Day after Full Moon Day – Visakha Puja: Busy Bhikkhu

May 20, 2008

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I’ve been a busy bhikkhu over the last week – since the retreat and in the run up to and over Visakha Puja. So this will be a very short (and late) post. As most of you know we celebrate the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Buddha on Visakha Puja.

I was on the hot seat for our meditation open evening last night. I spoke of the Buddha’s enlightenment and what it actually meant. I quoted one of my favourite pieces from the scriptures where the Buddha likens himself to a lotus that is born in the water, grows up in the water and eventually stands up, untouched by the water. In the same way he was born in the world, grew up in the world and eventually transcended the world.

Of course in Buddhism what we mean by world is different from what people in the world mean by world. We don’t mean that big sphere that spins round in space, we mean the world that we create in our minds. Indeed, it is in these minds that the world is born. In reality there is no world, it is just that we give meaning to sense impressions and therefore we create our world.

We can look at this ‘world’ in terms of the eight worldly dhammas, the eight worldly conditions. These are what make the world go round, without these there would be no world, in the Buddhist sense.

We should be well aware of this important list. The eight worldly dhammas are: gain and loss; fame and disrepute; praise and blame; happiness and suffering.

I’ll write about these in my next post…. (famous last words).

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The next teaching will be on:

The Half Moon Day, Tuesday 27th May

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