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02.12.10 : Perfect Dharma Practice | Story of the Needle Versus the Knife | How A Loving Father Rejected His Son | Ubuntu for Humanity & Buddhahood

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2010
      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: Perfect Dharma Practice

      To know if you 
      have perfected a Dharma practice, 
      keep practising the Dharma perfectly.

      - Stonepeace | Comment | More 

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       Realisation: The Story of the Needle Versus the Knife

      When empathy arises, apathy falls away.
      When compassion arises, cruelty falls away.

      - Stonepeace
      While having a vegetarian lunch with Geshe Dorji Damdul (an appointed translator of H.H. the Dalai Lama) last Sunday with the good company of Dharma friends, the strictly vegetarian Venerable shared an interesting account of how he urged someone at a hospital to turn vegetarian instantly. Once, during a medical check-up, there was the need to insert a long needle into his lungs from the chest. Despite there being anesthesia used to minimise the discomfort, there was still intense pain felt. What made it more frightening was that a wrong insertion would warrant another – till the position is just right. After the procedure, as there was remnant pain, he had to lie down to rest for a while. A nurse was tending to him, with whom he chatted.

      He remarked that the pain made him think about how much more pain animals have to suffer when they are being slaughtered for human consumption. What he experienced was just the prick of a single thin needle point, and it was already very difficult to endure. How much more horrifically painful it must be, for, say, chickens, who gets their throats slashed with a butcher knife… without any anesthesia! He must have shared his sentiments in a very sincere and heartfelt manner, because the nurse promised him to become a lifelong vegetarian on the spot! Geshela’s relating of his personal pain to the immeasurable pain of many other animals was compassionate indeed, as most would only be wallowing in their misery in such a situation.

      The needle versus knife comparison is a powerful one – because many meat-eating friends already know, but are unfortunately numb, to the truth that animals are killed for their meats to be possible. While they might not be able to easily imagine how they are killed, which might be very ‘abstract’ to them, they can surely imagine the unbearable pain of the long needle, when they see Geshela grimace in pain to illustrate it. He ended the story perfectly, just as I hoped, by asking a non-vegetarian friend present, if he would still eat animals. Visibly shaken by the story, Geshela might just have gotten another instant vegetarian convert! I sincerely hope Geshela (and those present, which includes you now!) will share the story with more. In fact, I’m sending this article to him as the request!

      What difference does it make to the animals,
      who you do not kill them personally,
      who you pay others to kill for you instead?

      - Stonepeace

      Related Article: 
      The Buddha's Real Views on Meat-Eating

      Shen Shi'an | Comment | More 
        Read More in TDE Book 4

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       Excerpt: How A Loving Father Rejected His Son

      When one ignores the truth,
      one clings to delusion.

      - Stonepeace

      The Buddha told the story of a merchant, a widower, who went away in a business trip and left his little boy at home. While he was away, bandits came and burned down the whole village. When the merchant returned, he didn’t find his house, it was just a heap of ash. There was the charred body of a child close by. He threw himself on the ground and cried and cried. He beat his chest and pulled his hair. The next day, he had the little body cremated. Because his beloved son was his only reason for existence, he sewed a beautiful velvet bag and put the ashes inside. Wherever he went, he took that bag of ashes with him. Eating, sleeping, working, he always carried it with him.

      In fact, his son had been kidnapped by the bandits. Three months later, the boy escaped and returned home. When he arrived, it was two o’clock in the morning. He knocked on the door of the new hose his father had built. The poor father was lying on his bed crying, holding the bag of ashes, and he asked, ‘Who is there?’ ‘It’s me, Daddy, your son.’ The father answered, ‘That’s not possible. My son is dead. I’ve cremated his body and I carry his ashes with me. You must be some naughty boy who’s trying to fool me. Go away, don’t disturb me!’ He refused to open the door, and there was no way for the little boy to come in. The boy had to go away, and the father lost his son forever.

      After telling the story, the Buddha said, ‘If at some point in your life you adopt an idea or a perception as the absolute truth, you close the door of your mind. This is the end of seeking the truth. And not only do you no longer seek the truth, but even if the truth comes in person and knocks on your door, you refuse to open it. Attachment to views, attachment to ideas, attachment to perceptions are the biggest obstacle to the truth.’

      Comment | More 
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