Thursday, April 7, 2011

When it is proper to be a little anxious

It is often advised that as Buddhists, we should always ensure that our mind always remain calm and collected, especially in times of anxiety, trouble or pain. Is there an exception?

Well, yes. I can think of one situation when a little bit of anxiety is good. A little bit of movement of our mind is good in situations when our guru is sick or having problems. If in such situations we remain unmoved, it will be like telling our teachers that we don't care and don't bother on whatever is happening. Even though we believe our teachers are Buddhas and simply testing us, by remaining unmoved, we will fail his test. It will be an indication that even if he is no longer here, we will no longer care. By showing some concern and a little anxiety, it will demonstrate our sincerity and devotion to our gurus. It shows that we still want him to be around and that he means a lot to us. So, it is proper to recite some prayers at such times. It is not that we doubt he can recover or that he needs our prayers, rather we recite prayers because we are serious we want him to continue to be with us. By doing nothing and continuing our normal life as if nothing is happening will cause our relationship and affinity (karma) with our teacher to diminish somewhat. In future. we may even lose our connection with our gurus or even future gurus. So, be careful, and I would encourage, students of any guru to do something if and when your guru(s) is not feeling well, especially when he is showing signs of passing on.

However, we should not be too over-dramatic because being over-dramatic is often also a sign of hypocrisy. Being composed, yet showing enough concern to recite some mantras or other practices in such situation is good!    

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