FIRST, BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING

First, be a decent human being

 To practise the Dharma, we must first be decent human beings, fitting vessels. Not gods, not jealous god, not animals, not hungry ghosts, not hell beings…just decent human beings.

 Decent human beings have morals and kindness. They also have desire and dissatisfaction, but these are directed at the causes of suffering in the world.

The Buddha said, “Do good. Do no harm. Train the mind.” One could add, “Do not exaggerate,” but this is included in ‘training the mind’.

We all would like the highest teachings
but before we can understand them,
we need to have some sense of genuine compassion.

 True compassion comes from understanding
the highest teachings of pure awareness…standing under the Dharma*!
It’s as if we push, and the teachings pull us through.
Like attracts like.

 If we are immoral or amoral**
we will never stand under,
as we are too arrogant and closed minded.

 If we are a Dharma snob,
we will attract cynicism, scepticism and disbelief
from others.

 The deeper we go,
the more ordinary we become,
the less exaggerated.
And that would be extraordinary!

*
To stand under the Dharma is to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

**
Moral:concerned with the principles of right and wrong behaviour.
Amoral: not concerned with or affected by morality.
Immoral: not conforming to accepted standards of morality, and implies condemnation.

(This is a tricky subject. Here it is meant on a relative conventional level – being a decent human being. However from an absolute level the whole point is to go beyond the limiting standards of conventional truth).

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