In conclusion

1 April 2533

In conclusion

Today I have spoken about the general principles of Buddhist practice, beginning by comparing the Buddha to a doctor, one who both administers medicine and also who operates. “To operate” means to “remove the dart.” In the past, one of the most important operations was performed during times of battle, when people were often shot by arrows, sometimes dipped in poison. The victims would experience great agony and even death as a result of their wounds.

The Buddha used the arrow as a simile for sorrow and all human suffering. The Buddha, as a “surgeon,” cut out the arrowhead. We also must accept the responsibility of removing our own respective “arrows,” by practicing the Dhamma. If we practice the Dhamma correctly we will realize the real benefit of the Buddha’s “medicine.”

The Buddha has bequeathed us this well-expounded teaching. It remains up to us to make the most of his kindness, by taking up that teaching and practicing accordingly. In this way we can cure the disease of the five khandhas, remove the arrow, and experience peace, clarity and purity, which is the goal of Buddhism.

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