This Moment Without Judgement

posted in: Dharma Topics | 0

Dear Still Water Friends,

An internet security program I use daily requires a password. If I need help remembering my password, it offers me back a password hint that I have put in. My hint is, “What I want.” My password is, “A Peaceful Heart.”

I’ve always wanted a peaceful heart.

The Buddha’s first dharma talk after his enlightenment concerned the causes and ending of suffering. The usual translation is that the cause of suffering is desire and the ending of suffering occurs with the cessation of desire. The word translated as desire is tanha; its literal meaning is “thirst.”

The thirst the Buddha was concerned with is a mental or spiritual thirst, a deeply seated feeling of lacking something, even when our biological needs are met. When we are "thirsty" we feel that there is something we need to consume, or that there is some internal or external condition that needs to be met, for us to feel happy or satisfied. According to the Buddha, when tanha is rooted in us, there can be no lasting sense of peace. At best, we are satisfied for a short time, and then quickly become thirsty again.

In her poem Peace Dorothy Hunt exquisitely captures the Buddha’s core message.

Do you think peace requires an end to war
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from your boss, your
spouse, yourself?
Do you think peace will come some other place than
Some other time than now?
In some other heart than yours?
Peace is this moment without judgement.
That is all.
This moment in the heart-space where everything
that is, is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking that it should
be some other way
That you should feel some other thing
That your life should unfold according to your plans.
Peace is this moment without judgement.
This moment in the heart-space where everything
that is, is welcome.

This Thursday evening after our mediation we will explore together our journeys toward peace:

Does your heart yearn for peace?

Do you tell yourself that you can be happy when . . . . ?

Are you challenged by the idea that “Peace is this moment without judgement”?

You are invited to join us.

Warm wishes,

Mitchell Ratner
Senior Teacher