Daily Readings from Buddha's Words of Wisdom by Ven. S. Dhammika

By Ven. S. Dhammika

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Extra info for Daily Readings from Buddha's Words of Wisdom

Example text

Every reality, whether our conventional reality or, for example, tantric reality, is composed of its appearances (phenomena). This composition of phenomena follows a certain basic pattern, the dynamics and laws of which are not necessarily apparent on the surface or on the outside. In every higher culture there exists a deeper knowledge of these basic patterns. It is preserved and passed on by those who possess it. Whoever possesses a deeper knowledge of the powers, elements, lines, and influencing factors of which this reality is composed can influence it through this knowledge, but always within the framework of the laws of the pattern.

Rinpoche gives a clear picture of the Tibetan scientific description of reality as being empty of intrinsic existence, which means that each thing lacks isolatable essence, existing only as utterly interrelated with every other thing. He evokes for us how different that is from the real-time space and gravity of the Western materialist reality, where each ego and thing stands atomistically as a thing-in-itself. He shows us that acknowledgment of such a reality gives Tibetans, whether consciously or unconsciously, a sense of freedom in their way of being, in the sense that an empty, desubstantialized, thoroughly relativistic reality has room for the various conventional realities of different people.

How we visualize this, and how it works, will be the subject of closer scrutiny in the second part of the introduction. In referring to symbols, we use different terms in Tibetan according to the point of view. The best known are tak (rtags, meaning “omen, sign, or indication”), tsenma (mtshan-ma, meaning “distinguishing mark”), and, above all, the concept of tendrel (rten-’brel), which embraces such a profusion of possible meanings and associations that it cannot easily be rendered with a single word.

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