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A Gradual Way to Seek Yourself .......................... 35 Venerable Xin-xing .................................. 38 ..................................... .......... 40 .......................... 46 .............................. 46 ............................................................... ............................................................... ................. ....................................

Publisher: Editor:

Ven. Jan Hai and Ven. Hung I Dharma Garden Editing Committee

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Colorado Long Plan Printing

Dharma Garden (USPS 019-577) is published bi-monthly by Texas Buddhist Association, Inc., 6969 Westbranch Drive, Houston, Texas 77072, Tel:(281) 498-1616, Fax:(281) 498-8133. Issue 150, November 2006. This is a non-profit venture solely supported by contributions from members of the Texas Buddhist Association and the readership. Postmaster: send address changes to the above address. Website:www.jadebuddha.org Email: jadebuddhatemple@gmail.com


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Dhamekh Stupa

Gupta

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Vishnu

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Babu. Jagat Jagatganj

Mahabodhi

Alexander Cunningham

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Taksasila Nagarjunakonda Heruka Tara

Kosetsu Nosi

Akbar

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Sreyamsanatha

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Vajra Vidya Institute Sarnath

Nichigatsuzan Horinji

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pleaser

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A Gradual Way to Seek Yourself By Venerable Xin-xing The Permanent Self and the Conditioned Self

'Dhamma"?

The Buddha taught non-self, but he also taught 'seeking yourself'. He said, "Dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge. " (S. 22.43)

The self which the Buddha refuted is the eternal self, of which the definition is selfdependent, permanent, free from suffering. This is just a philosophical concept, and cannot be experienced in our day to day life.

On the one hand he taught non-self, but on the other hand, he taught seeking yourself and taking yourself as your sole refuge. Isn't this contradictory? What is the meaning of 'self'? What is the relationship between 'self' and

The self that we experience in our daily life is the conditioned self. The Buddha taught a gradual step, so that we may look at this conditioned self from a few different perspectives in the mundane level. Then we can see all

What is the real nature of human existence?

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the different perspectives that we get from all the different angles to get a whole panorama view of the conditioned self. From the understanding of this impermanent nature of the mundane phenomenon, we realize the unsatisfactory nature of the conditioned self. Through this understanding, we let go of our clinging to the five aggregates, and that opens the door of supra-mundane Dhamma, nirvana, the cessation of the mundane dependent originated self.

A Gradual Way to Seek the Meaning Yourself According to Sutta No. 200 in the Chinese Connected Discourses of the Buddha, once Ven. Rahula wanted to attain the fruit of Arahant. He asked the teaching from the Buddha. The Buddha observed that Rahula's faculty was not ripe enough to liberate. So the Buddha asked Ven. Rahula if he had ever taught the teaching of the five aggregates. "No, venerable sir," answered Ven. Rahula. "You should teach the five aggregates," advised the Buddha. So, Ven. Rahula taught people the five aggregates. After a certain time, he visited the Buddha again. The Buddha observed Ven. Rahula's faculty was still not ripe enough for liberation. So, the Buddha asked him if he had ever taught people the six sense bases. "No, venerable sir," answered Ven. Rahula. "You should teach the six sense bases," advised the Buddha. So, Ven. Rahula taught the six sense bases. After a certain time, he visited the Buddha again. The Buddha observed Ven. Rahula's faculty was not yet ripe enough for liberation. So, the Buddha asked him if he had ever taught dependent origination. "No, venerable sir," answered Ven. Rahula. 36

"Then you should teach dependent origination." Ven. Rahula visited the Buddha after he had taught dependent origination for a certain time. The Buddha observed Ven. Rahula's faculty was still not mature enough for the liberation. So, the Buddha asked him to live in seclusion to meditate vigilantly on the meaning of all these teachings. What happened next? According to Samyutta Nikaya Chaper 35, Sutta 121, and Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 121, the Buddha taught Ven. Rahula the three characteristics of the Dhamma to let go of his clinging to all the worldly phenomena. It says in the Samyutta Nikaya, "What do you think, Rahula, is the eye permanent or impermanent?" - "Impermanent, venerable sir. " - "Is what is impermanent suffering or happiness?" - "Suffering, venerable sir." - "Is what is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'? - "No, venerable, sir." "Are forms permanent or impermanent? Is eye-consciousnesssIs eye-contactIs anything included in feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness arisen with eye contact as condition per manent or impermanent?" - "Impermanent, venerable sir. " (The rest as in the preceding paragraph.) "Seeing thus, Rahula, the instructed noble disciple experiences disenchantment towards the eye, disenchantment toward forms, disenchantment towards eye-consciousness, disenchantment towards eye-contact; disenchantment towards anything included in feeling, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness arisen with eye-contact as condition. "Experiencing disenchantment, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, his mind


