Friday, June 7, 2013

The Body and The Shadow (Part 1)

This is from a piece called ‘The body and the shadow’ UKE Jan 1995 by Louise Ellis, which explains an often-quoted key passage from the Gosho ‘On attaining buddhahood in this lifetime.’ The passage is mentioned below, followed by the article excerpt:

“If the minds of the people are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land.”

If we follow this way of thinking then the reason why the world is in such a state must be because our minds are impure. This does not mean they are full of dirty or evil thought, but that they see the world in a flawed or incomplete way. It follows from this that actions based on such ‘impure’ perceptions are often likely to produce as much harm as good, however pure the intention behind them may have been. So however hard we try to make positive actions to change things, if our minds remain impure then, essentially, we will have little effect; the old problems will keep on reappearing.

This analysis is based on the Buddhist principle of esho funi, which means that life and its environment are inseparable.

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