Sunday, August 8, 2010

What is Maya?

When I lived in the temples, there was a story passed around of a conversation between our spiritual master and a Godbrother. Of course, we never knew which of the stories were actually true and which were fabrications. In many cases, it didn't really matter as they were simply instructive stories anyway, and the point was in the point, now where they originated. So, I would like to share my version of this one with you. It's called 'What is Maya?' or might be called, 'How to be a Nobody, part 2':

So, one day, a certain disciple asked the master, "What is Maya?" The teacher looks at him for a moment and says:

"In the Infinite and Absolute Vastness of the Spiritual Skies, one small portion of it is touched by the material covering, within which there are infinite numbers of material universes. Within each of those universes, there are trillions and trillions of galaxies. Within each of those galaxies there are millions and billions of solar systems filled with innumerable planets. In one such solar system there is a planet called Earth. Upon that planet Earth, inhabited with close to seven billion humans, there are hundreds of countries. In one such country, America, there is a state called Oregon, within which there is a city called Portland. In this city, which has many hundreds of thousands of people, there is a street called Cornelius Pass Road. On that street, there is living a man named 'Aja' (or insert your own city, street name etc. here) who is asking "What is Maya?" and also thinking that he is the center of the entire, infinite experience AND a bag of chips. THAT is Maya? Any questions?"

"Um, just one. You mean I'm NOT???"

Okay, it's embellished a tad, but that's the story (and it really wasn't 'me' although it easily could have been.) Also, another major point is that even given the vastness of it all, and hopefully some little understanding of what an insignificant, infinitesimal part of it any one of us is, somehow, we are still convinced that we are, if not THE most important, still certainly one of the top 10 or so.

As Einstein is 'said' to have once said, "There are only two things which are Infinite: The Universe and man's stupidity, and I'm not positive about the first."

May we all pray for a smidge more humility!

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