Buddha Shakyamuni preached for 45 years in this world. In that time, he was asked the same questions repeatedly, and he patiently answered them according to the capacity, maturity, and disposition of the questioners.
In the conventional sense, there is nothing new, and therefore the desire for novelty can never be fulfilled. In the absolute sense, every single moment is new and unrepeatable. We have heard the Dharma many times, and have understood some of it. But it is only by willingly exposing ourselves to the teachings over and over that we can deepen our understanding and manifest it in our lives.
We have to learn how to share the Dharma in different settings, with different persons, and that only comes with repeated hearing. Dharma cultivation —like everything else— is not just for us, but for the benefit of all.
When I read Kunchen Dolpopa’s writings, I am grateful for his untiring willingness to share with me, in many ways and forms, in various texts and prayers, what he knew. I am grateful for his patience is writing the same essential lesson in hundreds of different ways, with the intention that I may finally truly grasp the meaning.
Whether in condensed form in The Supplication, more extensively in The Fourth Council, or exhaustively in Mountain Dharma, he is sharing with me the same fundamental lesson: ultimate reality is true purity, true existence, true bliss, and true permanence. He gives thousands of analogies and presents thousands of logical arguments to lead me to realize that one, single, all important truth: my own Buddha Nature.
I now need to learn how to make the Dharma simpler, more accessible, and more urgent. As my time is necessarily shorter with each passing day, I must concentrate on essentials: generating certainty, vows, and practice for attaining birth in the Pure Land —here and now if at all possible, or at least after death. For all, as for me, that is the only necessary thing in this era of the five corruptions, the Dharma-ending age.
Who can overcome these five corruptions in our short and agitated life spans? Who can dedicate the required time and produce the consistent effort to practice the fullness of the Dharma? This is not a time for high doctrine and complex cultivation, but for the simple message of Amideva’s Promise.
om amideva hrih