My husband did a series of on-stage ‘conversations’ in the States a while ago and a friend of ours sent him these words in an email as a response. Nick asked me to put it up on the Stuff Page as he liked them very much. I like them too. Thank you, Palma.
Much love, Susie and Nick
“The 6 realms are Heaven or God (unending pleasure), Jealous God (paranoia), Human, Animal (ignorance), Hungry Ghosts (craving and addiction), and Hell (unrelenting suffering). When I teach this I ask my students which realm seems the best and they always say the Heaven realm because it is filled with pleasure and ease, free of all suffering. But the teachings tell us that the Heaven realm is just a temporary reprieve with the pitfall of complacency and no urgency to practice, an insulated state of ignorance of the transitory nature of reality. Of all the realms, the most auspicious is Human, of course, because it is where we have the opportunity to practice compassion & equanimity and can most prepare us for understanding cause and effect. The human realm is the only one where suffering and joy are found in equal measure, both always available from moment to moment depending upon how we work with our mind, how we work with our relationship to the 3 root poisons.
I have been thinking about the wheel all day after something you said Thursday night about the incredible urgency to work toward connection and community because our days are short. The most beautiful part of the Wheel is that it sits in the jaws of Yama, the Lord of Death, a terrifying demon with a crown of skulls. But Yama is not evil. He is fierce and reminds us of impermanence and the urgency to practice when you can. And no matter what realm you're moving through two truths always remain, it will change and the moment to moment ability to wake up (becoming a Buddha and to step off the wheel of samsara) is always possible.”