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Wearing Hats

As we all know, the sangha is the enactment of dharma as told by the Buddha. They the sangha, bless their holy saris, enact the sila or behaviour, 'faking it until real', if ever. In a similar way modes of expression can be portrayed, illustrated and presented for reflection.
In ordinary life, whatever that is, we too wear different and many 'hats'.

Do you have a dharma hat? A means of being and idealised expression you present for the genuinely lost? Or are you so present and advanced that your every word is amber nectar?

I love a funny hat, me. :dunce:

Comments

  • Why are you awake so early, you dunce?
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited August 2013
    I've got a 'Dad hat' when my daughter is playing up and a formal 'work hat' which protects my customers from me; my other 'hats' become a bit blurred after that. My A.A. hat is usually jovial, but not always; I think it's important to be honest and not give the wrong impressions about recovery - it's not always 'happy, joyous, and free' - and some new guys get the feeling that they're not 'doing it right' or 'not good enough' if they're not all happy clappy. So occasionally I'll whine, with the intention of letting them know that it's okay and human to be sad or upset about something as long as we end up dealing with it in productive manner.

    My New Buddhist hat is usually well considered and definitely not bad tempered or tetchy; but in real life I sometimes wear a hat that is.

    Isn't the word personality from 'persona' which is Greek or Latin for 'Mask'? Maybe we ought to be discussing masks, not hats?
    VastmindJeffreyericcris10sen
  • Some folks are pretty serious about their hats.
    Toshriverflowfixingjulianericcris10sen
  • misterCopemisterCope PA, USA Veteran
    I have a "Matthew hat" that I wear most of the time.
    Vastmind
  • howhow Veteran
    So????.... either we are enlightened or we are not & need a Dharma hat to pretend that we are?

    I'd suggest that to the degree that you can be hatlessness is the same degree that one stops obscuring Dharma.
    riverflowCittalobster
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited August 2013
    lobster said:

    As we all know, the sangha is the enactment of dharma as told by the Buddha. They the sangha, bless their holy saris, enact the sila or behaviour, 'faking it until real', if ever. In a similar way modes of expression can be portrayed, illustrated and presented for reflection.
    In ordinary life, whatever that is, we too wear different and many 'hats'.

    Do you have a dharma hat? A means of being and idealised expression you present for the genuinely lost? Or are you so present and advanced that your every word is amber nectar?

    I love a funny hat, me. :dunce:

    Perhaps yours is the hat of the "Bengali Tea Boy"

    Pema Chodron retells a story that is well know in Kagyu circles about Atisha:
    When the great Buddhist teacher Atisha went to Tibet... he was told the people of Tibet were very good-natured, earthy, flexible, and open; he decided they wouldn't be irritating enough to push his buttons. So he brought along with him a mean-tempered, ornery Bengali tea boy. He felt that was the only way he could stay awake. The Tibetans like to tell the story that, when he got to Tibet, he realized that he need not have brought his tea boy: the people there were not as pleasant as he had been told.
    In context:

    http://lojongmindtraining.com/Commentary.aspx?author=3&proverb=13

    There are always people, even in the Sangha, who push buttons - irritating and infuriating us. Whether it's intentional or inadvertent, it's an opportunity to look deeply into the nature of mind - our own mind. So, even people who are intolerably irritating can lead us to awakening.

    One of my best friends in the Dharma is also my Bengali Teaboy. After about ten minutes he starts driving me absolutely crazy. He doesn't mean to - it's just how he rolls. It's unintentional and well-meaning and as irritating as the day is long.

    I have no doubt that I have the same roles for others - sometimes I intend to be an irritant sometimes I haven't a clue what I'm doing. The best I can hope for is, that despite my intent, or lack of it, I may be of benefit to others.
    VastmindmfranzdorfmisterCope
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited August 2013
    @Chaz...you were a benefit to me today :)
    Gratitude. I needed to hear/read this.

