The most important teaching of Milarepa – The secret of success
“An ounce of practice makes tons of theory.”
” You don’t have to give up one effort except in favor of another effort, because you have to grow incessantly…”
“If you have to do everything you have done before, you will get everything you have achieved…”
“The greatest error of human beings is to believe that they have a lot of time at their disposal…”
Of course, there are many other valuable maxims that convey the teaching about the essential value of practical personal effort.
Spiritual realization can be obtained by direct reference to the natural state, which contains in it all the potentialities and which is, in fact, the Supreme Self Atman (reporting which is a lightning-fast, nonlinear process, without stages) and through spiritual transformation.
The two processes – transformation and direct, lightning-fast reporting to the ultimate realization or to the natural state – support one another.
Spiritual evolution is obtained by personal effort and divine grace.
The latter, however, must be worth it, and even for it, we must show that we understand to do something for it.
Yes, if we take a step towards God, He makes ten to us.
But we need to take at least that one step.
When we do not know what to do anymore, when inspiration has left us and everything seems in vain, what we must do is … let’s work.
No spiritual effort is lost or in vain. Never.
Any action consonates.
In music it is said that when you no longer have inspiration and transformative force in the ability to play an instrument, all you have to do is “make game” (that is, play ranges on the instrument, as is C major, for example)…”.
And even so, you’re progressing. Inspiration will certainly come back later.
Milarepa’s important teaching is perfectly true.
Even if we were infirm or very disliked to those around us, what we have to do is to move forward with the self-transport training.
Sooner or later the light will appear.
We have no way of knowing if it’s over a minute or a year from now.
But we need to act actively, not just wait for success.
“Milarepa dressed Gampopas and said goodbye to him, wishing him a good trip. Gampopa puts his luggage on his shoulder and crosses the stone bridge, leaving Milarepa alone, on the other side
of the river. He continued on his way to the East, but when he was at the limit at which he could perceive the master’s voice, he heard him shouting. Returning, he sees Milarepa in the distance, beckoning him to return. Excited Gampopa returns from the road, crosses the bridge again, curious to find out what his master wants.
With eyes shining with compassion, Milarepa tells him:
– I will give you my last teaching.
The Master led Gampopas behind a cliff.
– Now look!
said Milarepa, who, rolled up his garment, discovered his buttocks covered in large, fleshy qualities, like the hooves of an animal, made after the days of meditation spent in the seated position, without a pillow, on the rocky soil.
– There is no deeper learning than this.
Now you can understand the trials I have endured.
Thanks to this we have achieved a great achievement.
Only through continuous efforts have we accumulated merits and achieved achievement.
You need these efforts, not other doctrines.
Here is the essence of my learning.
Whether or not to become a Buddha also depends on the effort you put in.
If you do, there can be no doubt about your release.
Like a son, do what your father told you! You have to continue to meditate, to sit on one chair, in one place, until you reach the realization.
Here’s the deepest learning of Buddhism: practice!
This teaching will mark Gampopas for life.
Later, on many occasions, he will extract courage and inspiration from it.
He thanks Milarepa with all his heart, and then, on that sunny spring morning, the master and the disciple part.”
extract from “Extraordinary Stories of Tibetan Buddhism” by Lormier Dominique