Apr 20

Tashi’s Meditation Thought for today, April 20th

We may think of peace as the absence of war, that if the great powers would reduce their weapons arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we will see our own minds – our own prejudices, fears, and ignorance.

If we are not peaceful, if we are not feeling well in our skin, we cannot demonstrate real peace, and we cannot raise our children well either.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/04/20/tashis-meditation-thought-for-today-april-20th/

Apr 13

Om Mani Padme Hum – Original temple mantra version


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Apr 09

The Birth of Buddha at the Buddha Center

Celebrating the Birth of Buddha April 8, 2015 at the Buddha Center


We had a glorious day starting in early morning and going into late evening.

The day consisted of readings of the birth, youth, ageing, and death of the Buddha; many meditation sessions including Metta Bhavana; offerings to Buddha, discussion groups and fireworks and dancing.


Various staff members, representing different Buddhist schools, gave their interpretation of this event. The sessions were well attended and we hope to continue this auspicious occasion again next year as we have in the past.



Figure 1 Offerings to the Buddha made by Sangha Members





Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/04/09/the-birth-of-buddha-at-the-buddha-center/

Apr 07

Agenda for Buddha’s Birthday Celebration on April 8th.


07:00 AM Teaching with Venerable Wayne – topic, “Sid the Guru” – main temple (in voice)

08:30 AM SLT – Short talk on the birth of Buddha and meditation to follow with Delani in the main temple (in voice) – 30 minutes

09:00 AM SLT – Metta meditation with JenLanSerra at the Deer Park (in voice)

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM Reading of the birth of Buddha by Delani in the main temple (in voice)

11:00 AM – Offerings to the Buddha in the main temple (you can bring your own or we can give you offerings to place on altar) – 20 minutes

01:00 PM SLT – Jataka tales and meditation with Zino March in the main temple (in voice)

02:00 PM – fireworks on the Big Mountain

04:00 PM – 04:30 PM Healing mediation with Sanjali in Deer Park (in voice)

04:30 PM – 5:30 PM –Special Buddha Birthday session with Dar in the main temple (in voice)

05:30 PM SLT – 30 minutes of silent meditation with Cysix Sage in the main temple

06:00 PM SLT – 45 minute Zen Buddhism discussion group moderated by Gatz Destiny in Deer Park (in voice)


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/04/07/agenda-for-buddhas-birthday-celebration-on-april-8th/

Apr 05

Once again, the Heart Sutra

I am again studying the Heart Sutra – Although, I have said it everyday for the last 20 years. I recently stopped to think that I need to appreciate this more and delve deeper once again. I am too complacent. I came across this wonderful talk by the late Zen Master Seung Sahn who was so beautifully capable of presenting difficult concepts as everyday examples we can all easily understand. I hope it gives you awareness.

The Heart Sutra Commentary by Zen Master Seung Sahn


July 04, 2011 – 08:07 PM By Al Jigong Billings

The Heart Sutra

Maha Prajna Paramita Hridya Sutra

Commentary by Zen Master Seung Sahn

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita perceives that all five skandhas are empty and is saved from all suffering and distress.

Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. That which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness form. The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

Shariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness; they do not appear or disappear, are not tainted or pure, do not increase or decrease. Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind; no realm of eyes and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.

No ignorance and also no extinction of it, and so forth until no old age and death and also no extinction of them.

No suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path, no cognition, also no attainment with nothing to attain.

The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita and the mind is no hindrance; without any hindrance no fears exist. Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in Nirvana.

In the three worlds all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita and attain Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

Therefore know that Prajna Paramita is the great transcendent mantra, is the great bright mantra, is the utmost mantra, is the supreme mantra which is able to relieve all suffering and is true, not false.

So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra, proclaim the mantra which says:

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

The Heart Sutra has only two hundred seventy Chinese characters, yet it contains all of Mahayana Buddhism’s teaching. Inside this sutra is the essence of the Diamond Sutra, the Avatamsaka-sutra, and the Lotus Sutra. It contains the meaning of all the eighty-four thousand sutras. It is chanted in every Mahayana and Zen temple in the world. In Korean temples and in our Zen centers in the West, the Heart Sutra is chanted at least twice every day, in the morning and at night, and during retreats it is chanted more. Sometimes if you find that your mind is not clear, and meditation does not help so much, you must read this sutra. Then your mind will become clear.

