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28 - The_Dhammapada

28 - The_Dhammapada

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Published by: karyoyau on Feb 26, 2011
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Th Dhammapada © Cpyright Philphr’Nt, LLC pag 1
The Dhammapada
Translated and Edited by Eknath Easwaran
Nigiri Press © 1986208 pages
The Big Ideas
Quick Intro to Buddha
Siddhartha --> Buddha.
The Dhammapada
Buddhism in a nutshell.
The Four Noble Truths
1, 2, 3, 4.
Nirvana & Bodhisattva
Purify and serve.
The Eightfold Path
Eight steps to nirvana.
What Are You Thinking?
Well, what are you?!
Armies in Your Mind
Do a lot of damage.
How Do You Smell?
Good, yah?
Walk Alone (If you must)
Be w/those who inspire.
How’s the Irrigation?
Shape your mind.
Solid As a Rock
It’s time.
Little by Little
That’s how.
Just Do It
(Buddha Style.)
The Big Ideas
The Dhammapada
. Eknath Easwaran, the brilliant translator and editor o this translationo the
The Dhammapada
(along with my avorite translation o the
Bhagavad Gita
) saysthat i all the sutras had been lost but the
The Dhammapada
, it alone would be sucientor us to grasp the essence o Buddhism.And, with this Note, we’ll take a super quick look at Buddhism (in the book, Easwarancovers The Four Noble Truths, dharma, karma, nirvana, etc.) and then jump in to some o my avorite Big Ideas. I you haven’t read or studied Buddhism (and especially, perhaps, i you have), this book is *incredible.* Easwaran has a remarkably warm style that refectsthe spirit o a man who walked with Gandhi back in the day in his native India beoreheading the Berkeley where he started one o the early western meditation centers.So, let’s jump in!
A Quick Intro to the Buddha 
Buddha was born Siddhartha Guatama in the 6th century bce, the son o a royal amilyin Nepal. He walked away rom his riches and lie o comort at the age o 30, seekingspiritual ulllment through a path o contemplation and asceticism beore achievingenlightenment while sitting beneath the Bodhi tree.The Buddha’s teachings o the Four Noble Truths orm the core o Buddhism, a religionpracticed by hundreds o millions o people around the world. The word “Buddha” isderived rom a Sanskrit word that means “to wake up”; thus, the Buddha is one who isawake and truly alive moment to moment.[Note: Did you know that Buddha taught in India at roughly the same time (6th centurybce) that Conucius and Lao-tzu (Taoism) taught in China? (I always think that’s cool. :)]
The Dhammapada 
The Dhammapada
is one o the core books o Buddha’s teaching. According to Easwaran,
means something like ‘the path o dharma’--o truth, o righteousness, o the central law that all o lie is one.”Easwaran continues: “The Buddha did not leave a static structure o his belie that wecan arm and be done with. His teaching is an ongoing path, a ‘way o perection’ whichanyone can ollow to the highest good.
The Dhammapada
is a map or this journey....These
Th Dhammapada © Cpyright Philphr’Nt, LLC pag 2
”Earnest among thosewho are indolent, awakeamong those who slumber,the wise advance like arace horse, leaving oth-ers behind…The earnest are always respected, theindolent never.” “Go beyond both pleasureand pain.” ”They are not wise whosethoughts are not steady and minds not serene, whodo not know dharma, thelaw of life. They are wisewhose thoughts are steady and minds serene, unaf-fected by good and bad.They are awake and freefrom fear.” 
NoTes & quoTes
verses can be read and appreciated simply as wise philosophy; as such, they are part o thegreat literature o the world. But or those who would ollow it to the end,
The Dhamma-pada
is a sure guide to nothing less than the highest goal lie can oer: sel-realization.”
The Four Noble Truths 
Buddha’s Four Noble Truths orm the core o Buddhism. They are:Lie is ull o suering.1.The cause o suering is selsh desire.2.Suering can be relieved.3.The relie o suering can be achieved by ollowing the eightold path.4. 
“Lie is suering”?
What does
mean?Buddha established the act that lie will always involve a certain amount o suering.We will all get old, get sick and die. Our possessions will break and so will some o ourrelationships. According to Buddha, that’s just how it is.The act that these things happen do not account or why we are unhappy, however. Weare unhappy because we ght against it. We cling to our sense o how things should be(see the Big Idea on “dukkha”), or how we want them to be. It is this
