Buddhism: Challenges Ahead
My name is Hue Can. I am a student of my master, the Most Venerable Thich Thanh Tu in Vietnam who practices and teaches Thien, which is Cha’n in Chinese, Zen in Japanese and meditation in English.
Buddha’s teaching is very clear. The form, our body, is changing, impermanent, it is not true, it is not us. If it was us then we should be able to tell it not to die or not to be sick. The mind which comprises of the feeling, the thinking, formation and consciousness is not true and not us also. You cannot suddenly feel cold or upset unless something happens, it does not come by itself. Thinking as well. One thought does not pop up by itself, it’s got to have something that comes before it. Also a thought never arises alone; it’s always followed by others which constitute formation and next develop into opinion and consciousness.
Let’s look at thought. In a day we can have many thoughts, so if the thought is me then which one is me. Let alone if we accumulate the thoughts since we were born until now, then which one in which time is us. Most important is that we know when we are thinking, and we also know when we are not thinking. So if thought is me then when we are not thinking does it mean that the me does not exist? Apparently the thought comes and goes like birth and death. Should we look for it, it’s nowhere to be found. It is not an entity, therefore it cannot be me, it’s not true. What we need to learn is to realise like the second Patriarch, Hui Khe, did in his time.
One day our second Patriarch, Hui Khe asked his master, the 1st Patriarch Bodhidharma:
Hui Khe: Master, my mind is not at peace, please help me.
Master: Bring it out, I’ll pacify it for you.
Hui Khe after a long pause to search
Hui Khe: I cannot find it
Master: I already pacified it.
Buddha called us sentient beings who live in the dark or ignorance because we don’t see the light. We live in an upside down way. We take the impermanence as us then treasure it (body&mind). If anyone is against it we get hurt. We try our best to sustain it and fear when it quits us with no pity.
Of course the five desires (or five drops of honey: money, sex, fame, eating, sleeping) are the needs for the body to be nourished in order to live but if we indulge in them or any of them we suffer accordingly. At first we use them to serve us but slowly when we start to be accustomed to them, when we feel miserable without them or some of them, ultimately they start to manipulate us. That’s why we are floundering in the cycle of happiness and unhappiness or birth and death.
Once in Buddha’s time there was a Bramhin who gave sensible talks which were attended by a crowd of people as well as some deities. One day after the talk he saw that the deities were crying. This was not common as normally they showered him with flowers. When asked for the reason they said that as deities they could see that his death was coming soon. Though wise as he was, he felt terrified and so sorrowful that the deities suggested him to seek help from Buddha. He collected his last strength to approach Buddha.
Carefully he carried two precious plants in each hand for offerings. As he came to the entrance, Buddha said “Drop,” so he dropped one plant. Then he came closer Buddha cried “Drop,” so he dropped the other plant. Moving a few more steps, he heard Buddha’s voice “Drop.”
Very confused he politely said, “Buddha, I brought two plants here to offer you as a token of my respect and wish to seek advice from you. You told me to drop, I have dropped them both. Now what else you want me to drop?”
Buddha then told him,” I did not tell you to drop the plant. What you have to drop is the senses, the senses objects, and consciousness.”
The Brahmin sighed in relief. He was enlightened.
What is Buddha’s teaching?
Buddha taught us that everything is changing, impermanent, nothing is an entity, this body is not true, ego is a bogus, indulging in desires never satisfies and clinging is suffering. The lesson is very clear indeed. Also it is always logical as well as scientific because whatever you sow you reap.
One day, there was a monk doing alms round in a village. It was a hard time and the people were suffering because of a drought. There was no crop, and crimes had increased. The monk suddenly noticed a sale between two men, a father and a merchant. And the item for sale was his own boy. The monk tried to stop the business. He made all efforts to convince the father not to proceed, without success. He even offered all his belongings, which weren’t worth much, and a day’s labour to swap for the deal but all was in vain. Finally he told the father to be aware of the cause and effect. The father was furious, and challenged the monk to show him what and where is the cause and effect. So the monk all of a sudden gave the man a big blow with the staff that he was carrying. Without thinking the man retaliated and punched the monk on his face so hard that he fell on the ground.
The monk quietly stood up, dusted his robe and gently said “There you are. This is called the cause and effect.”
The merchant left the place empty handed.
