Cesar: Merging Dharma and Daily Life

October 28, 2022

As an acupuncturist, I had to take the Hippocratic oath, so I’ve always had it in mind to do no harm. The longer I practiced Dharma, though, the more Buddha’s teachings started to impact how I treat my patients. At some point, I started to relate to each of them as people with the potential to liberate themselves and become Buddhas. Realizing that meant I no longer felt like I was “taking care of” patients…Yes, there was a job that I had to do, but I stopped seeing myself in a privileged or superior place. We are just two people crossing paths, both looking for the same thing — relief from suffering. In this particular moment, I just happen to be the one fixing whatever pain or disease is presenting for them.

There are so many different ways to view a situation….for instance, I can feel privileged to be asked to help, or happy that I can provide some relief for people. Before I had Dharma, all I had to do when treating patients was try and fix them, whereas now I also work at applying Buddha’s teachings in all kinds of ways.

Venerable Geshela talks about how his teacher, Trijang Rinpoche, taught him what it meant to be a real human being. I didn’t understand this for a long time, until Dharma merged into my daily work life, and I was able to see that every person in front of me was looking for the same thing I was: to be happy and not suffer. Dharma taught me that we are all patients.

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