. . .We must make a distinction between the use of “Dharma” as a generic term and its use in the specific framework of the Refuge. Generically, it refers to the scriptural Dharma–the Buddha’s teaching ad the spiritual realizations based on the practice of that teaching.
In relation to the Refuge, it has two aspects: one is the path that leads to cessation of suffering and afflictive emotions, and the other is cessation itself. It is only by understanding true cessation and the path leading to cessation that we can have some idea of what the state of liberation is.
On the Sangha, the Dalai Lama says, “If the Dharma exists, then the Sangha will certainly exist–the Sangha are those who have engaged in the path of the Dharma, and who have realized and actualized its truth. If there are Sangha members who have reached spiritual states where they have at least overcome the gross levels of negativity and afflictive emotions, then we can envision the possibility of attaining a freedom from negativity and afflictive emotions which is total. That state is what we call buddhahood.
In other words, we support each other. We are helped by those around us who’ve gained some spiritual maturity. Next week is the four-hour block sitting. Please join us for as much of that time as you can.