Monday, August 8, 2011

Enormous Differences

"The question my life presses upon me, whether I face it directly or not, is 'How shall I live?' 'As what kind of person?' All of us face the task of constructing a life for ourselves, of shaping ourselves into certain kinds of people who will live lives of one kind or another, for better or worse. Some people undertake their task deliberately; they make choices in life in view of an image of the kind of person they would hope to become. From the early beginnings of their tradition, Buddhists have maintained that nothing is more important than developing the freedom implied in their activity of self-cultivation—of deliberately shaping the kind of life you will live. For Buddhists, this is the primary responsibility and opportunity that human beings have. It is, they claim, our singular freedom, a freedom available to no other beings in the universe. And although circumstances beyond anyone's control will make very different possibilities available for different people, Buddhists have always recognized that the difference between those who assume the task of self-sculpting with imagination, integrity, and courage, and those who do not is enormous, constituting in Buddhism the difference between enlightened ways of being in the world and unenlightened ways."

The Six Perfections: Buddhism And The Cultivation of Character
Dale Wright

And so begins a new book pulled off the shelves. The six perfections. The six paramitas. Six bright lights illuminating the fact that Life itself is the henro trail.

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