What the Buddha Realized 2013-10-27 (at Boston Vihara)

If I have a sense of the goal, then everything else that I do – Sīla, Samādhi, and Pañña – should fit in.  If I don’t have a sense of what I think the Buddha might have realized, and I do practices that don’t have that aim in mind, and aren’t informed by that aim, I can do things which are pleasing, but they can be hit and miss, and they aren’t understood fully, and then my practice can be very “hit and miss”: sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t work.  So when people say to me “I don’t want to get enlightened, I just want to get a bit happier”, I don’t think that’s a good idea.  I do think it’s a good idea to be happier.  But to not try to pick up at least what the Buddha might have realized, to not have a sense of that, then I think one can’t understand why he taught what he taught.  And he taught what he taught, because of his enlightenment, right?  He didn’t teach an abstract philosophical theory.