Are You a Very Serious Practitioner?
Fai: My casual observation: both ‘practice’ and ‘studies’ seems to work well as means for ego inflation. I have met both ‘serious meditators/ practitioners’ as well as Buddhist scholars who have very big egos and think the world of themselves.
Me: [Thoughts upon reading the above] When anyone considers oneself a ‘serious scholar’ or a ‘serious meditator/ practitioner’, chances are that s/he has taken his/her ‘self’ too seriously. And the irony is that such seriousness based on self impedes true advancement in one’s work and practice. The self is always in the way till it’s realised to be illusory. Paradoxically,
A truly serious Dharma practitioner
would realise that
there is no one* who practises the Dharma seriously.
The Lord [Buddha] asked: What do you think, Subhuti, does it occur to the Stream-winner,** ‘by me has the fruit of a Streamwinner been attained’? Subhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord. And why? Because, O Lord, he has not won any dharma. Therefore is he called a Stream-winner. No sight-object has been won, no sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or objects of mind. That is why he is called a ‘Stream-winner’. If, O Lord, it would occur to a Stream-winner, ‘by me has a Stream-winner’s fruit been attained’, then that would be in him a seizing on a self, seizing on a being, seizing on a soul, seizing on a person.”
- Diamond Sutra
* The illusion that there is some’one’ as a result of self-delusion.
** Stream-entry is the most basic attainment that serious practitioners strive to attain in this lifetime.