Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also

during the last few days, i've been thinking about the second of the four noble truths in buddhist teaching. this "truth" is sometimes stated as "attachment is the cause of suffering" or as "craving and ignorance are the causes of suffering." in that regard, i've also been thinking of what Jesus taught along those same lines. much of Jesus' teaching deals with the concept of valuing the wrongs things in life.

this line of thought struck me as i read the account in the tenth chapter of matthew of Jesus sending His disciples out to teach in the villages of galilee. He instructed them to take no money, to take no extra clothing, and to depend on the generosity of others. Wasn't Jesus suggesting to His disciples that their ministry of teaching and healing among the people was to be free of the worry of how they would support themselves as they went from village to village?

as i thought about this, i recalled other instances where Jesus taught that His followers should be free of attachment to the impermanent physical world. He said that we should not put our trust in the riches of the world, but that we should "lay up treasure in heaven." He taught that we should not worry about how to secure the necessities of life, buth rather to "consider the lilies of the field" whose beautiful appearance could not be matched even by "solomon in all his glory." He taught that His followers should become as little children who live simply and joyfully from moment to moment without thought of the acquisition of possessions or status.

as i examine my own life, i find that i live much more simply than i once did, but i am still attached to so many of the transitory objects that are not necessary for true happiness. my prayer for myself and others this day is that we learn to value what is truly important and that we recognize the difference between what is permament and what is impermanent.

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