Thursday, 25 April 2019

Of Mountain Climbing and Practice

"Some people say that mountain climbers are really wasting their time. They have nothing better to do so they climb mountains, tire themselves out, and come back with nothing to show for it.

Yet a person who climbs a tall mountain sees the world in a very different way from someone who never leaves his own front door.

Genuine mountain climbers do not struggle up great precipices for the glory of it. They know that glory is only a label given by others.

A true climber climbs for the experience of climbing. And this is an experience no one can have without setting a foot on the mountain path.

If there is any purpose in Chan, we may say it is to discover the nature of the self.

Those who make this effort discover something sublime. They do not strive for glory and praise from others. Rather, they do the work for themselves."

- Master Sheng Yen, excerpt from the book "Dharma Drum : The Life and Heart of Chan Practice"

This was a passage I found rather inspiring when reading the book.

Putting aside the practice of Chan, I gather this can be applied to every other facet of life, where the focus is to be placed on the experiencing the process itself, instead of the end goals.

The process in itself, is the end goal, and the result, is the mere icing on the cake.

Obviously the "mountain" in itself needs to be a worthy one to undertake, and the intent on why to climb needs to be examine and congruent with oneself, but that is another topic to explore another time.

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