Thursday, May 6, 2010


Samsara literally means "wandering-on." 
Many people think of it as the Buddhist name 
for the place where we currently live. 
But in the early Buddhist texts,
 it's the answer,
 not to the question,
 "Where are we?"
 but to the question,
 "What are we doing?"
 Instead of a place,
 it's a process:
 the tendency to keep creating worlds
 and then moving into them.
 As one world falls apart,
 you create another one and go there. 
At the same time, you bump into other people
 who are creating their own worlds, too.

The process can sometimes be enjoyable.
 In fact, it would be perfectly innocuous
 if it didn't entail so much suffering. 
The worlds we create keep caving in and killing us.
 Moving into a new world requires effort:
 not only the pains and risks of taking birth, 
but also the hard knocks -
 mental and physical -
 that come from going through 
childhood into adulthood, 
over and over again.
- Geoffrey DeGraff