good morning! here is part 2 of the february 2008 edition of a buddhist carnival.
two people speak on this topic. matthew spears presents an interesting contemplation on the nature of enlightenment. among others, he compares three concepts of enlightenment. he argues that enlightenment is a perception and “because it is a perception, from this state there is nothing that happens to you (an external force operating upon you) but rather simply experiences of you meeting your self.”
let’s follow matthew’s writing with what anmol in 4 word sacred mantra to trigger enlightenment has to say. it’s a different perspective. or not? perhaps true, 100% heart-felt sincerity is only possible with an enlightened heart?
these 4 words are the greatest mantra in the universe. if you can chant this mantra sincerely, enlightenment is yours. in fact if you can chant this mantra sincerely, you have completed your evolution and nature will no longer include you in the cycles of life and death. here is a story to demonstrate the incredible power of this mantra.
come into the present
thomas sweeney asks us to come into the present…, quoting words by buddhist jack kornfeld:
most of us have spent our lives caught up in plans, expectations ambitions for the future, in regrets, guilt or shame about the past. to come into the present is to stop the war.
nicole presents ghetto houseguest posted at makeitbetter’s weblog. this story doesn’t reference buddhism at all but it talks movingly about something that i see at the core of my (limited, imperfect) buddhist practice: opening our hearts to those that are very, very different from us.
matt talks about wants vs needs
many years ago i was interested in world religions and spent a considerable amount of time studying various religions. for part of these studies i went to a buddhist temple and had the good fortune to speak with one of the monks there. in studying buddhism the one part i always had trouble grasping was separating a want from a need. for things like fancy dinners out and exotic trips it was easy to place those firmly in the category of want. but it became complicated with some issues. do i need a house? i certainly want one.. but is it a true need? if i wouldn’t be happy without something wouldn’t that make that a need?
albert foong has an interesting series on compassion. this article is entitled the life that has gone on before: the perils of compassion, part 2
this will sound even more extreme. forget teaching, or advising. just the act of helping others could be a slap in the face. perhaps we shouldn’t even consider any kind of charity or volunteer work or kindness – not until we find this inner peace. i am not saying, don’t do charity work, or never volunteer at the local shelter, for many of the kindest men and women can be found there. all i’m saying is – it may be wiser to wait until you have found your own inner peacefulness.
“why does he say this?” you might think. “even external charity? even helping others out?”
ok, folks, that’s it for february. please submit your buddhist post for the next edition on march 15 using this submission form. you can submit your own article or some you’ve come across and found worthy.
(image by jeff epp)