A spiritual refuge
In the spiritual path, there are three factors: the Buddha - the Master or the Enlightened, the Sangha - the commune or the group, and the Dharma - your nature, your true nature. One of the main things in the Buddhist practice is taking refuge in all these three. Buddham Sharanam Gacchami means 'I take refuge in Buddha'. Sangham Sharanam Gacchami means 'I take refuge in the assembly, the Sangha'. And Dhammam Sharanam Gacchami means 'I take refuge in the true nature of things as they are'.
Buddha or the Master is the Enlightened. The closer you go to Him the more charm you find. You will never be tired of the Enlightened. The closer you go the more newness, the more charm, the more love you feel. It's like a depth without a bottom. Buddha's company will always be new and charming.
Master is a doorway. And the doorway needs to be more charming than the world so that you will come to the doorway. Someone is in the street and there is rain and thunder, or hot sun. They need shelter. They look around, they find a doorway. They come to the doorway. The doorway is more inviting, more charming, more celebrative, more joyful than anything else in the world.
Nothing could give that much peace, joy, pleasure in the world. Once you come to the doorway, you enter the door and see the world from there. See the world from the eyes of the Master. This is a sign that you have come to the Master. Otherwise you may still be standing in the street and looking at the door. But once you have entered the door, then you will see the whole world from the eyes of the Master.
What does this mean? In every situation that you face, you will think, ''If this situation comes in front of the Master, how would he or she handle it?'' or ''If this complication comes in front of the Master, how would he take it?'' or ''If someone blames the Master like this, how would he handle it?''. See the world from the eyes of the Master all the time.
The world looks much more beautiful; not a nasty place. But a place filled with love, filled with joy, cooperation, compassion, and all virtues. The world is much more fun. Looking through the doorway, there is no fear. You will look at the world without any fear. You will be in all relationships with everybody without any fear. Because there is shelter.
From inside the home, you will look at the thunder, you will look at the storm, you will look at the rain, you will look at the bright sun. Inside you have air conditioning. Very cool, pleasant. Outside it's hot. You don't mind because there is nothing that can really distract you, disturb you, or take the fullness away from you. Such a sense of security, such a sense of fullness and joy comes. That is the purpose of having a Master.
All relationships in the world go topsy-turvy. You make relationships and you break relationships. All relationships can get broken or made up and again broken. And there is craving and aversion. This is the world. This is samsara. But the Master is not a relationship. The Master is the Presence. What is necessary is to feel the Presence of the Master, not to make a relationship. Don't make the Master a part of your world. You feel the Presence of the Master, that is eternal. That has been there with you before, now, and will be there in the future, too.
Master is the Presence. World is relativity. And relativity has limitations. Presence is unlimited. Presence is vast, infinite, and all comprehensive, all inclusive. And the presence of the Master in one's life will bring fulfillment to all relations. Every relationship will become complete with the presence of the Infinity if the Master is in your life.
Living with people
The second factor is Sangha, the group. The group is very charming from a distance but the closer you get to it, it pushes all your buttons and brings about all the unwanted things from within you. Any group is very good from a distance or with just a little acquaintance. If you think some group is very good that means you are not yet completely with the group in totality.When you are part of that group you will find some bickering will come up. That's why you find the other group better than your group. It's really not the fact because you make the group. If you are better your group will be better. If you are not better anywhere you go you will make that group also like you.
Sangha has a reverse nature than Buddha - completely different. Once you are used to a Sangha you lose the charm in the Sangha. That is essential because while Buddha makes your mind one-pointed, Sangha, because it is of so many people, can scatter your mind. It will fragment it. Sangha's nature will be such though it is very supportive.If it is only repulsive all the time then nobody will be in the Sangha because our nature is not to be in repulsion. Buddha uplifts you. Just by Grace, by Love, by Knowledge He pulls you up. The Sangha pushes you up from down below. Buddha from above pulls you up and the Sangha pushes you up. And the Dhamma is to be in the middle. Your nature is not to go to extremes. Your nature is to be in balance. Your nature is to smile from the depth of your heart. Your nature is to accept this entire existence totally as it is. Do not crave or be averse. Often you crave for Buddha and you are averse to the Sangha. And you try to change. By changing Sangha or Buddha you are not going to change.
The main purpose is to come to the centre deep within you which means to find your Dharma. This is the third factor. What is Dharma? Knowing this moment is what has been offered to me and that is how I take it. A sense of deep acceptance for this moment, for every moment is Dharma. When this has come up then there is no problem at all. All the problems generate from our mind; all negativity comes in from our mind.
The world is not bad; the world is beautiful. It is our world that is bad because our world has 'us' in it. We make our world ugly or beautiful. So when you are in your Dharma, in your nature, you won't blame the world and you won't blame the Divine.
The difficulty of the human mind is that it cannot be part of the world totally and it cannot be part of the Divine. It feels a distance from the Divine. It's its own creation and yet it feels like blaming the world. It's not comfortable with the world. Dharma is that which puts you in the middle and which makes you comfortable with the world. It causes you to contribute to the world, be at ease with the Divine, and feel that you are a part of the Divine. That is true Dharma.