Wednesday, November 30, 2011
The Tigers and the Strawberries
Last year Dr. John Yanovitch of the Molloy College Department of Philosophy agreed to let me videotape him giving one of his inspiring dharma talks. If you're not into Buddhism, a dharma talk is a bit like a Buddhist homily, imparting wisdom about the right way to live and practice. John has been giving talks like this for as long as I can remember, and those who have experienced them always leave incredibly inspired.
The talk that he chose to give this time was on the famous zen parable of the tigers and the strawberries. This was an excellent choice on his part because this parable gets to the essence of what Buddhist practice is all about. You see, unlike certain theistic forms of religion, the goal of Buddhism is not to flee from this world and all its difficulties and uncertainties, but to remain firmly rooted within it. There can be no life-denying sensibilities at work in Buddhism because the NOW--the very moment we are in at any given time--is all we have, and we ever will have.
So settle in and enjoy John's dharma talk. You won't find any fancy special effects or guest appearances from the cast of Jersey Shore. But if you open up your mind and put aside your critical judgments for just a short while, you may actually learn something quite valuable about how to live your precious human life.