I am enjoying exploring the reversals of teaching, finding the genuine truths in them for myself. It invites in a receptivity around it, and also helps me gain new insights from the truth in the reversals.
- Affirm life; Do not kill
- Be giving; Do not steal
- Honor the body; Do not misuse sexuality
- Manifest truth; Do not lie
- Proceed clearly; Do not cloud the mind
- See the perfection; Do not speak of others errors and faults
- Realize self and other as one; Do not elevate the self and blame others
- Give generously; Do not be withholding
- Actualize harmony; Do not be angry
- Experience the intimacy of things; Do not defile the Three Treasures
So how can I find the genuine truths in their reversals, and why it is better when they happen, in a way that is alive for me here now?
The most obvious one for me is as a practice. I can investigate beliefs that leads to killing, stealing, arrogance, and so on. I can fully allow the experience that comes up around any of these. I can take time to find in myself what I see in others around this.
I find a belief, explore what happens when I hold onto it (that is where the reversals of the precepts come in), then how it is to not hold onto it, and find the genuine truths in its reversals.
I can go into a memory of having engaged in the reversals of these precepts, or imagine doing it, and then fully allow the experience that comes up. Be with it, in a wholehearted and heartfelt way, as if it would never change.
I can find in myself, in a genuine way, with receptivity of heart, feelings and mind, what I see in others when they live and express the reversals of these precepts. I see that we share this. We are in the same boat. We are not so different.
In each of these ways, I can find the truth and gifts in going into the reversals of these precepts.
Also, I can appreciate the gifts in inadvertently living and acting from the reversals of these precepts, and then being stunned and shaken by my own actions. It shakes me out of my complacency, and invites me to explore what is going on.
Beyond the practice aspect, in a more pragmatic way, I can also find the gifts and truths in reversals of the precepts. When and how is it better that the reversals are lived?
Do not kill.
We kill plants and animals to eat and stay alive, and that form of killing is an act of love. Love for this human self and whomever else is fed by it.
Killing to eat and stay alive creates an intimate bond among all life. We all share this situation. We all share matter and energy through eating and being eaten, it flows through us all in this way.
I also find that killing in any form comes first from fear (of what will happen to this human self and the ones it cares about) and then love (for this human self and its circle of us), however deluded and confused it may be, and however much it creates suffering.
I find that killing, in any form, invites compassion in me and an investigation of how to live more from an open heart and skillful means. How can I live while minimizing killing and suffering? How can I contribute in preventing and lessening it in the world?
It invites me to fully allow the experience that comes up for me around it, and investigate beliefs triggered by it.
And finally, killing stuns me, shakes me up. It invites me to question and explore everything related to it. What is behind it? How can I minimize it and the suffering around it? Am I really this human self that surely will die?
The reversals of each of the precepts than be explored in a similar way, which I may (or may not) do here later on.