The essence of Buddha’s teaching is that everybody regardless of gender, ethnic background or religion and from all time has the true mind which is also called the light, the knower, the boss, the original face, so on and so forth in different sutras. Because it is not an object, it cannot be seen nor touched; therefore it has no fixed name. We can only sense it. Due to the different levels of listeners, when Buddha mentioned it he used different ways including metaphors to describe it, hence it has different names.
There was a house with 6 doors. Inside there was one light. The light projects through the 6 doors. Looking from outside you might see 6 lights when actually there was only one.
The house represents our body which shelters the light as well as covers it. For the person who doesn’t see his true mind it does not mean that it’s not there, it’s simply covered by desires. The learning is when the eye sees the object it is the true mind or the knower. Do not let the object control you. Then you are living in your self. But how do we react in daily life? When we hear something we get caught up in the issue then make judgments, seek differences and take preferences. That’s where the hatred and love emerge, you are happy and upset etc…and that’s why we are floundering in the sea of sufferance yet lamenting why are we suffering. In fact what we should do is treat hearing as hearing, seeing as seeing…we acknowledge the sound, the form… and stay put in the true mind, the light. In other word, no matter what the object is (6 objects from 6 senses) the light shines always. But if we develop thought from the object seen and then create good/bad, like and dislike there and then we go far from the true mind. Consequently we almost completely forgot it, that’s why Buddha said we were living in ignorance.
Should we be like the owner of the house, sitting in the lounge, sipping tea. Suddenly visitors come, knocking at the door, we let them in. For a while we see them off at the door, and never follow them home. We remain sitting in the lounge, relaxed, in peace and joy.
This is the purpose of learning, the more you are at your true home, the more you are in peace. And when you are always at home the light always shines. Then you are enlightened, you are Buddha.
Buddha said more than 2554 years ago that if you practice then you will be Buddha. He also showed us the path, it is very straight and clear. It’s up to us to walk. Only the journey is not going outwards rather it comes inwards.
So how to come back and be at home all the time. This is the challenge.
Let’s see how Buddha practiced in his time.
“…It was close to lunch, the Lord donned his robe and outer shawl, took up his bowl and entered the city of Shravasti for alms round. In the city he came to each house in order. After collecting the food, he went back to his dwelling and partook of it. When he had finished eating, he put away his bowl and shawl. Lord Buddha then washed his feet and seated himself on a cushion that had been set forth for him. He crossed his legs in the full lotus position, straightened his back, and placed his thoughts into a state of contemplation.”
This extract is in the Diamond Sutra. It describes the everyday activities of Buddha. There are some points worth attention, in fact if we grasp the deep meaning right here we understand the sutra thoroughly, hence its message of coming home.
At that time Buddha (already Buddha), but like an ordinary monk or a practitioner, takes his alms bowl to the city. The teaching is that you are the practitioner. You practice. No one can do it for you and the practice is ongoing, forever, regardless whether you have already attained home, you are enlightened or not. In other words, Buddhism is not a religion, there is no god to bless or punish. Rather what you sow you reap. It is an education where the learner never graduates.
And what is that practice? Full mindfulness or precisely to be at home, living with peace. The minute you lose attention you fall deep, slaving in desires. You forget your true mind, you get lost in yourself. If in daily life we do everything with mindfulness, with peace, without a second thought, we are practicing to be Buddha.
How did Buddha guide his disciples to apply his teaching?
It is known that during his time he had a gathering of monks and Boddhisattvas numbering 1,250, living with nature under his direction.
In the above sutra, it says that Buddha came to each house in order to collect alms round. This was the rule imposed after Buddha heard of the ways Mahakayip and Subhuti did their alms round.
Mahakayip chose to approach the poor with the belief that it gave them a good chance to accumulate merits for their better future. On the other hand Subhuti focused on the rich confidently trusting that they did not miss anything when giving dana to the monk. Buddha then gave a lesson on equality, reminding that everyone regardless of gender, social background did have a true nature, hence should be treated equally, because sentient beings will be Buddha should they be given chances to practice. They are free to offer whatever they possess i.e. physical and mental. And as monks we are obliged to accept and consume without preference. Monks also have the duty to help the donor be released of all sort of attachments, mainly mental troubles, so that they can live with joy.
There was a story about a poor woman who lost everything, relatives and wealth. She’s so miserable that one day an Arahat came to her poor hut to ask for alms. She felt terrible and hurt because she had nothing to dana. Apparently she had no food and only lived on water for days. So she tried to make herself invisible with the hope that the monk would go away. To her dismay the monk was so firmly patient, he stood still in front of the hut and made no sign of moving anywhere. Finally she gave up. Partly ashamed, partly annoyed, and partly irritated she came out and shouted, “Please go, I have nothing to dana today.”
