Working together for a better world...
Someone asked me the other day if Tariki was less Pureland than Amida Trust. I answered that I am as Pureland as ever, if not more so. At the same time I also strongly believe in the power of diversity and interaction. It feel important that, whilst offering a strongly pureland practice to those who have chosen that path, we also embrace other expressions of the spiritual life. All (real) Buddhism is good, and if it doesn't seem so, then that in itself is worth discussing and even debating.
Rooted in the same basic spiritual understanding, all Buddhism shares its common teachings - a comprehension of our conditioned, deluded views and of the possibility for liberation. It does not, however, claim to have the only last word on truth. It understands ultimate truth, but so do other religious serious traditions. Our human descriptions of truth, though, are always pointers toward ultimate truth. They are imperfect and not the full revelation.
Dharma means that which holds. It is the underpinning stratum of life, this ultimate truth, the foundation, the place of refuge. You cannot get to a more fundamental truth than Dharma.
Not everyone will call it Dharma, but we all sense the Dharmic presence. Whether Buddhist or some other religion there will be some insight into Dharma which may be more or less clear. Dharmakaya, the body of ultimate Buddhaness, is the absolute, mysterious unknowable Buddha(ness).
When we seek to talk of Dharmakaya we soon spin off into vague sounding abstractions because to put Dharmakaya into words is to try to put the measureless into a box. For me, Amida Buddha, the measureless presence, is of this kind - in fact I have heard it said that Amida is Dharmakaya, Nirmanakaya and Samboghakaya all at once * - the ultimate measureless Buddha, but also the just reachable, sense-able presence of Buddha that touches us through our intuitive sense, and the concrete presence of the spiritual which manifests in the practical embodied reality of ordinary extraordinariness - that new leaf, that rain drop reflecting the light, that crusty bread.
So life is a kaleidoscope and each person unique in their spiritual language, but yet connected, part of the pattern, rooted in Dharma and reflecting the Buddha light in their own extraordinary way.
Tariki Trust is growing in it own special way. I can only marvel at how people arrive and join this community, on line and at our various events. We are little over a month old, but already it feels as if waves of different ideas, interests and cultures are inter-weaving in fascinating ways.
Pureland inspires me because it gives a frame for not knowing and not being expert. Grounded deeply in our experience of ordinary fallibility it encourages us to meet others in our not-knowing state. But it is not the only path and the richness of what we are growing is the cross fertilisation of different paths. I feel freed up in Tariki to engage at all levels and to trust that it is OK to sometimes take a lead and other times follow.
Our style is already distinctive in this. How wonderful to be able to invite friends and aquaintances to give talks, run retreat days, contribute writing or share in the development of the household. We are neither democratic nor hierarchical in our structures - there are some givens: the house is vegetarian and alcohol free for example. Probably that is not negotiable, but life has a way of surprising me. Much though is possible through mutual respect and co-operation. There is room for different sub-groups and interest strands and our limits are as wide as our imaginations. For example, I am excited that already we have a good community of people interested in working in nature, but equally some people of ideas. We have religious thinkers and confirmed secularists. We have therapists and we have gardeners. We have body workers and we have artists. We have political activists and we have writers. Above all though, I think we are growing amongst us an interest in exporation and learning; for sharing and for enjoying life together.
But these are just some of my views, coming from my own view point, and I dont want my views to dominate in this organisation. I offer them as a stimulus and a starting point. They are just part of a bigger, rainbow coloured, picture. Your views are probably completely different, and maybe as you talk, mine will change too. That is the real joy of it.
So come on. What is Tariki to you? and how can we make it more so?
* the three bodies teaching: Dharmakaya is the ultimate spiritual truth, Samboghakaya its manifestation in symbolic or spiritual form and Nirmamakaya the embodied reality of the human teacher or the physical embodiment of truth.
Add a Comment