Sunday, 17 November 2013

FULL MOON – Sunday 17th November 2013


From endearment springs grief.
From endearment springs fear of loss.
Yet, if one is free from endearment,
there is no grief
so how could there be fear?

Dhammapada v. 212

One way of reading this text says we are wrong for holding things dear: family, friends, memories. Such an initial interpretation blames the feelings themselves for our suffering. But the Buddha is not just talking about the feelings, he is pointing to how we might be free. Is it possible to feel endearment and be free at the same time? When he heard that his two chief disciples, Venerables Sariputta and Moggallana, had died, the Buddha commented it was like the sun and the moon had gone out from the sky. That doesn’t sound like someone who doesn’t feel anything. Knowing the truth of feelings means we no longer find identity in feelings. Letting go of feelings does not mean they disappear. In what are all these feelings arising and ceasing? That was the Buddha’s abiding, hence he could feel fully and freely, without suffering.

With Metta,
Bhikkhu Munindo

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