Dharma Gleanings


cynthia rich

July 29, 2016—August 12, 2016

July 29, 2016
Gandhi probably never said it, however it rings true: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” For those of us who believe in the permanence of the world’s suffering, we might add: “And even if that is the only change you will see in the world, at least there will be that much change.”

July 31, 2016
Form is emptiness/emptiness is form.

In meditation we may experience the emptiness of samadhi, whether we give it those words or not. If we remain aware, we can, when we rise from the cushion and move into the world of forms, experience those forms—the rug, window, altar, couch—through that lens of emptiness. In other words, we can, if at first only for a few moments, experience the world through dharma eyes, with something of the comfortable interbeing of form and emptiness that the Diamond Sutra evokes.

August 12, 2016
Because technology is moving so rapidly, many of us are shocked or at least disconcerted to see how our whole society appears to have disappeared into its devices: it seems that everyone, whether walking on the sidewalk or crossing the street, waiting in line or at a traffic stop, is staring at that little companion in their hands, oblivious to what is around them. We may deplore the thought that all those sentient beings, bent over their smart phones and iPads cannot be present to their lives.

However as Buddhists we can recognize that nothing has really changed. Even those people we see who are not transfixed by virtual reality are most likely not present either—-they are swept up in the virtual reality of their own minds, tuned in to past dramas, watching the trailers for future problems or pleasures, listening to a continuous flow of messages that drag them from being awake in the moment and that are almost entirely a waste of their precious time on this planet.

The difference is that we are now seeing vividly projected onto the outer world the secret addiction to distraction that most of us suffer from in our thought-crammed minds.