37 Practices-Practice #7

How can you expect the successful wheelers and dealers of this world to help you when they themselves are mired in worldly woes? Instead, look for refuge and support in what’s real and reliable. The Sons and Daughters of the Buddhas all follow this practice.

Lama Das’ Commentary:

In life, when we find ourselves in crisis, we sometimes look for support, love and guidance in all the wrong places. In Buddhism it is taught that we can consistently turn for help and solace to what is tried and true — The Three Jewels: the enlightened teacher, the liberating teachings, and the spiritual friends/community.

Self-Examination:

Am I looking for what I need in places where it can be found?

Shihan Henderson’s Commentary:

As with Buddhism, Budo studies share the same three Jewels: a wise Sensei, ancient liberating practices and a Budo community. As well for ourselves, when we find stress and difficulty enter our lives do we mask it by looking to other things, such as: the pursuit of riches, shopping or perhaps the reinforcement of a bad habit. These things are all ultimately empty.

Understand that it is normal to strive for a certain level of material well being. The problem exist when the pursuit of those material objects takes over our lives and begins to block out our spiritual and/or Budo training.

With the number of distractions thrown our way each day, and whole industries set up just to do that, we need to be ever vigilant that we keep our Budo and spiritual training in the front of our minds. Look to your fellow Budoka and the Budo community in general for that support when you feel your own energy level breaking. You might be surprised to find others in the same spot also needing a helping hand and the both of you can reinforce one another. What better exercise can there be than helping a fellow Budoka along his or her own path. Walking with one another together for a period of time, whether it be short or long, is a blessing and a gift that both should feel fortunate to be given.

Remember that many people are in situations where they are not afforded the benefit and guidance of another and thus may never be able to give back either. We can take advantage of this and truly grow along side our friends and training partners. As we grow, we become even more attuned to the special nature of this relationship and are better equipped to see through the illusionary relationships that constantly bombard us, trying to knock us off guard and stall our growth. This is the main benefit of serious Budo practice.

Budo-Examination:

Do I take solace in illusionary pursuits whenever I feel stressed or out of control or do those feelings cause me to focus even more attention on my studies? Do I think of the three Jewels of my Budo studies as special “blessings” or do I see them as obligations, something dragging at my back?