Buddhism is a voyage of discovery. The Dhamma is the great ship onto which we climb to set sail for Nibbana.
Nibbana in the Buddha’s words:
“There is, monks, that base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering.” (Ud. 8.1: Nibbana Sutta)
- Being a voyage of discovery Buddhism is not a belief system. It is about realising the true nature of things in the depths of one’s being.
- We use the teachings to navigate the unforgiving seas of life and to reach the restful shores of freedom from greed, hatred and delusion.
- As with any voyage into the unknown there will be difficulties ahead. The winds of desire and the waves of emotion will challenge you. But remember: ‘a smooth sea never made a good sailor’.
- Just as a great ship will not sail far if it has holes in it, so this practice will not bear fruit if the moral precepts are not observed.
And just as a great ship can only turn slowly and by degrees; so by following this method we must be patient as we gradually turn away from unhappiness towards happiness; from fear towards ease; from delusion towards wisdom.