Wednesday, May 16, 2012

When Finding One's Self Means Losing a Part of It

Lose It All

From time to time we see people that prefer leaving everything in the pursuit of personal, intellectual or spiritual fulfillment. For those who don't understand they are mostly fools to go away what is common, in short they are not conforming with society's calls and suggestions. But for those who understand they are regarded as brave and purposeful.

It is a pity that it is in the nature of man to seek comfort in everything they do. Most men are not willing to forgo his present joys that are only temporary in exchange for the eternal one that is waiting for them. We cannot blame man for that since each and every one of us has varying experience that lead to what we are now. So man kept finding himself on the wrong direction and kept on barking on the wrong tree.

For some, to truly find ones self you have to lose a part of it:

Buddhism and Zen ~ Emptying Your Cup

This wonderful encounter between a Buddhist scholar and a Zen Master is straight to the point. It even made its way through 2012 movie by Roland Emmerich when a Buddhist master and his student was having a conversation on top of one of the Himalayan mountains.

It started when the Buddhist scholar asked the Zen master to teach him to teach her Zen. So first the master asked the scholar to talk about himself. Then, he began to talk about his extensive doctrinal background and rambled on and on about the many sutras he had studied.

Listening to the scholar intently, he started to make some tea. By the time it was ready to be served, she poured into the scholar's cup until it began to overflow and splash over the floor. After seeing what was happening the scholar shouted, "Stop, stop! The cup is full; you can't get anymore in."

The master stopped pouring and said: "You are like this cup; you are full of ideas about Buddha's Way. You come and ask for teaching, but your cup is full; I can't put anything in. Before I can teach you, you'll have to empty your cup."

Saint Faustina ~ The Importance of Remaining Hidden

Saints almost always hide their penance to the world. They don't let the world know they are suffering since sufferings unknown to other men when surpassed brings more fulfillment compared with the advertised ones.

Some Saints keep some diaries to log their day to day encounters. And the best example to this is Saint Faustina, who also favors emptying one's self. We could take a look at some entries of her diary:

I want to become a sacrificial host before You, but an ordinary wafer to people. I want the fragrance of my sacrifices to be known to You alone."... "In the midst of all sufferings, both physical and spiritual, as well as in darkness and desolation, I will remain silent, like a dove, and not complain. I will empty myself continually at His feet in order to obtain mercy for souls.

O life so dull and monotonous, how many treasures you contain! When I look at everything with the eyes of faith, no two hours are alike, and the dullness and monotony disappear. The grace which is given me in this hour will not be repeated in the next. It may be given me again, but it will not be the same grace. Time goes on, never to return again. Whatever is enclosed in it will never change; it seals with a seal for eternity.

Oh, what joy it is to empty myself for the sake of immortal souls! I know that the grain of wheat must be destroyed and ground between millstones in order to become food. In the same way, I must become destroyed in order to be useful to the Church and souls, even though exteriorly no one will notice my sacrifice. O Jesus, outwardly I want to be hidden, just like this little wafer wherein the eye perceives nothing, and yet I am a host consecrated to You...I am striving for sanctity, because in this way I shall be useful to the Church. I make constant efforts in practicing virtue. I try faithfully to follow Jesus. And I deposit this whole series of daily virtues--silent, hidden, almost imperceptible, but made with great love--in the treasury of God's Church for the common benefit of souls. I feel interiorly as if I were responsible for all souls. I know very well that I do not live for myself alone, but for the entire Church.

These writings are very old story that teach us how to live our life in the present. We are too trapped into our own ideas, pursuits, values, that we are not ready anymore to accept other things other than what's already in us. Man has a limitation in every aspect, so in order for him to gain new things he must empty a portion of himself to take in new ones.