Talking about Dharma

From my point of view the importance of having someone to talk about Dharma with can’t be stressed enough. I never have someone to talk about Dharma with but as far as I am concerned talking about Dharma with someone and sharing it with a friend is more valuable than most things. It is more nourishing and beneficial in my experience and stays with you longer.

If you have someone to talk about Dharma with you are so lucky, it is so rare and one of the most fortunate things ever. When I die I wont be happy about how much money I earned, my reputation or how much I talked to people about stuff I will be happy about each and every Dharma talk be it few of them and treasure all of them as the best of my life because they are meaningful. They are meaningful because they mean something to me but money is not meaningful because it does not mean anything to me when I die.


5 Comments on “Talking about Dharma”

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  3. Carol says:

    Keep on looking. There are many people in this beautiful world with whom you can share Dharma…

    • andydharma says:

      Thanks, Carol, for this lovely, inspiring comment, which rings so true , I think. I am revelling at the moment in the studying of other Buddhist scholars and practitioners. For example, right now I am studying a new translation and commentary of the Heart Sutra by Red Pine (published by Counterpoint, Berkeley, 2004) which is absolutely astounding in its poetic beauty, depth and clarity. For me, it is the perfect complement to Geshe Kelsang’s own fantastic translation and commentary of the Heart Sutra, but it has the added bonus of providing in great detail the rich historical and cultural context for the Heart Sutra that I could never get within the Enkaytee tribe (too much anxiety about preserving ‘purity’, no doubt!). For me, putting Geshe-la’s work on the Heart Sutra within the context of Red Pine’s work vastly increases the depth of my understanding of the Heart Sutra and reminds me that, for many Western Buddhists who have grown up within the post-modern sensibilities of our age, “context is all”. I think restricting oneself to just one reading of any sutra, regarding that reading as definitive, and basing one’s practice on just that reading is unnecessarily restrictive and may undercut the possibilities of further progress in any practice based on that sutra. But then that’s just my view. And apparently I’m impure anyway. But I’m happily enjoying Red Pine sharing his Dharma with me!

    • andydharma says:

      I can provide a good example of what you are talking about, Carol. I am currently studying a translation of, and commentary to, the Heart Sutra by Red Pine (published by Counterpoint, Berkeley, 2004) which is awesome in its poetic beauty, depth, and clarity. OK, just another book on the Heart Sutra you might say. But in this post-modern age in which Western intellectuals and philosophers are so aware of the need to place any text within its historical and cultural context in order to achieve a deeper understanding of its meaning, Red Pine’s work achieves just that with the Heart Sutra. And this contextual richness that Red Pine brings to the Heart Sutra is exactly what complements, and deepens, my understanding of Geshe Kelsang’s own beautifulmcommentary on the Heart Sutra, and consequently deepens my dharma practice (without, please note, giving up or altering any of Geshe Kelsang’s Dharma). I may be impure in the eyes of the Enkaytee tribe, but if that helps to free me up to explore the works of such experienced Buddhist scholars and practitioners as Red Pine, then I’m all for a bit of impurity! Makes me happy anyway!

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