Monday, March 13, 2006

Our wants

My friend, Brad Griffith, who's a former member of the Center board, recommended a wonderful book called Why Buddhism? edited by Vicki Mackenzie. Phillip Glass, composer of the movie Kundun (about the Dalai Lama) wrote a chapter and has this to say:
One of the precepts in the Seven Point Mind Training [a teaching said to be the ultimate instruction in cherishing others more than oneself] is 'to want very little'. If you want very little then you'll always be happy. Of course it's an obvious thing to say, isn't it, but the fact is that [the Tibetan people] live by it. If you take that idea and you actually practice it, then it turns out to be true; or at least it seems to be. I have no personal experience of it, I can only go by what I've seen and what I've heard expressed. What impresses me about Tibetan Buddhists is the unfailing practice of putting the teachings into their life - so that the tenets are not merely theoretical. The way they live and their practice come out of the teachings. There is no separation. The teaching and the practice are identical.
That's the way forward, isn't it? For there to be no separation between the meditative principles and how we actually live. I know this is counter-cultural for Westerners. That's why we need each other. That's why we come to class and to the daily sittings and check into this blog regularly. We are availing ourselves of the support we need to integrate the teachings with our everyday lives.

1 comment:

  1. After admitting that I check your blog mainly for the pictures I have decided that I need to pay more attention.

    This one today speaks to me. As I grow older I have become more content with less - a simple but profound idea. If happiness depends on having what we want, then the more we want the less our odds of being happy.


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