Q: Rinpoche, how do we find the best balance between a mundane and our spiritual commitment and aspiration?
A: I think the balance will never come, if you are not committed to the small progress, even though you have a pure intention. I think you have to make a clear distinction between the pure intention and which is the foundation, which is the cause or to develop to certain positive qualities. And then there’s an actual growth that needs a commitment, the spiritual growth.
In order to have that growth, if you having a mindset that, ‘oh, I need to be enlightened in one single lifetime, and I need to be enlightened right now and whatever the teaching I can grasp right now, and I want to do it soon as possible’, with the mindset with such panic, even though it is a good panic and sense of panicking yourself and overwhelming yourself. That kind of spiritual commitment is not positive in aspiration, and it’s not really beneficial for long term. Like I said, if you focus you on your spiritual journey with extreme excitement, and that still shows a very clear indication that you had a lack of understanding. So I think you have to make a clear distinction between having a pure intention and also having a solid foundation.
And then the third is, yourself having a sense of, ‘Oh, I need to focus day by day’ and then also having a genuine honest to yourself by looking back into your improvement, looking back into your distraction, looking back into your own obstacles and put a comparison and then finding a growth from that. I think is quite necessary and needed.
And then bringing that quality or bringing that dharmic quality or spiritual quality into our ordinary life will come naturally and you have to let it come naturally. That is not something you can push or force. If you have a mindset that, ‘oh, I do this practice and then therefore, the benefit of my practice should be equivalent to what I have invested in terms of time’, and if you have that kind of a mindset, then you’re wrong. So don’t try to put the mindset like, ‘Oh! I work hard, I work smart and I make more money or I become more richer. ’ Yeah, that is our normal mundane perspective. That is right in its own reality. But in the spiritual reality, which is not really a different but with a deeper understanding. I think the most important is that, you having a sense of patience, and having a clear understanding of the reality of the suffering and then being patient to your own growth.
Buddha didn’t became enlightened with the sense of panicking himself. He saw the reality as it is, as a part of the suffering. And then he got a wakeup signal. I mean, if I put it in a very normal way.
With love and respect from your Kalu Rinpoche
10th, Nov. 2019 Live Q&A