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What Is the “Right View”?

The Right View is the first part of the Buddhist eight-part practice called the Noble Eightfold Path, which will lead you to Nirvana, or the Pure Land. The first of the eight paths is called the “Right View,” and it is very easily misunderstood. Does it mean to see things in the “Right” way? What is the “Right” way, and what is the “Wrong” way? Depending on the side you’re standing on, your point of view can change.

Someone said to me, “Seeing things in a positive way is the right way.” Really? So seeing things in a negative way is the wrong way? Symbolically, the presidential election in the United States gives the world a good example of this. The United States has separated into blue and red sides, with each side believing their information is right and the other side is fake news. Even here in Canada, people are so excited about it, taking one side or the other, and emotionally blaming the other side for their “wrong” view. There is no communication between these people, no effort to listen to the other side. They are very stubborn about what they see and believe in their narrow views and minds. Focusing only on what they are attached to, they protect their narrow points of view and, actually, they become aggressive in forcing their opinion on others. I’m not saying which side is politically right or wrong, I just feel the stiffness in their minds, bodies, and energy. Personally, I think there is some truth and fault on both sides, but as soon as I take just one point of view and become attached to it, I become stiff. There are infinite possibilities. In each moment and anywhere. This realization makes me relax. This is not only a Buddhist teaching; my Aikido teacher said the same thing. “Relax,” he says as he taps on my shoulder. He says, “Relax, your shoulders are stiff, make it soft but firm, and be in the centre.” My Yoga teacher also says that “Yoga students are usually looking for a flexible body that will make them look good while in the postures, but it’s not about that. Yoga is meant to help you find and feel your difficulties through the stiffness of your body; that stiffness points to obstacles in your subconscious — feel them and overcome them in both body and mind. Then you’ll become more humble.” This is the way to see the infinite possibilities available to you. If you are tense, you can’t feel or see those other possibilities and other points of view. There are so many points of view, even in one person, even in myself: the conscious view and subconscious view are different, the point of view of this moment and that from a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and in the future — these are all different points of views in me. And others have even more different points of view. A person’s point of view can be affected by gender, culture, religion, location, time, and so on. You can take any of those points of view if you are flexible. This is what is meant by Infinite Possibilities. When you feel all those possibilities equally, then you can choose the “Right View.” This is Equality Wisdom — one of the enlightenments — the body sensation of complete freedom. Right View will be a result of your practice; it’s not like, “I’m seeing things in the right way.” It comes after a person sees all points of view equally and then happens to see rightly. At that point, you might be aware that there is no absolute Right View. This is because it always changes, and the possibilities are infinite: one moment’s Right View might not be right in the next moment. This realization makes you humble.

There are so many points of view, even in one person, even in myself: the conscious view and subconscious view are different, the point of view of this moment and that from a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and in the future — these are all different points of views in me. And others have even more different points of view. A person’s point of view can be affected by gender, culture, religion, location, time, and so on. You can take any of those points of view if you are flexible. This is what is meant by Infinite Possibilities. When you feel all those possibilities equally, then you can choose the “Right View.” This is Equality Wisdom — one of the enlightenments — the body sensation of complete freedom. Right View will be a result of your practice; it’s not like, “I’m seeing things in the right way.” It comes after a person sees all points of view equally and then happens to see rightly. At that point, you might be aware that there is no absolute Right View. This is because it always changes, and the possibilities are infinite: one moment’s Right View might not be right in the next moment. This realization makes you humble.

However, I sometimes start to get angry for such stupid reasons. I totally lose any Equality Wisdom I’ve gained, and every time after that I realize how stupid I am, and then just as suddenly realize how fortunate I am to be loved by Amida Buddha. Even though I practice, I am still stupid, but because of my stupidity, I am able to realize the love of Amida Buddha and my great fortune of not being alone in a spiritual desert. Practice does not cure my stupidity, but I am grateful to be able to share the Great Love of Amida Buddha with people 100 million times more than a person who thinks or insists that they are “right.” So, let’s be free from attachment to any point of view and share the Great Love!

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