Tag Archives: Materialism

The Demons of Volition

“Ananda, when the good person who is cultivating samadhi has put an end to the thinking skandha, he is ordinarily free of dreaming and idle thinking, so he stays the same whether in wakefulness or in sleep. His mind is aware, clear, empty, and still, like a cloudless sky, devoid of any coarse sense impressions. He contemplates everything in the world – the mountains, the rivers, and the earth – as reflections in a mirror, appearing without attachment and vanishing without any trace; they are simply received and reflected. He does away with all his old habits, and only the essential truth remains. read more

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Mario does Cairo

The explosive turn of events in the mid-east this past week serve as a reminder of the forces of materialism run amok; the catalyst this week for the ever-present and growing dysfunctional-divide between radical fundamentalism—in both East and West, is a cheaply made, bargain-basement type video that is stereotypically reminiscent of “The Life of Brian”—a spoof on the life of Christ made by the Monty-Python crew back in the late 70’s; although this recent flick is a truly sicko vehicle made with the intention of actually denigrating an entire segment of this world’s population. Yet, the extreme and violent reaction—not understandable from a general Western vantage-point—and growing ever more widespread and violent than in similar conflicts stemming from western insensitivity in the recent past, is indicative and symptomatic of something larger and cataclysmic in scope: Materialistic jihad’s/crusade’s. read more

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Spiritual Charity

4. The Reluctance of the Bodhisattvas, cont’d

The Buddha then said to the merchant’s son, Sudatta, “Noble son, go to the Licchavi Vimalakirti to inquire about his illness.” Sudatta replied, “Lord, I am indeed reluctant to go to that good man to inquire about his illness. Why? Lord, I remember one day in my father’s house when, in order to celebrate a great sacrifice, I was bestowing gifts upon religious devotees, Brahmans, the poor, the wretched, the unfortunate, beggars, and all the needy. On the seventh and final day of this great sacrifice, the Licchavi Vimalakirti came there and said, ‘Merchant’s son, you should not celebrate a sacrifice in this way. You should celebrate a Dharma-sacrifice. What is the use of the sacrifice of material things?’ “I then asked him, ‘How does one give a Dharma-sacrifice?’ “He replied, ‘A Dharma-sacrifice is that which develops living beings without beginning or end, giving gifts to them all simultaneously. What is that? It consists of the great love which is consummated in enlightenment; of the great compassion which is consummated in the concentration of the holy Dharma on the liberation of all living beings; of the great joy which is consummated in the awareness of the supreme happiness of all living beings; and of the great equanimity which is consummated in concentration through knowledge. “‘The Dharma-sacrifice consists of the transcendence of generosity, which is consummated in peacefulness and self-discipline; of the transcendence of morality, which is consummated in the moral development of immoral beings; of the transcendence of tolerance, consummated through the principle of selflessness; of the transcendence of effort, consummated in initiative toward enlightenment; of the transcendence of meditation, consummated in the solitude of body and mind; and of the transcendence of wisdom, consummated in the omniscient gnosis. “‘The Dharma-sacrifice consists of the meditation of voidness, consummated in effectiveness in the development of all living beings; of the meditation of signlessness, consummated in the purification of all compounded things; and of the meditation of wishlessness, consummated in voluntarily assuming rebirths. “‘The Dharma-sacrifice consists of heroic strength, consummated in the upholding of the holy Dharma; of the power of life, consummated in the means of unification; of the absence of pride, consummated in becoming the slave and the disciple of all living beings; of the gain of body, health, and wealth, consummated by the extraction of essence from the essenceless; of mindfulness, consummated by the six remembrances; of positive thought, consummated through the truly enjoyable Dharma; of purity of livelihood, consummated by correct spiritual practice; of the respect of saints, consummated by joyful and faithful service; of soberness of mind, consummated by absence of dislike for ordinary people; of high resolve, consummated by renunciation; of skill in erudition, consummated by religious practice; of retirement in solitary retreats, consummated by understanding things free of passions; of introspective meditation, consummated by attainment of the Buddha-gnosis; of the stage of the practice of yoga, consummated by the yoga of liberating all living beings from their passions. “‘The Dharma-sacrifice consists of the store of merit which is consummated by the auspicious signs and marks, the ornaments of the buddha-fields, and all other means of development of living beings; of the store of knowledge which is consummated in the ability to teach the Dharma according to the thoughts and actions of all living beings; of the store of wisdom, which is consummated in the uniform gnosis free of acceptance and rejection in regard to all things; of the store of all roots of virtue, consummated in the abandonment of all passions, obscurations, and unvirtuous things; and of the attainment of all the aids to enlightenment, consummated in the realization of the gnosis of omniscience as well as in accomplishment of all virtue. “‘That, noble son, is the Dharma-sacrifice. The bodhisattva who lives by this Dharma-sacrifice is the best of sacrificers, and, through his extreme sacrifice, is himself worthy of offerings from all people, including the gods.’ “Lord, as soon as the householder had discoursed thus, two hundred Brahmans among the crowd of Brahmans present conceived the spirit of unexcelled, perfect enlightenment. And I, full of astonishment, having saluted this good man by touching his feet with my head, took from around my neck a necklace of pearls worth one hundred thousand pieces of gold and offered it to him. But he would not accept it. I then said to him, ‘Please accept, good man, this necklace of pearls, out of compassion for me, and give it to whomsoever you wish.’ “Then, Vimalakirti took the pearls and divided them into two halves. He gave one half of them to the lowliest poor of the city, who had been disdained by those present at the sacrifice. The other half he offered to the Tathagata Dusprasaha. And he performed a miracle such that all present beheld the universe called Marici and the Tathagata Dusprasaha. On the head of the Tathagata Dusprasaha, the pearl necklace took the form of a pavilion, decorated with strings of pearls, resting on four bases, with four columns, symmetrical, well constructed, and lovely to behold. Having shown such a miracle, Vimalakirti said, ‘The giver who makes gifts to the lowliest poor of the city, considering them as worthy of offering as the Tathagata himself, the giver who gives without any discrimination, impartially, with no expectation of reward, and with great love – this giver, I say, totally fulfills the Dharma-sacrifice.’ “Then the poor of the city, having seen that miracle and having heard that teaching, conceived the spirit of unexcelled, perfect enlightenment. Therefore, Lord, I am reluctant to go to that good man to inquire about his illness.” In the same way, all the bodhisattvas, great spiritual heroes, told the stories of their conversations with Vimalakirti and declared their reluctance to go to him.
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Living in the Material World

Materialism is the great bane of all Lankavatarists. The Lanka pulls no punches in relaying the dangers of materialism: read more

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