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|Friends celebrating completion of semester|
In one of my classes, I heard of a mental and emotional ability, which a Bodhisattva needs to develop on the path of preparation in the Mahayana. This path is one out of five paths that describe the training of a Bodhisattva. And this ability that one develops on the path of preparation is the ability to be comfortable with groundlessness.
In studying the teachings on emptiness, as in the discussion of the 9th chapter of the Bodhicaryavatara, the Lopon got asked continuously: “If things are not as substantial as they seem: aren’t I to fall through the floor?” This is one kind of groundlessness that arises when listening and contemplating the teachings on emptiness.
A little bit of falling through the floor is actually right now happening to those RYI students who enter summer break. If only for a short month or for three months: there won’t be a schedule and the routine that carried us through the last two semesters is no more. As for me, of course, I know ‘how to defend myself’: a new schedule, a new project and new events are soon to fill the open space of the summer break. Yet, I can’t deny that with the end of the spring semester, the reality of impermanence makes itself known once again and I find myself feeling close to the reflections on emptiness, once more. Reflections, which consider that every person or event is arising through inconceivable conditions and don’t inherently exist.
As I say good bye to my friends for the summer and am preparing to leave Nepal for three months, I hear myself repeating the wish: “See you in the fall!” Now in the context of these reflections on groundlessness, this simple wish seems also like an aspiration prayer to me. Known and unknown conditions contribute to my ability to come back to
Nepal for the fall semester. Known and unknown conditions support me to write these reflections right now. Slowly I find myself growing in the understanding that it is important to open to the emotional and mental ability to be comfortable with uncertainty. Slowly and with the wonderful support of study at RYI, I see my mind becoming ready to plunge into the gap between events and thoughts. While at the same time, I also seem to find the ease to embrace the current moment, saying: “Thank you for all the study. – See you in the fall!!”
~Shoho from Germany