Precious moments and the Triple Gem

precious moments

These precious moments are few and rare.

One might even say that each one is a jewel, as the Buddha did when teaching the value of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. Referred to as the Three Jewels, or Triple Gem, these are the three refuges that we Buddhists turn to for guidance and encouragement. And while I do agree that these are precious and rare, just like a physical jewel, I also see that clinging to them or desiring them has the same ultimate result. Desire and clinging can and will only result in dissatisfaction and suffering.
With this in mind, one can easily wonder if we should abandon the Three Jewels. But I think that is a rush to judgement, and lacking skillfulness and wisdom. “Slowly is holy”, as Bhante Sujatha often says. Jumping to conclusions or being reactionary is typically not our best course of action in any situation.

While each of us likely does have an innate Buddha nature, and even perhaps a DNA imprint in our genetics, to be kind and altruistic. There also needs to be training, encouragement and dedication if any of us are to reach a higher level of existence. One which is more compassionate, equanimous, loving and kind. And this is where the guidance and support of the Triple Gem come into play and offer a tremendous gift. A path to purification, liberation, and understanding (wisdom). At the same time, we also need to be mindful of how we approach this; and understand that like a raft that is used to cross a stream, once crossed we should let it go for others to use and benefit from.

Dogmas are never conducive to inclusivity, and there are many things in the dhamma that one could misconstrue as worthy of possession. But just like everything else, this is not mine. This body, this life, and everything in it is not mine. And the only thing that any of us truly have are these precious moments. But with complete awareness of their impermanence as well.
This is why it is only through acceptance and clarity sans clinging, grasping and aversion, that any of us will find peace. That which is available right now, not a minute ago and not in the next minute. See it, enjoy it, and let it go. These precious moments are truly so few and rare.

May you be well, happy and peaceful.

  • jekail

    This is one of your best articles yet and I hope everyone in our Sangha reads it.  You bring up the big conundrum – Our goal is no suffering or less suffering but we use desire to try to reach it.  But Buddha lets us know that desiring CAUSES suffering!  What to do?  I agree with you that this suffering cannot be avoided and can be looked at as a needed raft or tool to help us reach our goal.  
    Nature gave us a system.   Whenever we have a goal (a positive state) we must have a negative state to go with it.  In this case, the negative state is not being without suffering.  This clearly is what the concept of yin and yang is all about.  This is our natural system of retreating from the negative or threatening and approaching the positive or beneficial.  All creatures have it.  Any obstacle, even time, causes bad feelings.  What we should think about is the goal.  It appears to me that when we reach the other side of the river, no longer need the raft, that we are free of suffering, always happy, always content.  To me these sound like  permanent states and we know that in our world, everything is impermanent.  So this goal sounds like a state beyond the natural and it becomes supernatural.  Maybe our goal should be modified.

    • WHPDave

      jekail So glad you liked it Jim, and thank you so much for your comment. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving my friend!