Meditation in everyday life. Frankfurt, 1994

Buddhist Ethics and its Relation to Wisdom and Compassion
JAMES LOW
Frankfurt, Germany
12 – 14 February, 1994
Edited by Barbara Terris
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Excerpts
The Buddha’s teachings are radical, disturbing—they turn our world upside-down and shift the basis of who we think we are. Everything that we know, everything that we’re connected with, is still here, but we start to see it differently.

Buddhism is primarily an ethical view in which responsibility for others can never be abandoned. Having been born into this world of subject and object, one cannot simply liberate ‘subject’ and leave ‘object’ to its own devices. Taking refuge means having an awareness or other peoples’ suffering because one of the things that we need refuge from is suffering, and the cause of suffering is the attachment that gives us the sense of a self that is separate from other people.

It is attachment to our sense of who we are that stops us becoming what we might become.

We look at the world through our values, our beliefs and assumptions, our likes and dislikes. We don’t simply say “I like this cheese” which would indicate our relationship to it, but we say, “This is a really good cheese”. In this way the ‘goodness’ seems to be inherent in the object. However for someone else it might be a very ‘bad’ cheese. Our ‘truth’ is only an opinion, is only the view from here.

Relax into your own ground, the natural perfection of your own presence. Experience its limitless infinity and see directly that it is the ground, the source and the field of all experience. This is your home territory, this is where you belong. So why not relax and enjoy it?