Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations
“Just This Once”: An Introduction to the Pedagogy of Suffering (David W. Jardine, Graham McCaffrey, and Christopher Gilham )
c h a p t e r t w o “Just This Once”: An Introduction To The Pedagogy of Suffering david w. jardine, graham mccaffrey, & christopher gilham The Descent into the Womb Sutra states: Even though you have been born a human with such limitless suffering, you still have the best of situations. It is difficult to attain this even in ten million eons. Even when a deity dies, the other deities say, “May you have a happy rebirth.” By happy rebirth they mean a human rebirth. Why would I waste this…good life? When I act as though it were insignificant, I am deceiving myself. What could be more foolish than this? Just this once I am free. . . . . Although we have sunk into the midst of cyclic existence An ocean of suffering with neither bottom nor shore We are not disenchanted; we are pleased and excited. We boast of happiness. This seems insane. (Tsong-kha-pa, 2000, pp. 121, 333) We ought to be like elephants in the noontime sun in summer, when they are tormented by heat and thirst and catch sight of a cool lake. They throw themselves into the water with the greatest pleasure and without a moment’s hesitation. In just the same way, for the sake of ourselves and others, we should give ourselves joyfully to the practice. (Kun- zang Pelden, 2007, p. 255) 2 | david w. jardine e t al. Our cover illustration by Katy Orme was done in a wonderful kindergarten classroom. Each year without...
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