Monday, July 14, 2003

Follow Not the Followers

It makes no sense to follow the followers of a teaching and not the founder itself. Do not mistaken intepretations of a teaching to be the teaching itself. Do you take refuge in the Buddha or the fellow "average" Buddhist? Followers try to follow the founder, but it is inevitable that more often than not, you will come across followers who are less than perfect than in following the founder's perfect example. To fellow Buddhists who sometimes lament that they fail to find exemplary model Buddhists who genuinely practice what they preach, or rather, what the Buddha preached... well, let us remember that the Buddha Himself IS the genuine "Buddhist" already. The Buddha should be our first inspiration. This is not to discount the importance of less than perfect teachers, but let us remember it is the founder we aspire to emulate. He is the one we should take reference from primarily. If a teacher can teach you the path, if not part of it, to perfection, even if he is apparently not perfect, the onus is on you, not him, to attain perfection. No fellow teacher or Buddhist's glaring or even subtle imperfection should ever discourage you. Remember that the fact that you do not have inspiring model fellow Buddhists in your life is a karmic effect of your own creation. What you do not deserve you do not get. This should encourage you instead, to put in greater effort in cultivation- to be your own model Buddhist- a Buddha!

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