Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On Becoming a Buddha

One of the most beautiful teachings of the Dharma has to be the Three Refuges (also known as The Three Jewels). The first of the Refuges is the Buddha, not the man, but rather the capacity within all of us to awaken.

It is very simple to awaken, but as it is often said about these practices, it is not easy. Actually, you become a Buddha every time you become aware that the mind has wandered during your meditation practice. This is a moment of awakening, a moment when we have switched off the "autopilot," and become aware of what is happening while it happens.

For a while, at least, you dwell in mindfulness, which is considered "the abode of the Buddhas." Then of course, the mind wanders again, and we have yet another opportunity to awaken to the experience. 

During your day, you have twenty-four hours in which to become a Buddha whenever you become mindful. Every time you notice that you are in the grips of some habitual reaction to a person or situation and return to a present-moment sensory reality, such as the breath, you are a Buddha. It doesn't mean that you have to plop down into full lotus posture and meditate, it simply means that you are now a bit more aware than you were a few moments ago. Freedom beckons you, if you choose to accept the invitation. You now have choices of more skillful and effective responses to things, so you are no longer held prisoner by old habits of mind.

Tomorrow I will discuss a little bit more about what you can do when you when you have these moments of awakening.


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