Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Essence of Buddhism

The Buddha taught that impermanence, dissatisfaction and egolessness are the hallmarks of this worldly life. Seeking worldly gains which are impermanent brings no real permanent satisfaction. It only lead to further craving, dissatisfaction and the shattering of one's ego and pride. Instead of letting our minds run wild and be conditioned by worldly desires which ultimately creates a false ego, we should look inwards rather than outwards and know ourselves for what we really are. 

Whilst many falsely believe that happiness is the attainment of worldly values, Buddhism forewarns the folly of such delusion. The mind should not be nourished on worldly values. Instead it should be freed from bondage with worldliness so that the defiled mind like a muddy pool would became as clear as sparkling pool when allowed to settle without extraneous interference or defilements.

In the final analysis, the fact remains that the pleasure or happiness which we experience in life is impermanent. We may enjoy a happy situation, or the good company of someone we love, or we enjoy youth and health. Sooner or later, when these states change we experience suffering. Therefore, while there is every reason to feel glad when one experiences happiness, one should not cling to these happy states or be side-tracked and forget about working one's way to complete Liberation.

The practice of Buddhism in essence is therefore not knowledge of Buddhism gained from books but the actual practice of Buddhism itself. What we read from books are inferior to the knowledge we gain through the actual practice. Interpretation and perception of book knowledge differs from person to person, from an untrained mind to a trained mind and from bias to the unbiased mind.

The disciplined mind understands life in a new light. The disciplined mind has little to gain through reading of scriptures. Practice is the essence of Buddhism. Knowledge gain through practice is the backbone of Buddhism.

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