Friday, April 22, 2016

Buddhism 101 -- making the road by walking

Danish footpath

Last Wednesday evening we had our second class of the Buddhism 101 series.

This time we focused on the second two marks of existence, impermanence and no-self.  Through guided inquiry and contemplation, we looked into the reality of change in our lives.  When good times come, we realize they won't last.  And when bad times come, we have to remind ourselves that even these things will pass.

From this awareness of change comes the first hint of the malleability of the self itself.  Even the person we think we are changes moment to moment, breath to breath.

Suffering without the understanding of change, and how this awareness even applies to our precious self, leads to rigidity.  The path to awakening is one of fluidity.

Dharma Holder Diane Fitzgerald gifted us with this poem by Antonio Machado, translated by Willis Barnstone.  

"You walking, your footprints are the road, and nothing else; there is no road, walker, you make the road by walking.  By walking you make the road, and when you look back, you see the path that you will never step on again.  Walker, there is no road, only wind trails in the sea."

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