Spotlight on Our Sangha: Greg

May 23, 2019

For me, Dharma has been an answer to a 40-year-long question: “Why am I here? What is the meaning of life?” The answers came in the first class I ever attended. That was in Hollywood in 2011. The class was about Buddha nature, and the teacher explained how we each have the potential within our own minds to transcend the ordinary. I felt empowered from that moment to shift from a victim of circumstance to feeling like I could direct my life.

Soon after I discovered the book, Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life and I studied it at the Hollywood center. I love the definition Shantideva gives of a hero. It’s not someone who picks up a gun and shoots someone — which is the paradigm I’d grown up with. He says a hero is someone who goes within their own mind and learns how to destroy their inner enemies of anger, attachment, and ignorance.

This was deeply validating for me. I was around a lot of women as a child who society didn’t necessarily view as heroes. Like my grandmother, for example. She was a little old farm lady like hundreds of thousands of others. To me, though, she was huge. So giving, so caring — towards people and animals. Very humble and very selfless. She was the real kind of hero.

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