Moral Imperative

22279484_1170438129722327_8977654373558581725_nAppeals to practice the Dharma based on the personal benefits of meditation, emotional balance, patience, behavioral restraint, and loving kindness are misleading, because individual welfare ―while certainly desirable― is not the necessary and sufficient moral imperative for spiritual cultivation.

If the individual benefits from doing what is right, so much the better, but self-interest should not and cannot be the motivation for moral conduct.

Self-serving conduct is not moral, even when it produces temporary benefits, because it enshrines and validates the wrong views of a separate self and individual supremacy as the legitimate underpinnings of our actions.

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Genuine Renunciation

22007555_2002501846660192_4634800572637110392_nIn the Noble Eightfold Path, renunciation (nishkama) is the first of three components associated with Right Thought (the other two are good will and harmlessness).

Renunciation is best understood as the perfection of detachment: seeing the futility of craving, and methodically letting go of the causes of suffering.

Genuine renunciation requires thoroughly perceiving how we make ourselves unhappy by craving and grasping, and proceeding to free ourselves from attachment, aversion, and indifference by releasing these afflicted emotions. Far from leading to a state of deprivation, renunciation is a positive and liberating act that establishes us in peace and contentment.

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Emptiness

300px-Dol_po_pa_1_copyThe Dharma of the golden age is the stainless words of the Conqueror, and what is carefully taught by the Bodhisattvas on the tenth level and by the great system founders, Asanga and Nagarjuna, flawless and endowed with sublime qualities.

In that tradition, all is not empty of self-nature.

Carefully distinguishing empty of self-nature and empty of other, what is relative is all taught to be empty of self-nature, and what is absolute is taught to be precisely empty of other.

―Dolpopa Sherab Gyaltsen

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Sorrow

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From far, far in the distant past,

down to this day, this very instant,

those things we have longed for most

have not been attained, and we sorrow.

—Ippen Shonin

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Ineffable

22141015_121309161953258_8344860690047498186_nWhat I have attained in Perfect Enlightenment

is the same as what all others have attained.

It cannot be characterized, regarded neither as a high state, nor a low state.

It is wholly independent of any definite or arbitrary conceptions

of an individual self, other selves, multiple living beings, or a universal self.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Diamond Sutra

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Compassion & Generosity

22154496_373875656366689_5813282923501672362_nIn the practice of compassion and generosity

disciples should be detached.

We should practice compassion and generosity

without regard to appearances, without regard to form,

without regard to sound, smell, taste, touch, or any quality of any kind.

This is how we should practice compassion and generosity.

 

Practicing compassion and generosity without attachment

is the way to reaching the Highest Perfect Wisdom,

it is the way to becoming a living Buddha.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Diamond Sutra

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All

22089708_845528662272900_3670614330712754409_nAll living beings —whether born from eggs,

from the womb, from division, or spontaneously;

whether they have form or do not have form;

whether they are aware or unaware,

whether they are not aware or not unaware—

eventually, I will lead all living beings to the final Nirvana,

the true ending of the cycle of birth and death.

 

And when all these living beings, in their unfathomable,

infinite number, have all been liberated,

in truth, not even a single being has actually been liberated.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Diamond Sutra

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