Saturday, October 21, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Mind

We are so at the mercy of our minds that even when we find that the spiritual teachings strike a chord inside us, and move us more than anything we have ever experienced, still we hold back, because of some deep-seated and inexplicable suspicion.
           Somewhere along the line, though, we have to stop mistrusting. We have to let go of the suspicion and doubt, which are supposed to protect us but never work, and only end up hurting us even more than what they are supposed to defend us from. - Sogyal Rinpoche

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spiritual

For once, relax a little and simply become an audience to your mind’s play. Just look with a little detachment. Observe for a bit, but don’t spend too long in that cinema. Then at some point, you may come to recognise that you have watched the show many times before, and so there is no longer a need to spend any more time and money there. You will forget about it entirely. And quite unexpectedly, you may find yourself walking along a path of unchanging joy, light and wisdom. - Unknown

To no longer resist the present is to see that there is nothing but the present – no beginning, no end, nothing behind it, nothing in front of it. When the past of memory and the future of anticipation are both seen to be present facts, then the slats to this present collapse. The boundaries around this moment fall into this moment, and then there is nothing but this moment, with nowhere else to go. - Ken Wilber

When stressed or going through a difficult time, it is essential that you take the time to relax in order to replenish your mind, body, and spirit. Nurture your well-being by creating an oasis of calm in your life. Getting calm allows you to get a fresh perspective and helps you cope better physically and emotionally with your troubles. Being able to control at least one aspect of your life, in this case, time to yourself, helps you to get a grip on the rest of it. - Unknown

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Teachers

Some realize the Self within them through the practice of meditation, some by the path of wisdom, and others by selfless service. Others may not know these paths; but hearing and following the instructions of an illumined teacher, they too go beyond death. - Bhagavad-Gita

Teachers are those who point out the direction of the Path. After listening to the teacher, whether or not we walk the Path by practicing ourselves, is strictly up to each one of us. - Unknown

You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important. The heart is the only book worth reading. - Ajahn Chah

A teacher is never the giver of truth. He is a guide, a pointer to the turuth that each student must learn himself. - Bruce Lee

Monday, October 16, 2017

Taoism

"Literally, Wu Wei 無爲 means 'without doing, causing, or making.' But practically speaking, it means without meddlesome, combative, or egotistical effort... 

When we learn to work with our own Inner Nature, and with the natural laws operating around us, we reach the level of wu wei. Then we work with the natural order of things and operate on the principle of minimal effort... 

When you work with wu wei, you put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole. No stress, no struggle. Egotistical desire tries to force the round peg into the square hole and the square peg into the round hole. 

Cleverness tries to devise craftier and craftier ways of making pegs fit where they don't belong. Knowledge tries to figure out why round pegs fit round holes, but not square holes. 

Wu wei doesn't try. It doesn't think about it. It just does it. And when it does, it doesn't appear to do much of anything. But things get done.

Or, in the words of Chuang-tzu, the mind of wu wei "flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo."

- Benjamin Hoff

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Third Sublime State - Sympathetic Joy

Sympathetic Joy ( Mudita )

Small, indeed, is the share of happiness and joy allotted to beings! Whenever that little of happiness comes to beings, then you may rejoice with them that, at least, one ray of joy has pierced through he darkness of their life, and dispelled the gray and gloomy mist that enwraps their heart.

Your life will gain in joy by sharing the happiness of others as if it were yours. Did you never observe how in moments of happiness men’s features change and become bright with joy? Did you never notice how joy rouses men to noble aspirations and deeds, exceeding their normal capacity? Did not such experience fill your own heart with joyful bliss? It is in your power to increase such experience of Sympathetic Joy, by producing happiness in others, by bringing them joy and solace.

Life, though being full of woe holds also sources of happiness and joy, unknown to most. Let us teach men to seek and to find real joy within themselves and to rejoice with the joy of others! Let us teach them to unfold their joy to ever more sublime heights!

Noble and sublime joy is not foreign to the Teaching of the Enlightened One. The Dharma leads from step to step to an ever purer and loftier happiness.

Noble and sublime joy is a helper on the Path to the Extinction of Suffering. Not he who is depressed by grief, but one possessed of joy may find that serene calmness leading to a contemplative state of mind. And only a mind serene and collected is able to gain the liberating Wisdom.

The more sublime and nobler the joy of others is, the more justified will be our own Sympathetic Joy. A cause for our joy with others is their noble life securing them happiness here and in lives hereafter. A still nobler cause for our Joy with others is their faith in the Dharma, their understanding of the Dharma, their following the Dharma. Let us give them the help of the Dharma! Let us strive to become more and more able ourselves of rendering w\such help!

Sympathetic Joy, meaning a sublime nobility of intellect which knows, understands, and is ready to help!

