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03.12.09 : Ultimate Sacrifice | What is the Whole of the Holy Life? | The Emptiness of Money | Don't Die Too Rich!

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2009
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      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: Ultimate Sacrifice

      Sacrifice of precious things without 
      is not the ultimate sacrifice. 

      Sacrifice of useless defilements within 
      is the ultimate sacrifice.

      - Stonepeace: http://twitter.com/stonepeace

       The TDE Collection
       Realisation: What is the Whole of the Holy Life?

      Mindfulness of Buddha
      is the practice of befriending
      the best spirirtual friend [and our own Buddha-nature].

      - Stonepeace
      In the Upaddha Sutta, Ananda uttered this to the Buddha, 'This is half of the holy life, Lord - admirable friendship [companionship, camaraderie (the spirit of friendly fellowship)].' The Buddha replied, 'Don't say that... Admirable friendship is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk [or anyone else] has admirable people as friends... he can be expected to develop and pursue the Noble Eightfold Path [Right view, resolve, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration, which leads to liberation]… And through this line of reasoning, one may know how admirable friendship is actually the whole of the holy life. It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth, [aging, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair] have gained release...'

      From the Dighajanu Suttamore than associating with the good, spiritual friendship is also about learning to emulate their good qualities, to befriend the Dharma within.What is admirable friendship? It is when one spends time with householders (or their children), young or old, who are advanced in virtue. One engages them in discussions, and emulates those consummate in conviction, virtue, generosity, discernment, which leads to happiness and well-being in future lives. Such friendship includes monastics and lay people, regardless of seniority, age or gender, for goodness is not determined by such factors. Regular interaction with the wise and kind is indeed crucial and invaluable for self-checking and furthering Dharma understanding.

      Being consummate in conviction is to be convinced of the Buddha’s perfect awakening to the truth, that his conduct, wisdom and skilful means to train us is supreme. Being consummate in virtue is to abstain from taking life, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and taking of intoxicants by observing thefive precepts at least. Being consummate in generosity is to rid miserliness, to be freely generous, delighting in being magnanimous, and responsive to needs. Being consummate in discernment is to be penetratingly discerning of the rise and fall of phenomena, which leads to liberation.But what about those without these qualities? Following the Buddha's example, we should strive to be consummate spiritual friends to those who lack them, so as to help them nurture the same. Just as the Buddha’s presence was invaluable as a model example for us to emulate, we too ought to be the best examples we can. – Shen Shi'anhttp://facebook.com/shenshian

      Spiritual friends are
      the embodiments of the Dharma,
      the personifications of truth and goodness.

      - Stonepeace
      Share Articles & Comments: comment@... | More Realisations
       Excerpt: The Emptiness of Money

      Craving physical wealth oils the rounds of Samsara.
      Accumulating spiritual wealth ends the rounds of Samsara.

      - Stonepeace

      The basic difficulty, from a Buddhist perspective, is that we are trying to resolve a spiritual problem… by identifying with something outside of ourselves, which can never confer the sense of reality we crave. We work hard to acquire a big bank account and all the things that society teaches us will make us happy, and then we cannot understand why they do not make us happy, why they do not resolve our sense that something is lacking. Is the reason really that we don’t have enough yet?

      I think Buddhism give us the best metaphor to understand money: shunyata, the ‘emptiness’ that characterizes all phenomena. Nagarjuna warns us not to grab this snake by the wrong end, because there is no such thing as shunyata. It is a shorthand way to describe the interdependence of things, how nothing self-exists, because everything is part of something else. If we misunderstand the concept and cling to shunyata, the cure becomes worse than the disease. Money – also nothing in itself, nothing more than a socially agreed-upon symbol – remains indispensable today. But woe to those who grab this snake by the tail. As the Heart Sutra teaches, all form is empty, apart from the forms it takes, forms that we become less and less able to truly appreciate.

      Another way to make this point is to say that money is not a thing but a process. Perhaps it’s best understood as an energy that is not really mine or yours. Those who understand that it is an empty, socially constructed symbol can use it wisely and compassionately to reduce the world’s suffering. Those who use it to become more real end up being used by it, their alienated sense of self clutching a blank check – a promissory note that can never be cashed. - David Loy

      In Face of Fear: Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging Times 
      Edited by Barry Boyce and the editors of Shambhala Sun
      Get it at Awareness Place shops or Amazon | More Excerpts

      Don't Die Too Rich!
      Have You Learnt the Dharma Long?
      More Unpredictable than My Dogs
      A Heartbreaking Heartfelt Paradox?
      Three Reasons to Live a Good Life

      Attached to Being Vegetarian?
      What Relief & What Grief!
      Silence is the First Prayer
      Less Ground for Liberation
      Big Changes Start Small


      Fun Home: Icarus & Daedalus
      Hellboy: How Naming the Demons Work


      Fling: One Who Flings Gets Flung
      The Broken: You Versus Yourself

      Music: I Hope You Have the 'Time of Your Life'

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