Naked Buddhist – Part Three

The dharma is an individual work, a lonely work.

The dharma is an individual work, a lonely work.

Yes, I take my study of dharma outdoors with me. And yes, often that study is done while I am not wearing clothing. Buddhism isn’t just about meditation or the wearing of colourful robes by Tibetan monks or monks of other Buddhist paths. For myself as an individual studying in private places and during private moments, being naked is a reminder to me to give up any and all ego games. I refuse to hide behind ego built personae. I deliberately challenge myself to bare my psyche as well as my body, to set aside my truths and see what then appears to me, see what resonates within me from the words of a dharma teacher. Taking refuge, there are three changes that take place. First, there is a change of attitude. One becomes more sympathetic, or kind to both oneself and towards the world as a hole – not just others, but Mother Earth, animals, plants, even the very rocks that we meet on our journey through life. The second change is one of mark. I guess this is close to attitude, but an attitude that is about behaviour – non-aggression. One loses the need to prove anything to anyone else, or to oneself. I guess you could say a person becomes more sane, more gentle, and considerate. The third thing that changes is one’s name. Everyone who takes refuge is given a dharma name. My dharma name is Mingyur Tenzin, which loosely translates into “unchanging dharma holder.” One’s dharma name is more about reminding a person about something they need to concern themselves with rather than as some sort of ego identification. As Chogyam Trungpa so aptly described the process of becoming a Buddhist, one joins a group “of lonely people” a heroic act where one is with others where all are dedicated to work with their loneliness. After all, if one is honest, there is no off-loading of the responsibility to deal with one’s shadows and one’s ignorance and one’s darkness. Being able to be with others who dare this work is a means of finding a secure ground for growing.

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