Sunday, 28 March 2021

Dhammapada Reflections - FULL MOON

The Buddha’s perfection is complete; 
there is no more work to be done. 
No measure is there for his wisdom; 
no limits are there to be found. 
In what way could he be distracted from truth? 

Dhammapada v.179 

What good fortune to have access to the teachings offered by the Buddha and the Awakened disciples. What a great blessing to find that we have faith in these teachings; a faith that encourages us to question, to enquire, and not to merely believe. When we merely believe, we abdicate responsibility for the consequences of our unawareness; and surely it is unawareness that is at the very core of all suffering – our own and that of the world. So let’s be careful that we are not becoming lost in feeling good just because we believe in the Buddha. Instead of asking, ‘Am I a good Buddhist?’, perhaps we ought to be asking, ‘Is my Buddhist practice helping me hear my heart’s deepest doubts and concerns?’ And, ‘Am I learning to rightly trust myself as I engage those true questions?’

Friday, 26 February 2021

Dhammapada Reflections - FULL MOON – Purification

Refrain from wrongdoing, 
cultivate that which is good; 
purify the heart. 
This is the Way of the Awakened Ones. 

Dhammapada v.183 

When we inhibit wrongdoing, we develop a form of strength that comes with self-respect. Without the ability to inhibit unwholesomeness, all the spiritual books we read, the talks we listen to, and even the hours spent meditating, are compromised. It is like cooking healthy organic food in a filthy kitchen. Conversely, when we are skilled in wise restraint, the good efforts that we make are enhanced. Then, with unwholesomeness restrained and goodness developed, we are ready to purify awareness from the troublesome habit of setting up right against wrong, good against evil, self against other. The awareness of the Awakened Ones is free from all compulsive habits of taking sides, and is therefore free from all suffering.