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Buddhadharma : Winter 2009
45 winter 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly When you are about to die, you have pain in your body, and perhaps in your mind as well—feelings of anxiety, isola- tion, and confusion. At this moment, which is a very impor- tant one in your life, you need help. You need someone with you at this difficult time. Anathapindika answered Shariputra, “Venerable one, the pains in my body do not seem to be subsiding. They keep increasing. I am suffering more and more.” Shariputra told him the time had come for him to medi- tate on the three jewels. He asked Ananda and Anathapin- dika to breathe deeply and concentrate on the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. Then Shariputra conducted a guided meditation. “The Buddha has attained reality, just as it is,” Shariputra said. “The Buddha is completely and truly awakened. He has brought understanding and action to the level of perfection. He has attained genuine happiness. He understands the nature of the world and of men. He is unequaled in wisdom. He is a great man. He is the teacher of both men and gods.” Shariputra said these words to help Anathapindika see clearly who the Buddha really was—a person with a lot of tenderness, compassion, and happiness, someone who was an enormous help to other beings. Shariputra was one of the Buddha’s most intelligent dis- ciples, and he knew precisely what state Anathapindika was in. Shariputra recognized the seeds of happiness in Anathap- indika’s consciousness, and he knew that Anathapindika took great pleasure in serving the three jewels. So to help restore Anathapindika’s equanimity, he watered the positive seeds of happiness by inviting him to concentrate on the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha. The practice was very effective. In a few minutes, Anathapindika’s pain was considerably reduced and he was able to smile again. This is a wonderful practice, and we can all learn to do it. A person who is about to die has seeds of suffering in her, but she also has seeds of happiness. You who love this person should recognize the seeds of happiness and suffering in her, BOnnieWiesner We move about life in our own corpse because we are not touching life in depth. We have to make it possible for the moment of awareness to manifest. This is the practice that will save us. This is the revolution. AllisOnDreW