Art Goldenberg

Remember that delusion thrives in darkness. Seeing the light is not only the light of illumination, of wisdom, but it’s also the fire of our deepest aspiration that burns off everything unnecessary. Because there is darkness,⎯we are easily hidden from the truth.⎯So we need to know what to do from within our hiddenness. How do we go straight ahead when we’re turning in circles? How do we open up and find spaciousness again when we have become confined? This is a most important practice: to know what should be avoided in that moment of our attachment to regret, to shame, to self-hatred or inertia. This is how we learn to take responsibility, to atone and renew our vows. When we understand this in a very deep way, in a very beautiful way we join the family of buddhas.

Unfortunately, we usually think of the family of buddhas as existing in some far-off realm. It’s not like that. In every moment, when we, with eyes open, encounter our humanity and move straight ahead with that humanity into the Dharma, we are standing amidst⎯and unified with⎯the family of buddhas. It’s very affirming and powerful when we understand this. We realize we can develop our awareness and sit upon the bodhi seat; we can see into our greed, anger and ignorance and let go of self-clinging. We can make vows, get lost to them, and renew them again. We can take responsibility. We can challenge ourselves.

An old master said: “Abandon wrong-doing, practice virtue well, master your own mind.” This is the teaching of all the buddhas. Let us each reflect on this. I vow to abandon wrong-doing; I vow to practice virtue well; I vow to master my own mind. This includes everything