The monk softly replied “Everybody can dana as Buddha said everybody can be Buddha.”
“ But I have nothing,” she cried out.
Again the monk insisted,” Yes, you have”.
This time, she could not bear it any more. All of a sudden she screamed and spitted out all the feelings she’d buried deep inside her and concluded with, “As you see I have nothing.”
The monk, with compassion kindly told her, “T here you are, you’ve already dana your nothing.”
The woman was so surprised that she stopped her cries and made apologies for not being herself and that she had nothing to dana.
The monk then confirmed that she has done dana and gently told her that,”As now you have dana me all your bitterness, your suffrance and I gladly received it, you should no longer feel miserable. You should know that you are not the only person who parted with your beloved one. Everybody born dies as naturally birth brings death. Rather you should be happy to take the opportunity when still being alive to realise that you have your true mind to live with peace and joy. Here and now I give you my blessing, may you be well and happy.”
Before he left the monk opened his bowl and gave her half the food he collected.
So, everybody can give dana and can be awaken.
We learn that Buddha did not make any rules without a reason. Apparently, at first there were no rules, the monks lived naturally. Not until something happened or someone did something which harmed the harmony of the sangha (the community consists of monks, nuns, female practitioners and male practitioners) there and then Buddha imposed the rule accordingly. As a matter of fact these rules were the guidelines for practitioners (monk and lay) to follow the way with comfort and confidence.
Buddha taught us that the 5 drops of honey are the cause of sufferance. Upon events he gave lesson on how to overcome these desires. For example living in the cemetery and observing the corpse in decay to master the craving for sex or food.
Amongst his disciples there was a monk Cula Panthaka, who was known as very dull. He could not even memorise one verse in four months. Worst of all, when he started learning the second verse he completely forgot the first one. His own brother even suggested that it would be better for him to go home because his presence was a shame to the order. He was so depressed and about to do so. Knowing his intention Buddha gave him a clean white piece of cloth and told him to make a knot and then undo it, and after undoing it then make another knot to undo. This was his task to do instead of learning any verse. Four months passed, Cula was so attentive continuously making a knot and undoing it that he suddenly saw that the cloth he held in his hand was no longer clean and white like before. Cula then reported the incident to Buddha. He said now he understood the lesson and would never forget. He solemnly paid respect to Buddha for the care of the Lord and his teaching.
We see that Buddha never gave up on anybody, whether the student was smart or slow, for whoever wanted to learn he had a way to teach, because the core principle is that everybody has a true mind. His teaching showed us clearly that this true mind is covered by desires and once floundering in them we forgot the inner light, hence we suffer. Then he taught us how to become detach from the defilements, how to live in moderation in order to be at peace. But when is it enough? This is the real challenge for each practitioner. Buddha only showed us the way and gave remedies. However, it is up to us to administer it accordingly. The horse can be lead to the water but the owner can’t make it drink. And that is the big challenge.
That was in Buddha’s time.
Nowadays how do we learn, teach and practice?
We no longer live in the cemetery or take shelter under the tree. We stay in a monastery or nunnery.
In Vietnam our daily life activities centre on practice, meditation or chanting, studying the sutras and working. These should be conducted in equal terms. Pai Chang Huai Hai (720 AD), the outstanding Cha’n (meditation) master in China has a famous saying which every temple nowadays takes it as criteria to follow: a day without work, a day without eating. If temples have large acreage, which is common, we work on the wheat fields, grow vegetables and flowers, or orchards. If not then we do sawing, making incense or soya sauce. The aim is be self supporting, not to rely completely on dana. All work is done manually even now.
In my master’s temples there are two types of classes on a regular basis. One is for the monks or nuns to learn the core sutras in the Thien tradition, and one includes also the general public. The teaching is for us to acknowledge our true nature, in addition to the three sessions of meditation every day to enable us to live in harmony for a journey home.
For other temples who practice the pure land tradition, monks or nuns attend regular classes right in own temple or in the neighbouring one depending on the facilities. During the three months retreat they all move to a bigger monastery where curriculum are conducted by the congregation.
In addition, capable monks and nuns can attend Buddhist universities where they receive a Bachelor degree in Buddhism upon graduation. For a higher degree the trend is now going overseas to India, Japan or Taiwan.
