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Title: Heartscape: journey through a life 
Author: Dutcher, Tiare
Date: 2003-12
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Having studied as a Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist for many years, my understanding of these teachings is that the only place a person can become enlightened is in the human realm. There are realms other than the human one, such as the hell realm where one suffers from heat and cold, the hungry ghost realm where one suffers from hunger and thirst, and the animal realm where one suffers from ignorance and stupidity which leads to blind instinctive behavior, but there are no dharma teachings in those places. The dictionary defines dharma as "the principle or law that governs the universe in Hinduism and Buddhism." It is only in the human realm that the dharma is taught by enlightened teachers. Only humans have the inner ability and capacity for this understanding. These dharma teachings form the core of my belief that everything we do is important, even though it might simply be some ordinary, mundane action. With this conviction of the truth of the dharma, each sentient being is a soul with countless lifetimes, sometimes as a human, sometimes as an insect, animal or other being. Each lifetime in which a soul incarnates is like a suit of clothes that the soul puts on. When the suit wears out, it is discarded, and a new one is made. During these lifetimes, certain souls have karmic connections with other similar souls. Karma is defined as "the effect of a person's actions during the successive phases of a person's existences, regarded as determining the person's destiny." Lama Rinchen, one of my teachers of spirituality, says, "When you see someone on the street, or at the mall, and your eyes meet, you are connected to that person in some way." These souls with karmic connections tend to travel together, and after many lifetimes, special bonds are formed. I have been lucky to find one soul mate, and to have spent the greater part of my life with him. The bond between us has helped to define my life. Though we are two separate people, our hearts beat in syncopation with each other, like a vast landscape that seems to go on forever, or that which becomes as minute as the striations on a blade of grass.
Description: vi, 31 leaves
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/6922
Rights: All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.

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