Maha means big, great. Prajna means wisdom, and paramita means “going beyond,” or perfecting. Hridya means heart. And the Chinese characters for Heart Sutra are shim gyong, or “mind road.” So this sutra is the “great path for the perfection of wisdom.”

The word maha in the title of this sutra points to something of very great size. What is truly numberless in time and space? Someone may say that the ground is the biggest thing. When you really stop to think about it, the oceans seem to be the biggest thing — there is more water than land. Or is the sky the biggest thing? Maybe space is the greatest thing we know of. Perhaps sky and space together are the number one biggest thing! The universe is infinite in time and space, and contains infinite worlds — is that the biggest thing? Everybody probably thinks that this is so. But an eminent teacher said, “This whole universe covers my body, yet my mind can cover the whole universe.” This is a very important point. The universe covers and surrounds our world and everything inside it, so it must be truly big. But in the instant that you think of the universe—”universe”—you have already covered the whole universe with your mind. Therefore our mind is bigger than the infinite time and infinite space of this universe. How wonderful! The Heart Sutra points to this biggest thing: mind. It shows how we can discover and cultivate the proper use of the biggest thing, so that is why this little sutra is called maha.

Perceiving that all five skandhas are empty saves all beings from suffering and distress.

There is suffering everywhere we look in the world. All beings are in pain and distress. But where does suffering come from? People are struck with a hopeless love for somebody, or they pursue the desire to obtain some material things. People have ambition to become things that they feel will complete their life, or to be recognized and approved by others. But no matter how hard we struggle for these things, even when we get them, we cannot keep them. And this causes all our suffering. But originally this suffering does not exist. It all comes from our mind, as a mirage rises up from a hot road and appears real. If I am suffering over some matter, and then I die, my suffering also disappears. When we realize this — that suffering is merely the product of our minds, and does not have some independent existence — then there is no longer any suffering and distress.

So, what is this mind that is so great? If you are thinking, you cannot find your mind anywhere. If you cut off all thinking — which means if you cut off all attachment to your thinking — then your true nature appears everywhere. The Buddha first taught that what we call mind or “I” is only the five skandhas of form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness. These skandhas, or aggregates, are constantly changing; they are only heaps of mental energy. Since human beings are attached to form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness, then when they inevitably change, we get suffering. We never get out of the suffering world. This is because we believe that these things are real, and that they are the real “I.” This is a central teaching of Hinayana Buddhism.

However, the Heart Sutra’s opening line shows that these skandhas are originally empty. Since that is so, where is suffering? What can possibly suffer? Here is a cup of orange juice. If you have “cup,” then you can keep this orange juice here. But if this cup breaks, how can the orange juice remain? You cannot keep the juice there, yah? Suffering is the same as that. Where does suffering abide? If you are attached to the five skandhas of form, feelings, perceptions, impulses, or consciousness, then suffering has a place to stay. But the Heart Sutra shows the view that these five skandhas are empty. Mind is completely empty: where can suffering possibly stay? So this teaching about emptiness is very, very important to attain. When you practice the way of the perfection of wisdom, you attain the view that all five skandhas are actually empty. Attaining this view saves us from all suffering and distress. Merely understanding these views cannot help you — you must attain something.

Form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.

The Heart Sutra teaches that “form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.” Many people don’t know what this means — even some long-time students of meditation. But there is a very easy way to see this in our everyday lives. For example, here is a wooden chair. It is brown. It is solid and heavy. It looks like it could last a long time. You sit in the chair, and it holds up your weight. You can place things on it. But then you light the chair on fire and leave. When you come back later, the chair is no longer there! This thing that seemed so solid and strong and real is now just a pile of cinder and ash which the wind blows around. This example shows how the chair is empty: it is not a permanent, abiding thing. It is always changing. It has no independent existence. Over a long or short time, the chair will eventually change and become something other than what it appears. So this brown chair is complete emptiness. But though it always has the quality of emptiness, this emptiness is form: you can sit in the chair, and it will still hold you up. “Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.”

