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Buddhadharma : Summer 2017
82 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 2 0 1 7 ➤ This stanza is a big summary of Buddhism. Emotions are temporary, so action is like a dream, and therefore the aggregates—the result of emotions and action—are like a mirage. They are like a mirage; the closer you approach them, the more futile or essenceless they become. We try so hard to get close to the elephant, but even if there’s an engagement, the exchange of rings, a marriage ceremony, or whatever, the elephant remains a mirage. To emphasize this, the Buddha taught emptiness in the earlier turnings of the wheel of dharma. For example, in the Prajnaparamita Sutra, he said that form is emptiness, empti- ness is form, and everything is like a mirage or a dream, and so forth. Then after that, in order to dispel the five kinds of obstacles or downfalls, the Buddha taught buddhanature in the third turning of the wheel of the dharma. NOW WE COME to the benefit of hearing about buddhana- ture. When we hear about buddhanature, we experience joy or enthusiasm toward the path because we know that enlighten- ment is possible. Even a dog, because it has buddhanature, is worthy of homage. No matter how many emotions you have erupting inside you, you’ll know that they are removable. That is wisdom. At the same time, you will know that all the quali- ties of the Buddha are within you—that is primordial wisdom. So now when you hear about, read about, or see amazing buddha qualities, you won’t treat them as separate from you, thinking, “Well that’s them, but I’m different.” You will not think things like that because you know that all the qualities of the Buddha, down to every single lock of hair, exist within you. There is nothing to be jealous of or to covet, because you have everything. And when you know that everybody has buddhanature, loving-kindness will grow. Can you see that emptiness alone doesn’t allow you to do these things? So what is the effect of knowing that you have these great qualities? If you have confidence, then negativity, literally “the unutterable negative actions,” cannot easily overcome you. You become a stranger to negativity, and strangers have some kind of dignity. When you’re a stranger, others don’t have access to you. They don’t come in and feel at home with you, because you’re courageous. The second effect of knowing that you have buddhanature is that you will not look down on those who are destitute, thinking that they are lower than you. You won’t have arrogance, nor will you feel inferior when you see a sublime being, someone who has attained a lot. There’s no reason to feel inferior; you have everything that that sublime being has. You have no more and no less than Shakyamuni Buddha or any of a thousand buddhas. Basically, because of buddhanature, there’s no longer any inferiority or superiority complex. When negativities arise, you will know that they are not truly existent. When good things such as small signs of enlight- ened qualities arise, you will not get excited, because you know you already have them. Then there is loving-kindness. With all these, you will attain enlightenment swiftly. distance learning opportunities tibetan language courses: levels i, ii, and iii Fundamentals of Buddhism: a dharma course (No Tibetan required) tli Bookstore Best-selling Beginners’ package with effective instructional dVds Visit the tli weBsite Free study aids, info about classes, and more www.tibetanlanguage.org tiB etan language institute learn tiBetan & study Buddhism with daVid curtis Over 19 years’ experience teaching hundreds of students “Learning Tibetan from David Curtis is definitely one of life’s better experiences.” —K.J., VA David was named a Lama in 1992 and an Acharya in 2005. new!! Buddhism Courses SubScriber ServiceS Subscribe • Renew • Pay an invoice • Give a Gift Purchase back issues • Change your address Inquire about a subscription • Replace a missing issue Online easy, quick, and secure Visit Subscriber Services at www.lionsroar.com Call tOll-free 11:30 am – 8 pm ET weekdays 1-877-786-1950 Overseas: 01-760-317-2362 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: PO Box 469095, Escondido, CA 92046–9095 Privacy notice: Subscribers may receive offers from organizations we believe may be of interest to our readers. Contact us if you wish to be excluded from such mailings. Buddhadharma The PracT i T ioner’s QuarT erly