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Daily Practice, Day 2

 

My alter

My alter

Day 2 – I just finished my sitting meditation period.  Afterwards I chanted the heart sutra and then read part of the Discourse on Knowing the Better Way to Catch a Snake.  The discourses are old teachings handed down through many many years and often start by saying, “I heard these words one time when the Buddha was staying in (such and such a place).”

This is from the discourse I read today (these are the words of the Buddha):

“Bhikshus (fully ordained monks), I have told you many times the importance of knowing when it is time to let go of the raft and not hold onto it unnecessarily.  When a mountain stream overflows and becomes a torrent of floodwater carrying debris, a man or woman who wants to get across might think, ‘What is the safest way to cross this floodwater?’ Assessing the situation, she may decide to gather branches and grasses, construct a raft, and use it to cross to the other side.  But, after arriving on the other side, she thinks, ‘I spent a lot of time and energy building this raft.  It is a prized possession, and I will carry it with me as I continue my journey.’ If she puts it on her shoulders or head and carries it with her on land, bhikshus, do you think that would be intelligent?” The bhikshus replied, “No, World-Honored One.” The Buddha said, “How could she have acted more wisely?  She could have thought, ‘This raft helped me get across the water safely.  Now I will leave it at the water’s edge for someone else to use in the same way.’ Wouldn’t that be a more intelligent thing to do?” The bhikshus replied, “Yes, World-Honored One.” The Buddha taught, “I have given this teaching on the raft many times to remind you how necessary it is to let go of all the true teachings, not to mention teachings that are not true.”

 

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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in 21 Days of Sitting

 

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