Yesterday afternoon I had a moment between meetings - my mind drifted back to working on my profile for Prison Dharma Network. Specifically, I thought about the books that I had put in my profile. A funny quote swished pasted my minds eye:
"Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it. "
I wonder if the Buddhas have such thoughts about me? Next topic for positing.
Ok, so I was thinking about books, what subjects I might want to buy. But, them a flash of reality came back to me. Buying books when there are unpaid bills is not very wise. Ok, I will bite, no book buying this week. Perhaps, I can find a book of interest that has a few chapters available for me to read online. Will this appease that consumer voice inside of me? It will have too! So, to the point - I did a quick search and came across a web site that has some 400 plus books on topics from Aquinas to Vjara and then some. All the books are there in PDF format and can be downloaded. My mind froze with a blistering thought that froze my fingers on the keyboard. "Is using materials about the Dharma that I did not purchase loaded with the potential of negative karma? I mean it seems straight forward to me looking into the fish bowl of my world. Will reading these books in the long run not be a step forward? Is it possible that an encounter with Dharma teachings from improper sources be negative? Is there such a thing as improper sources for true Dharma teachings and instruction? No, I do not have an answer to these question. Well, not answer that couched in teachings. So, in the time being - I searched the site and looked for items that are in the public domain or out of print and available free from the publishers.
Next to final thought -Prince Gautama who had become Buddha saw one of his followers meditating under a tree at the edge of the Ganges river. Upon inquiring why he was meditating, his follower stated he was attempting to become so enlightened he could cross the river unaided. Buddha gave him a few pennies and said: "Why don't you seek passage with that boatman. It is much easier."
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
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