Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Two Truths

All Buddhist traditions present two realities. Sometimes these are called samsara and nirvana. Sometimes they are called bondage and liberation. Sometimes they are referred to as suffering and its cessation.

Whatever they’re called, the problem is always the same: how do we get from point A to point B? How do we get from the crappy, uptight, confused reality that we currently experience, to the open, relaxed, brilliant reality of the buddhas? The funny thing about the Buddha’s answer to this question is that point A and point B are not two different locations, but one location viewed differently. Don’t you think that’s interesting?

This blog is about the process of transformation that gets us from point A to point B (which are really the same point) and some of the places of interest we might see along the way.

4 comments:

ggw said...

I get confused by this from the standpoint of point A being a horrible situation that must be left for one's safety. What if point A is an abusive relationship and point B is finally getting away?

Andy Karr said...

If you are in a horrible situation that threatens your safety, you should definitely leave. Just don't expect to get to point B, nirvana or liberation. No matter how much the cage is gilded, it will still bind us. Liberation comes from recognizing the true nature of the cage.

ggw said...

Exactly! Without realizing it, I thought that when I left, I would instantly reach nirvana. That I'd done my work and snap.....point B. Ha ha.

While I was still there, I thought it would be proof of the strength of my practice if I could be liberated under difficult circumstances, a la Wisdom of No Escape. I call it the Dharma of abuse. All those teachings that I'd manipulate in my mind to justify staying. In many ways I feel that I've cheated by getting out.

How helpful it is, to consider the true nature of the cage.

Scott Jones said...

Well this blog looks great. I learned of you through Michael Wood and his Miksang photography site and enjoyed your images a great deal. Looking forward to your blog and excellent writing. I have your RSS feed marked. Thanks with a bow....