The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
|Articles by alphabetic order|
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Generally the term Arhat means the Higher Self or the Buddha Nature (which is called Atma or “the Soul” in some traditions) -has finally freed itself from the suffering of Samsara or the Cycle of Birth, Death & Rebirth.
The Practitioner may then reach a Realization that these aspects of one’s identity are not really a part of the Higher Self, the Soul or the Atma, or one’s Buddha Nature - then the Practitioner - through the observation of these constantly changing Phenomena -begins to grasp a new Reality.
It is easy to understand one’s innerconfusion - because through listening to the constant messages of our physical bodies & the excessively loud voice of our personalities - we tend to Identify“ourselves” with our physical bodies and with our Lower Nature.
Habitual emotional responses arising from within the personality, such as unregulated Perceptions & Reactions – can be Purified & eventually become Tranquil. The result is Inner Calmness & Stillness - and a Sense of Deep Inner Peace.
Within this State of Calmness & Stillness, the Practitioner may realize that they hold a strong Attachment to their most prized worldly possessions, to their dearly Beloved Ones or to their Families or they may realize that they are excessively Attached to a certain Job or to a certain Position in life. This freshly defined understanding causes an internal assessment to occur.
Fundamental causes of our Internal Suffering can then be revealed – as we understand that through one's Experience - if something is lost or someone unexpectedly leaves our lives – this Experience causes the Practitioner to grasp a core concept in life -- that truly “Everything is Subject to Change! Nothing lasts Forever!”
When a Practitioner is able to SEE - that all of these extremely “important” issues - are Transient, that they are Temporary & that caring for our “things & issues” is filling up the majority of their free time – then they also realize how many useless pastimes are clouding the Mind & Consciousness. It is through the bright light of this discovery - that Internal Transformation begins to take place.
When Practitioners can accept the progression of Constant Change – with Internal Detachment – they may reach a State of Freedom from the Stress, or the discomfort of constantly Striving, of endless working for useless things – which lead one to have a sense of never being filled-up - even by all of their many amazing accomplishments.
Practitioners should strive to Practice Diligently to perfect Positive Moral Qualities within their personality. When developed, such traits contribute to a Loving Sense of Deep Oneness - with every Person and every Being. Regular Practice of Oneness - eventually lead to Lovingly experiencing Oneness with God & Oneness with All.
Rapid Spiritual Development is also accelerated - when a Practitioner attains higher degrees of Compassion through striving to become a source of Inspiration & Guidance to others. This may take place naturally through one’s personal contributions to others, through Selfless Acts of Service, through their Active Practice of Loving Kindness – brought about by a keen dedicated desire to serve both Humankind and Mother Earth.