Actually getting a PHD is not a big challenge because if you learn hard, do intense research, write well and receive sufficient finance in due time you’ll have the degree. Regardless of where the learning comes from, the main concern is how to apply the teachings and help people to do so on a daily basis.
The practice might vary from one tradition to another, but Buddha’s teachings are timeless. For example, clinging is suffering. Now life is more hectic than in the old days. The 5 drops of honey might have changed their forms in a subtle way to match modern technology but their tempting nature is always there if not more than before. Time moves on, things progress, objects change the format and sufferance of course increases in proportion. Yet should we blame the objects, the 5 drops of honey?
Once, there was a monk who lived in a remote area in Vietnam with 2 young students. One is in his late teen and the other in his early teen. They lived on a big mountain where there were no inhabitants. The closest village was down hill and more than 20 kms away. The monk did everything in order to survive from growing vegetables, potatoes…to cooking, cleaning… and most importantly teaching the boys along with the daily activities. The older student quickly showed his brightness, he absorbed everything the master taught almost immediately. Slowly the teacher left the two boys to handle all the “household” chores, he concentrated on his meditation and after they had finished their work the boys did the same.
Ten years passed. The oldest child was now a young robust man with all the clarity and firmness on his face. He was also smart and ambitious. The little brother was a gentle, quiet teenage resembling his image years ago. Taking into account that the older brother had learnt all from the teacher, he wish to “descend the mountain” upon which the teacher gladly agreed. After the final recommendations, the teacher gave him a mirror as the helpful companion on his lonely adventure. He had learnt from the master that most people are very cunning, cruel and stubborn. No matter how wise he was, the master said that it would be a big challenge for him to gain confidence about the people he was about to meet. To overcome that the master told him to look into the mirror any time he meets someone. Automatically the mirror will show him the person’s character upon which he can attend to the person’s needs appropriately. For example, if the person is lustful the mirror will show a face with a big nose and mouth of a pig. If a person is greedy for food, they will appear with a big poking tongue. Craving for fame will be shown with a long pointed nose and those who seek for power will appear with a big, high horn.
Equipped with this powerful tool the young man felt confident and ready to help anyone he met. Not long after he descended the mountain he became well known from one village to another as a good teacher. He seemed to know how to solve anybody’s problems without difficulty. In a year’s time his reputation grew so that his was well known both far and wide. He was seen as the contemporary teacher of all the teachers. As a result he was well respected and adored by the lay practitioners. In no time he was treated as the living Buddha as he knew everything. He also began to accumulate wealth and power.
One day. When he was resting in his luxurious room, sipping his fragrant tea, he suddenly remembered his teacher and his young brother. Calculating the years the master probably should have be in his 60’s and the young boy in his late 30’s. He was in deep thought. The more he thought about them the more he felt grateful to his teacher. Without the master who took him in after he lost his parents, raised and gave him a good teaching and especially equipped him with a mirror as good tool for his service where could he be now? A beggar on the street!
Looking at the facilities surrounding him, his love towards his master augmented. The thought moved on. He visualised his brother. He knew that he was not as smart as him but believing that with the master’s teaching surely the young man would make a good assistant to him. The thought developed more that between him and the brother they could help more people to live without stress and perhaps the service could be extended overseas.
So with that thought in mind he was determined to pay a visit to the master in order to fetch both of them so they could come down and live with him in comfort. He could see that there were no problems whatsoever to accommodate two more monks in his sumptuous living quarters.
He carefully made preparation for the trip knowing very well in deed what they needed on the uninhabited mountain. Next day he asked for transport to the last village where he began his journey after hauling the bag full of food, drink and miscellaneous items on his back. After a while he stopped and rested. He had to drink a bottle of water to quench his thirst. Then he tried to remember the usual track that he and his brother walked down to the village, for there was no proper road to the mountain. It was very hard to recognize, but he continued the journey. Many times he stopped and rested. He wondered why it took him so long to reach the mountain. On the same trail, years ago the brothers had played several rounds of chasey when going to the village for their supplies.
He was in a real dilemma. Should he go forward or return? By now the car which took him to the village could have gone back to the city. He wished that his brother had a mobile phone so he could let him know that he was coming. Perhaps then he could go down help him carrying the bag that seemed to get heavier with every step. How much further did he have to go? He decided, regrettably to leave the bag behind even though it was packed with so many goods. On his way he cursed his brother for not knowing his whereabouts and blamed the teacher for choosing such a deserted place to live.
