A Subtle Smile

-By Bhikshu Heng K'ung

At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, we are establishing a World System; not a place where one can acquire knowledge and awareness that make one different from the average person, but rather a place where one can acquire the peace that comes from the realization that one is, after all, the same as everyone else.

A way of life based on an ancient code of ethics is the pulse of our World System and the foundation of knowledge. Skills and learning are but vehicles to establish social betterment and to awaken those who are asleep to their original completeness. Along with learning and skills we are taught that education for self-benefit is of little value and that the worth of one's knowledge is the value it will have for others in turn; that the potency of knowledge is not transformation of one's self, but the potentiality of that know­ledge to transform those who seek it.

Rarely does the acquisition of knowledge motivated by self-benefit carry with it a feeling of completeness, but more frequently a desire to gain still more knowledge. This is a cause of frustration and the reason why most people look towards outer circumstances and situations for completeness rather than look within.

The motivating principle that causes one to study is of as equal a value as the knowledge that one may gain from such study. This is why an atmosphere of learning that nourishes a proper attitude toward life is so essential if our knowledge is to be of benefit to our society. Is it not more gratifying to put a smile on the face of another than on one's own?

At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas we are learning to smile. We are learning to have the deep rich smile of a Buddha. Those wishing to have such a smile should come and investigate Buddhism.