We passed around one copy each of the two books we’re considering for our next one to discuss. It seemed impossible to decide on such short examination, so we decided to look at the pages available on Amazon to help us. Here are links to both books. Check them out. We’ll decide week after next at our next discussion.
Continuing our discussion of The Wisdom of No Escape, we considered the word Dharma, which has multiple meanings, but basically refers to the teachings. What is a teaching? Everything is dharma to the practitioner. Everything teaches us. Then there’s the accumulated teachings, the Dharma. Pema says, “What personal identification with the dharma means is, live that way, test it, try to find out what it really means in terms of losing your job, being jilted by your lover, dying of cancer.”
“The dharma never tells you what is true or what is false. It just encourages you to find out for yourself. However, because we have to use words, we make statements. For example, we say, ‘The everyday practice is to develop complete acceptance of all situations, emotions, and people.’ That sounds like what’s true and not to do that would be false. But that’s not what it says. What it does say is to encourage you to find out for yourself what is true and what is false.”
This coming Sunday is the four-hour block sitting. Here is the second of the Four Reminders:
The world and its inhabitants are impermanent, in particular the life of beings is like a bubble. Death comes without warning. This body will be a corpse. At that time the dharma will be my only help. I must practice it with exertion.