    My usual reminder saying for my human sandpaper(s) are
    "There's something about you..... I just don't like about me."
    I try to go from there.
    mfranzdorfBunksmisterCope
  • I often feel like a Bengali Tea boy and whatever I say is pandora's box on auto-pilot. Groups are hardest for me. In my mocassins (or flip flops) I have all this confusion and desire to participate. Then I get angry in myself at how I am saying and understanding things wrong. So I sit in anger and if I do participate my standpoint or mood or whatever only makes things worse and I get signals that I am annoying. That hurts because the road further involves having humans to talk to. It's in our biology we become more alive and happy (sometimes) if we have social contact. Yet it is hard to break the cycle.
  • how said:

    So????.... either we are enlightened or we are not & need a Dharma hat to pretend that we are?

    I'd suggest that to the degree that you can be hatlessness is the same degree that one stops obscuring Dharma.

    Being who we are, is just self actualisation?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

    Not really.
    Natural, spontaneous, creative being is part of everyone's capacity. Long term practioners attain less hat wearing and greater expression of simple innate being. No doubt.

    Dharma is obscured by our expectations, lack of enlightenment and certainty that we know what and how the enlightened behave. Ain't it always the way . . .

    So for example the lowest form of hat wearing is sila based. We follow rules and express the precepts . . .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%9A%C4%ABla

    This is the role of the uniformed branch, the sangha. Those who have actualised and enabled this as natural and/or are at ease with it are considered exemplars.

    Those sitting through, refining qualities or allowing their impediments and obscurations to fall away are the 'hat wearer' known as 'advanced practioners'. They have not attained 'no hat', they just don't wear them. In Zen the highest form as explained in the 'ox herding' pictures . . . This is why the rogue guru is so attractive, doing as they please, so natural, with a bit of mystique for the gullible thrown in . . .
    It is why caution, care and our innate sincerity is so important. Look how popular rogues like Osho are, providing and pandering to half digested ideals of 'freedom' . . . sexual freedom too? Yipee . . . I'll have some of that, we say . . . or do we?
    http://www.buddhanet.net/oxherd1.htm

    Now the question is how to serve? No hat? Or the hat that serves the end?
    Mountain of hats. No hats. Hats.

    So? So just sit, on or under a hat if need be . . . :wave:
    JeffreyVastmindChaz
  • howhow Veteran
    @ Lobster
    I would suggest that meditatively examining ones own hat will show it's nothing but the dream of an ongoing Skandha response/identity defense.
    My practice is simply to not support it.
    In its place..... empathy, sympathy, tenderness, compassion, love and wisdom unfold....not from this particular hatless practitioner, but from the innate enlightenment that was, is and always will be.
    I see no value or consistent truth in calling some advanced or others beginners. There is simply practitioners applying whatever effort they can in this nano second to allow their hats to dissipate.

    Those rogues you mention were simply blinded by the spiritual hats they choose not to let go of. Anyone who acts as if the precepts/guardrails of this path don't apply to them will suffer the due consequence regardless of being hatted or hatless.

    Sitting with or without a hat is a given. The real issue though is whether there is such a thing as a hat that doesn't eventually cause more suffering than it's worth.
    lobstermfranzdorf
  • Sitting with or without a hat is a given. The real issue though is whether there is such a thing as a hat that doesn't eventually cause more suffering than it's worth.
    @ ease or should I say @how, I agree with all you say. Even the above. Thus is the end of the Buddha dharma. The way to end suffering. Accomplished. Complete.

    Hopefully you would accept that though the Buddha is awake, he will die . . . or live according to the dictates of his being. If and only if he has a capacity and compassion to free others he must enter their mindstream in a manner of a Buddha. Shining, persuasive, virtuous etc. Not all realized beings operate according to the shine mode, especially in the dharma ending age . . .

    Only a fool, or the Mahayana compassionate would travel with the suffering as their companion. Only the enlightened would dare to enter hell to preach to the long suffering. Nobody but a complete idiot would contemplate being born into suffering and renounce their very enlightenment as nothing. Mind you they probably have nothing better to do in an eternity of suffering . . .

    Here is a hat I picked out earlier . . . :vimp:
    how
  • misterCopemisterCope PA, USA Veteran
    @Chaz, @Vastmind, I was just thinking about the necessity of abrasive personalities! There was another post around here that I was reading and I was becoming peeved by proxy (I wasn't involved in the discussion at all, just lurking), and I realized what a great learning experience it was.

    Also, I love the term "human sandpaper."
    Vastmindmfranzdorf
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