My comments: This is the first part of two. The modern Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh expounds in a concise and everyday manner a basic understanding of Buddha’s teachings. This first part focuses on the first of the three Dharma Seals that the Buddha passed on to us: the teaching of impermanence. Thay gives us simple examples of how to practice this in our daily life. He makes it clear how understanding and practicing impermanence gives us a basis for clarity and a way of living with strong ethics. I find this essay so timely for each of us to support us in being part of the new earth that is emerging now. Enjoy part one!
THE PRACTICE OF LOOKING DEEPLY
“All authentic practices of the Buddha carry within themselves three essential teachings called the Dharma Seals. These three teachings of the Buddha are impermanence, no self and nirvana. Just as all important legal documents have the mark or signature of a witness, all genuine practices of the Buddha bear the mark of these three teachings.
“If we look into the first Dharma Seal, impermanence, we see that it doesn’t just mean that everything changes. By looking into the nature of things, we can see that nothing remains the same for even two consecutive moments. Because nothing remains unchanged from moment to moment, it therefore has no fixed identity or permanent self. So in the teaching of impermanence we always see the lack of an unchanging self. We call this “no self” It is because things are always transforming and have no self that freedom is possible. Continue reading