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Buddhadharma : Summer 2017
summer 2 0 1 7 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 81 Finally, the fifth reason is to dispel the obstacle that pre- vents us from understanding that we are equal to others. If we don’t know that buddhanature exists equally within all beings, then we might have more attachment to ourselves and more aversion toward others. Those are the five reasons why buddhanature is taught. BUDDHANATURE IS PURE and free from all kinds of com- pounded phenomena, right from the beginning. The ultimate true nature is always devoid of anything com- pounded, so it is said that defilements, karma, and their full ripening are like a cloud, etc. (Stanza 158) Therefore, buddhanature is free from the three kinds of emo- tions: desire, aggression, and jealousy. It is free from the emotions of karmic formation, such as virtuous actions and non-virtuous actions. And it is free from the result of emotion, the five aggregates. Therefore, the emotions are like clouds. The defilements are said to be like clouds, karma is likened to the experience in dreams, and the full ripening of karma and defilements—the aggregates—are likened to conjura- tions. (Stanza 159) The nature of beings is primordially pure; that’s why we call it buddhanature. Although emotions are seemingly appar- ent and seemingly stubborn, seemingly like a second nature, they are never a second nature. They are like clouds—they are adventitious, and not a true part of you. This point is quite important. In Buddhism we always come to the conclu- sion that these emotions and defilements are temporary. When we’re looking at a gray cloudy sky, we might call it a cloudy sky, but it’s not really a cloudy sky. The clouds are never the sky. The clouds are temporary or adventitious. The next part is critical for our understanding of karma. Since emotions are temporary, so-called karma or action is like a dream. This is important because many people think that karma is almost like a substitute for God. They think it’s like someone who punishes you, rewards you, and decides your fate. But it’s never like that in Buddhism. Karma is actually like a dream. In a dream, you might experience all kinds of ecstasy, but no matter how much you pant and sweat, it’s just a dream. When we say, “It’s just a dream,” there’s sometimes a con- notation that we despise it because it’s not real. But it doesn’t work like that either. If you become enamored with a dream elephant, then in the dream you go through the ecstasy of meeting the elephant, the sadness of missing the elephant, and eventually the agony of no longer having the elephant. That’s how karma works. ➤ The Clarity Aspect continued from page 56 village zendo A Zen Temple in the Heart of Manhattan Daily Meditation, Workshops and Retreats Abbot Roshi Enkyo O’Hara 588 Broadway, Suite 1108 New York City villagezendo.org PRESENTED BY Buddhist Churches of America Center for Buddhist Education & Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii Buddhist Study Center IN ASSOCIATION WITH Midwest Buddhist Temple (Chicago), New York Buddhist Church, and American Buddhist Study Center (NY) 2017 National Speaking Tour HAWAII • ILLINOIS • NEW YORK Public Lectures • Seminars • Dharma Talks • Open to the Public JULY 10-21: HI: Oahu, Big Island, Maui & Kauai JULY 22-24: IL: Chicago JULY 26-30: NY: New York City Rev. Sonam Wangdi Bhutia Head Priest, Kathmandu-Hongwanji, Nepal Raised as a monk in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Rev. Sonam, at age 28, encounters Jodo Shinshu, a Japanese Pure Land school. Eventually he founds Nepal’s first Hongwanji temple. Hear about his dramatic personal journey and how the Buddha’s story resonates today in Shakyamuni’s bir thplace. www.buddhistchurchesofamerica.org firstname.lastname@example.org • (510) 809-1460 Include HI temples here? Rev. Sonam Wangdi Bhutia SHIN BUDDHISM IN THE LAND OF SHAKYAMUNI BCA_CBE2_SonamTour_Buddhadharma.indd 1 3/6/2017 10:45:51 AM