But why is it necessary to understand this? The reason for this is that many human beings are attached to name and form, and this attachment to name and form is the cause of nearly all suffering. If we want to cure human beings of this attachment, then we must apply name-and-form medicine. We must begin by showing that names and forms are not real and permanent: they are always changing, changing, changing. If you are rich, you must see that the riches you covet are empty. If you are attached to fame and other people’s approval, you must see that these things that you struggle and suffer for are empty. Most people treasure their bodies; they use a lot of money to make their bodies strong or beautiful. But someday, soon, when you die, this body will disappear. You cannot take this empty body with you, however much you treasure it. You cannot carry fame with you. You cannot carry money. You cannot carry sex. You cannot carry anything!

Nowadays, many people are very attached to these things. They treasure names and empty appearances above nearly all else, harming themselves and others just to protect them. They want to get money, or a good reputation, or a good relationship. They struggle desperately to get high positions. People always subject their minds to the worst kind of abuse and suffering just to try to get and then keep these empty, impermanent things. Nowadays many humans are very attached to sex. But none of that is necessary. All form is empty, so thinking that you can get anything or keep anything is a fundamental delusion. This line teaches that point.

The most important thing is, what do you want in your life, right now? What you want in this very moment makes your mind, and that mind makes your life. It determines this life and your next life. By perceiving that all things are originally empty, you can put it all down and just live, without suffering over these impermanent things.

No appearing, no disappearing. No taint, no purity. No increase, no decrease.

The Heart Sutra is known for its very interesting way of describing our true nature. It uses “no” many times. When you attain true emptiness, there is no speech or words. Opening your mouth is already a big mistake. So words and speech cannot describe our original nature. But to teach people still caught in words-and-speech delusion, sometimes words-and-speech medicines are necessary. The Heart Sutra recognizes both these points. So it describes our true nature by completely describing what our true nature is not. You cannot say what it is, but you can give a sense of what our true nature is not like. “It’s not this or this or this or this or this. It’s not like that or that or that. Understand?” Ha ha ha ha! This is a very interesting technique. The Heart Sutra only says “no,” because this is perhaps the best that words and speech can do.

This line points right to the fact that, in our original nature, nothing ever appears or disappears. There is no such thing as taint or purity, because these are merely qualities created by the thinking-mind. And in original nature there is neither increase nor decrease. Our true nature is completely still and empty. It is the universal substance of which everything else is composed. How, then, could it ever appear or disappear, or be tainted or pure? More importantly, since our true nature is the same as the universe, how could it ever increase or decrease? Infinite in time and space, it has none of the characteristics that apply to things we can describe with speech and words.

All dharmas are marked with emptiness. No cognition, no attainment. Nirvana.

The Heart Sutra says, “All dharmas are marked with emptiness.” But all dharmas are already empty and nonexistent even before you say this. Name and form are already empty. How can you even mention dharma, and then say it’s empty? That is a big mistake! In the true experience of emptiness, there are no words and no speech, so there is also no dharma. When you open your mouth to say “All dharmas are marked with emptiness,” that is already no longer emptiness. So be careful. The point of this is that if you just understand words and speech, and keep only an intellectual understanding, this sutra and any other sutra cannot help your life. Some actual attainment of what these words point to is necessary.

So when we say that everything is empty, we are saying that therefore there is also no cognition and no attainment. This point of emptiness is the Absolute. There is nothing, so what could you possibly attain? These words in the Heart Sutra are only wonderful speech and words. But however interesting or wonderful the speech and words are, if you just understand them conceptually, they cannot help your life. Again, you must truly attain something. You must attain that there is actually nothing to attain. Everything is already truth, exactly as it is. You are already complete. But be careful! Merely understanding these beautiful words is one thing, and attaining them is quite another.

