domingo, 22 de noviembre de 2009

“I don’t want it; I don’t need it” (Dzigar Kongtrül Rinpoche)

There is a story of a destitute beggar who had an experience of freedom from his own desperation. He lived in India during the time of the Buddha. The Buddha saw him in the street and could see that he had been reborn in a deprived state of poverty five hundred times over. The Buddha told this man that he would give him a bag of gold if he could say, “I don’t want it; I don’t need it”, three times. The beggar —so bereft of merit— had difficulty forcing out the words. But with the encouragement of the Buddha’s attendant Ananda, he finally choked them out, “I don’t want it; I don’t need it.” It was excruciatingly difficult. But he did it and received the bag of coins. This was the Buddha’s kind ploy to help the beggar cultivate a seed of contentment and positivity in his own mind.
I have always found this story particularly touching. So one year when I went to India to make offerings, I decided to try it myself. I had a bag of coins and I came across a beggar in Bodh Gaya, just like the one in the story. I told him I would offer him the bag of coins if only he could say, “I don’t want it; I don’t need it”, three times. It was painful to watch him so conflicted and unable to respond. I thought he would miss the opportunity entirely. After a while, some Indian boys gathered around and shopkeepers came out of their shops. I knew many of them, and so they trusted me and began encouraging him. Soon they all cheered together, “Just say it! Say it!” People walking by joined in. Finally, at some point, he did it. And each time he repeated the words, I could literally see his whole presence and demeanour shift from a state of impoverishment to a state of recognition —a recognition of some inner strength and richness, or merit, that seemed to emerge from deep within. In the end, he accepted the coins in a dignified and noble way.

From “Seed of Contentment”, in chapter 4 (Invisible Strings. A Case against Attachment) of Light Comes Through. Buddhist Teachings on Awakening to Our Natural Intelligence, by Dzigar Kongtrül (Shambhala Publications, Inc., 2008).

5 comentarios:

  1. Otro favorito... ¡Me encantó la historia! :-D

  2. Es estupenda, ¿verdad? (sabía que te gustaría ;-)) ¡Y más estupendo es mirar a alguien, sobre todo si es inmensamente rico, a los ojos y decirle eso!

  3. Yo no dejo de encontrarle un punto tremendamente cruel a la historia, sin dejar de lado la intención profunda.

  4. Precioso. Leí el libro en el retiro y esa parte me impactó especialmente, no sabía que la tenías aquí subida :-) Y, como dijo Aznar, "estamos trabajando en elloo..." (en el desapego :-D)

  5. pues a mí me impactó sobre todo porque acababa de terminar de trabajar con "Miss Daisy" y si antes lo tenía claro, después de tres meses con ella era superevidente para mí que nada de que realmente importa se puede comprar; que de verdad "no lo quiero, no me hace falta" (frase que, además, le dije en alguna que otra ocasión y ella jamás entendió :))