Byakuren (White Lotus) Judith Ragir

Judith sitting on dockIs it possible to find freedom and happiness?  Buddhism is, in this regard, radically optimistic.  Pessimism and optimism meet in the Four Noble Truths.  Pessimistically, samsara (the cyclic existence of ordinary reality) is always broken and we suffer. And yet, Buddha himself said, the chain of suffering can be broken by a change in our understanding of reality and the reorientation of our minds. We can find well-being.

Changing the basis of operation in our minds is a long task.  We have to be unflaggingly determined to pivot our minds day after day, moment after moment.  We have to use the three bases that Buddha gave us:  wisdom, concentration and ethical integrity.  Gradually and suddenly, we can transform our understanding and find freedom.

Freedom is not in another place or another time.  It is “just this”.  The miracle of life is everywhere.  It hits us in the nose, on our cheeks, and in our eyes.  We simply have to come back to Now.  We simply have to be devoted to kindness.

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The Jewel in the King’s Topknot

Unconstructed reality doesn’t negate the rules of our consensus reality. We have to abide by the code of behavior that has been established in our society. Nowness does not mean that anything goes. It does not mean that in understanding emptiness, we are given license to break down into anarchy the standards of civic society. … Continue reading The Jewel in the King’s Topknot

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As I have previous said, Dogen deconstructs time and space in all his writing. He wants us to enter life in this very moment which Katagiri Roshi described as the intersection of time and space. Here is an entire paragraph deconstructing our consciousness’ misunderstand of “a body”. Our untrained mind thinks of our bodies as … Continue reading Rolling freely round and round