Insight is itself a not-self not-other experience.
There is no hard and fast boundary around our mind and its thoughts, and we wouldn’t do all the listening, reading and discussing of Dharma if others’ views did not affect us. To an extent, insight depends upon others. You could also argue that to an extent it must also depend upon us, our reflection, our attention to experience, our openness.
Yet we cannot produce insight to order, we cannot just ‘have’ the insights which others describe to us. We may consider that connecting with the ‘world of Awakening’ in various ways gives us the adhistana, the inspiration or connection-power, to facilitate insight. You could say it is the inherent power of our Buddha Nature, the ‘Guru Principle’, which ‘gives us’ insights.
In this way it seems like insight comes from both ourself and other – and neither ourself or anything other. Like many actual insights into our nature, it has that indefinable quality which invalidates the whole idea of separating self and other.
To the degree that we see ourselves as agents in this process, we could dedicate the punya, the Awakening-energy, of this to our ultimate motivation of enlightening all beings. To any degree in which we feel this insight has just ‘come to us’ we will feel grateful for it. If we consider the original compassion of the Buddha in seeking Awakening to find the way of deliverance from suffering, and his further compassion of undertaking to teach the path he discovered, we see we have great reason to feel grateful. Add to this the unbroken lineage of those who have successfully taken this path – and furthermore helped others to follow it and pass on this living flame, and there is a wave of grateful feeling, perhaps just felt towards Awakening itself. This a direct experience of Guru Principle.
Gratefulness comes, not separate from what it’s grateful for,
nor different from who it seems grateful to.
The one mandala of grateful feeling
is the same as the “giving-receiving-gift”-ness
and the “lost-me-relying-on-Awakened-Beings”.
I am all thanks for that One Jewel
with these many facets, reflections within itself.
My refuge in Buddha, Dharma, Sangha is indistinguishable
from my thank-you to these “Three Jewels”
and my wish for all this to act upon
not-separate other beings, bringing them to
an Awakening they apparently don’t have.
Impossible! Yet in this story,
this is my real heartfelt wish.
See also my next post: The Path is a Chain of Connections