One time I was blessed to accompany Bodhi and another spiritual sister on a trip where we visited an ashram of another spiritual teacher. The energy was not good there. We attended a fire ceremony and the teacher and devotees were casually throwing offerings into the fire with their left hands (Bodhi has always taught us to use our right hand as a sign of respect and devotion to the Divine). Also Bodhi was not received very respectfully and we left not feeling good vibrations.
The next morning we were having tea with Bodhi and discussed our feelings about the reception he had received. Bodhi imparted a very important Lesson that morning. He held up a teacup and said that the cup held the tea, but it was not the tea. Just as the cup was not the tea, but from the cup we experienced the drinking of tea, so too the Truth is never definable and knowable unless we are exposed to the untruth. The only way we can glimpse the Truth is by experiencing untruth. How do we know there is hot if we don’t experience cold? How do we know Joy if we have never experienced sorrow? How can we be grateful for what we have if we never have gone without?
Our visit to the ashram, while disappointing, was a great Lesson in showing us how to properly do divine rituals and be respectful of spiritual Teachers. If we had not witnessed this directly, and had just heard instructions, it would not have impacted us as much. But most importantly we learned that untruths can be the best teacher of Truth.
We are surrounded by untruths right now during this unsettling time. What can we learn from Bodhi’s most important Lesson that the Truth cannot be known or defined, except through witnessing the untruth? In our meditation are we not able to witness the untruths that float in our minds, and use this awareness to point us to the Truth that lies within us all? Externally we see the untruth of divisiveness breeding negativity, judgments and violence. Can this experience not lead us to glimpse the Truth of Unity, Oneness and Wholeness? If we don’t see the darkness, how can we recognize when Dawn comes?
This incredibly relevant Tea with Bodhi is still ringing clearly in my ears many years later and I thought to share it with you. Eternal gratitude to Bodhi for his Timeless Teachings, and to all of you who share in the Joy of Truth and Oneness. With Love which IS Truth, Be Well.
Sue Berg, Chicago, USA