86 view

Everything & Enlightenment

Dharmacharya Andrew. J. Williams

EVERYTHING
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“Everything is like a flicker of a lamp, the life of a flower, a star at dawn, a dew drop in the sun. Everything is like the changing of the tides, lightning in a summer cloud, a bubble in a stream, a phantom and a dream. Thus shall we think of this fleeting world.”

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“The quote/teaching, ‘Everything is like a flicker of a lamp, the life of a flower, a star at dawn, a dew drop in the sun. Everything is like the changing of the tides, lightning in a summer cloud, a bubble in a stream, a phantom and a dream. Thus shall we think of this fleeting world’, is actually the lyrics of the verses of a Dharma song I wrote in 2002 called ‘Everything’, which is a song about impermanence and emptiness.
It was inspired by a verse spoken by the Buddha in the Mahayana, Prajna Paramita Vajra Chedikka Sutra (Great Vehicle, Perfection of Wisdom Diamond Cutter Scripture), which is part of the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Wisdom) Sutra collection. It is popularly known as the Diamond Sutra. The song appears on the ‘Birth of the Buddha’ CD that I recorded with Dharma brother Roger McLachlan in 2010.
Here’s a very brief explanation of these words:
-‘Everything’ – All conditioned mental and physical phenomena;
-‘Is like a flicker of a lamp’ – Just like the flame of a candle flickering in the wind and not ever remaining the same;
-‘The life of a flower’ – The life of a flower is very brief and in a constant state of flux, dependent on many changing conditions;
-‘A star at dawn’ – When the sun comes up in the morning, the so-called stars that appeared in the night sky disappear;
-‘A dewdrop in the sun’ – The dew or moisture that gathers on grass and other plants overnight, evaporates in the warmth of the morning sun;
-‘The changing of the tides’ – The ocean tides are also in a constant state of change. On the coastlines around the world this results in moments that we note as high-tide, low-tide, mid-tide etc;
-‘Lightning in a summer cloud’ – As we know, a flash of lightning comes and goes very quickly;
-‘A bubble in a stream’ – As the water of a stream flows over varying depths, it may mix with air and create bubbles, which swiftly pass;
-‘A phantom’ – Something that is not real, but is imagined to be real, while we are awake;
-‘A dream’ – Something that is not real, but is imagined to be real, while we are asleep;
-‘Thus shall we think of all this fleeting world’ – This is how we should understand all conditioned mental and physical phenomena.
I hope these words are somewhat helpful in clarifying the meaning of this profoundly deep subject. Also it may be helpful to know that one way to apply this teaching to everyday life is for us not to hang on to our worries and troubles, or to our likes and dislikes, and not to take anything personally. This way we allow ourselves the freedom to live in the present.
Enjoy yourself on your journey of discovery. Enjoy yourself on your journey to realising the truth. But don’t attach to it.”

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~Dharmacharya Andrew. J. Williams~

THE ENLIGHTENMENT/THE TEACHING
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THE ENLIGHTENMENT

The darkness of ignorance has been dispelled and the light of knowledge has arisen. I have finally realised the truth, I have attained supreme enlightenment. I am the Buddha.
THE TEACHING
Listen friends, I have found the way to overcome old age, sickness and death. Let me teach you, and if you listen, learn and practice as I tell you, very soon you will know for yourselves, that what I say is true.
All phenomena are dependent on conditions, cause and effect. Ignorance is the root of all evil and the cause of all suffering. When it is replaced with wisdom, one realises Nirvana.
Avoid all extremes, practice the middle path. The noble eight fold path, which consists of perfect understanding, perfect thought, perfect speech, perfect action, perfect livelihood, perfect effort, perfect mindfulness, perfect concentration.
Do no evil, do only good, train your mind, the teaching of the Buddha is the path to enlightenment. For the benefit of all, teach the Dharma, which is excellent in the beginning, in the middle and the end.

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~Dharmacharya Andrew. J. Williams~

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