I have come to see that this practice can be an attachment just like anything else. And there truly is no attachment that is ultimately wholesome or beneficial.
Which is where I have come to see Buddhism, and any associated temple, like a bus.
We use buses to get from one place to another, and the bus never ever takes us to our final destination. It may get us close, but there is never door to door service. And like buses, some are new and shiny, while others are grungy and dirty. Some have a few people on board, others are overfull. Some people on the bus seem nice, while others may appear unsavory or dangerous. But you don’t ride the bus to make friends, nor is it a place you would go to just hangout and have coffee.
It’s a vehicle to help move you, and you are fully aware that it is not “your” bus.
So why do so many get attached, and put huge expectations on their practice or their temple?
I think a lot of it has to do with our society and culture here in America. Largely Christian based, most of us retain some degree of hope for safety and salvation. Something greater than our tiny selves that we can hold onto for security. A place of comfort, peace, joy and noble friends. Not a place with all of those odd people that we share the bus with!
But guess what, these are all the same people. Monks or laypeople, people are people. Human beings with individual character traits and flaws. Without perfection, each doing the best they can to navigate this short time that we have on earth. Many looking for answers, just like me and you.
Over the years, I have not only gone through numerous changes and states of mind about my practice, but have become overzealous and then turned to aversion and distancing of myself from this bus. Finding now, that neither one is the most mindful course of action. Buddhism, the practice, meditation, and any temple, are merely a form of transportation. Any expectations that we have are self-induced delusions and will never lead to anything but remorse and possibly anger.
See it like it is, and do your best. There’s no perfect, and it’s never anybody else’s responsibility but yours.