The Heart Sutra begins with the Hinayana experience of emptiness and takes it one more step. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path of Hinayana reflect a path which perceives that everything is suffering, and which then leads to stopping suffering, stopping birth and death. This is nirvana. There are no opposites: no coming or going, no high or low, good or bad, birth or death. So in the true experience of emptiness, you perceive that there is already no birth or death, no coming or going. How can you stop some thing that doesn’t even exist? There is already no suffering: how can it have an origin, and how can it possibly be extinguished? That is why the Heart Sutra talks about “no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path.” It completely “hits” the opposites-thinking of the Four Noble Truths that there is suffering, and an origination of it, and a stopping of it, and a path. So Mahayana Buddhism teaches that there is one more step from Hinayana teaching. If you only stop at this point, at complete emptiness, you only attain nirvana. Mahayana Buddhism’s view means taking another step.

Unexcelled perfect enlightenment — anuttara samyak sambodhi.

Anuttara samyak sambodhi is a Sanskrit phrase meaning “unexcelled perfect enlightenment.” It is simply another way of saying “truth.” When you see, when you hear, when you smell, when you taste, when you touch, when you think – everything, just-like-this, is the truth. Before, just at the point of nirvana, there is no cognition, and no attainment with nothing to attain. So the bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita, and attains nirvana. But then these three words appear: anuttara samyak sambodhi. Before, there is no attainment; now, all Buddhas attain anuttara samyak sambodhi. What does this mean?

If you just attain true emptiness, this is only nirvana. It is an experience of complete stillness and bliss: there is no subject or object, no good or bad, no coming or going, no life or death. There is nothing to attain. But Mahayana means your practice continues “beyond” this point, so that you attain no-attainment. You must find nirvana’s function in the world. The name for that is unexcelled perfect enlightenment. If you attain no-attainment, then you attain truth. Your mind is empty and clear like space. This means your mind is clear like a mirror: If a mountain appears before the mirror, there is only mountain; water appears, and there is only water; red comes, red; white comes, white. The sky is blue. The tree is green. A dog is barking, “Woof! Woof!” Sugar is sweet. Everything that you see, hear, smell, taste, touch, and think is the truth, just as it is. Nirvana means attaining emptiness, which has nothing to attain. Anuttara samyak sambodhi means using the experience of emptiness to attain truth. With an empty mind, reflect this world, just as it is. That is Mahayana Buddhism and the Great Bodhisattva Way.

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha!

So there is yet one more step. If you attain emptiness, and then attain truth, how does this world’s truth function to help other beings? All Buddhas attain anuttara samyak sambodhi, or unexcelled perfect enlightenment. This means that they attain truth. They can see that the sky is blue, and the tree is green. At the end of the sutra we are told that there is a great transcendent mantra, a great bright mantra, an utmost mantra, a supreme mantra: Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha. It can be translated as “Gone, gone, gone to the other shore beyond.” So this mantra at the end of the Heart Sutra means only action. Up until this point, everything is just speech and words about attaining emptiness and truth. It is all a lot of very interesting description. But this mantra means you must just do it. Some kind of action is necessary if you want to help this world. For the bodhisattva, there is only bodhisattva action. When you attain unexcelled perfect enlightenment, you must attain the function of this enlightenment in the world. That is what we call moment world. From moment to moment, perceive suffering in this world and only help all beings. That is a very important point.

Attaining truth alone is not enough. If someone is thirsty, give them something to drink. If someone is hungry, give them food. When a suffering person appears before you, you only help, with no thinking or checking. The early part of this sutra has no “do-it,” just good speech about attainment and no-attainment. But if you attain something, you must do it. That is the meaning behind Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha. Step by step, we attain how to function compassionately for others, to use truth for others, spontaneously, from moment to moment. This is the whole point of the Heart Sutra.

From moment to moment, when you are doing something



Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/04/05/once-again-the-heart-sutra/

Apr 04

Jatakas Tale The Language of Animals

Once upon a time when a king named Senaka was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was Sakka. The king Senaka was friendly with a certain naga king. This naga king, they say, left the naga world and ranged the earth seeking food. The village boys seeing him said, “This is a snake,” and struck him with clods and other things.

The king, going to amuse himself in his garden, saw them, and being told they were beating a snake, said, “Don’t let them beat him. Drive them away.” And this was done.

