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Lions Roar : March 2006
been born; you'll never die. So in you I see a buddha; in every- one I see buddha in the ultimate dimension. That's why we can talk about countless buddhas. It is exactly because the Buddha is a human being that countless buddhas are possible. the buddhaland. The buddhaland is available to you in the here and now. The question is whether you are available to the pure land. Are you caught by your jealousy, your fear, your anger? Then the pure land is not available. With mindfulness Don't think that the buddhas are very far away up in the sky. The buddhaland is here. It's wonderful that it's possible in the here and the now. We have to remember that inside of the historical dimension there is the ultimate dimension. We are not really subjected to birth and death. It is like a cloud. A cloud can never die; a cloud only becomes rain or snow or ice, but a cloud can never be noth- ing. That is the true nature of the cloud. No birth and no death. A buddha shares the same nature of no birth and no death, and you share the same nature of no birth and no death. We know that on Earth there are human beings who possess great wisdom and great compassion. They are buddhas. Don't think that the buddhas are very far away up in the sky. You touch the buddha in yourself; you touch the buddha in people around you. It's wonderful that it's possible in the here and the now. The buddhaland is here. If you know how to practice mindful walking, then you enjoy walking in the pure land of Buddha in the here and the now. This is not something to talk about; it's something to taste. In our tradition, you should walk in such a way that each step helps you to touch and concentration you have the capacity to touch the celestial realm of the buddhas and the bodhisattvas in the here and the now. That is not theory at all. That is what we live each day. What we practice each day. It's possible. Many of us are capable of this. When I talk to Christians I say that the Kingdom of God is now or never. You are free, and then the kingdom is there for you. If you are not free, well, the kingdom does not exist, even in the future. So the same teaching and practice can be shared between many traditions. You've lived a long life during a century that was as terrible as any, in a country that suffered as much as any. I think there are many people who now look at this new century and see, again, the seeds of tragedy, both at the human level and the natural level. Where do you feel the world is headed now? I think the twentieth century was characterized by individu- alism, and more than one hundred million people perished GAMPO ABBEY A WESTERN BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN THE SHAMBHALA TRADITION OVER TH E PAST 20 YEARS, Gampo Abbey has trained western monastics and lay people in all aspects of Buddhist life, study and practice. Contact us to learn more about joining the Abbey community, about our Winter Yarne retreat, our College of Higher Buddhist Studies, our monastic training program, and Three Year Retreat. Temporary ordination is available and encouraged for interested lay residents. Practitioners from all sanghas are welcome. For more information, or to support Gampo Abbey, call (902) 224-2752, visit us at gampoabbey.org, or send an e-mail to offì