Depth Of Enlightenment

This quote is taken directly from The Dude and the Zen Master by Roshi Bernie Glassman and Jeff Bridges on page 108.

Bernie talks about how the depth of enlightenment of a person is related to whom they serve.

The Dude and The Zen Master

The Dude and the Zen Master
from the Library Book Cover


BERNIE: Shakyamuni Buddha said that everything and everyone, as they are, are enlightened. On the other hand, the founder of the Japanese tantric Shingon school, Kobo-Daishi, said that the way you can tell thc depth of a person’s enlightenment, how much she or he realizes the oneness of life is by how she or he serves others. So the one who’s always in,  the one who thinks exclusively of herself, is seeing the oneness of her own self and that’s whom she’s going to serve. If what’s in is her family and her, then she sees their oneness and that’s whom she’s going to serve; the of depth of her enlightenment is her family. If you see people serving society, the of their depth of their enlightenment  is society. I always point to the Dalai Lama as somebody who’s serving the world,
not just himself or even his own Tibetan nation. So the depth of his enlightenment is the world, meaning that he sees himself as the world and the world as himself.

To say that someone is completely not in represents an extreme case of a person who has totally let go of attachment to his or her identity. That’s a state that none of us is really going to achieve, except sometimes, like during that scream that you mentioned. During that scream there is nothing. Nobody’s in.

I have singled out this quote today because I feel strongly that Bernie and Kobo-Daishi are correct and I share his opinion about the Dalai Lama.

This also jives with one of the main purposes of Meditation Practices for Healing and Well-Being is to inspire the insight of interbeing. Interbeing is a word coined by my teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh to express the interconnectedness of all life, or as Roshi Bernie Glassman said, the “oneness of life.”

I am thoroughly enjoying reading the book. It is very entertaining and there are many passages that contain bits of enlightenment. The book is highly recommended by me!

So, what is your depth of enlightenment? Whom do you serve and who serves you? Please share.

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