Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Daily Dharma: No More Vacations?

Today's Daily Dharma from Tricycle:

No More Vacations?

The core of Dharma practice is freeing oneself from the attachments of this life. It focuses on the deeper issue of gaining complete release from discontent by means of freeing our minds from the afflictions of confusion, attachment, and anger. In a broader sense, Dharma practice is concerned with serving others, in terms of both their temporary and ultimate needs.

Does this mean that one who is committed to Dharma suddenly renounces all worldly enjoyments--no more vacations, no entertainment, no sensory pleasures? No. If one tries that approach it usually results in spiritual burnout; and the common rebound is equally extreme sensual indulgence.

For this reason, the practice of Buddhist Dharma is often called the Middle Way because it seeks to avoid the extremes of sensual indulgence and severe asceticism. The former leads to perpetual dissatisfaction and the latter damages one's physical and mental health.... The Middle Way is a sensitive exertion of effort that is neither lax nor aggressive, and from this practice there ultimately arises an increasing satisfaction and delight in virtuous activity that is a result of our spiritual transformation.

- B. Alan Wallace, Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up; from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book.

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