Friday, March 21, 2008

For One Who Walks On The Earth

The story of the Buddha's Last Days covers six months, starting in Rajgriha, spending the rains retreat outside of Vaishali, and ending his life in Kushinara. An incredible amount of teaching was transmitted during that time, the Buddha having informed the accompanying monks that his end was not far off. At twelve towns where he stopped along the way, he gave a unique profound teaching at each one, while at the same time he included a teaching common to all stops: the Buddha "gave a comprehensive discourse, this is morality, this is concentration, this is wisdom . . ."

While walking in a natural setting, this essential teaching is easily brought to mind. Looking downward we see the earth, solid and visually impenetrable, supporting all on its surface. Likewise, MORALITY is our support in walking the path of Dharma.

Looking ahead we see animals and people and think about their need for concentration. The animals need to concentrate their senses to locate food and also to recognize and escape when other animals want to eat them. People need to concentrate to get to work on time, pick up their paycheck at the end of the month, and negotiate traffic to get safely home. Likewise, CONCENTRATION is necessary to enter into and understand the Buddha's teachings.

Looking above we see the sky which not only touches, surrounds and interconnects all living things, but extends beyond into infinity. Likewise, we are surrounded by the Buddha's WISDOM which obliterates the "I" in the universe of shunyata.

To attain enlightenment, the Buddha taught us to rely not on our personalities, our talents, or our position in society, but rather to rely on morality, concentration and wisdom.

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