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Sunday, November 02, 2014

FIVE REMEMBRANCES

FIVE REMEMBRANCES
As we begin November, we return for our annual month of remembrance. In the Upajjhatthana Sutta (Sutra of Contemplations) we are advised to remember these five facts on a daily basis.

  • 1. I am aging.
  • 2. I am vulnerable to becoming ill.
  • 3. I will certainly die    
  • 4. All that I claim as mine, beloved and pleasing, will become otherwise, will become separated from me.
  • 5. I am a karmic being; whatever I do, for good or for ill, I will experience the “fruits”.
None of this is news, but it bears re-considering and probably bears doing so daily.

These are the facts of life, as it were. For some, as has been a frequent interpretation by other traditions, is that this is pessimistic, hopeless - a real downer. That remains a complete misinterpretation and faulty judgment of buddhadharma. As we are learning from our current study of the Lotus Sutra, humans are not faced with a hopeless desperate situation. We are embedded in a condition with limits. The message of the Buddha is that we can transcend these limits through a combination of our efforts and the unceasing efforts of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. In fact, we are promised a certain liberation. This guarantee begins with our realization of the five remembrances.

Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu   

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