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"A Window to the One Heart of Compassion"
Transcript of a talk delivered by Brother ChiSing
Awakening Heart (Community of Mindful Living)
Feburary 21, 2010 - Dallas, Texas

Lunar New Year "Celebration of the Heart"

Good evening everyone. My message will be a little bit short tonight so we will have time for the rest of the program, which is very beautiful tonight—thank you so much. I felt all of your light energy tonight. Especially during the meditation.

Several years ago when I was in college, I had a roommate named Juan, and he told me about something that happened to him when he was a teenager. He was in a car accident just outside of his house. And as he began to bleed and lose consciousness, he felt his spirit leave his body.

And he began to float above his body toward this beautiful light. And it was so peaceful, so beautiful, so accepting, he knew he would be safe if he went toward the light. And so he headed towards the light, into this infinite love, this vast acceptance and then he heard his mother screaming, "Mijo! Mijo! (My child! My child!)" And she was crying and praying to God, "Please don't let my son die!"

And in that moment, he knew that it was actually his choice in that particular situation. He could continue on into the light, which would be wonderful or he could go back out of compassion for his mother. And for all the work that he was meant to do in his life. Obviously he made the choice to come back since he was my roommate several years later.

But I have never forgotten that story. And since then, I've heard many stories from people, from friends who have confided in me about such kinds of experiences. So even though I have not had one of those particular kinds of experiences, I have absolute faith that those experiences are real. There is no reason why my friends would lie to me.

So I trust them. And I also trust these experiences because I have had certain experiences of other kinds that confirmed to me the reality of this spiritual universe… That we are not this separate self— this body/mind. That we are the vastness itself which cannot be described in words. But the body/mind doesn't always recognize that and that's okay. But through the practice of mindfulness and meditation and spirituality… there's a waking up that happens.

And there is a deep knowing that happens.

For many of us we think that the spiritual journey is about transcendence, and actually that is a very important part of the journey to go from lower levels of reality to higher levels of reality. And that is definitely part of the journey, but that's not the totality at all, not even the goal of the journey.

I think that my friend's experience really embodies what really is this ultimate goal of the journey, if you want even to call it a goal. It's not to go away from here. It's not to try to leave behind all these mundane physical realities to some higher plane of existence, even though that is part of the journey. Rather, it's waking up to the light that we are. Waking up to the fact that we already are that transcendence and therefore we don't really need to transcend… because if we're already that beautiful transcendence, what is there to transcend? But when you wake up to who you really are, then you remember why you're here in the first place.

Some spiritual teachings in our past history have said that this body is evil, this earth is fallen, that we are all sinners by birth. Can you imagine that?! Tell me any mother who'd look at their baby and say that this is a sinner by birth (laughter). It's ridiculous… only men could have come up with these kinds of ideas (more laughter). No… there are those kinds of… you know that: "This world is terrible and evil and it's just a bad idea that God had," or something like that.

No. I don't believe that. There's a reason why we're here. And when we wake up, just like my friend Juan as he was going toward that light, he had an awakening experience in that very moment… His heart has a truth that is so deep and so powerful. And if we can really get in touch with that heart we'll remember why we do want to be here. And I know that it can be a struggle. It can be difficult. There's a lot of suffering in this world.

And I struggle too. We all have our struggles and our sufferings. And there are days when I really wish I could just go on to another life or whatever. This world just seems like so much trouble. But when I wake up to the truth in my heart, that truth in my heart says: No. Be here now; remember why you came to this earth in the first place. To be that light that you are in the darkness… To be that hope in the places of despair. Like my friend Juan… to be there for his mother. He would be fine just going transcending toward the light. And eventually, his mother would be fine. But he chose to come back. Because he remembered in his heart why he came in the first place.

So in our practice, don't seek bliss; seek peace instead. Don't seek eternal pleasure, seek eternal service and helpfulness. I know it's difficult. Because—and it's not that should have any joy in our practice. We definitely need that to encourage us. But if it's the only reason why we're practicing, we're missing a big piece of the puzzle. Come back to your heart. This is why Jesus came. And no matter what he suffered, He did it because of His love. This is why the Buddha came no matter how hard the trials, he wanted to become enlightened for the sake of all beings.

So you are here as a Christ, as a Buddha, as a divine being. Don't forget who you really are just because of the human disguise that you have. There's a purpose for your human disguise. There's a reason for your particular parents, your particular upbringing. So that you that can serve your particular world in your particular way, with your particular gifts.

I know it's hard as a human being. So that's why we meditate: To remember and then come back fully here and now. See, meditation is not about transcending everything. Meditation is to remember who you are, to find the encouragement, then to really be here. To be here on the earth. To be here. To let thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

That's what the pure land of Amitabha Buddha symbolizes. In our meditation, we get in touch with our reality that is within the spiritual realm of reality. And then that allows us to then bring it down to earth. The pure land here and now… the beauty here and now… the light here and now… through our words, through our actions, through our relationships, through our unique gifts we are each a portal of the one divine heart… You see, each heart is actually a window to the one heart that shines… in all the universe.

Transcribed by Carol Dickson-Carr

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