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RATHER NOT DO THE COURSE
BUT STILL INTERESTED IN THE DHARMA?



the Wanderling


The AWAKENING 101 course itself is fairly organized, but if you are inclined to access pages outside the course, of which one can easily do, especially if you are interested in only certain areas or aspects of Buddhism, Zen, or the Enlightenment experience, Sarlo, in his published critique on all my net-based offerings writes:

"It's organic and sprawling, but intricately interlinked, linking also to outside sites. One of the most fascinating aspects of this interconnectedness is that his collection is not very systematic in the usual sense. Forget site map, there is nothing for it when visiting but to wander from one page to another without much sense of where you're going, and usually without completing the page you're on, which you may return to only after a long garden path. In reading, you become a wanderer."


Which inturn, I like to relate it all to THE NET OF INDRA:


COPYRIGHT GAIL ATKINS

The metaphor of Indra's Jeweled Net is attributed to an ancient Buddhist named Tu-Shun (557-640 B.C.E.) who asks us to envision a vast net that:

  • at each juncture there lies a jewel;
  • each jewel reflects all the other jewels in this cosmic matrix.
  • Every jewel represents an individual life form, atom, cell or unit of consciousness.
  • Each jewel, in turn, is intrinsically and intimately connected to all the others;
  • thus, a change in one gem is reflected in all the others.

This last aspect of the jeweled net is explored in a question/answer dialog of teacher and student in the Avatamsaka Sutra. In answer to the question: "how can all these jewels be considered one jewel?" it is replied: "If you don't believe that one jewel...is all the jewels...just put a dot on the jewel [in question]. When one jewel is dotted, there are dots on all the jewels...Since there are dots on all the jewels...We know that all the jewels are one jewel" ...".

The moral of Indra's net is that you cannot damage one strand of the web that is the universe without damaging the others or setting off a cascade effect of destruction. By the same token the compassionate and the constructive interventions a person makes or does can also produce a ripple effect of beneficial action.

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