Monday, March 15, 2010

gateway to the dharma

The Master begins by revealing the boundless temporal and spatial dimensions
against which the quest for enlightenment unfolds. He then swiftly narrows down
the focus of his attention to the prospective student’s own situation in the here and
now. His concern is not with theory but with attitudes and actions. Repeatedly, he
drives home the point that our purpose in studying the Dharma should not be the mere
acquiring of information, however interesting, but the transformation and purification
of our minds. Though he ultimately steers us towards the broad bodhisattva
path aimed at benefiting all sentient beings, he does not let us escape the “narrow
path” with its hard tasks of self-scrutiny, self-rectification, and self-cultivation.
Alertness, heedfulness, conscientiousness, and integrity are the watchwords of this
training. The path he guides us towards is never an easy one, but it is one that
brings abundant rewards. It enables us to master the conditions of life instead of
drifting along with them; it helps us ride over the high waves of good fortune without
being dashed by the tidal waves of calamity. It teaches us how to dwell like a
mountain, ever tall, strong, and steady, unswayed even by the roughest winds.

Extract from Foreword by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

To read: Gateway to the Dharma by Venerable Master Jen-Chun

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