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Lions Roar : January 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2007 53 The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India, commemorating the Buddha’s enlightment under the Bodhi tree and discovery of the four seals. not wear robes or shave your head, you may eat meat and idol- ize Eminem and Paris Hilton. That doesn’t mean you cannot be a Buddhist. In order to be a Buddhist, you must accept that all compounded phenomena are impermanent, all emotions are pain, all things have no inherent existence, and enlighten- ment is beyond concepts. It’s not necessary to be constantly and endlessly mindful of these four truths. But they must reside in your mind. You don’t walk around persistently remembering your own name, but when someone asks your name, you remember it instantly. There is no doubt. Anyone who accepts these four seals, even independently of Buddha’s teachings, even never having heard the name Shakyamuni Buddha, can be considered to be on the same path as he. THE BEAUTIFUL LOGIC OF THE FOUR SEALS Consider the example of generosity. When we begin to realize the first seal—impermanence—we see everything as transi- tory and without value, as if it belonged in a Salvation Army donation bag. We don’t necessarily have to give it all away, but we have no clinging to it. When we see that our posses- sions are all impermanent compounded phenomena, that we cannot cling to them forever, generosity is already practically accomplished. PHOTOBYDANZUMWINKLE