using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Spri 2007
spring 2007| 26 |buddhadharma out a big effort? Whenever we appreciate what we have, we are happy. That effort is an intelligent technique. We might have a very simple life, but still we can think, This flower is lovely or This water is good. If we are too picky, thinking this is wrong and that’s wrong, then nothing is ever perfect. We need to learn how to be content so that whatever we have is precious, real, and beautiful. Otherwise, we might be chasing one mirage after another. The second noble quality is rejoicing. Our basic goodness is obscured by negative emotions. The Buddha said that there are 84,000 types of nega- tive emotions, but among these, there are two in particular that often cause problems because they are quite difficult to notice: pride and envy. Envy is one of our biggest, most unnecessary types of men- tal suffering. If someone else’s life is better than ours, we become jealous, angry, and disappointed. It can sometimes make us very uneasy: our food loses its flavor, we have trouble sleeping, and our blood pressure can go up. Rejoicing is the second intelligent remedy to all this useless self-torture. We can mentally share in other people’s happiness. Is there any easier way to attain happiness? The third noble quality is forgiveness, which is very important. Pride can be quite powerful. Even in moments when we are loving and car- ing, if we’re not getting along with someone and our heart is saying, “The best thing to do is just forgive,” behind that voice there is another one saying, “No, don’t. You are right. You did noth- ing wrong.” Pride constantly prevents us from forgiving others, an act that is so healthy and beautiful. Forgiving and apologizing have the power to completely heal rifts, but we need to understand how and when to apply them. If we try too early, the situation might still be volatile. We need to find the proper moment, and once we’ve done that, we should be careful about the words we choose, the tone of our voice, and even the physical ges- tures and facial expressions we make. Each of these has a lot of power, and if one of them is off, we won’t be that effective. If, on the other hand, we can express an apology in a heartfelt way, we will always be able to achieve peace, respect, and mutual understanding. Most important of all is to have a good heart, which is the fourth noble quality. Like everything else, in order to have a good heart we need to investigate until we are clear about what true well-being actually is, both in the temporary and long-term sense. The source of happiness and well-being is not only loving-kindness and com- passion but also an insight into the true view of reality, because someone who fully recognizes real- ity becomes a tathagata, or fully awakened one. Conversely, the source of suffering is hate, craving, and close-mindedness. These three are the roots from which all our troubles grow. By “true view” I mean knowing the nature of things exactly as it is: the basic, essential nature of what is. This insight has to do with how we experience things. Everything that appears to us seems real and solid but in fact is only a mere impression of something that occurs as a result of causes and conditions. In and of themselves, things do not possess even a shred of solid existence. This is why the Buddha taught that all phenomena are emptiness while occurring in dependent connec- tion. Hence, it is good to study the twelve links of dependent origination, both external and internal. This will enable us to see that mind is of primary importance; everything depends on it. Whatever is experienced, felt, or perceived is dependent on mind – on an experiencer experiencing it, observ- ing it, knowing it. Why would the Buddha say that all sentient beings are confused or bewildered? Was it because sentient beings really are confused? It could be that the Buddha was mistaken and that all sentient beings are not confused. We need to investigate this point, because one of the two parties is defi- nitely mistaken. The Buddha also said, “Don’t take my words at face value.” If they are wrong then we should speak up. We are allowed to examine the Buddha’s words for ourselves and to question whether or not he was wrong. Let’s take an example. The Buddha said that all formed things are impermanent and unreal. However, we have the instinctive feeling that things are actually real and permanent. He really challenged us. He said that we haven’t bothered to look closely; we haven’t questioned our own beliefs. When we do, we discover that things are not really as they seem. Things are re-formed again and again, moment by moment, by causes and cir- cumstances. When we start to carefully investigate and dissect objects, we also see that they are made out of smaller and smaller parts: molecules, atoms, more and more minute particles. If people both- ered to explore in this way, they would find that even the atom does not really exist. Our perseverance should be joyous and spontaneous. Such perseverance springs from our awareness of the unconditioned natural state. MagdHaMyjak