Saturday, November 12, 2011

All Responsibility, No Control

A bodhisattva takes full responsibility while seeing that there is no control. No control is a fact; taking full responsibility is a choice.

The fact of no control arises from the reality of constant change and interdependence. Everything arises as innumerable causes and conditions come together; everything passes away when the causes and conditions fall apart. There is never a single cause, and never a controlling agent.

The bodhisattva sees how struggle and suffering arise when change is resisted or ignored. From knowing comes the natural wish not only to free oneself from suffering, but to free oneself and others from the confusion and turmoil that lead to struggle and suffering.

The bodhisattva's aspiration is neither a blind craving for pleasure, nor a naive belief that experience can be made to order. One can choose to take responsibility, to respond to the constantly-evolving situation, in ways that tend toward balance and happiness and freedom. Response-ability requires stability and clarity, generosity, patience, and all the rest: a never-ending and joyful training and extending of compassion, capacities, and skillful means.

May all beings be safe, healthy, happy, at ease in their bodies, at home in the world.


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