Monthly Archives: November 2012

Gathering 7: Gratitude

“Monks, suppose that this great earth were entirely covered with water, and a man were to toss into that water a plank of wood with a large hole in it. The wind would blow that wooden plank every which way–west and east, south and north. Now suppose that there were, in that world-covering ocean, a blind sea turtle, which came to the surface only once every hundred years. Now, monks, how likely is it, do you think, that the old blind turtle, surfacing after one hundred years, would come up with his head through the hole in that plank?”

“Not very likely, Master. If that turtle were to come up with his head through the hole in that plank, it would be the rarest of chances.”

“That’s just how rare a chance it is that one is born into the human state. And it’s likewise by the rarest of chances that a Wayfarer, worthy and rightly self-awakened, arises in the world. And it’s the rarest of chances that the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Wayfarer shines in the world. And now, you have attained this human state. And now, a Wayfarer, worthy and rightly self-awakened, has arisen in the world. And now, the Dhamma and Discipline proclaimed by the Wayfarer shines in the world.

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Gathering 6: Marvelous & Wonderful

At our gathering this coming Sunday (November 18), the Dhamma topic that we will discuss will be how to approach the Buddha's teachings from a secular viewpoint.

The text we'll start from is not one that is particularly well known or important to any penetrating exposition of the Buddha's Dhamma, but it does reveal some interesting things about the personality of the seeker–particularly what people demand as proof of a spiritual teacher's authority. It also, I believe, shows the Buddha's gentle and, to my mind, enormously appealing sense of the ironic.

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Gathering 5: The Middle Way

The following was sent out to the community mail list on 11/3/2012.