Sympathetic Joy that is strength and gives strength: this is the highest joy.

And what is the highest manifestation of Sympathetic Joy?

To show to the world the Path leading to the End of Suffering, the Path pointed out, trodden, and realized to perfection by Him, the Exalted One, the Buddha.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Food for Thought

          Practice until you see yourself in the cruellest person on Earth, in the child starving, in the political prisoner. Continue until you recognize yourself in everyone in the supermarket, on the street corner, in a concentration camp, on a leaf, in a dewdrop. Meditate until you see yourself in a speck of dust in a distant galaxy. See and listen with the whole of your being.
            If you are fully present, the rain of Dharma will water the deepest seeds in your consciousness, and tomorrow, while you are washing the dishes or looking at the blue sky, that seed will spring forth, and love and understanding will appear as a beautiful flower. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Scope of Evolvement

The forces of nature continue to function regardless of what man may do. The seasons of the year, the rotation of the earth, and the various changes that take place in our immediate surroundings became the function of what we call natural laws. The effect of these forces is inevitable. Therefore, we are placed in the position of working with these forces or being swept along by them.

As man accumulated knowledge and experience, man began to grow in his understanding of certain natural laws and forces that were previously unexplainable. The general growth in understanding and use of knowledge can be generally classified as evolvement.

We do not know when man first began to try to understand his environment. We do know the process of evolvement is still taking place. Man is still attempting to explain the manifestation of certain universal laws. There still exists a vast area of the unknown.

Evolvement is an aim of life. Whether we are dealing with the physical world and the physical characteristics of man, or with the transcendental world commonly known as the world of the spirit and the psychic make up of man, evolvement is one word which we can apply toward man’s attempt o gain in the understanding and adjustment to an area previously unknown to him.

Life evolves step by step, taking on characteristics in each step of the process. We face many choices of the evolvement process through which we pass. The choices are many, and the living organism faces such a variety of choices in the process of evolution that it would be difficult to determine in advance how the evolutionary process might proceed.

Life is an evolutionary process, and life will continue to change, be modified and affected by external environment and by the process of life itself.

Evolution continues because it is a manifestation of the life force itself as expressed in matter, on the other hand, psychic evolvement is a volitional process.

The mature individual today begins to reflect upon his place in life and in the universe and tries to determine the meaning of all that he experiences and learns, thereby making his consciousness a more important factor of his existence than his physical body or any physical functions.

In developing physically, we develop the attributes to realize that the physical world, the entire universe and all of its laws and manifestations are, in the final analysis, only vehicles which we temporarily use in order to evolve our physic consciousness and gain awareness of the soul.

Life sprang from the Divine, and when it consciously realizes its divine nature it will return to the Absolute and be a part of it. Man is a godlike entity who can communicate with the Divine and reunite himself with it. Evolvement, then is man’s reaching out to become a part of the Divine about which he is entitled to know more and to experience fully. Since psychic development is a volitional process – a decision that man can make – will man evolve, or will he let the experience of life and the greed to possess the physical world overwhelm him so that the evolutionary process will have to continue until such time as life may express itself in a form capable of realizing its divine nature and divine origin?

Those mystics aware of the reality of the psychic world have reached degrees of peace and understanding expressed in their writings and which they try to pass on to their fellow men. This degree of peace, harmony, and a profound satisfaction in their relationship to divine forces is what man can look at for the moment as his aim of evolvement. It is through our understanding of mysticism that we can work to become truly at one with the Divine.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Compassion

Each of us has only a quantum of compassion ... if we lavish our concern on every stray cat, we never get to the centre of things. - John le Carre

Great compassion is the root of all spiritual paths, and of all Superior beings. - Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Grief for the calamity of another is pity, and arises from the imagination that the like calamity may befall himself; and, therefore, it is called compassion, or in the phrase of the present time a fellow-feeling. - Thomas Hobbbes

If it is not tempered by compassion, and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void. - Karen Armstrong

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. - Dalai Lama

It is only with true love and compassion that we can begin to mend what is broken in the world. It is these two blessed things that can begin to heal all broken hearts. - Steve Maraboli

Let our compassion express itself in efforts to bring the erring back to sacred principles, and if they persist, let us pity them the more for a blindness so fatal to themselves. - S. E. D. Charnage

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. - Dalai Lama XIV

Love and compassion are the mother and father of a smile. We need to create more smiles in our world today. Smiles, after all, pave the way to a happy world. - Steve Maraboli

Pain must enter into its glorified life of memory before it can turn into compassion. - George Eliot

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Peace

  Peaceful is the one who is not concerned about having more or less. Unbound by name and fame he is free from sorrow, from the world, and mostly from himself. - Rumi

The man who is not at peace with himself cannot be at peace with the world. - K. Sri Dhammananda

The practice of peace and reconciliation is one of the most vital and artistic of human actions. - Thich Nhat Hanh

There is no path to peace. Peace is the path. - Unknown

We can never obtain peace in the world if we neglect the inner world and don’t make peace with ourselves. World peace must develop out of inner peace. - Dalai Lama 

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. - Unknown

Your peace is more important than driving yourself crazy trying to understand why something happened the way it did. Let it go. - Unknown

At the heart of happiness lies peace. It is the last and the highest attainment of the soul. - Hugh Black

Monday, October 9, 2017

Realizing a Desire

  This article might not appeal to some of you. If so, just skip it.

