Stumbling On the Path


I had a moment a couple days ago where I screwed up. I had an opportunity to do something for someone, and I didn’t take it. I didn’t know the person or have any obligation to help, but I could have, and I didn’t. My selfish, past conditioning kicked in and I refused to help. I let my ego and my toxic karma from the past get in the way of my practice. And to top it all off, it was my wife that called me out on my shit. As I was reeling off a laundry list of reasons why we didn’t need to get involved, she looked me dead in the face and asked, “Is that what a Buddhist would do?”

That hit me like a slap in the face. I feel like a total jerk. I knew she was right. She knew more about the person and the situation than I did. I should have trusted her judgment, instead of my own. Maybe then I wouldn’t have been overrun by selfishness. Maybe then I wouldn’t have strayed from the path.

I felt pretty shitty the next day. I spent most of the morning practicing, trying to generate bodichitta and reciting the Vajrasattva mantra. I felt a lot better after all that. I guess the lesson learned is best summed up in the above quote. I need to learn to trust the people around me, and to trust the part of me that knows what’s right. Doing so will keep me from acting out of selfishness and fear, and walking on the right Path.

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