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Creative AssignmentPDFGOOD1 copy - THE WANDERING CRYSTAL...

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THE WANDERING CRYSTAL Quila Toews Student Number: 997556201 Professor Ben Wood RLG206 Y1 Wednesday, March 16, 2011
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Thus I remember. At one time, I was living in a region in V ā r ā as ī , India which is situated near the great Deer Park 1 . It is difficult to avoid tourists when you live around such a historical landmark. It is in extremely close vicinity of where the great Buddha gave his first sermon and it is common that practitioners from all over Asia and occasionally the West will come for a visit (Strong, “The Life Story of the Buddha and Its Ramifications” 4). More often than not, they are searching for enlightenment of some sort and see this city of temples as a proper place to begin or end this journey. The educated laypersons are aware that reaching liberation requires a close following of the Buddha’s teachings 2 . However, the Westerners whom arrive merely for the opportunity to boast to their fellow intellects about visiting such a historical memoir will take anything as a prediction that they are something of a hidden Buddha. I do not take advantage of this like most divination practitioners, but instead I use proper methods of crystal gazing to determine the future of my clients, whether it be fortune or misery. It was one afternoon when two males presented themselves and were looking for answers as to what would lie ahead. When men walked in to my small converted living room, I could tell that they had visited for a joke. However, I was not about to stop taking things seriously. “Hello there ma’am. My name is Ralph Suddhodana, and I am here to get my fortune told!” It was almost as if his southern drawl clung to his breath, nearly as thick as that of his accompanying companion. 2 1 Each sutta, begins with “Thus have I heard: Once the Blessed One was living/staying/dwelling at. ..”, or a similar form of such a sentence. An example of this is in the Satipatthana Sutta: The Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana Sutta). As the fortune teller represents both a characterization of the Buddha’s teachings, and is a bodhisattva herself, the beginning of this story starts off like a sutta. It also foreshadows the idea that lessons are to be learned throughout the story, much like a sutta explains Buddhist practice. 2 The concept of liberation refers to the result of following of the Four Noble Truths, and an in-depth practice of the Noble Eightfold Path (Skilton, 33). Nirv ā a (liberation, enlightenment) is the ultimate goal in Buddhist practice, and only can occur when one has eradicated the ten fetters. The ten fetters are a belief in separate selfhood, skeptical doubt, attachment to rules and rituals for their own sake, sexual desire, ill will, desire for existence in the world of form, desire for existence in the formless world, conceit, restlessness and ignorance (Skilton, 37). Ultimately, one who becomes liberated is no longer reborn into the cycle of samsara, and is consequently deemed an arhat (Skilton, 37). The difference between an arhat and an unenlightened being is
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course RLG 206Y1 taught by Professor Professorb.wood during the Fall '10 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.

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Creative AssignmentPDFGOOD1 copy - THE WANDERING CRYSTAL...

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