One of the factors of enlightenment is devotion, a kind of emotional sweetness and joyfulness. We tend to want everything on the level of intellectual concepts, but we also need to humble ourselves towards the joy and sweetness of loving the Buddha, the Dhamma and Sangha - especially if we find our practice is getting a bit 'dried-up'. This is to advise you not to be frightened of loving and joy, and open-hearted generosity. Human life without this is a dreary desert, isn't it, just like living in a museum. It's all nice and clean with marble corridors, but cold, ordered, catalogued. In museums everything is dusted and put in order, but it's cold!
So religion also gives us this opportunity towards this warmth, the joy, the love, the devotion, the offering, the giving. This is very much a foundation and a necessity for religious life. See our life here in the community as an opportunity to manifest generosity, love and joy, not just as an obsession with looking at our cittas to see what is moving through it at this moment, seeing that it's anicca, dukkha, anattá. We do that in order to reflect on the way things are, to be free from the illusions or the attachments to love and generosity - because if you attach to concepts of love and generosity then that will also bring you to despair.
manas wrote:Greetings Bhante, yawares,
I agree, and although the Buddha is said to have not advised his disciples to make images of him, I think that in these difficult times, with the living flesh of the Teacher so long gone from the Earth now, that he would understand our desire to have such images, so that we have a physical form to which we can offer incense, flowers etc. (And yes I love my 'Buddhas' as well )
Sylvester wrote:I love my Buddha statues too!
Just waiting for the day when I can get my hands on a reclining Buddha (Pang Saiyat) issued by LP Pae of Wat Pikulthong. Serenity embodied.
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