The Birthday Present

It has been two long years where I felt l I’ve been shoved into warned out traditions of Buddhist practices where certain majorities of them are made for the self-centered, egocentric, rank hungry, power spinners and money tycoons.  A rat-race where the highest pedestal is the finish line… a place where one is hoisted to a position of Lordship… dominant and uncompassionate, impervious to poverty, social disruptions, hardships and discriminations.  However, this setting for profanity does not come without a price.  The term “Bhikkhu” (beggar –or– the one who asks) was the title Buddha addressed himself… the same went for his male and female disciples, bhikkhu and bhikkhuni“Should a crown be placed on your head, not only you will be unmoved by its worldly authority, but you shall reflect upon the pain and suffering it will bring.” To be anything higher than a simple beggar is a corruption and degradation to the company’s head boss, the Buddha himself.  Those who have been there, have lived, seen suffering and tasted the fruits of Dhamma shall stand firm and by no means veer from this path, grinning at the acts of innocence and ignorance for those who are unable to interpret poverty from austerity or wealth from suffering, let alone able to understand the Heavy Loads of Aggregates.

When a person is engaged to protect the Dhamma, nothing can be more demeaning to his spirit.  To see those who should “STOP” or even journey in opposite direction to the Mara’s world be swayed by its current.  The refusal of intoxicants such as ranks and power often demonstrated by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu in the past is now out of fashion and are viewed as actions of disgust.  My master Luongta Sayud (teacher of Phra Mana Viriyarampo of Sunnataram Forest Monastery – Australia) aged at 35 vassa (years of ordination) is today ordered to be seated at the back row in official ceremonies because he is rank-less, while an 18 vassa hot shot Chao Khun gloats at the front and give Dhamma talks.  Meanwhile all monks & lay community are expected to bow down to the Chao Khun.  It seems that ranks can buy off Bhikku’s ordination years nowadays.  It is repugnant for these individuals to reap the benefits while hiding behind the brand name of Buddhism.  This ugly duckling feels all alone in this region of the world, and the feeling that you are running in the opposite direction to everyone else on the race track can wear your liveliness thin, place a stain of an outcast on your name and diminish your energy towards the Dhamma practice, until one day there appears to be so little spirit left to fathom.  One knows he is about to descend to his knees, but his aged spirit still dramatizes the “I am OK!” expression on his face with two thumbs-up to the crowds.

This year I feel I’ve been kicked, burnt, lost, downed and depressed.  Normally, there is nothing harmful about mental abuses performed by crazy people, especially when you know they’re already nuts and they do the same to everybody else.  Should one’s mind be in somewhat of harmony, abuses and maltreatment can bring out the best in a person… it can make you really want to fight back and rise once again to the occasion.  However, should one be already in the state of lost, it can crush your soul, murder your ego, rupture your drive, clip your wings, break your propellers, kill your engines, darken your heart and leave you completely stranded, lost deep within that darkness.

Fueled with frustration, I took the fights to them all, even those who tried to help me.  I became an ungrateful moron, biting the hands that fed me.  I may have injured a great Dhamma companion and not to mention permanently damaged our friendship along the way.

I am downed yes… but I am not out.  Not yet.  Because this birthday present is to be one of my life’s greatest challenges to come… it has been two years without any fiery episodes of enthusiasm.  But now my Australian friends and The Dhamma HQ up there are really giving me the test of a lifetime.  First… dealing with my anger, frustration, negativity, love, hatred, desires, doubt, confliction, self-mutilation and confusion.  Day after day, I endure hours of fiery blaze engulfing me whole without means of escape, no light of mindfulness to see, no energy to step out of the flame, no wisdom other than to endure it and let it exhaust out by itself.  Watching the feelings die down gradually.

But in amidst of all the chaos… there is stillness.  A birthday present from the Dhamma HQ.  The mind wishes to be stilled and focused, slowed and careful, aware and let be, relocate and shift away from the throbbing without my involvement in the matter.  This mission will take me back to my first year of ordination.  Before I knew anything about the Dhamma… back to the very basic of the practice, with a few upgrades and increased difficulty to make each level a lot more challenging than before.

I will not be worn thin by worldly illusions, I will not view Mara’s circular blade as a lotus, I will embrace suffering and see its true nature.  My spirit is strong, my intensions are pure, I am to help others, my goal is to think beyond myself and think of others before me.  To have been there is to know, to know is to have compassion for those going through the same ordeal.  To understand my place and correct inappropriate mistakes in the past.  To surpass in my Dhamma practice and assist those in need.  I will not be a champion, but the shadow of a falling leaf in the wind.

This is to be my last post on this blog.
Therefore for now… goodbye from Phra Mick Ratanapanyo Bhikkhu.

May all be well and happy,
positive and free,
free from anger,
free from sorrow,
free from hatred,
free from illusion,
free from birth,  old age and death.

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3 Responses to “The Birthday Present”

  1. Kean Beng Says:

    Are you serious, PM? Last Post??

  2. Well, this entry is filed under ‘Impermanent’. So you never know 😉

  3. An old Chinese proverb is very fitting here- The measning of life id to seek the Truth…and there is no Truth.

    If you can, sit with Luang Ta. Be still and quiet and just sit with him.

    You will be still.

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