June 21st, 2010

Dhammapada (20) - The Way

The Way*

Master your words.
Master your thoughts.
Never allow your body to do harm.
Follow these three roads with purity
And you will find yourself upon the one way,
The way of wisdom.
Dhammapada (20) - The Way

I hope i am on the way, hesitant, stumbling, blind, reluctant, confused, but on the way.
On the way to what?, to where? to whom?  I don't even know if the destination is a state, a place, a person, or simply more process, more path, more road.  I don't know if a destination exists except in the minds of people of faith., of which i have never been one except in moments of extreme crisis.

What do i want?  But wanting is my first mistake. As the Tao te Ching says, seeking non-seeking is another form of seeking, the only solution is in quiescence.

Whether the path leads anywhere, it is a great path, no yellow brick road, it is a way that is its own reward.

Guide me on the way, with love, in peace, in joy., and guide all beings thus.

*The Way has powerful significance in Taoism, Buddhism, and Christianity.  The Way is the most common translation of "The Tao",  In Christianity it is a word describing the Christified Jesus ("I am the way, the truth, and the life").  In both cases it is a mystery, something to be taken on faith, not only process, but goal.  In Buddhism, the way, is more specific, more down to earth, more practical, and, at first, seemingly less mysterious.  As the first line of these verses says, "The way is eightfold."

The eightfold path, divided into three "trainings" (1. Wisdom [ right perception and intention], 2. Ethics [ right speech, action, and livelihood], and 3.  Meditation [right effort, mindfulness, and concentration]), is the core of Mahayana Buddhist practice.  This practice is discussed by Thomas Knierim on the website that gave me the Dhammapada  >http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html<  A longer (300 page) American/Tibetan treatment can be enjoyed in Surya Das, Awakening the Buddha Within.