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San Diego, Ca
I am just a regular guy who is learning the importance of happiness through diet and exercise. I am in school for sociology and psychology, I do not have a formal degree in nutrition or fitness. I do all research on my own time through books, internet, friends, documentaries, and school. I believe in basics, and I want to clear through the smoke surrounding a lot of nutrition and fitness claims pushed to the public, and find the one's they try to hide.I also like to discuss other topics related to happiness.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Raft

I think I finally understand the idea of non-dualism and how a bodhisattva can understand it. There was a line in the Diamond Sutra that discusses how a bodhisattva (someone on the path to becoming a Buddha) has no perception, but also has the realization of no nonperception, because they see the dharmas (things) of everyday like any other human, but they know they have no ultimate reality. This was very revealing and profound. It helped me to understand how a bodhisattva could contain this ultimate wisdom and still exist as a human being. I believe I also understand the idea of non-dualism now as not saying there is one thing or isn't another, because you automatically imply an "is" if you say "isn't" and an "isn't" if you say "is". Really we need to understand that everything is everything, and we don't need to create a dualism because it creates a self, ego, or conflict within the natural existence and flow of absolute "reality". Why must we label everything? Words are useful as upaya (skillful-means), but language can be a crutch to the truth when we do not know when to let go of them. It is like the Mahayana analogy of the raft. On one bank is Samsara (the cycle of life) and on the other is Nirvana (eternal, absolute wisdom and compassion), the raft is the upaya (language in this case) or Dharma (teachings) of the Buddha. We use the raft to cross to Nirvana from Samsara, but we do not carry the raft with us once we have crossed, or it then becomes a hindrance. (Side note: This story itself is upaya, as there is no dualism of Samsara and Nirvana, they are the same thing, just perceived differently.) So use the "raft" for what it is truly meant for, but do not attach yourself to it or you will never be truly joyous. A quote from Buddhist Wisdom as translated by Edward Conze says, "Once a cure has been effected, it must be abandoned together with an illness, because its further use would only make one ill again. Just so when this medicine, called 'emptiness', has brought about a cure for the belief in existence. Attachment to emptiness is a disease as much as attachment to existence. Those who continue to use this medicine of 'emptiness' after they have gained possession of full wisdom, only make themselves ill again."

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