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23.02.12 : The Worthy Path | Importance of Inter-Religious Harmony | Buddha Mindfulness Is Not Inferior | The Path Of Paths | Project Rebirth | 108 Zen Stories | Understanding Amituofo

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 23, 2012
      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: The Worthy Path

      lThe path of spiritual cultivation might be long,
      but the path without spiritual cultivation 
      is even more long.

      The path of spiritual cultivation might be difficult,
      but the path without spiritual cultivation 
      is even more difficult.


      - Buddhist Saying

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       Courses By TDEditor
       Realisation: The Importance of Inter-Religious Harmony

      The roots of non-religious, religious 
      and inter-religious disharmony
      are universally the same -
      greed, hatred and delusion.


      The most common problem in inter-religious dialogue is disagreement on perspectives of Truth. But disagreement is not the real problem if there is mutual agreement to disagree. The true problems arise from insisting to others that one's disparaging view of their religion is correct, and the imposing upon them that one's own religion is the only true one worth following. There is nothing wrong though, with sincere personal belief that one's faith is the best. That would be "making peace" with oneself. However, when one insists others to agree likewise, that would be "making war" with others.

      Asoka, the great Buddhist emperor (circa 304 B.C.) had this to say –"Growth in essentials can be done in different ways, but all of them have as their root restraint in speech, that is, not praising one's own religion, or condemning the religion of others without good cause. And if there is cause for criticism, it should be done in a mild way. But it is better to honour other religions for this [or that worthy] reason. By so doing, one's own religion benefits, and so do other religions, while doing otherwise harms one's own religion and the religions of others."

      There is a diversity of religious beliefs in our world simply because there is a corresponding diversity of mindsets. Even two random adherents of the same faith are unlikely to have totally identical views. We need to respect this worldly reality – before arguing on any spiritual reality. If not, there would be no harmony but only conflict. Surely, a religion that is pro-conflict is not one we need. What if it is a central tenet of a religion that it cannot agree to disagree with others? Thankfully, there is no such religion in practice today, or there would be inter-religious chaos. With all orthodox religions advocating peace, this implies that those who cannot agree to disagree might not really be religious at heart.

      When any inter-religious dialogue is not so much to learn, but to be preachy, there is no true dialogue. One will notice that those truly interested in understanding others ask and listen more than they speak. Sadly, those uninterested in dialogue are usually the close-minded ones too sure and proud of themselves, while belittling others' religions. This itself is potential for conflict. During inter-religious dialogues, it is wise to discuss in a "monkly" manner – in a way calm, kindly, harmonious, rational and gentlemanly – a manner similar to the Buddha's, as opposed to rude and impatient name-calling or ridicule – which often happens anonymously in cyberspace. We need to be mindful that this virtual tension can spill over into the real world. [Continue here]

      The roots of non-religious, religious 
      and inter-religious harmony
      are universally the same -
      generosity, loving-kindness and wisdom.


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       Excerpt: Buddha Mindfulness Is Not Inferior

      If you are not mindful of Buddha,
      as the embodiment of 
      supreme compassion and wisdom,
      how do you embody 
      supreme compassion and wisdom?


      There are those in this Dharma-Ending Age who dare to deprecate Buddha Recitation as an inferior practice. But why should they think that Zen and Pure Land are different? Such people lack knowledge and fail to understand the intent of the Buddhas. They are creating a false dichotomy. According to Mind-Only Pure Land, if the mind is pure, the land is pure. Therefore, if you are a beginning Zen practitioner and have not yet awakened, unless you engage in Buddha Recitation, you have no means of purifying your mind. But, a pure mind is precisely an awakened mind.

      Even Bodhisattvas who are already awakened still practice Buddha Recitation, because without Buddha Recitation (mindfulness of the Buddhas) they cannot attain correct Enlightenment. We know that the Patriarchs awakened their minds through mindfulness of the Buddhas. Anyone who practices Buddha Recitation singlemindedly and without distraction will find that all afflictions vanish. With their minds thus bright, they are called awakened. Look at it this way: Buddha Recitation is Zen. No Bodhisattva abandons mindfulness of the Buddhas after awakening. None of the Patriarchs abandoned the Pure Land either. Thus, Buddha Recitation is Zen, Zen is Buddha Recitation.

      Since ancient times, this question has remained unsettled; I want to speak out now and shatter the view that Pure Land and Zen are different. If all the Buddhas were to appear in the world, they would say the same thing: to abandon this Pure Land Dharma and embrace false words is the work of demons and not the true Dharma.

      Related Course:
      Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra
      (Introduction to Pure Land Teachings)

      Comment More 
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