There are three steps for soliciting divine or cosmic assistance in realizing a desire.

When seeking a desired result, visualize it precisely.
Consign the want and its specifications to the cosmic “system” – and then dismiss it.
Follow up and collaborate, but without interfering.

It is well to consider carefully just what you want. But that cannot go on forever. The best you can think of today might be improved tomorrow, but today you have to say ‘go’ and dismiss it. Tomorrow you can again say ‘go’ with improved specifications and, remarkably enough, today’s effort will not have been wasted.

If a desire and its specifications are not dismissed into the cosmic system, the most detailed visualization may bring no result. The objective is not to wallow in enjoyment of a mental picture of the desire fulfilled, but to put it into the works for fulfilment.

Several common hang-ups work against this principle. One is the idea that dismissing something desirable means giving up on it, or giving it up. Dismissing a visualization does mean letting go of it – not to give it up, but to send it on its way to fulfilment. When you place a letter in a postal drop box, you have to let go and entrust it to the postal system. If you hang on, it will never go anywhere or accomplish anything. It is much the same with this second step in realizing a desire; you entrust it to the cosmic system.

A second hang up is a popular idea about “holding the thought”, as though the result will come about only by constant will power or thought pressure. Again, in mailing a letter you need not throw it into the mailbox with enough force to carry it right on to its destination; nor do you have to keep pushing on it. You drop it altogether – making sure it drops into the postal system.

Holding and cherishing a thought has its uses and benefits, as in contemplation, or as a deliberate substitute for some other fearful or depressing thought. But in creative visualization such constant attention obstructs fulfilment. In the same way, gnawing constantly at some problem does not often bring the solution. A common experience is for the solution to pop into your mind after you have put the problem aside for a time or slept on it.

It is possible to make an event of such dismissal, even have a ritual for it; but the important thing is to let go and turn to something else that demands conscious attention. One form of dismissal is, “If it be the will of the Cosmic (or of the Masters), it is done!” Since it is done, do not try to do any more with it – not today. Now is the time to stand aside and let it work out. (These same principles are also important in healing.)

This standing aside, getting oneself out of the way, is the first point in collaboration. In the same way, if you summon the fire department or a rescue squad, they ask you to stand aside so they can do what must be done.

Another thing everyone can do in connection with his desire is to make a place for it in his life. Cosmic forces work through ordinary people and things, not through a fairy godmother or a magic wand. In the process of actualizing a desire, if some phase of it must be accomplished by human hands, then somebody’s hands must be inspired to do it.

Typically a desire does not materialize suddenly in a lump sum; rather it comes about by leading or bending circumstances a bit here, there, and elsewhere so that in the end a new circumstance is ready to crystallize. If one is alert to clues and cues, one may be able to help it along and see it coming, and at least one can be in on it when it does come. How tragic if my desire materializes but I did not see it, or did not recognize the opportunity when I saw it!

Such collaboration is expectant, but does not interfere. It is not like, “Very well; I will do it myself.” It is not cancelling or recalling the desire from the cosmic system to which it was entrusted. True, one may be able to do a few things that help to bring it about. But how was one inspired to do those things, and to know how and what to do? The final point in collaborating is to acknowledge the workings of the “higher law” when we call upon it. When unexpected coincidences help out, we salute them gaily and thankfully, not belittling them.

A droll story with a double edge. A hunter who had been lost in the woods was telling another how he prayed to God to show him the way out. Did God answer his prayer? “Well, no,” he said; “before God got around to it, another hunter happened to come along who knew the way, and I just followed him.”

The way you take this story may depend on the extent of your experience in realizing desires with cosmic assistance.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Key to Happiness

To guard the mind from actions of lust, hate and delusion and train it to perform actions freed from lust, hate and delusion is the way to true happiness in the dispensation of the Buddha.

Control of the mind is the key to happiness. It is the king of virtues and the force behind all true achievement. It is owing to lack of control that various conflicts arise in man’s mind. If he is to control them he must learn not to give free rein to his longings and inclinations and should try to live self-governed, pure and calm.

