I remembered a teaching from Dharmavidya whilst contemplating the complexities of the 'Self Perfection Project' recently. The classical spiritual analogy of 'The Wolves of Desire' presents an ultimatum of sorts. The wolves represent our primal instincts which have become distorted in the lifelong pursuit of pleasure, and tendency towards that which is bad for us. According to the proverb, if we nurture the beasts that arise in the form of gratification and indulgence we make them stronger and more hungry and we set ourselves up to be overcome with greed again in the future. So which wolf are we supposed to feed if we are to maintain a sense of serenity and to preserve our spiritual integrity? The official answer is, the one that is the most virtuous. We are expected to accept and nurture the good ones whilst all the others get beaten back! For me this is a minefield of guilt, shame, frustration and more of the repression that makes me sick.  

I once had a dog called Frank. We were very good friends. Frank had a very specific set of needs, if these needs were not met he could be very troublesome.  Because Frank couldn't tell me what he needed he would get frustrated and eat everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! Copper pipes, plastic tubs, his own extra strength plastic bed base, watches and cushions were all on the menu if he felt neglected. Over time I worked out that if I walked him a lot, fed him enough and loved him as much as he wanted, he was much more manageable and pleasant to live with. Frank was an explicit reflection of my inner wolves. Even though I didn't realise this at the time, the lesson remains for me to learn from and some fifteen years later it's significance is very relevant!  

Dharmavidya taught me that, to acknowledge my needy wolves and feed them a moderate amount of what they want is to render them less ferocious and reduce the negative influences that they can have in my life. This can make for more freedom in the spiritual sense and more spacious encounters with otherness as I become more available for the world. This and Frank's lesson from the past, showed me that I can't afford to ignore or neglect any parts of myself and that any attempts to do so, any denial of my human nature, are tantamount to Spiritual Materialism, which could be considered one of the main stumbling blocks of the spiritual life.

 So now my job is to learn to give myself a break, which is not as easy as it sounds, by the way.  

Namo Amida Bu(  :

Views: 37

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of David Brazier at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) to add comments!

Join David Brazier at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis)

Comment by David Brazier on July 11, 2017 at 15:02

Nice. Thank you.

ITZI Conference 2017

Blog Posts

Shinran and Ippen

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on April 16, 2018 at 8:00 0 Comments

On Saturday evening our regular study group met on Skype where we looked at and discussed material from "No Abode", a beautiful book about the life of Ippen, ancient Japanese Purland master and "The Essential Shinran" which documents the life of Shinran Shonin, one of Honen's most famous disciples. We had a very stimulating discussion which I enjoyed greatly. We will be meeting again on Saturday 19th May at 9pm British time. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to join us.…

Continue

Buddhism Day

Posted by Andrew Ralph Cheffings on March 28, 2018 at 15:46 1 Comment

I wasn't getting as much done as I intended to or 'needed' to in my previous mode of moving between lots of different activities, so I decided to devote one day a week to a particular activity, and this week I'm doing a Buddhism day. I've finally managed to get started on Vow 22, then I did some online research and catching up with mostly Buddhist emails, then I wrote a dharma talk. I plan to do a service run-through later. It's certainly easier for me to get things done this way. Namo Amida…

Continue

REMEMBERING SAIKO SENSEI

Posted by David Brazier on March 19, 2018 at 21:43 1 Comment

Today is the fourteenth anniversary of the death of Gisho Saiko. Sensei Saiko was the founder of Shinshu Counselling. He wrote a number of books and presented his ideas at international conferences as well as through his university and Buddhist organisations in Japan. He referred to my work in his books and when I visited Japan a few months before his death, he took on to invite me to a number of gatherings and hosted my wife and I in royal fashion. He was enthusiastic that I should play a…

Continue

Bombu Magic.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on March 14, 2018 at 10:31 0 Comments

''The lotus does not grow in the solid ground of lofty plateaus, but in the muddy ponds of lowland marshes. This is an analogy meaning that foolish beings, while in the mud of blind passions, put forth the blossoms of the Buddha's perfect enlightenment; This indicates the inconceivable power of the Tathagata's universal Primal Vow.''

From ''The Essential Shinran.''

© 2018   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service