So the naga king got his life, and when he went back to the naga world. He took many jewels, and coming at midnight to the king’s bedchamber he gave them to him, saying, “I got my life through you.” So he made friendship with the king and came again and again to see him. He appointed one of his naga girls, insatiate in pleasures, to be near the king and protect him, and he gave the king a charm, saying, “If ever you do not see her, repeat this charm.”

One day the king went to the garden with the naga girl and was amusing himself in the lotus tank. The naga girl seeing a water snake quitted her human shape and made love with him. The king not seeing the girl said, “Where is she gone?” and repeated the spell. Then he saw her in her misconduct and struck her with a piece of bamboo.

She went in anger to the naga world, and when she was asked, “Why are you come?” she said, “Your friend struck me on the back because I did not do his bidding,” showing the mark of the blow.

The naga king, not knowing the truth, called four naga youths and sent them with orders to enter Senaka’s bedchamber and destroy him like chaff by the breath of their nostrils. They entered the chamber at the royal bedtime.

As they came in, the king was saying to the queen, “Lady, do you know where the naga girl has gone?”

“King, I do not.”

“Today when we were bathing in the tank, she quitted her shape and misconducted herself with a water snake. I said, ‘Don’t do that,’ and struck her with a piece of bamboo to give her a lesson. And now I fear she may have gone to the naga world and told some lie to my friend, destroying his goodwill to me.”

The young nagas hearing this turned back at once to the naga world and told their king. He being moved went instantly to the king’s chamber, told him all and was

forgiven. Then he said, “In this way I make amends,” and gave the king a charm giving knowledge of all sounds. “This, O king, is a priceless spell. If you give anyone this spell you will at once enter the fire and die.”

The king said, “It is well,” and accepted it. From that time he understood the voice even of ants.

One day he was sitting on the dais eating solid food with honey and molasses, and a drop of honey, a drop of molasses, and a morsel of cake fell on the ground. An ant seeing this comes crying, “The king’s honey jar is broken on the dais, his molasses cart and cake cart are upset. Come and eat honey and molasses and cake.”

The king hearing the cry laughed. The queen being near him thought, “What has the king seen that he laughs?”

When the king had eaten his solid food and bathed and sat down cross-legged, a fly said to his wife, “Come, lady, let us enjoy love.”

She said, “Excuse me for a little, husband. They will soon be bringing perfumes to the king. As he perfumes himself some powder will fall at his feet. I will stay there and become fragrant, then we will enjoy ourselves lying on the king’s back.”

The king hearing the voice laughed again. The queen thought again, “What has he seen that he laughs?”

Again when the king was eating his supper, a lump of rice fell on the ground. The ants cried, “A wagon of rice has broken in the king’s palace, and there is none to eat it.”

The king hearing this laughed again. The queen took a golden spoon and helping him reflected, “Is it at the sight of me that the king laughs?”

She went to the bedchamber with the king and at bedtime she asked, “Why did you laugh, O king?”

He said, “What have you to do with why I laugh?” But being asked again and again her told her.

Then she said, “Give me your spell of knowledge.”
He said, “It cannot be given.” But though repulsed she pressed him again. The king said, “If I give you this spell, I shall die.”

“Even though you die, give it me.”

The king, being in the power of womankind, saying, “It is well,” consented and went to the park in a chariot, saying, “I shall enter the fire after giving away this spell.”

At that moment Sakka, king of gods, looked down on the earth and seeing this case said, “This foolish king, knowing that he will enter the fire through womankind, is on the way; I will give him his life.” So he took Suja, daughter of the Asuras, and went to Benares. He became a he-goat and made her a she-goat, and resolving that the people should not see them, he stood before the king’s chariot. The king and the Sindh asses yoked in the chariot saw him, but none else saw him. For the sake of starting talk he was as if making love with the she-goat.

One of the Sindh asses yoked in the chariot seeing him said, “Friend goat, we have heard before, but not seen, that goats are stupid and shameless. But you are doing, with all of us looking on, this thing that should be done in secret and in a private place, and are not ashamed. What we have heard before agrees with this that we see.”

