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 [This version: 2 August 1993]
 This text addresses some of the most fundamental and delicate religious issues.
 Therefore, it should be read, quoted and analysed in a mindful way.
 by Lama Choedak
 [reprinted with permission from the CLEAR MIND QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER No 8,
 May-July 1991]
 Copyright 1991 (c) by Lama Choedak Yuthok, Sakya Losal Choe Dzong, Canberra
 If you live in a house from where you have a nice view, you are probably happy
 as far as the location of your house is concerned.  The happiness of living in
 the House of Life depend on what kind of views you have to your life.    In this
 issue  you will read  my thoughts about ways of applying one's understanding of
 the Dharma and meditation practice in everyday life by developing the right view
 to life.  Those who have genuinely taken refuge in the Dharma and have developed
 self-discipline  through meditation would have discovered a view which provides
 a clear understanding of what is going on in their lives and why.   The
 teachings of the Dharma makes lot of sense as it shows how to see things in a
 correct manner without being obscured by any  distorted views of life's
 confusion.   The Buddha taught about eight interrelated techniques that were
 essential to provide as a guide to sustain one's spiritual inspiration and
 practice. Practising the Dharma  according to its teachings depends on how much
 understanding we may have of the Eight Noble Paths. Just as we use the
 prescribed ingredients to prepare a meal according to a recipe, we must combine
 and integrate correctly all the eight skillful techniques. In this issue we will
 discuss two Buddhist principles which constitutes main factors to develop the
 right view.
 To understand anything and life as a whole, one must not be influenced by any
 narrow and limited  views.  If you have strong views, they will bring problems
 whether you believe them to be right or wrong. The views we hold have no
 substance in themselves for any change of the circumstances upon which the views
 were based will prove them  unsubstantiated.  While we don't like to be misled
 by others we do not want to be troubled by our own wrong views.  Wrong views
 produce frustration and bring pain and suffering upon those around us.  In fact
 all the sufferings are caused by our own ignorance.  Our views or perceptions of
 any event or our existence in this world mold our attitudes, behaviours and
 experiences.  Regardless of the correctness of our views, they create deep pain
 as long as we cling to them.  So, it is essential to cultivate the right view.
 If we can associate ourselves with the following principles, we will live a full
 and wholesome life. In order to be able to see things in a correct manner, one
 must not forget the four basic and universal principles which constitute correct
 Buddhist views:
 1) All living beings are subject to  experience pain and dissatisfaction 
 2) Everything is impermanent
 3) Everything is empty of inherent existence 
 4)  Nirvana (Going beyond suffering) is peace
 It is important to understand sufferings and difficulties of living since they
 are part of your every day life.  If you can fully understand the meaning of
 pain, you will not reject it.  The best way to overcome pain is by accepting it.
 The non-acceptance of pain makes you to believe that you are the only one who is
 having a hard time and cannot have concern over other people.  Skillful means of
 handling  sufferings gives birth to compassion but struggle against it
 intensifies sufferings.  The pain of non-acceptance is far more detrimental
 than the actual pain itself.  It may sound unfair to have only pain and
 suffering when every effort of your life is  made to not to have pain.  It is
 natural for everybody to expect happiness, but it is unobtainable by merely
 avoiding pain. The destruction of pain can be fully realized when you overcome
 the fear of pain.  The purpose of life remains confused until you overcame the
 fear of pain.  The reason why people find difficult to accept pain is, just
 because they think it is bad and so they shouldn't have it.  If there is going
 to be pain whether you do this or do something else or do neither, the  very
 purpose of any action, is to accept its consequences.  Being responsible for
 what you do and being able to accept its consequences makes a harmonious and
 productive life.  Do not think that you did something wrong when you were
 undergoing  some unexpected difficulties.  What would have  happened if you
 didn't do it at all?  You would have had a problem of a different kind.  Do not
 consider yourself to be unsuitable to whatever you are doing when difficulties
 persist, but remember the saying: No pain no gain.  Try to cultivate a positive
 view of  pain and its benefits. Do not reject pain for it is there for a reason.
