Appreciation and the End of Greed
Oct 30, 2015 01:37PM
● By Seijaku Roshi
At the end of his life it is written that the Buddha’s final instructions to his monks gathered around his death bed concerned about their fate, he was heard to say, “Atta Dippa”, “Rely on
your Self” “You are the Light, You are the Dharma”. It was clear to those who spent the last 46 years with the Master that he did not want them to even rely on Him. He pointed to their “true nature” their own “abundance” and wanted them to “appreciate” who they were and what they possessed within themselves.
Learning to appreciate my life and who I am is not only central to Zen Spirituality but also to achieving full maturity, confidence and well-being. Buddhism teaches that each of us possess
an abundant harvest of wisdom, love, and compassion and the realization of which, is the only solution to our dissatisfaction and global suffering. But how can I realize this when I am always pursuing happiness outside myself? Even simplifying the matter by believing, ”I am Buddha” or “I am the Universe” or “I am a Child of God” or any other concept is never enough. We must
“realize” our True-Nature. To “realize” something is: one, to become fully aware of (something) as a fact; understand clearly, and two, cause (something desired or anticipated) to happen. It is not a matter of “belief” or “faith”--“we can know it, see it, and experience it” as “fact”.
Buddhism defines “Greed” as one of the “Three Poisons of Life”; it creates delusion and distracts us from the real matters and the only true source or solution to our discontentment. If we are always “pursuing happiness” caught in the endless cycle of “more, better and different” we cannot see our own self-worth and learn to appreciate what we have and who we are now. Appreciating my life is the beginning of maturity and enlightenment, it is the beginning of confidence and learning to trust myself, my heart and my own well-spring of wisdom.
The first step is to stop wanting what we don’t really need. It is our perceived neediness that keeps us pursuing happiness rather than being happy. This perception is a kind of “optical delusion” which separates us from the experience of wholeness which characterizes our “truenature” or “true-self”. The next time you reach for the item on the shelf before you place in the cart ask yourself, “Can I live without this?” “Will this make my life so much better than it is now?”
The next step is really to “count your blessings”. Every day of your life in the morning and before falling asleep make a mental list (you may even want to write it down) of the persons, possessions and experiences, you are grateful for. The Buddha taught, “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us be thankful.”
Thank you, for taking time to read this.
I Love You.
Seijaku Roshi, is an American Zen Master, Parent, Buddhist Priest, Author, Life-Coach, Keynote Speaker and visionary pioneer of the principles of “authentic spirituality”. He is the Founder of
The Zen Society and Abbot of Pine Wind Zen Community/Jizo-an Monastery, in Shamong NJ.