On my way home from work, I heard the sounds of a crowd at the Capitol. I joined in to listen (Elizabeth Warren spoke shortly after I arrived) and chanted with my fellow citizens–the chant not “om mani pedme hung” nor “om mane padme hum,” but on this particular night, with this particular crowd, addressing this particular issue, “one more vote.”
Being out here over and over again regardless of hope of the immediate outcome being effectively influenced is a variation on tapas, on sadhana, on seva, on faith put into practice.
It seems that this monk and I are being drawn to the same places this week, though I am guessing our days are pretty different.
Leaving aside whether there is such a state as enlightenment and whether nirvana is enlightenment or its equivalent, I believe one should always question one who promises “the” path and doesn’t just offer “a” path that has served the one offering teaching or access.
Of course, other than potential issues in any community that makes such exclusive promises, one is always free to taste and explore and reinterpret the “the” as “a.”