Posts Tagged ‘humility’

Foolish Beings

January 25, 2015

“I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”¬†St. Paul

217px-Paris_Tuileries_Garden_Facepalm_statueWe are often powerless to do the good that we want to do. There is a dissonance between the lives that we live and our highest ideals, be they religious or secular. We desire to be loving and compassionate and yet the littlest things evoke thoughts of anger in our minds. We easily forgive strangers but cling to hurts caused by those nearest to our hearts. We rejoice in the troubles of others, despite our vows to bring happiness to all. We are, as the Pureland Buddhists say, foolish beings: Bombu.

Accepting our bombu nature is an act of humility. It means acknowledging our mistakes and shortcomings. It is accepting that there is a Truth bigger than our little selves. It is awakening to the unsettling reality that we receive far more than we could ever repay. That is why,as bombu beings, gratitude is our religious practice. Love and compassion are just the overflowing of this gratitude into the world. We awaken to the possibility of a life lived for the benefit of others, who have already offered us so much, even if we do not yet see it.

Peace, Paul

Photo: “Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statue” by Alex E. Proimos – http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons¬†