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Buddhadharma : Spring 2016
spring 2016 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 51 DAVID MATSuMOTO: The aspiration for enlightenment is a gift directed to us through Amida Buddha. Enlightenment is activity. It is the Buddha’s wisdom arising as compassion and taking active form in our lives of samsara. In this sense, our realization of suffering, our awareness of our ego-centeredness and passions, and our wish to be free of them are all gifts. The experience of shinjin, through which we can awaken to this activity of enlightenment and aspire for buddhahood, is also a gift. The aspiration for enlightenment is both an aspiration to realize buddhahood and a wish to save all beings. Both of these virtues deeply inform all aspects of our lives and practice as we direct ourselves toward the liberation of all beings. To do so is not a burden. Instead, our lives and actions are those of joy and gratitude for receiving the gift of enlightenment. GAELyN GODWIN: If someone were to arrive at the door asking about enlightenment, I would smile, nod “Oh, yes,” and invite them in for tea, introduce them to various folks. Once they’re through that gate and the topic comes up again, I might invite them to join me in the garden, maybe do some weeding. The aspiration for enlightenment is a great gift, a wholesome karmic fruition, and the energy behind that aspiration, the paramita of effort or diligence, can be actualized in practice. It is important to wel- come the energy and guide the practice while not corralling enlightenment into a narrow definition. photo | samee lapham