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Buddhadharma : Winter 2006
winter 2006| 42 |buddhadharma For all the subtlety oF his teachings, the buddha had a simple test for measuring wisdom. you’re wise, he said, to the extent that you can get yourself to do things you don’t like doing but know will result in happiness, and to the extent that you refrain from things you like doing but know will result in pain and harm. he derived this standard for wisdom from his insight into the radical importance of intentional action in shaping our experience of happiness and sorrow, pleasure and pain. given that our actions are so important and yet so frequently misguided, our wisdom has to be tactical – and strategic – in fostering actions that are truly beneficial. it has to outwit our shortsighted preferences in order to yield a happiness that lasts. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Born Geoffrey DeGraff, is an american BuDDhisT monk in The Thai foresT TraDiTion. he is aBBoT of meTTa foresT monasTery in san DieGo counTy, california. the integrity of emptiness The Mahahana view of emptiness, says Thanissaro Bhikkhu, is too abstract and philosophical to be of much help in our everyday lives. Instead he offers a Theravada path of emptiness that starts with taking an honest look at our day-to-day actions and leads ultimately to enlightenment. paInTIngcopyrIghT©2006Bradholland