Picture the old man instagramed to illustrate this episode of Pulp Buddhism in which the Naropa Prairie Dog Players do a dramatic reading from volume five of Rinpoche’s collected works, in his own words…
“We might say, ‘I’ve been practicing; I’ve been seeking enlightenment, nirvana, but I’ve been constantly pushed back. At the beginning, I got some kind of kick out of those practices. I thought I was getting somewhere. I felt beautiful, blissful, and I thought I could get even better, get beyond even that. But then nothing happened. Practice became monotonous, and then I began to look for another solution, something else. Then at the same time, I thought, I’m starting to be unfaithful to the practices I’ve been given. I shouldn’t be looking for other practices. I shouldn’t look elsewhere, I should have faith, I should stick with it. Okay, let’s do it.’ So I stick with it. But it is still uncomfortable, monotonous. In fact, it is irritating, too painful.'”
“We go on and on this way.”
“We repeat ourselves.”
“We build something up and make ourselves believe in it.”
“We say to ourselves, ‘Now I should have faith. If I have faith, if I believe, I’m going to be saved.’
“We try to prefabricate faith in some way and get a momentary kick out of it.”
“But then it ends up the same way again and again and again—we don’t get anything out of it.”
“There are always those problems with that approach to spirituality.”
“We are not looking for a kick, for inspiration or bliss.”
“Instead, we are digging into life’s irritations, diving into the irritations and making a home out of that.”
“If we are able to make a home out of those irritations, then the irritations become a source of great joy, transcendental joy, mahasukha—because there is no pain involved at all.”
“This kind of joy is no longer related with pain or contrasted with pain at all.”
“So the whole thing becomes precise and sharp and understandable, and we are able to relate with it.”
End scene. Fini.
Another episode of Pulp Buddhism brought to you by the Naropa Prairie Dog Players and by viewers like you, thank you for your support.