Finally he heard the stream where he used to fetch water with his brother. He picked himself up and dragged his body closer. All the memories flashed before his eyes. Suddenly he saw a shadow of a human being far away. He rubbed his eyes, hobbled forward, ready to greet the first person he had seen after getting out of the car. He shouted with joy. Who was that person? The man stood up and gently said, “What took you so long. I’ve been here waiting for you since morning!” It was his brother.
Surprised the monk uttered, “I did not phone you. How did you know that I was coming? With a smile the brother said, “Master told me last night that you would come home. He told me to wait for you here. Actually I was about to give up because I had been waiting for so long. Now, let’s go.”
That was really against his wish, he wanted to sit and rest for a while. Reluctantly he followed his brother. He wanted very much to lean on him. Yet seeing that his hands carried two buckets full of water, he dared not.
The younger brother took charge. He led the way and walked agile as a monkey unrestricted by the weight he was carrying. The older brother hobbled along, huffing and puffing. Finally he called for a halt.
The young brother stopped, seeing his elder breathless he said, “What’s happened to you? What’s wrong with your legs? Why you are hobbling?
“This is not flat land, you know. This is climbing up the mountain. After all I’ve just walked 20kms.”
“Yeh! And that took you half a day. “We have to hurry up if you want to see the master before he retires. And I’ll give you a bath before you see him.”
“A bath? How? On the mountain?”
“As usual, remember? Don’t tell me that you forgot how we took turns to bathe. This water is for you, I’ll boil it when you sit in the barrel.”
“ Oh! Yeh! He recalled the past times, when they enjoyed boiling the water for the other to bathe. Then he asked the brother to slow down as he could not keep up with his speed. “What’s wrong with you? You used to be alert and stronger than me. We used to run up and down this path, chasing each other and you always beat me, remember!”
That remark reminded the older brother of his old days living here with the young boy and the master happily without stress.
“Yeh! I used to run faster than you, but not now as I am accustomed to be chauffeured everywhere,” he sighed. “I am no longer a mountain monk!”
At last they reach the top of the mountain, to the older brother’s relief. At that time it was dusk and they both knew that the master was already in retreat. That meant that he should not be disturbed for any reason.
So they quietly sat outside. The younger brother started the fire, heated the bucket and then poured it into the barrel.
”Take off your clothes and jump in,” he said, “and while I wash your robe can you use this dipper to scoop water to pour on your head. “ I’ll hang your robe here. With this weather, it should be dry by dawn, so you wear it to see master.
He went inside and came out with something in his hands. The monk was fidgeting around in the bucket looking in vain for soap and sponge. Finally he remembered that they used fingers instead. His brother helped him out and made an announcement.
“Master did not need me to help him out of the barrel. You behave like a grand master!” He showed him what he brought out.
“Here you are. They’re your old clothes. Since you left I’ve cleaned and kept them aside knowing that one day you’ll need them.”
To the surprise of both of them, the clothes didn’t fit. It seems that the older brother had gained so much weight after so many years of good treatment from his followers. The young brother burst out laughing.
“ Heh! I know. I can wear them now. Wait a minute I’ll get something for you.”
He came back with a bundle of big leaves and lay one after another on the monk’s white, fat body. With more laughs he said,” You look like a walking plant, except this plant is too big. Hah hah!”
The older brother diverted his embarrassment by telling his brother about all the modern facilities he possessed and tried to persuade his brother to join him, but to no avail.
“Are you listening to me?” He asked.
“Yeh.” He continued with more innocent laughs, as he couldn’t stop when seeing a walking, talking plant in front of him. To his brother’s annoyance he showed no interest in whatever he described such as by lifting or pressing one finger you get hot water, it showers onto your body and so on and so forth. By the end to convince his brother he talked about several marvelous functions in one little thing. He pulled out iphone and was about to demonstrate. To his disappointment there wasn’t any reception.
Finally he told his brother about how he had made his success and about the mirror the master gave him. In his mind he thought of passing it to his brother to help him make a debut as now with all the experience he had obtained and the worship from the followers he no longer needed it.
He gave the mirror to his younger brother. It immediately showed a figure of a pleasant man with a good smile and bright eyes. He looked radiant indeed.
The brother said, “Hey, that’s clearer than when I look in the bucket. And how about you? Let’s see.”
