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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Dharma without being a Doormat

Doormats could be quite useful, they can keep the mud out of your home, and they could offer a word of welcome to your visitors. As a nerd I would absolutely love a doormat that read “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” although I do not think my tantric partner would care for it very much. And yet, I wouldn’t want to be a doormat. But aren’t we warned how that is Dharma’s price of transcending our aversion and avarice?

Not necessarily. Such a trap is only sprung on those who follow Buddhism as a set of rules or philosophies. But what happens when we view it as a set of techniques with which to practice?

When we take the Buddha’s seven enlightenment factors to heart we learn that coalescence, inhalation, and mindfulness are related. We also learn how release, exhalation, and balance form a team.

By practicing the Buddha’s union of mindfulness and meditation we cultivate freedom from the two extremes of being controlling or scattered. And from that place of balance our choices, and utterances, and deeds could flow from centered spontaneity (like water through a hose on a hot summer’s morn).

This same phenomena is explored by Lao Tzu in his “Tao Te Ching” where he calls it simplicity and lists it as the first of the Tao’s three treasures.

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