The Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley in collaboration with the Interfaith Network will conduct one Meditation Session on Saturday, 29 August 2020 online using Zoom, at 10:00 am. All are welcome.
What is the Buddhist view of hope?
Question: What is the Buddhist view of hope? Is it just another delusion that pulls us out of the present moment and causes suffering, or can it also motivate us to work in a way that creates a better future?
Answer: The Buddha’s teaching is fundamentally hopeful. It affirms that there is a reliable way to release ourselves from suffering, to protect other beings, mitigate harm, and build a better world.
I suffered from chronic illness for a few years in my thirties. For the first few months, with each new doctor, my mind soared with hopeful expectation for promising treatments, then crashed in fearful despair when it failed to deliver. Those years taught me a lot about the difference between hope based on craving and the steady energy of wise aspiration.
This practical hope is the foundation of the path.
What we might call “ordinary hope” directs our longing for happiness in an unskillful way. It places our well-being on an uncertain, imagined future beyond our control, thereby feeding craving and fixation. When the wished-for outcome isn’t realized, we are crushed.
Dhamma practice channels our longing for happiness, harmony, and equity in a skillful way. This begins with saddha, most frequently translated as “faith” or “conviction.” Saddha refers to one’s aspiration and confidence in the path. It is the intuitive sense that there is something worthwhile about being alive, that inner freedom is available for each of us.
To avoid being co-opted by craving, aspiration is supported by refuge and guided by wisdom. Refuge connects us with a tangible sense of emotional, psychological, and spiritual safety here and now. Refuge protects the heart, helping us to engage with the world from a place of love and acceptance rather than fear, anger, or reactivity. Those years of illness demanded I learn to touch this place of refuge amidst pain and uncertainty.
From there, it takes wisdom to meet life and respond to challenges without betting on fantasy, burning out, or sinking in despair. The wisdom of equanimity understands that we choose neither the circumstances of our life, nor the results of our actions. Both are beyond our control. What we can choose is how we relate, and how we respond.
Right View understands that actions have results. What we say and do right now, how we respond with our mind and body, matters. We can affect change—both internally and externally.
All of these factors work together to form what we might call realistic or practical hope. It’s a stable outlook that starts from where we are, acknowledges the reality of what’s happening, and assesses our own internal resources to respond.
This practical hope is the foundation of the path. When our actions are guided by wisdom and compassion, we can grow in resilience and in our capacity to serve. And we can steer toward inner freedom, clarity, and well-being. (Jay Soder answering)
Buddhist Meditation in Shepparton
The Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley – in collaboration with the Shepparton Interfaith Network will conduct one Meditation Session on Saturday, 29 August 2020, online using Zoom, at 10:00 am. The Buddhist Association of the Goulburn Valley and the Shepparton Interfaith Network would like to invite you to attend this meditation session conducted in English by Phra Satit Thitaadhammo from Dhammakaya Meditation Centre, Albury.
Program: Meditation by Phra Satit Thitaadhammo
Date: Saturday, 29 August 2020
Location: Online with Zoom
Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/5101021247 (Meeting ID: 510 102 1247).
More Information: Sam Atukorala, 5831 2395