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May 02, 2011


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Clyde, for those who have read this quote the passage it comes from also informs us that as the Buddha surveyed the world he saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much dust, including those easy to teach and those hard to teach.

So my question to you Clyde is this, do you believe the Buddha's compassion was spent on those who had lots of dust in their eyes and were incorrigible clinging to their fleeting and fragile skandha bodies refusing to let go?


I appreciate your concern and compassion for me, even though my life is fleeting and fragile : )

And it is like the Buddha who spent 45 years teaching “out of compassion for beings”, even though (or maybe precisely because) beings are fleeting and fragile.

“Then the Blessed One, having understood Brahma's invitation, out of compassion for beings, surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One.”



I agree that's the basic point!


Interestingly in my previous comment I was going to mention the view you expressed about fragile things and taking great care of them.

But, to be frank --and I mean this with no disrespect-- I was going to cite it as just the usual worldly way, different from Buddha's wisdom which is transcendent and has the deathless as its goal.

I can't say what fragile thing you were talking about in your letter. But when ordinary people assign great value to phenomena that are fragile, and work to preserve them, that's not wisdom at work, that's the very machinery of suffering, as Koji tries to point out.

It reminds me of how the Buddha's father treated him growing up. He wanted to make sure that the Buddha was not discontent with life so he insulated him from cares of the world, like putting a glass figurine in a safe box with lots of padding. For him enjoyment of life was too precious to endanger. Now we know that the Buddha's career and teaching ran counter to that worldly wisdom.

Clyde, you don't understand the Buddha's teaching. We suffer because we cling to the five aggregates which are impermanent and suffering or in your words "fragile and fleeting." It is by learning not to cling to them that a path of deliverance is at all possible.


I think it is fair to say that we have different views on a number of points and I’m not certain that we even have a mutual understanding of some terms. In any case, for me, differences in view are, at best, interesting, but not critical . . . except if and how it effects how one lives.

I will leave you with two thoughts that arose as I read your post.

The first is from the Heart Sutra:

"Form is empty, emptiness is form,
Emptiness is not other than form, form is also not other than emptiness.
Likewise, sensation, discrimination, conditioning, and awareness are empty."

The second is from a letter I wrote to a friend about ‘this precious life’:

"If something is indestructible and permanent, what care will you give it? I would think not much care. But if something is fragile and fleeting, don’t you give it great care. Giving something great care is itself precious beyond measure."

Take care and be well.


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