Fiction

fiction4Samsara is delusional thinking.

Delusory attachments and blind passions have no reality.

To seek, in spite of this, to free yourself from birth-and-death through discriminative reflections on good and evil, taking this mind of delusory attachments and invertedness as your basis, is utterly absurd.

It is delusional thinking that obstructs emancipation.

—Ippen Shonin

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Happy New Year!

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LOSAR TASHI DELEK

We stand with our Tibetan brothers and sisters,

and all oppressed beings throughout the world,

wishing them peace and freedom.

May all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.

May all embrace happiness and the causes of happiness.

May all abide in peace, free from self-grasping.

May all attain the union of wisdom and compassion.

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Long Life to Our Teachers!

wpid-dolpopa-sherab-gyaltsen-e7ac83e5b883e5b7b4e5969ce9a5b6e59d9ae8b59e-14In the three realms and the ten directions, and in this Saha World where we now abide, may the faithful Sons and Daughters of the Conqueror, the glorious Throne Holders of the Bon, Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Jonang, and Ganden, continue to uphold and turn the Wheel of Dharma without stop or interruption.

OM AH HUM AMIDEVA AYU-SIDDHI HUM  

May the holders of all Lineages of the Northern and Southern diffusions of the Buddha Dharma, the Teachers of all Vehicles, Masters among the Listeners and Bodhisattvas, ever endure and prosper.

OM AH HUM AMIDEVA AYU-SIDDHI HUM  

May the kind propagators of the Dharma in the marginal lands of this Saha World, who with great sacrifice abandon their forests, caves, and monasteries for the sake of ordinary beings, ever endure and prosper.

OM AH HUM AMIDEVA AYU-SIDDHI HUM  

In life after life, may we never be separated from such unerring Teachers, and may we bask in the richness of the Dharma. May the qualities of the path and ground be perfected and may we quickly attain perfect enlightenment.

OM AH HUM AMIDEVA AYU-SIDDHI HUM  

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Four Moments

Hands-TogetherOur society has progressively exiled the four defining moments of our life experience: birth, disease, aging, and death.

We are born, are ill, and die mostly in hospitals, and the old live in institutional ‘homes’ or artificial aging communities, separated from their families due to geography or the dominant culture of age segregation.

We value youth and the appearance of health above all else, and attempt to avoid at all costs all contact with whatever reminds us of the precariousness of our lives. Specifically, the fear of illness and death has led us to separate ourselves from these experiences, as if ignoring them will postpone them indefinitely, or prevent them altogether.

The Dharma, however, invites us to contemplate these four moments and integrate them in our experience, because without them our view of life is narrow and shallow. Maintaining close contact with sick friends and family members, and cultivating a relationship of gratitude with our dead, are essential practices on the Buddhist path.

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Massacre

images (16)During the course of Sunday’s Superbowl Football game, American consumers will devour more than of 1.25 billion (1,250,000,000) chicken wings.

Since chickens only have two wings each, 625,000,000 sentient beings must be slaughtered for the ‘enjoyment’ of the American public. With a US population of less than 314 million, this means that for every American man, woman, and child, two chickens will be killed for one afternoon of ‘fun’. 

Please spare your two chickens!

Having abandoned the taking of life,

refraining from the taking of life,

one dwells without violence,

with the knife laid down, scrupulous, full of mercy,

trembling with compassion for all sentient beings.

—Buddha Shakyamuni

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Engage!

wpid-taranatha-e5a49ae7bd97e982a3e4bb96e5a4a7e5b888-5-jpgIn Dharma traditions, and especially those associated with the Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, ‘Engaged Buddhism’ is not a new trend, whether in its social or environmental manifestations, but has been always present.

The ideal of the Bodhisattva, the Noble Being, is to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all, human and non-human, and thus service is the supreme expression of bodhichitta, or the mind of enlightenment.

Service is the practical expression of the wish to benefit others and increase their happiness. The Four Great Vows of the Bodhisattva make this intention explicit:

  1. Beings are numberless. I vow to save them all.
  2. Delusions are inexhaustible. I vow to end them all.
  3. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to open them all.
  4. The Great Middle Way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it for the benefit of all.

 

 

 

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Radical Universal Compassion

12208447_10208493054222832_510361367352466408_nOnce we cultivate radical, universal compassion in our hearts —the intense desire to reduce the suffering of other beings, human and non-human— we must discern at every moment how we can be most helpful: thinking positive thoughts, offering prayers, speaking helpful words, performing beneficial acts, dedicating merit, or even just remaining peaceful and doing absolutely nothing.

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