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Buddhadharma : Fall 2006
buddhadharma| 15 |fall 2006 worldly life has no value. Basically, you have to change your value system. While you see some value in worldly life, you will not seek enlight- enment – not real enlightenment, anyway. Maybe you will seek some kind of fake enlightenment, temporal enlightenment, but you will not seek real enlightenment because you are still attracted to worldly life. So we are talking about renunciation. Many people think that wanting to live like a capitalist and work like a socialist is renunciation. That’s not renunciation. That’s just being lazy; that’s just deceiving yourself, basically. You are migrating from one samsara to another samsara. We are not talking about that kind of renun- ciation. We are talking about really seeing that this endless worldly life has no essential value. Now, this is going to bring a certain amount of depression. I think that’s good. I’m beginning to realize depression is good, especially if you are practitioners. I think this is what Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche talks about: this heart of sadness. So seeing the futility of this worldly life will make you long for enlightenment, long for libera- tion. That’s a good start. The good thing about this is that when your main motivation is seeking enlightenment, one way or another, that will lead you to a lama who actually gives you the path to enlightenment, because you know what you want. You have this agenda. Your agenda is looking for enlightenment. So sooner or later when you are looking for the lama, you will look for a lama who can actually give you enlightenment. Practitioners with such an agenda are like bees. They fly around looking for flowers and sooner or later they will find a flower. But right now most of us are a bit like flies. Of course, if there are nice things to suck, you will do it, but along the way if you find shit, you will opt for the shit. You will not think about the flower. This is because flies value shit, whereas bees think shit is very smelly, so naturally they will go for the flower. So it is really important to develop this renunciation mind. The bottom line is longing for enlightenment. That should be your agenda, your main desire. from genTle voiCe: a neWsleTTer of siddharTha’s inTenT, aPril 2006. a world with no Suffering? Where there is no suffering, says Thich Nhat Hanh, there is no happiness either. In the teachings of Christianity and Judaism there is the kingdom of God. In Buddhism we speak about buddha land, the buddha field. You might like to call it the kingdom of the Buddha. My definition of the kingdom of God is a place where there is understanding and compassion, and where all of us can learn to be more understanding and compassionate. On this we agree. But there is something else that we should agree on also – whether there is suffering in the kingdom of God, in the pure land of the Buddha. If we take the time to look deeply, we see that understanding and compassion arise from suffer- ing. Understanding is the understanding of suf- fering, and compassion is the kind of energy that can transform suffering. If suffering is not there, we have no means to cultivate our understand- ing and our compassion. This is something quite simple to see. If you come to Plum Village in the summertime, you see many lotus flowers. Without the mud, the lotus flowers cannot grow. You cannot separate lotus flowers from the mud. It is the same with understanding and love. These are two kinds of flowers that grow on the ground of suffering. I would not like to send my children to a place where there is no suffering, because I know that in such a place my children will have no chance to develop their compassion and understanding. I don’t know whether my friends who come from the background of Christianity or Judaism can accept this – that in the kingdom of God there is suffering – but in Buddhist teaching it is clear that suffering and happiness inter-are. Where there is no suffering, there is no happiness either. We know from our own experiences that it is impossible to cultivate more understanding and compassion if suffering isn’t there. It is with the mud that we can make flowers. It is with suffering that we can make compassion and understanding. from “The Keys To The Kingdom of god,” The mindfUlness bell, sUmmer 2006. a Jewel under the Pillow Looking for the true nature of mind is at the core of all our practices, says Tsultrim Allione. Too often we look outside for happiness and fail to realize that the end of suffering is close at hand. Intention begins in the mind, and everything we do is based on our intentions. So where does intention really come from? One might initially say that intention comes from desire or ignorance or aversion. But what is at the root of desire, for example? Where do igno- rance or aversion come from? What is the base of these things? Mind is at the root of it all, and then mind takes the form of desire, ignorance, aversion, and so on. You have to look at the mind and try to discover what the mind is. What is the mind? Take a moment to think about that. Some have answered that mind is emptiness, but if it is empty, then how do we exist? How does WardSCHuMakEr