Neither Victory Nor Defeat

65659_10203240585594399_1473173281_nVictory produces hatred.

Defeat produces suffering.

The wise ones desire neither victory nor defeat.

Anger produces anger.

Those who kill will be killed.

Revenge can only be overcome by abandoning revenge.

The wise ones desire neither victory nor defeat.

―Buddha Shakyamuni

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Harmonious Community

11083852_684750311646930_8782617402850035564_nThe nature of a community is harmony,

and harmony can be realized by following the Six Concords:

sharing one space,

sharing the essentials of daily life,

observing the same precepts,

speaking only words of solidarity,

sharing insights and understanding,

and respecting each other’s perspectives.

―Buddha Shakyamuni

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Overwrite Negative Scripts

1457627_455465411229172_1907253892_nIn the Vibhanga sutra, Buddha Shakyamuni defines name (nama) as mental phenomena (feeling, perception, intention, contact, attention), and form (rupa) as physical phenomena (the great elements and all that is dependent on them). Nama-rupa is also used by the Buddha as shorthand for the five aggregates of form, feeling, perception, tendencies, and consciousness —the karmic formations that characterize phenomenal existence. Manifestation is all nama-rupa. All manifestation is nama-rupa.

Karmic formations are the basis for habitual tendencies, the ‘scripts’ that condition us to act and react in familiar —if not always beneficial— ways. Through repeated action (seed > impression > formation), we have developed and established many ‘scripts’ that lead to suffering. The spiritual technologies of the Vajrayana, the Swift Path, are capable of overwriting and rewriting those scripts, leading to the cessation of suffering.

In the West, it has become fashionable among some uninformed persons to recommend meditation exclusively, consigning textual recitation, mantras, and mudras (ritual gestures) to the sphere of the ‘mystical’ and ‘superstitious’, without understanding the basis for these practices.

Texts, mantras, and mudras are condensed, multivalent expressions for spiritual cultivation: forms (rupa) anchored in sound (nama), and sound imbued with form. The recitation of the sound establishes the form, and the enactment of the form establishes the sound.

While meditation is an extremely helpful technique for spiritual cultivation, allowing us to recover peace and clarity, it is neither primary in every case, nor essential for all. It can generate a more malleable and receptive ground consciousness, but meditation is often laborious and slow when used independently of other skillful means.

Vajrayana, the Swift Path, offers us other efficient means for the replacement of negative karmic formations. When we repeatedly utilize textual and mantra recitation and perform mudra to invoke specific aspects of our own Buddha Essence or Natural Perfection, we establish those beneficial formations in the mind.

The Vajrayana practices of textual recitation, mantra, and mudra overwrite and rewrite scripts swiftly and efficiently.

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Most Effective

imagesOther struggles may be fueled by greed, hatred, fear, or ignorance, but a nonviolent one cannot use such blind sources of energy, for they will destroy those involved and also the struggle itself.

Nonviolent action, born of the awareness of suffering and nurtured by love, is the most effective way to confront adversity.

―Thich Naht Hanh

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The Seed of Compassion

hand-holding-sprouting-seed1Compassion arises within our minds and therefore is like a seed that is already present within the mind. Like any seed, it has to be nurtured. In the case of compassion, we nurture it in several ways. One is to reflect on it, to direct our minds to it. Another is to take joy in compassion.

A physical seed needs many things –soil, water, and sun– and these not only need to be provided, but provided in the right way. For example, when you water a seed, you cannot simply dump a gallon of water on it all at once; you have to water it gently and, therefore, it takes more time and more effort.

In the same way, in caring for the seed of compassion within us, we need to be patient and persistent. If we do not take proper care of the seed of compassion, the seed will either not ripen or will ripen in an unhealthy way.

―Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje

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The Righteous and the Sinners

Jorge-Mario-Bergoglio“We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind.

“A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology, or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom, and individual freedoms.

“There is another temptation against which we must be especially on guard: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and the sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps.”

―Fr. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, HH Pope Francis

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1375908_727269923966662_1356277323_nIf the earth, mountains, and oceans

will be incinerated by seven blazing suns,

and none of these bodies will endure, even as ash,

I should not rely on something so frail

as this physical body.

To say: “Today, at least, I will not die”,

and to remain at ease is most unwise.

At the time when this body becomes as nothing,

my fate will be cast.

The causes and conditions of death are many,

while those that sustain life are few.

Those very things that support life,

they too may bring my death.

Therefore, I must practice the Dharma.

–Jonang Lam Rim

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