From one perspective, all of life is essentially one giant ocean of life, essentially one giant being of all beings, one giant life of all lives. It is only our self-grasping ignorance which cuts up the ocean of life into conceived discreet, independent beings that are somehow separate from one another. We grasp at self and other as being distinct and separate beings. But the reality is we are all parts of the same life.
For example, I grasp at my children as separate beings, but they are not. We are, in effect, one being ignorantly conceived as distinct beings. It is not that they are all Ryan, rather it is Ryan, Claudine, Riley, Harrision, McKenzie, Seferina and Kiara are all different aspects of the same life. My ignorance thinks I am Ryan and imputes ‘me’ on that. But actually, I should impute ‘me’ on this larger, more encompassing being. When the babies wake up hungry, I am feeding and caring for the larger me. It is not that ‘they’ are hungry, it is ‘that part of me is hungry’. I therefore need to care for them as I would care for myself. I need to stop relating to myself as Ryan, and start seeing Ryan as part of the larger ocean of life which is me. The same is true for all living beings, we are all as one giant ocean of life.
When we understand this at an experiential level, in other words we feel and conceive of all of life to be one entity, then we naturally care for all beings and tend to and become attuned to the harmony of interdependence between all the conventionally appearing aspects of life. Equalizing self with others comes naturally, exchanging self with others comes naturally, great compassion comes naturally. Renunciation comes to mean renouncing our false conception of ourselves as Ryan (or whoever we grasp at ourselves as being) and coming to realize who we really are, the ocean of life. Death holds no sway over us because we cease to grasp at ourselves as an independent being that dies, but see our present life as a wave inseparable from the ocean of life which is ourselves – the waves rise and fall, but the ocean merely changes its aspect but remains fundamentally unchanged.
With all of life as one, the need for all beings to attain enlightenment becomes an obvious necessity. Currently the organism of life is very ill with the disease of samsara. This illness permeates all aspects of life. There are some ‘white blood cells’ of the Buddhas who have the power to heal all of life from this illness so that the entire organism of life comes to be completely healed and pure. The ultimate remedy for the illness of samsara is to subside all of the waves of contaminated appearance into the still, pure ocean of the Dharmakaya. All distorted contortions are pacified, subsided and undone and then all of life is able to enjoy the healing bliss of purity. It is when we realize this that we understand the nature of all of life – our mind. All of life and our mind become two names for the same entity. Amazing!
3 thoughts on “The ocean of life”
Dear Ryan, Very beautiful text!
The part about ‘When the babies wake up hungry, I am feeding and caring for the larger me. It is not that ‘they’ are hungry, it is ‘that part of me is hungry’. I therefore need to care for them as I would care for myself.’ – reminds me of a story that Gen. Losang once told us about Geshela. Somebody once showed agroup photo to Geshela in which he was also there and Geshala asked the person – which of this is me. (!) ‘
I really like it!
What is true or not is not really that important, it is how useful it is in regards to everyones happiness.
Sometimes in tantra people develop too much deluded pride for a long time as one of the deities when they should self-generate as something a little more humbling like a goat or a pig to get a real taste of the usefulness of the view into their experience of life. And then move on to a superior view.
Any view that brings us closer to cherish others is highly beneficial for everyone.
Just wanted to point out that our own DNA (is like our own Buddha nature) that repairs and heals us as it gives birth to new cells that are destroyed when our body is inavaded. Likewise, Buddhas never ultimately heal anyone – Buddha’s are more like a vaccine. We are injected with their realizations. When a vaccine is injected into someone they are stimulated to produce their own cure to prevent future disease. This ‘realization’ prevents the person from getting sick in the future. This is likened to our body remembering how to deal with a pathogen. This also teaches that Buddhas are always part of us if we remember. All the help we have received so far is because we have been protected by their realizations, we have been vaccinated partly to certain types of suffering. This is why Dharma holds one back from suffering. I’m a scientist, i can’t help but love this stuff!
KR… i am going to read again & again this words…they are a precious treasure…thanks again for this…
love the analogy….