11

Spreading Joy
in Ten Directions

4 of 4

Just as it is

The theme of ordinariness applies equally to the realm of engagement. With or without great leaders, it is ordinary people who bravely and unselfishly change the world for the better. In many cases, the actions that must be taken to respond to the cries of the world are simple steps rather than extraordinary measures. If engaged Buddhism continues to develop along current lines, Buddhism's center of gravity will shift away from institutions toward the actual experience of engaged practitioners, working together.

We have yet to arrive

Viewed as part of a sequence, the path of spreading joy in ten directions represents a culmination. Whereas the initial steps of moving into the world may have been tentative, now one goes forward briskly, with assurance and gratitude. Viewed independently of a sequence, this path is equal to each of the other paths. Since joy is realized in daily life, the family, the workplace, politics, and so on, a second implication of "ten directions" is all ten paths on the Wheel. "There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way."

Identify a situation or relationship that is troubling you. Spread some joy there.

A lotus bud is perfectly a bud just as it is, without having to become a seed-bearing flower. An acorn is perfectly an acorn just as it is, without having to become an oak tree. In that sense, any point on a spiritual path is a point of completion. At the same time, a spiritual path is endless. One of the meanings of being on a path is that we have yet to arrive. There will always be more to see, feel, learn, and communicate. There will always be new obstacles to surmount, more ways to help, and deeper awakenings. Flowers everywhere!