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  • Dianne McKinnon

Rivers and streams can never fully quench the depths of a vast ocean

Rivers and streams can never fully quench the depths of a vast ocean– Similarly, there is no point of satiety for those consumed with avarice. A fire can completely burn through all the wood and grass in sight, and still, its drive to consume reaches no fulfillment. In the same way, we greedily seek to partake of pleasing things, and experience a hunger and thirst that is never satisfied. ~The Meeting of Father and Son Sutra~ Last week's teaching on The Way of the Bodhisattva brought us to verses 175 and 176, in which Master Shantideva writes about the completely unfulfilling state of being caught in a cycle of endless craving. Geshela explained that first, we want- and then we get what we wanted, but the getting it did not satisfy the want. Our wantonness knows no satiety. So how do we come to be satisfied? We must learn to come to a point of contentment. In contentment, there is satisfaction- freedom from that wanting state. Geshela explained that the classic scriptures of Buddhism teach the virtues of being someone who has few wants and is easily contented. This is a quality that can be developed once we first identify the culprit of unbridled and never-ending wanting...compulsion to consume that has its roots in self-cherishing. Second,remembering contentment, we adopt a regimen of scaling down and being okay with having "just enough." Having few wants and being content with little brings us freedom and fulfillment.

Excerpted from Geshe Jinpa Sonam teachings 9/27/20

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