Sunday, 28 December 2008

The Perfections

Subhuti asked: "How does a person practice all the perfections?"

The Buddha replied: "By not perceiving any duality. Through understanding this nonduality he teaches reality to all beings. With physical energy, he travels widely to teach. With mental energy, he guards against the arising of such ideas as "permanence or impermanence," "good or evil," and so on. With the perfection of wisdom, he does not consider anything ultimately real but serves all beings with loving attention so that energy, patience, and meditation will be aroused in them. But even though he attends to the minutest detail of whatever must be done, he never grasps it or tries to make ultimate sense of it, because he knows it has no enduring substance of its own."

- Prajnaparamita

Bancroft, Anne (ed). Buddha Speaks. Shambala, 2000.

Being Peace

Excerpt: If You Can't Smile, You Can't Help Others Smile

In the peace movement there is a lot of anger, frustration, and misunderstanding. The peace movement can write very good protest letters, but they are not yet able to write a love letter. We need to learn to write a letter to the congress or to the President... that they will want to read, and not just throw away. The way you speak, the kind of understanding, the kind of language you use would not turn people off. The President is a person like any of us.

Can the peace movement talk in loving speech, showing the way for peace? I think that will depend on whether the people in the peace movement can be peace. Because without being peace, we cannot do anything for peace. If we cannot smile, we cannot help other people to smile. If we are not peaceful, then we cannot contribute to the peace movement.

I hope we can bring a new dimension to the peace movement. The peace movement is filled with anger and hatred. It cannot fulfill the path we expect from them. A fresh way of being peace, of doing peace is needed. That is why it is so important for us to practice meditation, to acquire the capacity to look, to see, and to understand. It would be wonderful if we could bring to the peace movement our contribution, our way of looking at things, that will diminish aggression and hatred. Peace work means, first of all, being peace. Meditation is meditation for all of us. We rely on each other. Our children are relying on us in order for them to have a future.

Being Peace (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Quoted here.