is liberated. When it is liberated, there comes the knowledge: 'It's liberated.' He understands: 'Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.' This is the Blessed One's statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, the Venerable Rahula's mind was liberated from the taints by non-clinging, and he transcended into the stainless vision of the Dhamma: "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation." In the story, the Buddha taught about the five aggregates, the six sense bases, and dependent origination. Why did the Buddha choose these subjects to teach? And what was his purpose? These teachings are nothing but different perspectives to view one thing: the human existence. It is by looking at our existence from these different perspectives that we understand the real meaning of the self. The teachings of the five aggregates, the six sense bases, and dependent origination are inter-related. In Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta 28, "The Simile of the Elephant's Footprint", Ven. Sariputta interpreted the five aggregates in terms of the dependent origination arising from the contact of the six sense bases and the six sense objects and the six sense consciousness. And through this contact, arises feeling, perception, and formation. Here, the six sense bases are grouped as the aggregate of form. Likewise, the feelings, perceptions, formations, and consciousness are grouped together as four different groups. We may say that through the five aggregates, we obser ve human existence from a static perspective. But, through the perspective of the six sense bases allows us to observe our existence objectively from a dynamic perspective of dependent origination. By realizing

the ever-changing nature of our existence, we are disenchanted from the false view of permanent self. And we feel weary of the vanities of the world (nibbada). When we are disenchanted, we become absent of desire or human passion (virago). When we are absent of desire, we know we are liberated (vimutti). The Buddha said, "One who sees dependent origination sees the Dharma; one who sees the Dharma sees dependent origination.' So, we find a relationship between 'self' and 'Dhamma.' And that is the reason that the Buddha said, "Dwell with yourselves as an island, with yourselves as a refuge; with the Dhamma as an island, with the Dhamma as a refuge, with no other refuge."

Conclusion Now let me conclude this talk by quoting Nagajuna's words in "Mulamadhyamakakarika", The teaching of the Dhamma by the various Buddhas is based on the two truths; namely, the relative (worldly) truth and the absolute (supreme) truth. Those who do not know the distinction between the two truths cannot understand the profound nature of the Buddha's teaching. Without relying on everyday common practices (i.e., relative truths), the absolute truth, nirvana, cannot be attained. (Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika, translated by Kenneth K. Inada) It is by the realization of our existence in terms of the five aggregates, the six sense bases, the dependent origination that we understand there is no eternal self in this mundane world. When we understand that there is non-self, our psychology undergo a change from clinging to detached. From detachment, we are reaching to the supramundane world. 37


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Coco Chan Walter Ngai

Leung Siu Wing Family Lau Sick Cheung, Li Chui King Kitty Wong

Lau Sui Hing, Lau Lai Yee Chan Chi Wah Christine Iu

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Farish Hall UH, UT, Baylor, IBT, etc

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(Cassia tora L.)

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ϜҢъ 3117 ѐ 22 ͡ă23 ͡‫߿ົڱ‬જ! 日期 11月4日(週六) 11月5日(週日)

11月12日(週日) *11月18日(週六)

11月19日(週日) *11月23∼26日

12月2日(週六) 12月3日(週日)

12月10日(週日)

12月17日(週日) *12月23∼29日

12月31日(週日)

定期活動 日期 每週日 每週二 每週四 每月第二週六 每月第三週六

時間 9:00a – 11:30a 10:00a - 11:00a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p 10:00a - 11:00a 11:00a - 12:00p 1:30p - 3:00p

內容 禮拜《大悲懺》 生日法會/佛法講座 佛法講座 念佛共修/佛學園地 共修法會/佛法講座 佛法講座 念佛共修/佛學園地

主持人與講題 融通法師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:如何處理生活的壓力 宏意法師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 沈鴻圖居士:靈山起佛念 融通法師

9:30a - 4:00p 佛教會義賣大會

全體會友

10:00a - 10:50a 菩提學苑─親子佛學講座 5:30a - 9:00p 四日禪修 9:00a 10:00a 11:00a 1:30p 10:00a 11:00a 1:30p 10:00a 11:00a 1:30p

– 11:30a - 10:45a - 12:00p - 3:00p – 10:45a - 12:00p - 3:00p – 10:45a - 12:00p - 3:00p

禮拜《大悲懺》 第一節:生日法會、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 第二節:佛法開示、問答 念佛共修/佛學園地

5:30a – 9:00p 彌陀佛七 10:00a – 10:45a 第一節:念誦、佛法開示 11:00a - 12:00p 第二節:佛法開示、問答 1:30p - 3:00p 念佛共修/佛學園地

時間 9:00a - 11:30a 12:30p - 2:30p 3:00p - 4:30p 9:30a - 11:00a 9:30a - 11:00a 7:00p - 8:30p 2:00p - 4:00p 10:30a - 2:00p

淨海法師

活動內容 靜坐/英語佛法 菩提合唱團練唱 佛學研討班 佛學研討班 靜坐 靜坐 粵語佛學班 放生、郊遊、素食野餐

融通法師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:爭與無爭 修智師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:如何突破困境 修慧師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:如何修無我 淨海法師 宏意法師 淨海法師:《學佛三要》 宏意法師:如何克服瞋心與怨恨 宏意法師

主持人/地點 宏意法師、弘法處(觀音殿) 菩提合唱團(大雄寶殿) 弘法處(會議室) 弘法處(會議室) 修智師 宏意法師 慈善組



[註:如有更改,將另行公布或通知。]

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Chang,Annie Chang,Mike Lawson,Robert M Lawson,Lung Ching

Wu,Qing Hong Lin,May Roger

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Kuo, T.S



Dharma Garden 150 (2006-11)