Thursday, January 19, 2012

Right View

             For some reason people today ignore Buddha’s first sermon. It dose not promise enlightenment. It dose not promise magical powers or omniscient insights.  The first and only promise Buddha ever made was that he knew how you could reduce the suffering of this life.

The Four Noble Truths
  1. Life means suffering
  2. The origin of suffering is attachment
  3. The cessation of suffering is attainable
  4. The way to the reduction of that suffering is the noble eightfold path
The Eight Fold Path

  1. Right View
  2. Right Intention
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

               When considering the Buddha’s prescription for reducing the suffering of this world the first two admonitions Right View and Right Intention can be called wisdom. They are in fact referring to our fundamental world view, how we see the world and what motivates us to do what we do. Right view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society's knowledge and point of view, including natural philosophy; fundamental, existential, and normative postulates; or themes, values, emotions, and ethics. In fact it is both the beginning and the end of the path.
              The physical and social world we live in can be brutal, merciless and random in how it treats us.  Too many modern Zen practitioners think that they can achieve this without teaching or guidance.  They often see this as “belief” and equate that with superstition and nonsense. What they ignore is the simple fact that they are not changing themselves.  No matter how many hours they sit in meditation, no matter what hoops the have jumped through to gain recognition, until they change, they have achieved nothing. Under their robes they are still whoever the have always been.  All the teachings and all their words are just a coat of paint smeared over their surface self.
             It is not until the world begins to squeeze you hard. Not until the suffering gets to a point where it is unendurable do you begin to see what you have done. When you reach for the support that that world view grants and find your hands grasping nothing but air. Then the world will show you the arrogant crap that glib statements like, “I don’t believe in anything” are made of.   If you really think you don’t believe in anything, you are both unaware of how your mind functions and perhaps just a self deluded fool.  Buddha was not such an arrogant fool.
          You have a world view it is the fundamental basis of your mind.  If you don’t change that view, not coat it with a coat of paint your wasting your and everyone’s time.  No good act without true good intentions will generate good results. No Dana given will have any value.
          Are you obsessed with money? Do you worry more about buildings and cars and robes than about people?  What do you really care about?   The Buddha said you must make the Buddhist world view yours. You must as they say make it real.  This world view is usually called the Dharma. You must do more than take refuge you must make it the world you live in.  If it is not your reality your just fooling yourself and eventually your real world will come calling and there will be no place to hide.