication, of conduct, and of commerce. And in that ambiguity there was freedom: freedom to do the right thing (surfing the momentum of love – centered, spontaneous, and joyful), freedom to make mistakes, and freedom to learn from them.

But just as a wind-fall peach is destined to rot, so too corruption found its way into the Buddha’s students: rigidity, fear, controlling tendencies, elitism, competitiveness, and cruelty. Sometimes at a glacial rate (insidious and slow) other times quite faster.

Do you have the courage to put aside the opinions of fools and content yourself to lovingly flow in centered spontaneity?

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