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31.08.12 : True Nature | How The Buddha Enjoys Wonderful Scenery | Is Buddhism Okay With Premarital Sex? | Super Short Story | Understanding Amituofo Via the Amitabha Sutra

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2012
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      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: True Nature

      One need ask no more
      when the true nature is seen.

      - Naropa

      (One needs to continue 
      learning and practising
      till realisation then.) 

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       Realisation: How The Buddha Enjoys Wonderful Scenery

      The simplest spiritual joy
      begins with recognition
      and rejoice of the worthy.


      In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the Buddha was recorded to have remarked, 'Pleasant, Ananda, is Vesali; pleasant are the shrines of Udena, Gotamaka, Sattambaka, Bahuputta, Sarandada, and Capala.' Yes indeed, the Buddha enjoys inspiring scenery too. Although he is at times imagined to be numb or uninterested about the things of this samsaric world, this cannot be further from the truth. The Buddha is ever mindful of his environment, and the universe itself. In fact, as he perceives everything in its entirety with heightened awareness and clarity, he appreciates all more deeply. Contrary to popular belief, the Buddha is no killjoy when it comes to harmless pleasures of the senses. What he advised against was mindless indulgence in them, to the extent that the Middle Path of moderate living is veered away – from advancement in the spiritual life.

      When the average unenlightened person comes across a scenic view, one is likely to become attached to it, to the extent that, ironically, it might be missed in part – due to being mindless of its fine details in the midst of excitement. Think over-enthusiastic photo-taking and such to hang on to the memories. Even if every detail is eventually savoured, there is a bittersweet aftertaste when one has to part from the great view, and pining to return later. Such disturbing emotions that cause suffering would never arise in the liberated mind of the Buddha. What he does is only the treasuring of the wonders in the moment as they present themselves, without being bound to them for even a moment while and after doing so. Everything the Buddha utters is meaningful. Even such a 'simple' exclamation reminds us to rejoice in the worthy here and now.

      In a loosely related incident, Suzuki Roshi once asked a student to drive him to a park to see cherry blossoms in bloom. On the way, he remained silent while looking calmly at the passing scene. When the flowers came to view, he simply gazed at them for a moment, and said, 'Very beautiful. Let's go back now.' This probably came as a shock to the student, who might have been attached to expectations of some 'normal' reactions of longing and elation from his teacher. Perhaps Roshi was teaching him an important lesson – that it is alright to appreciate and enjoy what is pleasing to the senses. Yet, what you cannot hold on to forever, you should willingly let go of in good time. A single second of deep mindful appreciation beats prolonged unmindfulness. Just as there is no need to ignore the wonderful, there is no need to feel torn from it either. (As cherry blossoms are delicate and bloom only for a short while, the Japanese use it to symbolise transience. This accords with the significance of offering flowers at Buddhist shrines, as a reminder of the fleeting nature of life.)

      Because everything changes from moment to moment,
      we should treasure everything in this moment.
      Because everything changes from moment to moment,
      we should not be attached to anything in this moment.


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       Excerpt: Is Buddhism Okay With Premarital Sex?

      [Sex is] The melting pot of sensual pleasures
      [that is] is easy to slip into life after life,
      and difficult to crawl out of life after life.


      Premarital sex is a problem which is much discussed in modern society. Many young people would like to know the opinion regarding this sensitive issue. Some religionists say it can be considered as committing adultery, while others say it is immoral and unjustifiable. In the past, young boys and girls were not allowed by their parents to move around freely until they were married. Their marriages were also arranged and organized by the parents. Of course, this did cause unhappiness in some cases when parents chose partners on the basis of money, social status, family obligations and related issues. But generally, the majority of parents did try very hard to choose partners who would be acceptable to their children.

      Today, young people are at the liberty to go out and find their own partners. They have a lot of freedom and independence in their lives. This is not a bad thing in itself, but some of these people are just too young and too immature to see the difference between sexual attraction and true compatibility. That is why the problem of pre-marital sex arises. Too much laxity in matters concerning sex has also given rise to social problems in modern society. The sad part is that some societies do not express liberal attitudes towards unmarried mothers, illegitimate children and the divorcees while they are quite liberal about free sex. As a result, young people are being punished by the same society which encourages free mixing of the sexes. They become social outcasts and suffer much shame and humiliation. Many young girls have become victims of their own freedom and have ruined their future by violating age-old traditions which were valued in the east as well as in the west.

      Pre-marital sex is a modern development which has come about as a result of excessive social freedom prevalent amongst present day young people. Whilst Buddhism holds no strong views either for or against such action, it is thought that all Buddhists, particularly people of both sexes in love and contemplating marriage, should adhere to the age-old traditional concept that they maintain chastity until the nuptial date. The human mind is unstable and forever changing, with the result that any illicit action or indiscretion may cause undue harm to either party if the legal marriage does not take place as expected. It must be remembered that any form of sexual indulgence before a proper marriage is solemnized will be looked down upon by the elders who are the guardians of the young people.

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      A Happy Married Life: A Buddhist Perspective
      Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda 

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