Are Buddhist practitioners actually spiritual narcissists? Well on the surface it would certainly seem that way.
After all, we are taught to love the self first. Forgive and accept yourself, see your true nature.
And of course meditation is something one does as an individual practice or journey.
Sure, Buddhists have the Sangha (community) that they sometimes gather with. But the true teachings focus on the individual path and journey.
This all sounds pretty narcissistic to me!
But I think it is important to understand that the reason for this is that we cannot truly love and accept all others until we learn to do this for ourselves.
The Dhamma is truly about letting go of the self.
Just like building a house requires bricks and stone, the end result is intended to be a home. The bricks and stone are only the materials for what ends up being a place filled with love. The bricks do not create the love, and the love existed without the house.
This is the practice and the teaching of the Dhamma.
Everything already exists, we only need to see it clearly.
Just like there is water beneath the ground, one may have to dig deeply to discover it. But the water has always been there.
Perhaps understanding this in our practice and in our meditation, we can relax into just being. No need to struggle, to push or pull. No need to cling or desire.
The stillness of the water and the flowing of the water are just below the surface.
I believe once we can see that the stillness and flowing exist at the same time, we become Buddha’s.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.