During the May-2022 retreat, anything that could go wrong has gone wrong for me: physical, financial, with people, appliances and even pets. The resistance is strong, and I have no choice, but to bring out a strong determination. Isn’t that the same thing as people working out in the gyms? Resistant training? (Thanks Khandro-la foretold that retreat sometimes is a lot of mess, so I was well prepared.)
Not even 2 weeks into the retreat, one midnight my right eye turned blood-red.Within 2 hours I could not take any light, not even a dim candle light, it hurt so much. My left eye was slowly developing to the same thing. It was 2am, so I quickly went to bed hoping the eyesight would be restored the next day. Waking up in a worse situation, my visit to the doctor gave me some very strong words: “You could be blind! It is dangerous! Go to the hospital emergency now!”
“That’s not the plan … I am in a Retreat!” “How could things fall off the wagon just like this?!” I thought to myself.
In retrospect, NOTHING has gone wrong. In fact, all has gone perfectly right.
I have always been a kind person and usually generous, but that’s not Bodhicitta.
Reading books or reciting sadhana do not bring Bodhicitta.
Bodhicitta is altruism and equanimity, my kindness is way far from that. My lay-kindness is segregation and bias, lots of you and me, him and her.
I have been longing for the transformation, and viola … when I was blind, I did Tonglen. (1st time in my life because it was on the assignment list, thanks again!)
At that point, in the midst of hopeless suffering, I experienced the ONENESS. I did not even care about the formality of “arranging” a Tonglen meditation, I did it right there and then when the inspiration arose. I was standing and this very intensive Tonglen gushing out from the bottom of my heart truthfully. The taking and giving has no me, no them, no division and without any reservation. That moment, I tasted Bodhicitta.
Think that I will share it with my Vajra siblings in this retreat. If you are seeing obstacles, look again! I only realized many days later about my experience. Although I likely won’t finish all the accumulations of mantras, I will just give myself one more week, no big deal. But having a glimpse of Bodhicitta is a big deal to me!
(BTW: my eyes are all fine now. It was an abrasion on cornea a few layers deep, germs went in and caused acute infection. Prescribed for antibiotic drops and antiviral pills that have me well covered.)