The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Western Chod”
I would work as hard as I could on each body part until I felt that I had gotten to some level of result, and then I would continue. For certain aspects of that practice, it really did take a month, a whole month, for just one small thing. Eventually I found that I was able to go through every single part of my visible body.
Then, I was able to think about my five senses—my eyes, my vision. That’s another thing that, really, we are very much attached to. The idea of being without vision, of course, is terrifying. When we really examine what these eyes actually do, we find out that they prevent us from running into trucks or maybe walking into walls, or they help us to read books, and watch TV, We can see our children, we can see our families, we can see our loved ones. We can see beauty, we can see in the mirror. We can see all kind of things…. These eyes are really good, right? I’ve also found when I really examined them that these are the eyes of dualism. That these are the eyes that are literally an extension of dualistic thinking. These are actually the eyes that are meant to see samsara or the cycle of death and rebirth, and only that. That’s all they can show me. They’re not able to see the primordial wisdom nature. They’re able to see that mirror on my pretend altar that was like a symbol of that, but they cannot see deeply. They cannot really see anything. Eventually, I came to understand, for instance, without my eyes I would not be able to read my prayers and I would not be able to read text of any kind. So I’ve come to understand that definitely the eyes, like any of our senses, according to the way humans appear in this realm, make us complete. With all of the senses and faculties complete, I came to find out eventually that we can practice Dharma because of that. So this is a really good thing.
Although they can be used to help an ordinary sentient being practice the practices that bring about the awakening to the primordial wisdom state, still, I would have to say that the ordinary use of these five senses is extremely limited.I cannot directly use my eyes to liberate anyone or terminate the suffering of anybody else right now. Eventually maybe I can if I keep reading the text and really practicing. But, for right now, maybe I could help somebody cross the street if they couldn’t see or if someone got something in their eyes maybe my eyes would work well enough to get it out.
There are pros and cons of the five senses, but ultimately I found out that whatever they are, they are not enough. I found out enough to know that I intend to use them to accomplish practice, that I intend to use them to benefit sentient beings. Ultimately, concerning the five senses, I found them to be more like work horses. They should not dominate me. I should not look at the world and go, “Oh, wow! Oh, wow! Oh, wow! I want that and I want that and I want that.” Everything is a big feast of desire, you know, and all I think about is gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme. You know the old mantra? Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme. So if I use them like that then what are these things? They are just round spheres of flesh. They are nothing else. It is just meaningless. The fact is that they would help to hook me in even deeper to samsara if all I see is objects I desire.
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