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By Sangharakshita

Quickly after taking ordination as a Buddhist monk, the English writer of this booklet moved to town of Kalimpong, at the fringe of the Himalayas. He was once to stay there for 14 years - reflecting, writing and modifying Buddhist journals, befriending a few uncommon Tibetan lamas as they fled around the close by border, and developing the world's first "inter-denominational" Buddhist centre. The 32 essays within the ebook come from that interval, and exhibit a guy profoundly dedicated to the "inner life", who's now not afraid to problem orthodox attitudes and interpretations in his pursuit of the sensible essence of Buddhism.

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Additional info for Crossing the Stream: Reflections on the Buddhist Spiritual Path

Example text

Such also is the activity of one who sincerely and selflessly consecrates himself to the propagation of the Buddha’s Word. By endeavouring to reflect more and more perfectly the Wisdom of the Buddha he automatically reflects His Compassion also, for the two are one – the intellectual and emotional expressions respectively of the Plenum-Voidness of the perfect mutual interpenetration of all things. We preach the Buddha’s Word because we cannot help so doing. Not with any arrogant assumption of superiority over those to whom we preach, not as the result of any conclusion reached by processes purely intellectual, but simply because the Light which has awakened the lotus seed within our hearts into the bloom of full or partial Enlightenment cannot rest there, but refracts from it in all directions on to the millions of other lotus seeds which are still buried deep down in the mud of greed, hatred, and delusion.

The slumbering seed is stirred into wakefulness by the light and warmth of that energic WisdomCompassion, that bright effluence of the essence of Reality, of Voidness, which is personified as the Bodhisattva, as the Universal Buddha, or as Amitabha. For just as Enlightenment is reflected in our ignorance and suffering, so also are the ignorance and suffering of all sentient beings reflected in Enlightenment, so that the Bodhisattva is unable to cease from his selfless labours so long as even one grain of dust remains undelivered.

The Buddha was not an agnostic, a social reformer, a humanitarian, nor anything else to be adequately described by attaching to it any such fashionable label, but simply a man who had by His own efforts become Buddha, the Enlightened One. Those who are for any reason unable to accept Him as such had better leave Him and His religion strictly alone, since however learned they may be they will never be able to understand more than the superficialities of either. A Sinhalese peasant or a Tibetan muleteer has a better chance of comprehension than they.

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