Wednesday, 1 September 2010

8) Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

The following are quotes from the story of Milarepa. The question we need to ask ourselves is this. Is it neccessarily spiritual abuse or is it the lineage and a valid path? Milarepa experienced times of despair not only here but when he was in his cave. Many times he must have thought he was not good enough.
Wishing to leave his texts in a safe place, he put them in Marpa's shrine hall. When Marpa saw them there, he exclaimed: Take those books away right now! They are covered with obscurations. They stink of your negative practices and will pollute all my texts. Remove them immediately from the shrine hall. Milarepa thought: Marpa probably thinks these are my black magic texts and so took them out of the shrine hall.

Marpa asked Milarepa to use his magic to destroy people crops and frighten local people Which caused Milarepa distress to which he thought
Afterwards, thinking about what he had done, Milarepa became depressed and discouraged. In the past he had killed human beings and he now realized that in sending hail he had killed a lot of small sentient beings as well. If I think of the causes and conditions for rebirth in a future life, I have killed many people, and now I have killed small sentient beings as well. I haven't been able to practice the Dharma properly and certainly I'll be born in the hell realms. He went to Marpa and begged him: My negative activity is increasing and certainly in the next life I will be born in a burning hot hell. Please, through your great compassion grant me the teachings of the Dharma.

Whilst building and demolishing houses for Marpa this became Milarepas situation
Dagmema came and asked him why he was crying, but Milarepa did not reply. She lifted up his chin and said: Don't cry; you will get the Dharma teaching. Milarepa finally told her his real feelings: You are kind to me as a mother. And in order to obtain the precious Dharma, I must build this house. Yet in building this house my body is becoming nothing but a huge wound. Until now I have worked as hard as I can carrying stones and earth, but it is extremely painful. Dagmema now looked at Milarepa's body which had been covered before, and seeing all his festering, open sores, she cried: You are right. I've never seen such wounds on a human being before. Your situation is even worse than an animal's. A horse only gets saddle sores on its back, but you have them all over your body. I don't understand why Marpa is making you go through all of this.

One day Marpa was giving the initiation of Chakrasamvara (Demchok). Many of his students had come and brought wonderful offerings. Milarepa also went and happily joined the crowd. But Marpa looked at him and said, What do you have to offer? Milarepa replied, Well, I've been building this house and that's my offering. Marpa admonished him: You're building this house but it's not finished. It's a finished house that you must offer. And he chased Milarepa away, but Milarepa did not leave immediately even though he'd been told to. He made his request again: Please, let me stay and receive this initiation. Marpa came up to him, cuffed him across the face and tossed him outside. Milarepa went sobbing to Dagmema, who comforted him, Don't worry. Slowly, with time, you will receive the Dharma. Sometime after this initiation, Marpa came to Milarepa. We had a little bit of a set-to the other day. Has your mind not turned against me for this? Milarepa replied, I have committed monstrous negative actions. They are the cause of the bad things that happen to me. My faith in the lama has not changed, not at all.

Except for one goat with a bad leg, which he thought wasn't good enough to offer and thus left at home, Lama Ngokpa took everything he had gathered throughout his life as an offering to Marpa. Lama Ngokpa then said to Marpa, I give you power over my body, speech, and mind, and all the wealth that I have. Whatever I possess, I offer to you. The only thing I haven't offered you is one goat with a bad leg. I ask you to give me the special instructions of the Dakinis. Marpa replied, All the other Dharma I know I have given you, but if you want to receive this secret instruction of the Dakinis, you'll have to bring me that goat. Lama Ngokpa himself went back to his house and fetched the goat. It took him one day to return to his house, and then he walked the whole night back with the goat on his shoulders and offered it to Marpa.


Therefore the debate here is, when is it spiritual abuse and when is it the spiritual path. Is Rick Ross definition of abuse not taking into account traditional Buddhism? Is Buddhism an easy path? Is it easy to transform yourself completely? Is it wrong for teachers to sometimes be wrathful because they might make students feel this way? Or is it they have become so soft and gentle that we can now walk all over them & disrespect them?

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