Once again I’ve been studying dependent origination. Formally, it has the idea that we suffer because we are ignorant of the cause of suffering. That’s kind of obvious really, but then the teaching goes to unfold the process that leads from ignorance to suffering exploring volition, consciousness, the senses, desire, attachment and becoming along the way.
The other side of it though is that we do depend on each other, on our environment, nature, and the whole universe for our being. In the monastic order monks would traditionally go out into the community for alms; their payment for a spiritual service rendered to the wider community.
I’m self-employed, which is a nonsense term. I’m employed by my clients, who I’m very grateful to work with. When I’m not that’s my own shit surfacing. They depend on me to help them and in turn they feed, clothe and house me. It’s a direct relationship.
If I don’t work I don’t eat, to paraphrase an old Zen proverb. And I like it that way. It helps me push through an underlying depression, which I think is genetic. It’s that depression that makes the process hard. As my father would tell me: I’m my own worst enemy. (We all are.) I’m grateful too that I’m in a situation that enables me to work through my stuff, where I can practice the dharma, and make a living.
The funny thing about the dharma though is that we are conditioned. My brain’s inherited along with its various psychologies. That means that depression isn’t mine. Neither is the money I earn for that matter, but that’s another story. Anyway…
So, thank you to all my friends, because they really are, who help me earn a living.