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WHERE DO WE COME FROM?

This is what Buddha taught. When conditions are sufficient things manifest. When conditions are no longer sufficient things withdraw. They wait until the moment is right for them to manifest again.

Become Nothing
Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. The Buddha has a very different understanding of our existence. It is the understanding that birth and death are notions. They are not real. The fact that we think they are true makes a powerful illusion that causes our suffering. We only think there is. When we understand that we cannot be destroyed, we are liberated from fear. It is a great relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way.

Trapped by a Notion
The Buddha offered an interesting parable concerning ideas and notions. A young tradesman came home and saw that his house had been robbed and burned by bandits. Right outside what was left of the house, there was a small, charred body. He thought the body belonged to his little boy. He did not know that the child was still alive. He did not know that after having burned the house the bandits had taken the little boy away with them. In his state of confusion, the tradesman believed the body he saw was his son. So he cried, he beat his chest and pulled out his hair in grief. Then he began the cremation ceremony. He made a velvet bag and put the ashes inside. He carried the bag with him day and night, and whether he was working or resting, he was never separated from the bag of ashes. One night his son escaped from the robbers. He came to the new house built by his father. He knocked excitedly on the door at 2 o’clock in the morning. His father called out as he wept, still holding the bag of ashes. “Who is there?” “It’s me, your son.” “You naughty person, you are not my boy. My boy died 3 month ago. I have his ashes with me right here.” The little boy continued to beat at the door and cried and cried. But the father continued to refuse him entry. The man held firm to the notion that his little boy was already dead and that this other child was some heartless person who had come to torment him. Finally, the boy left and the father lost his son forever.

So if you get caught in one idea and consider it to be “the truth”, then you miss the chance to know the truth. Even if the truth comes in person and knocks at your door, you will refuse to open your mind. So if you are committed to an idea about truth or to an idea about the conditions necessary for your happiness, be careful.

This is a practice to help us free us from the tendency to be dogmatic. Freedom is above all freedom from our own notions and concepts.

Respecting our Manifestation
If you look at a friend with the eyes of a meditator, you will see in him or her all generations of their ancestors. You will be very respectful to them and to your own body because you will see their body and your body as the sacred home of all our ancestors.
You will also see that our bodies are the source of all future generations. We will not damage our bodies, because that would not be kind to our descendants. We do not use drugs and we do not eat or drink things that have toxins or that will harm our bodies. This is because our insight of manifestation helps us to live in a healthy way, with clarity and responsibility.

Source: THICH NHAT HANH – “NO DEATH, NO FEAR!”

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