 Your seriousness and sincerity of engaging  to do something is being tested when
 you face difficulties which derives from your own effort and you are not going
 to blame your effort. The meaning and purpose of the difficulties seldom  become
 clear until you learn to accept it.  Rejection of pain and fear of it give you
 real trouble and you will not find freedom.  This view that the pain is
 unavoidable and it is a fact of life, is one of the  most crucial element in
 being able to maintain the right view even in extreme conflicting conditions.
 If you fail to accept things that are at hand, you will become unable to control
 your thoughts and speech,  and will commit unskillful actions which you will
 regret later.  Even if you meditate every morning, you must not forget this
 principle that suffering is very nature of existence.  Sustaining this view
 prepares you to cope with the problems and can remain at ease.  Learn to smile
 in times of trouble to prove changeability of the trouble and let go of
 attachment to happiness.  Even if you found what you were looking for, it does
 not last long, so be prepared to let go.  Even if you can make it seem last
 longer due to attachment, you will not be happy by holding onto a thing that
 will inevitably part you anyway.
 Suffering will not go away unless you honestly accept that parting is the
 ultimate outcome of all meetings.  Basic acceptance that  pain is the nature of
 life enables you to lighten your mental worry and anxiety by reflecting on the
 impermanence of all things.  You were born alone and will die alone.  You will
 also have to learn to stop blaming others and be responsible of your experiences
 since they are result of your own making.  If you have a good recollection of
 past after so many years, why don't you try to remember some good and happy
 experiences derived from such meetings and then see whether it is going to be
 the same experiences of the past that you were so upset about. If you do this in
 relation to sufferings, you will find that you yourself are creating the
 sufferings based on your inability to let go of the past without having any of
 the circumstances under which the past suffering arose.   So do not trace the
 past, unless you wanted to go that way.   You will not be aware of the best
 moment of here and now if you are anticipating future. Even if you have obtained
 something pleasant without facing some pain, examine how long would it last.
 Appreciate everything when it occurs before it vanishes and do not expect things
 to stay unchanged as you want them to be.  The acceptence of the law of
 impermanence will enable you to free from clinging and it provides a swift and
 smooth parting into freedom.  You do not have to make deliberate attempts to
 change things but accept the changes that are occurring in and around you
 effortlessly and respect this course of nature's law.  Do not try to stagnate
 your growth by holding onto things that are no longer part of you.  You cannot
 have control over other people's actions to make you happy if you have
 difficulty controlling your own.  Set yourself free from clinging, bitterness
 and unforgiveness as soon as the parting takes place, and do not wait to occur
 anything that is not yet due. Although it may not be obvious, parting is not
 only inevitable but it is extremely necessary  as much as the meeting.  Learn to
 see the movement and change of things when they occur and do not assume what
 should or should't happen to it.  Do not be hard on yourself, take care of
 yourself.  Do not appreciate only when good things that come to you but also
 when they go away from you so that you remain receptive.  You will also set him
 free if you would  let him go.  Observe the fleeting nature of your own thoughts
 and attitudes which projects   things on to changeable objects and yet you are
 trying to make them stand still.  Do not have doubts of the result of an action
 if you are doing it right.  Even if you did something wrong, why should you be
 upset if you can understand that it is not happening now and will not happen
 again.  If you have helped somebody in the past, do not think when and how they
 should repay you since he or she may be busy helping someone else.  If friends
 have become what they were not, check what the foes will become if you don't
 hold them to be so.  When trees grow taller to provide you shade, energy and
 coolness, examine what  are you giving to the world as you grow older.   When
 the busy hours of a worker's day turns into nothing more than a sleepy night,
 let him sleep soundly for it may be the only thing he can enjoy for himself and
 so that he can be ready for another hard day.   When chopping woods, do not hold
 an axe tight unless you  do not want to use it again.  Do not try too hard in
 the beginning, for you may loose interest in your goals.  Do not speed for a
 short distance as in a race to exhaust yourself but walk slowly and steadily to
 energize yourself wherever you might be going.  Just talking to myself.  L.C.
 end of file