Burmese-Pali Manuscript.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Dhamma is not something you do; it is not something you experience; it is not something you think; Dhamma is something that is!

Dhamma is… It is what is… You have to live the Dhamma to understand it. It’s like taking a ride on a roller-coaster. You never know what the experience will be like until you sit in that seat, have the brace folded down in front of you, and you take the ride, with all it’s ups and downs, then come out the other end, that much more excited and that much more educated. Such is the Dhamma.

True Dhamma comes from the heart. You do not have to think, you do not have to formulate, you just speak. The Four Noble Truths stand as the bulwark of any speech and stand as the backbone of any ministry. The Dhamma just is! And the Dhamma will suffice under any circumstances.

The Dhamma is not complex, although looking at the recorded teachings of the Buddha, it may seem so. The basic tenets are simple to follow and non-invasive to your normal day-to-day living. Do not lie, do not kill, do not be divisive, do not steal, do not abuse intoxicants. That doesn’t sound too bad does it? A simple set of precepts to live by, and they will all benefit everyone, even those who do not live by them because you will be a better person for it and therefore you will have a beneficial influence on others lives.

I try to live by those precepts but often fail, it is the fact that I am trying that is what matters. We will rarely be perfect in our lives, but it is the intent to try to follow the precepts that matters. Intent is important, more important than you may be aware, because it is intent that affects Kamma, and Kamma affects your rebirth. The human realm is a blessing for all those who encounter it, because we have the opportunity to learn the Dhamma from the Tathagata. Such a blessing is beyond comparison and should be held close to the heart. Few are those who have such an opportunity, and even fewer are those who take advantage.

May all who encounter the Dhamma be blessed. May all sentient beings live in peace.