Earth's potential for striving more than vague heaven

Where members are free to take ideas from the Theravāda Canon out of the Theravāda framework. Here you can question rebirth, kamma (and other contentious issues) as well as examine Theravāda's connection to other paths
dhammapal
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:23 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Earth's potential for striving more than vague heaven

Postby dhammapal » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:34 pm

Hi,

I visited a Christian bookstore the other day. I asked them if they had a book on heaven. I totally fazed them with the question "What do they eat there?" I guess that is like asking them if angels go to the bathroom. But I think it is a valid question because the number one teaching for samaneras is "All beings subsist on food". And making food has to involve harming other beings (although I think Brahmas feed on bliss). The Buddha said that all nutriment is miserable, even divine food.

Rather than trying to imagine a utopia in the sky I think the best practice is to be compassionate to our "riders on the earth together", not writing off the planet with its deterioriating environment as a precious place for striving. I think this is a case where the teachings on rebirth should be interpreted as moment-to-moment, making our home a heaven on earth.
the Buddha transl. Piyadassi wrote:3. "Whatever treasure there be either here or in the world beyond,
whatever precious jewel there be in the heavenly worlds,
there is nought comparable to the Tathagata (the perfect One).
This precious jewel is the Buddha.[2]
By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.
From: Ratana Sutta: The Jewel Discourse translated from the Pali by Piyadassi Thera

With metta / dhammapal.

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