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The Allegory of a Higher Rebirth

I came to an another moment of appreciation for the fortunate circumstances of my birth and life while reading The Middle Way: Faith grounded in reason (2009) by The Dali Lama.  The particular quote is rather long and occurs on page 26.

Now, the goals in Buddhism are the immediate aim of attaining higher rebirth as a human being or as a god and the ultimate aim of achieving definite goodness.  The teachings on the means of attaining higher rebirth are based on cultivating "the right worldly view."  What is the right worldly view?  It is the right view of the law of karma and its effects based on conviction in the principle of dependent origination.  The goal sought and attained on the basis of such a view is higher rebirth.

I guess it was also hearing the story of a friend who just returned from a tourist trip to Rome, in which she described the problem of seeing so many beggars.  (We see just as many in all the big cities.  Washington, DC is such a disappointment in this regard, but this is another topic.)  In the moments following my reading the passage and hearing of the pitiful situation of those "beggars", I realized (again) that I was given a very high birth (whether it is a higher rebirth, I can not say.)

I assume those of you who are reading this also are the beneficiaries of a very fortunate birth.  Mine is so fortunate, I must admit that I live like a god.  In this moment, I can not think of anything I need that I do not already have in full abundance.

Please consider doing this exercise:  In this moment, what do you need that you do not already have.  (Not in some future time or in some past temporary situation, but right now!)  Even if I try by projecting into the past or future, I still must confess; I have always and expect to continue living like a god.

I cannot explain why I have been so blessed.  (Some may speculate on the operation of karma, rebirth, etc., but I judge that is not relevant or necessary.)  But for all of us living in this opportune time and having heard the Buddharma, we are poised on the verge of enlightenment.  What better circumstances could be made available?

If you are reading this, I suspect you have been blessed already with everything you need to achieve definite goodness.  I hope you (and I) will remember this in each moment and especially at the time of our last breath.

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