Calmness is not weakness. A calm attitude at all times shows a man of culture. It is not too hard for a man to be calm when things are favourable, but to be composed when things are wrong is hard indeed, and it is this difficult quality that is worth achieving; for by such calm and control he builds up strength of character.

A virtuous and a noble character built on lofty principles is the man’s highest possession that brings him true happiness in a changing world. Everything that we depend on to make us happy, the law of impermanence will lay its cruel hands on and destroy the happiness expected through them.

Metta (loving kindness), restores one to peace, happiness, calm and equanimity. The only way of disarming those who wish us evil is to wish them good. As light dispels darkness, the good forces of good will vanquish the forces of ill-will. This is a psychological truth.

One should never depend on others for one’s happiness. He who expects to secure satisfaction in life from others is worse than the beggar who kneels and cries for his daily bread.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Atheism

The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more. - Richard Dawkins

Friday, October 6, 2017

The Mind

Nothing in the world can bother you as much as your own mind. In fact, others seem to be bothering you, but it is not others, it is your own mind. - Unknown

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. - Aldous Huxley

It is certain that the nature of the mind is empty and without any foundation whatsoever. Your own mind is insubstantial like the empty sky. - Padmsambhava

Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with a pure mind, a person speaks or acts, happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow. - Dhammapada

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Spiritual

Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve... Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigour, patience, will, purity; avoid malice and pride. Then, you will achieve your destiny. - Krishna

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. - William Henry Channing

There is only the appearance of individuality. The appearance is a result of false interpretation. Interpretation is a direct result of a mental state. The mental state is an illusion – there is only beingness which is wholly undivided and in which all appearance arises spontaneously. Therefore, individuality is merely a false motion in time. - Unknown

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Teacher

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. - Swami Vivekananda

Wherever you go you will find your teacher, as long as you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. - Shunryu Suzuki

An awakened teacher can only be your lighthouse, casting light on your path, but you must understand it and walk your own path. - Frank M. Wanderer

Monday, October 2, 2017

Taoism

Life exists only at this very moment… You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now – otherwise you would not be here. Hence the infinite Tao is something which you can neither escape by flight nor catch by pursuit; there is no coming toward it or going away from it; it is, and you are it. So, become what you are. - Alan Watts

When the mortal mind is dead, the mind of Tao can live… When the mind of Tao lives, no thoughts can arise. When no thoughts arise, one returns to Earlier Heaven.             When the mind is disturbed, it is attracted by ten thousand things. With attraction, craving will arise. With craving, the desire to obtain things to satisfy craving will emerge. The mind that desires is rooted in earthly existence and is controlled by the pa-k'ua of Later Heaven. - Shui-ch'ing Tzu

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Compassion ( Karuna )

Second Sublime State – Compassion

The world suffers. But most of men have their eyes and ears closed. They do not see the unbroken stream of tears flowing through life; they do not hear the cry of distress continually pervading the world. Their own little grief or joy bars their sight, deafens their ears. They do not realize that only release from selfish craving will effect their own freedom from suffering.

It is Compassion that removes the heavy bar and opens the door to Freedom. Compassion takes away from it the inert, weighing, paralyzing heaviness, gives wings to those who cling to the lowlands of self.

Through Compassion the fact of Suffering remains vividly present to our mind, even at times when personally we are free from it. It gives us rich experience of Suffering, thus strengthening us to meet it prepared, when it befalls us.

Compassion reconciles us to our own destiny by showing us the life of others, often much harder than ours.

Behold the endless caravan of beings, men and beasts burdened with sorrow and pain! The burden of every one of them, we also have carried it in bygone times during the unfathomable sequence of repeated births. And this misery may well be our own destiny again!

Whoso himself is without Compassion now, will one day cry for it. If sympathy with others is lacking, it will have to be acquired through a long and painful experience of one’s own. Thus, is the Great Law of Life. Knowing this keep guard over yourself!

Beings, sunk in ignorance, lost in delusion, hasten from one state of suffering to another, not knowing the real cause, not knowing the escape from it. This insight into the general Law of Suffering is the real foundation of our Compassion, not any isolated fact of suffering.

Hence our Compassion will also include those who at the moment may be happy, but act with an evil and deluded mind. In their present deeds, we shall foresee their future state of distress, and Compassion will arise.

The Compassion of the wise does not render him a victim of suffering. His thoughts, words, and deeds are full of pity. But his heart does not waver, unchanged it remains, serene and firm. How else should he be able to help?

May such Compassion arise in our hearts! Compassion that is a sublime nobility of heart and intellect which knows, understands and is ready to help.

Compassion that is strength and gives strength: this is the highest Compassion.

And what is the highest manifestation of Compassion?

To show to the world the Path leading to the End of Suffering, the Path pointed out, trodden and realized to perfection by Him, the Exalted One, the Buddha.