An apology-dharma practice not dharma debate

This is a public apology to friends and blog visitors for a couple of recent posts of mine, “No, you are not enlightened!” and “You’re not enlightened; you’re besparkled!

In these posts I tried to throw some light on some important but often misrepresented aspects of the Buddha’s teaching about what enlightenment is, but in retrospect, I think the posts generated more heat than light, despite my good intentions.

I always try to be mindful about my posts and get a feel for what they do and don’t do. In watching the effects of the post and listening to some very good hearts—as well as people who I felt were absolutely wrong about crucial dharma points—I came to feel that the posts were not skillful and conducive to growth in the path that Buddha points out.

I still strongly feel that in a Buddhist context, the word “enlightenment” should be used the way the historical Buddha used and defined the word. I don’t think it’s skillful or fair to the public to redefine a word in a way the Buddha never used it, (insofar as I understand it.)  Nonetheless, it’s not the goal of this blog to “convince” anybody of what the Buddha actually taught. They can find out for themselves in the Buddha’s own words in the Buddhist canon. And surely we can agree to disagree with loving-kindness in our hearts. I apologize if I lost sight of that in my zeal to speak the truth, as I understand and practice it.

The bottom line is that I’ve decided to remove those two posts, and move on to new ideas and new horizons. This site is not for debating intellectual ideas about Buddism. It’s not about “dharma combat,” as some traditions call it. Metta Refuge is about the practice of wisdom and loving-kindness.  It about using what the Buddha discovered to see suffering for what it is, to see the causes of this suffering, to see for ourselves how suffering ends, and to see the bright, straightforward path leading to the Deathless.

My sincere thanks to all who continued to see and love me during this brief, experimental interlude into polemics and satire. LOL!

May all beings be happy and know the causes of happiness and may all beings never be separated from the supreme joy that is beyond all sorrow.

Steve Goodheart

About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

3 Responses to “An apology-dharma practice not dharma debate”

  1. Dear Steve

    I was met with a wide smile – my own smile – upon reading this post 🙂 I’d visited your website this morning with too little time to read about all the ‘debate’ and as I returned to it just now, I was happy to see that the ‘debate’ had been removed.

    It feels so good letting go of Drama, doesn’t it? For at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter, and when it no longer matters, the goodies begin to appear, no?

    Am greatly enjoying your posts on walking meditation; it is a timely reminder as I currently walk everywhere I need to go.

    Times are good. Somehow there are wonderful energies circulating our precious planet. I hope you are amidst them too.

    With love,

    • Snædís! So great to hear your “voice” and feel your supportive love. I think I owe you a “no problemo” for your last message, saying you’d been busy and delayed in answering. That makes two of us!

      Yes, this was a “learning experience,” and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything, even though I’m moving on. But no moving on before looking into what there is my sense of “me” and “mine* that is so vested in “views,” even right views. That’s the sense in which the Buddha talked about dropping *all* views, our attachment and self-identification with them, even “right” ones.

      Glad you are enjoying the posts. I’ve really been getting into my walking meditation recently. It’s so interesting to use one’s steps, instead of one’s breath, as the “object” of concentration when working on awakening and insight.

      Glad things are good for you. Doing better here, after an extended bout with something or other coldish/flu-ish.

      Thanks, as always, for stopping by.
      With much affection,


      • Good to again connect with you too Steve.

        Truth be told I haven’t really been busy but rather have I been enjoying the peace of heart that comes with “dropping all views, our attachment and self-identification with them, even the “right” ones”

        The Masters are right; it is a worthwhile thing to practice.

        What amazes me most in that process is how it releases ‘resistance’, and how, when resistance is released, things begin to simply ‘flow’.

        It has clearly revealed to me how our thoughts and identifications really are the only obstacles in our ways…

        It is such a simple thing, but I guess I was not ready to begin my release up until now.

        Glad you are feeling better Steven.

        Take good care and continue your beautiful walk into your awakening.


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