In depth study of Parable of the Magic City one of the 7 major parables in the Lotus Sutra. The parable is about the spiritual journey to attain enlightenment overcoming numerous obstacles along the path. Finding temporary relief along the way in order to continue the journey.
I wonder what you could accomplish in your life if you made a commitment from today for 500 days to practice on a regular consistent basis towards the achievement of some change in your life? Would you be able to travel the entire 500 days without giving up or abandoning or forgetting your goal and effort?
We bow to the Buddha by placing our forehead on the ground at his feet. We place our hands on the floor beside our head with the palms facing upward. We then raise our hands beside our ears as if we were picking the Buddha up by his feet and elevating him above ourselves. We do this supplication not as beggars entreating some deity to bestow gifts or rewards. Instead we do this to show our great appreciation to the teacher who leads us to enlightenment. We are humble and appreciative in front of our great teacher.
Becoming enlightened is not about winning some competition against something or someone. It is about overcoming your own suffering and leading by example. Becoming enlightened is about becoming victorious over illusion, victorious over suffering, victorious over self-doubt, and becoming victorious in life.
One of my favorite expressions is “nothing remains unchanged forever.” Every situation, every person, every everything is constantly in flux, is constantly changing. Our own lives are ever moving towards eventual death and decay. Along that journey we may be joyful or we may be in agony. It is our Buddhist practice that can assist in being able to experience the joy amidst the uncertainty, loss, and change.
Managing and controlling change, or even preventing change can be found at the root of most if not all religious practices and teachings; Buddhism is in that regard no different. We just approach it from a different direction. Rather than controlling change we try to open ourselves up to the reality that change happens to every thing and not grasp for an unchanging reality.