Buddhism: What It Is & What It Ain't.




What ain’t!

Recently I have been made insanely aware of what Chogyam Trungpa referred to as the “Three Lords of Materialism.” That is to say that in some more recent discussions I have had with people about Buddhism I have become painfully aware of our tendency to relate to all the bells and whistles of exotic foreign culture, and in doing so ignore the core of the Buddha’s message.

Chogyam Trungpa suggested that the lord of speech “used the intellect in relating to the world.” When relating to the spiritual path it is unfortunate that all too often people remain at a safe distance by intellectualizing the practice to death. We create all of these complex ideas and concepts that have no real foundation in our lives. Instead of relating to the precision of the present moment; we relate to our musty ideologies. This enables the ego to avoid the “ultimate disappointment” that is enlightenment, as it keeps the path of transformation on the back burner and the ego out of harms way.

What is…


If there is anyone in this world who is simple and direct it is Thich Nhat Hanh. I do not always like this style, but at times it hits the mark. Well, one of those times is now!

So here is an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, “No death, No fear” that with simplicity and precision outlines the Buddhist path. Enjoy!

“All authentic practices of the Buddha carry within themselves three essential teachings called the Dharma Seals. These three teachings of the Buddha are impermanence, no-self, and nirvana. Just as all-important legal documents have the mark or signature of a witness, all genuine practices of the Buddha bear the mark of these three teachings.
If we look in the first Dharma Seal, impermanence, we see that it doesn’t just mean that everything changes. By looking into the nature of things we can see that nothing remains the same for even two consecutive moments. Because nothing remains unchanged from moment to moment, it therefore has no fixed identity or permanent self. So in the teaching of impermanence we always see the lack of an unchanging self. We call this ‘no-self.’ It is because things are always transforming and have no self that freedom is possible.
The third Dharma Seal is nirvana. This means solidity and freedom, freedom from all ideas and notions. The word ‘nirvana’ literally means ‘the extinction of all concepts.’ Looking deeply into impermanence leads to the discovery of no self. The discovery of no self leads to nirvana. Nirvana is the Kingdom of God.”
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