A thought struck me: my quest to learn as much about Dharma as possible is not really practising. I am merely reading about the practice, collecting arguments, deep sayings and cute passages. Researching. Another observation came to me: When Buddha was teaching Dharma, he didn’t teach every single argument to each and every person he met. Why then do I attempt to take in as many sutras as possible?
If I met Buddha today, I would have told him: I am worried about my kids and the future, my job is not fulfilling, I feel old, I feel that there is nothing left for me to do apart from providing for my family, I am full of doubt about my decision to start family abroad, far away from home, I hate the persona I have created for myself, that nobody really knows me. What would have Buddha told me? Go ahead, Adrian, memorise some lists. Or would he have given me teaching similar to the one he gave to Bahiya:
When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress. [Ud 1:10]
Perhaps Buddha would have said something along the lines of:
Don’t try to let go of sadness and fear, let go of the urge to get rid of them. Don’t practice dispassion towards object of desire, don’t even practice dispassion towards the desire itself. Observe how sadness, fear, anger and desire all generate one and the same unpleasant feeling. Observe how it arises and passes away, be mindful of the space it leaves behind. Look within yourself only, especially when there is someone else to blame. Trust me, everything is falling apart and nothing can be fixed. But everything is Dharma and Dharma is everything.
Yeah, I am not in the best mood right now. I also listen to Dead Can Dance a lot which certainly doesn’t help.