And so he spoke the first stanza:

“Goats are stupid,” says the wise man, and the words are surely true: This one knows not he’s parading what in secret he should do. The goat hearing him spoke two stanzas:

O, sir donkey, think and realize your own stupidity, You’re tied with ropes, your jaw is wrenched, and very downcast is your eye. When you’re loosed, you don’t escape, sir, that’s a stupid habit too: And that Senaka you carry, he’s more stupid still than you.

The king understood the talk of both animals, and hearing it he quickly sent away the chariot. The ass hearing the goat’s talk spoke the fourth stanza:

Well. sir king of goats, you fully know my great stupidity: But how Senaka is stupid, prithee do explain to me. The goat explaining this spoke the fifth stanza:

He who his own special treasure on his wife will throw away, Cannot keep her faithful ever and his life he must betray.

The king hearing his words said, “King of goats, you will surely act for my advantage. Tell me now what is right for me to do.”

Then the goat said, “King, to all animals no one is dearer than self. It is not good to destroy oneself and abandon the honor one has gained for the sake of anything that

is dear.” So he spoke the sixth stanza:

A king, like thee, may have conceived desire And yet renounced it if his life’s the cost.

Life is the chief thing. What can man seek higher? If life’s secured, desires need ne’er be crossed.

So the Bodhisatta exhorted the king. The king, delighted, asked, “King of goats, whence come you?”

“I am Sakka, O king, come to save you from death out of pity for you.” “King of gods, I promised to give her the charm. What am I to do now?”

“There is no need for the ruin of both of you. You say, ‘It is the way of the craft,’ and have her beaten with some blows. By this means she will not get it.”

The king said, “It is well,” and agreed. The Bodhisatta after exhortation to the king went to Sakka’s heaven. The king went to the garden, had the queen summoned and then said, “Lady, will you have the charm?”

“Yes, lord.”
“Then go through the usual custom.”
“What custom?”
“A hundred stripes on the back, but you must not make a sound.”

She consented through greed for the charm. The king made his slaves take whips and beat her on both sides. She endured two or three stripes and then cried, “I don’t want the charm.”

The king said, “You would have killed me to get the charm,” and so flogging the skin off her back he sent her away. After that she could not bear to talk of it again.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/04/04/jatakas-tale-the-language-of-animals/

Apr 01

The Heart Sutra

Thich Nhat Hanh  gives us this story in regard to the Heart Sutra
the Zen master asked the novice monk:
“Tell me about your understanding of the Heart sutra.”
The novice monk joined his palms and replied:
“I have understood that the five skandhas are empty. There are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, or objects of mind; the six consciousnesses do not exist, the eighteen realms of phenomena do not exist, the twelve links of dependent arising do not exist, and even wisdom and attainment do not exist.”
“Do you believe what it says?”
“Yes, I truly believe what it says.”
“Come closer to me,” the Zen master instructed the novice monk. When the novice monk drew near, the Zen master immediately used his thumb and index finger to pinch and twist the novice’s nose.
In great agony, the novice cried out “Teacher! You’re hurting me!” The Zen master looked at the novice. “Just now you said that the nose doesn’t exist. But if the nose doesn’t exist then what’s hurting?”


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/04/01/the-heart-sutra-2/

Mar 25


Nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. Heraclitus said we can never bathe twice in the same river. Confucius, while looking at a stream, said, “It is always flowing, day and night.” The Buddha implored us not just to talk about impermanence, but to use it as an instrument to help us penetrate deeply into reality and obtain liberating insight. We may be tempted to say that because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But the Buddha encouraged us to look again. Without impermanence, life is not possible. How can we transform our suffering if things are not impermanent? How can our daughter grow up into a beautiful young lady? How can the situation in the world improve? We need impermanence for social justice and for hope.

If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don’t suffer much, because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she passes away. 
If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make her happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving and wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing would be possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.

Tich naht Hahn

The Impermanence of Consciousness from Plum Village Online Monastery on Vimeo.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/03/25/impermanence/

Mar 20

Thich Nhat Hanh, interview Part 2


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/03/20/thich-nhat-hanh-interview-part-2/

Mar 20

Thich Nhat Hanh, interview Part 1


Permanent link to this article: http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/2015/03/20/thich-nhat-hanh-interview-part-1/

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