The way of the Buddha
The Way Of The Buddha
The whole of the Buddha's teaching could be essentially summarised thus: "Nothing, nothing whatsoever, is to be clung to as I or mine. Such is freedom." The way to true freedom is through the ending of birth and death - the affect-laden identification with "I" and "mine" - in this very present life. This is why the Buddha's teaching is called the 'doctrine of immediacy.' A stable happiness can be achieved in this life - happiness that is not dependent on circumstances, but one that comes with being attuned to one's full humanness - and especially to the nature of the mind, which is spacious and vast. This happiness is not easily acquired, despite our inborn gifts - it requires an inner dicipline, consisting particularly in the early stages of a loving watchfulness and dispassionate investigation.
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said in many ways, on many occasions, the discipline amounts to "identifying those factors which lead to happiness and those factors which lead to suffering. Having done this, one then sets about gradually eliminating those factors which lead to suffering and cultivating those which lead to happiness. That is the way." And in this endeavour, he always points out, compassion plays a vital part.
The way of sincere effort, and of compassion and kindness, is well-exemplified by the following encouraging words from the Buddha, and this short commentary from a teacher, Sharon Salzburg:
Abandon what is unwholesome, oh monks!
One can abandon the unwholesome, oh monks!
If it were not possible, I would not ask you to do so.
If this abandoning of the unwholesome would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to abandon it.
But as the abandoning of the unwholesome brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore, I say, 'Abandon what is unwholesome!'
Cultivate what is wholesome, oh monks.
One can cultivate the wholesome.
If it were not feasible, I would not ask you to do it.
If this cultivation of the wholesome would bring harm and suffering,
I would not ask you to cultivate it.
But as the cultivation of the wholesome brings benefit and happiness,
Therefore, I say, 'Cultivate what is wholesome!'
I love it!
Poetic555 - sorry I missed this! Thank you!