2023-10-09-Gil-Ten Protectors (6 of 10) Dharma Love
2:49PM Oct 9, 2023
Good day on this Monday. And the topic for this week is to continue with what's usually called the 10 protectors, that 10 supports supporting things. That that 10 helps, helping help to help 10 helpers. And today's protector is love of the dharma, dharma love. And but then, dharma what does that mean here. And I'd like to propose that the essential meaning of dharma, more than the teachings of the Buddha, more than anything else, is non harming. And so a love of non harming. That's the protector. And, and it seems wonderful coincidence, that, to emphasize this, on the day that the United States we celebrated as indigenous people day, and people who have suffered hundreds of years of harm by the European colonialists who came and settlers who came and sometimes committed tremendous genocide, even right here in California. And the, and also the Monday after this weekend, where the horrendous violence in Palestine in Israel, and Gaza strip the and and we have so much experience as human beings with the endless cycles of violence. In the endless cycles of hate, when two people hate each other, then the only solution is to kill each other. The cycles of hate is the ex escalate. And then it just continues on and on the cycles of this going on. And I think the 60 years of for more now 70 years, 80 100 years of violence in Palestine has shown the cycles, that violence doesn't provide a solution. And the horrendous damage here and to the Native Americans in the United States and Canada. Much of Latin America has also showed how much harm it can be done that gets continued for generations after the big harm has been caused. There has to be another way. And the way that the Buddha taught is non harming a radical commitment of non harming so the love of the dharma is not in love with the teachings that's possible. It's not a love of the practice, but love of the very foundation of what the teachings and the practice is about. And that is a life of non harming. And the Four Noble Truths are all about not harming where the word for harm is dukkha or are usually translated to English as suffering. And in the Four Noble Truths, who usually apply to oneself, that we're looking at suffering within ourselves, the cause of suffering, that we have within ourselves, and then the ending of that, we could say the harm we experienced from ourselves and the ending of causing that harm. And, but also the four noble truths can be equally there's no pronouns in the way the Four Noble Truths are taught. So, they apply equally to the world around us to understand the suffering the causes, and to meet it to with an attitude away a way of life, which is non harm and life of non harming. That's, you know, primarily represented by living the Eightfold Path and non harming is embedded in the whole Eightfold Path. Enterprise. And so the love of the dharma and kāma dhamma kāma kāma. And in the description of it, it's talks about the one of the protectors is loving the dharma have being having a thick, affectionate conversations, I love this idea of affectionate conversations with others, right after loving, loving the dharma and being inspired by that practice, and a way of life, here the word for practice is Abhidhamma dharma dharma and, and their way of life is Vinaya, which for the monastics is the life of restraint. But for the non monastics the life of restraining from harming, and so this and if we want to have a love, which is reliable, universal, profound, the love of non harming, it doesn't mean naive non violence, it means that, that doesn't mean that we are being hostile to our own tendencies to hostility and hate. But we're not, we're not committing ourselves to the impulses of hate and hostility. We're not the impulse committing ourselves to the impulse of violence. But rather, we allow those to surface. We see them clearly. And we see them with non harming, we see them with non participation, we see them without believing them, or without believing we have to act on them. It's a hard belief to come by. Because sometimes, you know, it seems like we have to harm others in order to protect ourselves. The Buddha said something similar for monastics, he said that a monastic is allowed to strike out against an attacker for the purposes of escaping, provided that the monastic has, has Goodwill has met them. So it's not just only have you know, just just sit there quietly and have non harming, there is a time and place to act. But how that act is done, is mostly not to harm other people play for the for the purposes of avoiding getting hurt. Exactly how that applies in all kinds of situations in life is, is you know, that's the, the huge question. But non harming is not naive, it's not just allowing other people to roll over us. But it's profound, to, to live a life of non harming. There are many people in this world who have never experienced safety. And to feel that someone is really safe for them. And as part of the value of monastic life, is that it's a public life that kind of gives the impression to people who see monastics that this is someone who's not going to harm and is not going to live with aggression and anger and hostility. And so there's tends to be a relaxing around monastics that they can walk in all kinds of circumstances in life, and people receive them, because they clearly represent a very radically different way of living, than many people have experienced. But But what I want to emphasize today is the love part, that there can be a delight and inspiration and affection for the dharma for practice, that that can be a great love. The can be for some people who like to anthropomorphize these things can be our beloved can be something that we really take up. And one of the interesting ideas about the beloved, the loving the dharma, some people will love the dharma more than anyone else. And and then our partners might get upset like what I'm second best to the dharma. The, the, then you might explain to them it works this way. That with, with having the dharma at the center, there's a love of the dharma. Our ability to love others increases. So yes, they're kind of second maybe, to, to your commitment to the dharma, to practice to non harming, but, but if you didn't have the dharma, your love for them would not be as clear or pure or open or rich or forgiving or or something. And so they get more love.
If you they allow you to love the dharma even more, and so everyone benefits. And in the end, I don't think that makes that, you know, there is no conflict. And but this ability to have this heartfelt warmth than and, and affection for something, it's really profound, and have it be the most reliable form of love and affection. Because it's nice, I keep saying maybe it's a universal, non harming. That's the essence. That's what the dharma is, and everything else about the dharma, they all the different teachings, or attempts to kind of expand on that basic premise or to find, to really study how this applies, or how this is supported in all kinds of different ways, not harming ourselves, nor not harming others. And to be a liberated person to be an enlightened person means it's an ethical transformation. It means becoming a person who is incapable of intentionally wanting to harm anybody else. A, someone who's fully awakened is incapable of killing, incapable of stealing. And so the incapable of wanting to cause harm. So if you're committed to or feel like you need to be committed to the possibility of harming others, then maybe the dharma is not going to be so good for you. Because if you really take it all the way, you're going to be incapable of doing that. But on the way there, there is a love of the dharma, the love of non harming. And even if it's even if you decide that it's necessary to engage in something that's harmful and violence, as a form of self protection or something. Don't let that diminish the possibility of really loving, non harming. And in this teaching, the love of the dharma is a protector. So it protects you, from the forces of harm from within yourself, and from others. Living a life of peace and living a peaceful life of non harming people tend and the operative word is tend, tend to relate to us very differently than if we walk around angry. And I've known people who are very aversive, who just feel that everyone else is just mean all the time. without them realizing that people are kind of challenged, then maybe aversive to them, because of the aversive way in which they show up. And so it's a self fulfilling kind of prediction. People are mean. So I show up being mean. And then of course, they're mean back. If we show up, non harming, loving, caring, attentive to others, they respond in a different way to us. So, so to love the art, as a way of being safe, making yourself safe. And as a way of protecting others from ourselves. And as a way of protecting our dharma practice, it's difficult to remember to practice is difficult to be Institute stay inspired and the dharma and this way of life, but just to keep coming back to that inspiration, maybe from these affectionate conversations we can have about the dharma, this is a way of keeping the momentum, the inspiration, the motivation here, to really refine the tremendous value and wisdom of living a life a sophisticated life of non harming, not a naive life, non harming, loving that. So so it makes me very happy to, to consider this wonderful idea of loving the dharma, of living a life of love, and the love that I hope is contagious and that spreads peaceful way throughout this world that needs it desperately. Because the violence I hope the violence soon enough is going to be seen as completely counterpart octave to the welfare and happiness of everyone thank you