The only problem with this metaphor is that we leave all the others behind—our drunken brother, our schizophrenic sister, our tormented animals and friends. Their suffering continues, unrelieved by our personal escape.
In the process of discovering bodhichitta [Bodhichitta is a Sanskrit word that means "noble or awakened heart."] the journey goes down, not up. It's as if the mountain pointed toward the center of the earth instead of reaching into the sky. Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move toward the turbulence and doubt. We jump into it. We move toward it however we can. We explore the reality and unpredictability of insecurity and pain, and we try not to push it away. If it takes years, if it takes lifetimes, we let it be as it is.
At our pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down. With us move millions of others, our companions in awakening from fear. At the bottom, we discover water, the healing water of bodhichitta. Right down there in the thick of things, we discover the love that will not die."
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
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