There Is No Suffering 57

One can use this understanding of no birth and no death in different ways. If someone close dies, you can say “There is no ultimate death or destruction, therefore, I accept this person’s death. This person’s memory lives in the hearts and minds of others still living. Famous or not, the person’s interactions with people leave an impact that lives on.” This is one perspective that is realistic and without attachment.

We can also think about birth and death as transformation-one phenomenon changing into another. ln the process nothing has been destroyed, nothing has increased or decreased. When water turns to ice, we should not regret that the water has disappeared; maybe the ice will serve us better Looking at the world and relationships in is this way is also a method of practice.

Purity and Defilement

The second dualism-"neither pure nor impure"-refers both to phenomena, and to judgments people make about phenomena. For example, you may choose not to brush your teeth, not to wash, not to change clothes, in which case you may look dirty and smell bad to others. On the other hand, you may clean up, shower, brush your teeth, and change your clothes. Then you will look clean to others. Either way, you are the same person. Some people appear clean most of the time and dirty some of the time; others look dirty most of the time and clean only some of the time. Furthermore, the criteria for cleanliness are not absolute. You may think you are clean while others judge you to be unclean. You may think you are unkempt, but another might find you attractive.