The Search for Security

Tags

,

by Bhikkhu Bodhi

It may be a truism of psychology that the desire for happiness is the most fundamental human drive, but it is important to note that this desire generally operates within the bounds set by another drive just as deep and pervasive. This other drive is the need for security. However insistent the raw itch for pleasure and gain may be, it is usually held in check by a cautious concern for our personal safety. We only feel at ease when we are sealed off from manifest danger, comfortably at home with ourselves and with our world, snugly tucked into familiar territory where everything seems friendly and dependable. Continue reading

The Balanced Way

Tags

,

by Bhikkhu Bodhi

Like a bird in flight borne by its two wings, the practice of Dhamma is sustained by two contrasting qualities whose balanced development is essential to straight and steady progress. These two qualities are renunciation and compassion. As a doctrine of renunciation the Dhamma points out that the path to liberation is a personal course of training that centers on the gradual control and mastery of desire, the root cause of suffering. As a teaching of compassion the Dhamma bids us to avoid harming others, to act for their welfare, and to help realize the Buddha’s own great resolve to offer the world the way to the Deathless. Continue reading

The Case for Study

Tags

, ,

by Bhikkhu Bodhi

The recent upsurge of interest in Buddhism, both East and West, has been marked by a vigorous practical orientation and a drive to discover the peace and freedom to which the practice of Dhamma leads. This zeal for practice, however, has often been accompanied by another trait which may not be so fruitful, namely, a tendency to neglect or even belittle the methodical study of the Buddha’s teachings. The arguments offered in defense of this attitude have already become familiar currency among us. It is said, for example, that study is concerned with words and concepts, not with realities; that it leads only to learning, not to wisdom; that it can change only our ideas but fails to touch us at the deeper levels of our lives. To clinch the case the testimony of the Buddha himself is enlisted, with his famous remarks that to learn much without practicing is like counting the cows of others or like carrying a raft on one’s head instead of using it to cross the stream. Continue reading

The Dhamma of Cats!

Tags

The Dhamma of Cats: Cats are a great indicator of various aspects of the Dhamma. Don’t get me wrong, dogs are just as good,; I just happen to own cats.

There are various indicators of the human predicament that are shown by cats. Craving/desire/need for certain things are many of them. Cats crave attention. They demand affection. Now most of us will probably deny that need at our age; but remember back to your teenage years… how demanding of affection were you then? Cats slink around your legs, paw at your knees, wake you in the middle of the night, all for a small show of love. Humans crave love, whether they be 1 or 100. Craving love is a natural condition of the human existence, but one that must be overcome, if we are to reach Nibbana. We have to realise this task, so that we are no longer attached to the love of others, before we can move forward. Continue reading

The Dhamma of Forgiveness

Tags

Forgiving can be VERY difficult at the best of times, but how do you forgive the person who murdered your child? How do you forgive the person who imprisoned someone for 20 years as a sex slave? How do you forgive a man who has raped children? These are all very emotive and sensitive questions that need answering in the most delicate manner possible.

Human nature is a varied and wild beast. We think we are above the animals because of our intellect, but we are only above them by one level of existence. We still have to deal with our base instincts, our base emotions, our base attitudes to life in general. Continue reading