2022-09-05 The Dharma, pt 2( 1 of 5) In this Very Life
3:03PM Sep 5, 2022
Hello, everyone, and here we begin the next five day series. And for this week, I'd like to do something a little unusual. And that is to repeat the theme from last week. I think there's value in it in that the topic itself, we can go further with it. It's so central and important to the practice that we're doing. And also, sometimes when we keep moving to new themes, maybe every week, it's the heart, the mind, the body, has less opportunity to let each week's theme sink deeper. So that's the plan. And so, the plan is to once again go through the five characteristics of the dharma, the dharma of the Buddha is well spoken, it is visible here, it is now immediate. It invites inspection come and see. It is onward leading. And it is to pursue it is to be personally known by the wise. So this dharma than Pāli dharma in Sanskrit and English now is, you know it, it means something more than just the Buddhist teachings, what the Buddha was, what to what his teachings were pointing at. The idea is that, that the Buddha was pointing to something for us to experience for ourselves, that we become a wise person who experiences it directly, immediately here. And another place, the Buddha describes that teaching he, the dharma, the teaching he gives, as being laid open, clear, and evident. So again, this immediacy, it's right here to be seen, it's evident, it's open, nothing hidden. And so, we can enter into this present moment where deeply to discover the dharma for ourselves. That's where it is. We could also step back a little bit and see more clearly, what the Buddha was teaching when he taught and hammer confidence that what he was pointing to is what was in that poem I read, which is now here. What's evident what's open? What's his inviting inspection here. And the, the contrast to this is in terms of religions, and even some ways that people relate to Buddhism is belief, looking for belief to believe, a doctrine to believe, and then have some people come to Buddhism and have the idea that if they're going to be good Buddhists, they have to believe whatever the Buddha said, and or they're inclined to believe and some people have this beautiful thing they say. For whatever I've experienced for myself, it verifies what the Buddha teaches. So I'm inclined to believe everything he says, Now, even what I haven't experienced myself, so this orientation around Buddhism and being a belief and we have to believe in the ancient teachings of the Buddha, he was actually not interested in belief and was actually quite discouraging of people to believe he said that he teaches the dharma too eradicate belief or speculative use opinions, dog mom attachments to the teachings, speculation that his teachings was something very different, very interesting story is of a man who was a famous debater, at a time at the Buddha and religious debates are really a big deal in ancient ancient India. And so he was wanting to really kind of debate the Buddha and kind of undermine him and so he came, I guess, somewhat assertively to the Buddha and say, you know, what is it that you teach? It was clearly was going to be debate. And the Buddha answered, I teach that with which one would have no quarrels with anybody in the world.
And so the guy didn't know what to do with himself and then he left and a half, you know, he realized there was no way in for the Buddha. That was his attitude. So this dark Burma we have that doesn't lead us to quarrel with anyone in the world. It's not based on beliefs, opinions. It's a very interesting exercise to go through the teachings of the Buddha is very many volumes of what survives. And, and ask the question, you know, when the Buddha was going to teach the dharma and brief, what did he teach? When he told others, when you go out to teach, and you want to teach what I teach, this is what you teach that when he talked about what the right view is, what's the right understanding to have? When he talked about the body translated as true knowledge, good, Gnosis virāga the IGA. And what did he What did he point to? Is this, the true understanding or the true knowledge? When he when he would have talked about the goal of practice, what did he talk about? And when he talked to people who were maybe closest to him, and I think of his son, he had a son, one son, who became a monastic in time, their story is that he joined the order when he was seven years old. And, you know, we have records of what the Buddha taught his own son, you think that that's where he wants to emphasize what is most important? And so what was it he taught his son? So all these questions? If you take all of them together, and look at the Buddha's answers to all of them, phenomenally what you find is, he's talking about something that is evident here. And now, the first of these characteristics, the Buddha is Sandeep Kiko, the Buddha Buddha, the last week, I said, this, the dhamma is San Diego, it's dharma is here, and now, the word is visible here. Now, some people translate this as in this very life. And, and the idea here is that it doesn't concern a future life, or a past life. It's in this very life, that we can realize what the dharma is about. You don't have to postpone it, you don't have to hope for it in the future, here and now in the immediacy of now. And, and so in this very life is a powerful statement. Because it It places the domain, the locus, the Nexus, the center of what the Buddha was teaching, as something independent of past and future lives, which some people often associate past and future lives is a huge part of Buddhism. It's certainly an important part of forms of Buddhism, how Buddhism developed and maybe even had a place in the teachings of the Buddha. But the concern with past and future lives, was not something the Buddha talked about, when he going through. This is what the dharma is, this is what you should teach. This poem, I'll read it, again, that I just read, is a remarkable poem, because it's in a group of texts, and many of them poems, which in the most ancient layer of Buddhism, there's direct, there's indication that this is what people were chanting back then, you know, we have all these volumes of the teachings of the Buddha is not completely clear. What it actually belongs to him was his words and how much was attributed to him later. But it is earliest historical layer, we find that the monastics of the time and the laypeople as well. were memorizing and talked about memorizing particular verses and texts. So this is what they felt was important to remember and to repeat over again. And all of these things together, can be summarized in this verse that I read before, which I now read. So what the Buddha taught with the goal is what the he would teach his son what emphasize that people should memorize and remember. This is the context for what's really considered one expression of what's central in the dharma. Don't chase the past or long for the future. The past is left behind. The future is not yet reached. Right here, where it is, have insight into whatever phenomena has arisen,
not faltering and not agitated by knowing it. When develops the mind ardently do it What should be done to day? Who knows, death may come tomorrow. There is no bargaining with mortality and his great army. Whoever dwells this ardent active day and night is says that peaceful sage, one who has an auspicious day, and the text is translated in the title is an auspicious day. It's in the middle length, discourses, number 131. And so when the Buddha says in the five descriptions, the dhamma, that it is visible. Last week, I said visible here and now and thinking about it, it seems like we just say visible here, because the next one is about time, immediate. So it's visible here. Now it's in this very life. This is a very important principle, very important idea. And what it means is you don't have to go and read a lot of books and you know, hope for you know, something far in the future, what is it that you can find here in this very life in this very time? Here, here, here, in this poem, it says, right, where it is, right here, where things occur, where things arise, have insight, have an understanding, and this is a common theme and all the ways that you get to what the Buddha was central messages is here in the present moment. See things arise and pass see things arise and appear the impermanence inconstancy, be in the flow of time, see things appear and go away, come and go. In particular, begin seeing the coming and going of greed, hatred and delusion that they're not always there. And who are you when there is no greed, hate and delusion? Or say it more Buddha's Stickley? When there's no in those moments and times when there's no greed, hatred, delusion fear?
What is left? And what is left? If you answer that question, with no greed, no hatred, no delusion, no fear, no conceit. What is it that's here. So to offer you some the assignment that you can do for this day. Something that I do frequently that find great value in is just saying the word hear here, as a reminder, to just be here fully, to not race ahead with your thoughts. Not linger in the past with your thoughts. But to say the word here, as if you're opening a door, into a new room. Here, in this place, that you are right here, have insight, see clearly see what's visible here and now? Not so much what you see in the room or in the space you're in. But what do you see in your own mind and in that own mind and hearts of yours. Might there be something that is free of greed, hatred and delusion, free of fear, free of conceit here so, saying the word hear to yourself and opening a door to hear. So thank you, and the dharma dharma is visible. Here. Thank you