The Buddhist Lifestyle, in simple terms

Again, similar to this post, I recently stumbled upon something nice from Rev. Tagawa Shun’ei in Living Yogacara I wanted to share (trans. Prof. Charles Muller):

In roughly defining the Buddhist lifestyle, I would like to think of it as the lifestyle of consistent application toward the elimination of evil and cultivation of good, with the ultimate aim of liberating our mind, while simultaneously caring for others. (pg. 104)

Compare with the Buddha’s words in the Dhammapada (trans. Ven. Acharya Buddharakkhita):

183. To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one’s mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.

Earlier in the same chapter, Rev. Tagawa says:

Gaining familiarity with the Buddhist teachings, we begin to develop the growing clarity of an aim of enlightenment in our lifetimes, the goal of buddhahood. Saying that one will someday arrive to the buddha realm can be paraphrased by saying that one day, the realm of the buddhas will be directly manifested within my very self. Fixing one’s sight on enlightenment, and living one’s daily life with that goal as a guiding light, is considered walking on the Buddhist path. One’s eventual arrival to the state of enlightenment is called “becoming Buddha.” (pg. 102)

And finally Rev. Tagawa discusses two main points to the Buddhist Way, the Buddhist lifestyle:

The first is that no matter what, Buddhist practice must be based on the repeated examination of one’s past activities. But if this examination is not carried out through a clearly defined principle, then it will end up being nothing more than a bit of indulgence in one’s memories, which does no one any good. Instead, without falling into self-recrimination, we should strive to examine ourselves using knowledge learned in the teachings of Buddhist scriptures. It will be at that time that we first experience a Buddhist form of self-reflection. The second essential point is that while taking this kind of sincere reflection, we create and develop a way of living our lives henceforth, remembering the Buddhist teachings and committing to them as a way of bettering ourselves.

Thanks to Prof. Muller, Rev. Tagawa and Ven. Acharya Buddharakkhita.

Namo Shaka Nyorai

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