to expec-tations that presents the problem. Only by dealing with the act that lie is unpredictable--and will oten bring pain and undesirable events--can we become “non-attached” andavoid the suering that plagues most people.
Nirvana & The Bodhisattva 
The literal Sanskrit root o the word nirvana means “a blowing out” or “extinction.” InBuddhism, nirvana represents the highest state o consciousness in which all selshdesires and attachments are no longer present. The point beyond nirvana that I alwaysthought was cool: the idea o a “Bodhisattva”one who reaches his or her own enlighten-ment and chooses to return to the world in service to all sentient beings--committed toresting when all beings are happy and ree.
The Eightfold Path 
According to Buddhism, the key to ending suering and achieving nirvana is to ollow the“eightold path”: right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, righteort, right mindulness, and right concentration.(That was quick. For more on Buddhism, Google it. :)And now let’s jump in to some Big Ideas!
What Are You Thinking? 
“Our lie is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”Those are LITERALLY the rst words o the entire book. “Our lie is shaped by our mind;we become what we think.”Wow. Begs the question: What are you thinking?Is it what you want your lie shaped by?
Th Dhammapada © Cpyright Philphr’Nt, LLC pag 3
“The wise are disciplined inbody, speech, and mind.They are well controlled indeed.” “All is change in the world,but the disciples of theBuddha are never shaken.” “Avoid the company of theimmature if you want joy.” 
Pay attention because the Buddha spoke those words quite literally. Your lie is shaped byyour thoughts. In act, the book is basically *all* about puriying our thoughts and train-ing our mind to live without cravings, attachment, and hatred so we can open ourselves tolove, courage and service. Fun!
Armies in Your Mind 
“More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an undisciplined mind doesgreater harm.”How true is
?!? How’s
internal dialogue? Are you even aware o just how muchyou criticize yoursel? It’s pretty crazy when we really start to notice what’s going on upthere in our minds!!O course, (as you know i you’ve spent any time trying, :)) training our minds is anincredible challenge.Gandhi once remarked that this training requires the patience o someone trying to emptythe sea with a teacup...I say it’s time to get to work. I raise my teacup in a toast to our training. :)(My top practice or this, BY FAR: meditation. You meditating? My lie took a quantumleap or the better when I started meditating an hour (I started with a hal an hour) everymorning rst thing. :)“I you orget the joy o lie and get caught in the pleasures o the world, you will come toenvy those who put meditation rst.”
How Do You Smell? 
“Like a lovely fower ull o color but lacking in ragrance, are the words o those who donot practice what they teach.”I LOVE that. Are you like a beautiul fower that you approach to smell and discover… it’sall looks and no scent?Hah. We’re all like that at times, eh? But let’s listen to the Big B and LIVE our truths, eh?!?It’s always cool to smell nice. :)More Buddha mojo on the subject o smelling good: “Dharma is not upheld by talkingabout it. Dharma is upheld by living in harmony with it…”And: “Do not give your attention to what others do or ail to do; give it to what you do orail to do.”
Walk Alone (If you must) 
”I you nd no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone. There is no compan-ionship with the immature.”This is another theme echoed (again and again and again!) by all the greats. Two o myavorites:Rumi:
“Stay with riends who support you in these. Talk with them about sacred texts, and howyou are doing, and how they are doing, and keep your practices together.” 
“Retire into yoursel as much as possible. Associate with people who are likely to improveyou. Welcome those whom you are capable o improving. The process is a mutual one. People

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