He moved the mirror towards the older brother. He exploded in a loud agonising scream and fainted. For there appeared some strange sort of a creature with different horns, protruding eyes, long pointed nose, a pig mouth with a poking tongue!
Of course we all know that the 5 drops of honey are always needed for nourishing us. We also know that indulging in them is suffering. Moderation is a practical way. But when is enough, enough? Awareness is a challenge. How to drop the desires is a bigger one.
Temples in Vietnam have the practice of sharing and caring . One example of the practice is every fortnight an assembly is formed by the Head nuns or the Head monks. Each monk or each nun in-residence takes turn to recall their conduct during that period. This is an individual confession to ask for forgiveness in order to correct a habit. This is also a two-fold learning because the person also begs the whole community to bring up any more wrong doings that they were not aware of. With that kind of reminding everybody benefits as there is no chance to forget the rules which guide you and to be on the right track for the coming home journey. It is considered a big challenge but also is an honour to receive such awareness.
Living in a temple where there are a big number of monks or nuns is like being given a good chance to learn and practice.
How are the temples overseas? Let’s take Australia for example.
It is said that temples are mushrooming everywhere, particularly in Sydney. The sad part is there is only one monk or nun in each temple. In some cases, one monk can be the abbot of 2 or 3 temples. Of course there is a great need for young recruits, both monks and nuns. It’s hard to find them from the locals. It is a real challenge.
So the solution is to import them as soon as possible from Vietnam. What happens after they arrive? Not long after there will be a division in the temple. Followers become two groups and fight with each other as one support one monk or the other. Finally another temple mushrooms. The numbers are large in terms of quantity but who dares face the issue of quality. Its seems far away from a time when we lived happily in a group of 100, learning and practicing with joy. And lay practitioners joined us every weekend to dana problems as well as support.
I have always wished to build a sangha village where 4 groups (monks, nuns, female lay and male lay practitioners) would live together around a meditation hall. Actually there are some developers who have built good retirement villages for people after their 50’s. The scheme is very successful because elderly people tend to live there; they have all facilities except one Buddhist shrine. Anyway, it is another challenge.
There is a story about one general. After many years leading the troops and defeating the enemy, he finally became a monk. He wanted to live the rest of his life in peace so he left everything behind, his family, fortune and fame. Actually he was well known as a fierce general because when he confronted an enemy he had only one thing in his mind: to win he feared nobody and nothing, including death. That is the reason why he won every battle.
As soon as he became a monk he practiced diligently, and not long after he really got the essence of the teaching. Everyday, whether in or out of the meditation sessions, he showed his peace and calmness. He was now well known as a good practitioner of Buddhism and well respected.
Apart from the robe and a bowl for a monk he treasured one cup which was the gift from the king as well as a token of his glory.
Every day he took the cup out, carefully wipe off the dust, contemplate it for a while and gently put it back on the shelf.
One day, while putting it back, he slipped. He was terrified. Very quickly he used his skills to catch it. All happened in one blink of the eye but inside him a lot of feelings sprung up. First there was fear, next anxiety, and then happiness. Finally, with a mixture of feelings he suddenly realised why such a little cup caused him such fear, he who has no fear whatsoever.
He gently opened his hand and allowed the cup to drop on the floor.
Awareness of the attachment is a challenge. The decision to drop it is a big challenge.
Buddha’s teaching is very clear and straightforward. The learning is that when the sense meets with the sense object, be mindful. The 6th Patriarch said: where the mind has no abode it is your true mind.
Our Master one day asked: is it difficult or easy to walk the path? (practice Buddha’s teaching). No answer. He then said, it is not difficult because if it is then who can practice? It is not easy because if it is then everybody is Buddha. So it is neither difficult nor easy. The challenge is to be aware of where you are on the journey home and the big challenge is to drop. (not the object but the cravings for it).
To be precise whether now or in the ancient time, the learning is the same, clinging is suffering.
Buddha’s teaching is very clear and straightforward.
He taught us that everything is changing, impermanent, nothing is an entity, this body is not true, ego is a bogus, and indulging in desires never satisfies and that clinging is suffering. He also taught us that everyone has the true mind (or home) and living in it is living in peace.
We know, some might not know yet, nevertheless we all forget.
The challenge of all times is for the teacher to remind us of what we forgot.
The biggest challenge is our practice of coming home.
Brothers and sisters in the Dharma
Please awake, drop!
May the merit and virtues from this reach everyone, go everywhere to all living beings so that we will realise and practice Buddha’s way.
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.