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Realization: SnowflakeZeph & Clyde are waiting for the first flakes of snow to fall, looking out of the window,
as their tour bus climbs towards the summit of Mount Fuji, in the coming winter of "Zenland Japan"-Zeph (Z): Want to hear a Haiku?Clyde (C): What's that?Z: It's a Zen minimalist poem with just 3 lines. Its second line connects with the first and the third line carries the element of enlightenment and surprise. But it's like a joke with a punchline- either you get it- or you don't.C: Interesting! Try me!Z: Here it goes. This one is a Zen saying actually..."No snowflakeever fallsin the wrong place"C: Ya... so?Z: Didn't you find it witty, wise?C: What do you mean by snowflakes falling in the wrong place?Z: Okay... please point out to me- if you can, a snowflake that fell in the wrong place.C: There is no such thing!Z: Aha... but does that mean all snowflakes fall in the right places?C: I would say they neither fall "correctly" nor "wrongly."Z: Yes- but why?C: Falling snowflakes are just part of nature- naturally doing their "job." There is no right or wrong to it.Z: Yes- just as like the Sun that rises day after day is mindless- never intending to scorch the folks in the deserts, or to vaporise the seas to form rainclouds. Nature is always just being natural.C: Okay- but where's the enlightening lesson in all this?Z: It is subjective. But the lesson to me is that we should mimic nature- be selflessly natural. When we are truly natural, we will be truly free, like falling snowflakes, yet never ever doing anything wrongly.C: Be mindless like snowflakes?Z: No- snowflakes are mindless because they do not have minds. But because we have minds, we have to do the opposite- be mindful and take care of our minds.C: So what does it mean to be natural?Z: It means to behave in acccording to nature, flowing along with the laws of nature or Truth itself, not against it. Mindless aspects of nature evolves or "de-volves" as accordingly to different conditions present. But that is mindless nature. Since we have minds, we should realise that we are sentient nature (lifeforms with reason and feelings). And the only naturally sensible thing to do is to evolve to higher states till perfection is reached (ie. become Buddhas)- starting from training our minds to develop qualities like Compassion and Wisdom.C: But why should we evolve spiritually- why not let things be, or "de-volve?" Just because we have minds does not mean we should evolve spiritually- I don't see the obligation.Z: You are absolutely right- there is indeed no obligation. But look at it this way- If all sentient life see no obligation and live mindlessly, and thus destructively, at the expense of the rest of nature, what will happen?C: It would be a global disaster- leading to war and famine... everywhere.Z: Exactly. So the question is simple- is that what we want? Or do we want Utopia, Pureland on Earth?C: But that's so distant a dream.Z: But what to bind us together for a better world if not a dream? It is only distant because it is a great but noble worthy dream.C: I still do not see any real obligation.Z: Don't get me wrong- like I said, there is indeed NO obligation. I am asking what else is there more worth doing apart from purifying this world by first purifying our minds through the attainment of Enlightenment (breaking free from the cycle of birth and death with the realization of Wisdom) for the sake of all beings. Nature is cyclic. The seasons rotate, the Earth too, with day and night etc... But if we do not evolve spiritually, our existence is just as pointless in constant cyclic rebirth, day after day, life after life. If you feel that THAT is the natural thing to do, so be it. Thus, there is no obligation to attain Enlightenment either.C: And the Buddha is only suggesting Enlightenment as a wise option. He is very democratic in this sense! He wishes us well and does His best to let us see the rationale of seeking Enlightenment- but we choose whether we want to seek it or not.Z: Yes. Exactly. He never commanded anyone to attain Enlightenment. But He told us its benefits. Enlightenment, is just another name for True Happiness. We are not mere snowflakes. We have minds. And He is suggesting that we be mindful happy "snowflakes", that never fall in the wrong place!C: And perfected mindfulness- going beyond right and wrong- is Enlightenment itself!Z: Exactly!C: Wonderful haiku! Look! The first snowflakes are falling!Contribute your article or your thoughts on the above @ tde@...Zeph&Frens-Archive~http://asp.thedailyenlightenment.com/archives/Zeph/Z.asp___________________________________By sending a blank mail to TheDailyEnlightenment-Forumfirstname.lastname@example.orgYou can then select DailyDigest or Individual Email Mode atAlternatively, you can join in the web-based TDE-Forum atJoin in the TDE Polling @ http://asp.thedailyenlightenment.com/poll.aspPoll 1- Is there enough education on Mahayana Buddhism in English in Singapore?Poll 2- Can Buddhism do without Rituals?Poll 3- What stops potential Buddhists from taking refuge?Poll 4- Do you feel that Vegetarianism is an accurate measure of Compassion?Poll 5- Where do you aspire to be after this life if you are unenlightened?TDE (http://TheDailyEnlightenment.com) is a FREE independent non-sectarian multi-traditional international mailing list (Members:5000+) supported by Singapore's Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery's (http://kmspks.org/ enquiry@...) 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