Struggling?

13938374_1755881904689055_4860536666641322778_nDuty accomplished is the greatest satisfaction. When you focus on your own suffering, adverse conditions can overwhelm you, so always remember what it is that you are here to do, and who you are here to help. You are stronger and more capable than you think.

All the Buddhas are with you! They are not figments of your imagination. They are more real than any “flesh and bone” beings you have ever encountered.

You have taken Refuge, and They have welcomed you into Their eternal mandala. You are following Their instruction, obedient to Their Dharma. You have Buddha Nature!

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Words of My Teacher

14089165_842643782501765_8310016653812545880_nRelinquishing ‘me’ is ceasing to want to be this and that.

Relinquishing ‘mine’ is ceasing to want to have this and that.

In samsara, nothing is worth being; nothing is worth having.

 

When meeting with sensory objects, stop at contact:

when hearing, just hear; when touching, just touch;

when seeing, just see; when tasting, just taste;

when smelling, just smell.

 

If stopping at contact is not possible, and feelings arise:

when a pleasant feeling arises, do not cling to it;

when an unpleasant feeling arises, do not avoid it.

 

If attachment and aversion do arise, do not proceed to craving;

emotions appear, endure but for a moment, and subside.

 

If you must act, apply the four efforts:

stop harmful acts already started;

don’t start harmful acts not yet begun;

start beneficial acts not yet begun;

don’t stop beneficial acts already started.

 

If you do act on afflicted emotions,

minimize harm by avoiding beneficial objects,

softening the method, mitigating the intensity,

limiting the frequency, and not dwelling on the satisfaction.

 

Once you harm self and others, purify your actions:

regret the harm, rely on the guidance of the Three Jewels,

resolve to abstain from further harm,

and remedy it by dedicating the merit of virtuous acts.

 

When dying, seek rebirth in the Pure Land:

generate serene trust; make a definitive aspiration;

and recite om amideva hrih.

 

Superior to all methods for relinquishing ‘me’ and ‘mine’

is to dedicate yourself to the welfare of others.

—Kyabje Tashi Norbu Rinpoche, on the anniversary of his parinirvana

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Mindfulness & Introspection

shantideva2sI appeal to those desiring to protect their virtuous minds:

always diligently guard your mindfulness and introspection.

—Arya Shantideva

How do we guard mindfulness?

One is mindful to abandon wrong view and to enter and remain in Right View.

One is mindful to abandon wrong intention and to enter and remain in Right Thought.

One is mindful to abandon wrong speech and to enter and remain in Right Speech.

One is mindful to abandon wrong conduct and to enter and remain in Right Conduct.

One is mindful to abandon wrong livelihood and to enter and remain in Right Livelihood.

This is Right Mindfulness.

—Buddha Shakyamuni

How do we guard introspection?

To examine our thoughts, words, and deeds continuously, to determine if they are in accord with the Dharma, is to guard introspection.

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Who Wins? Who Loses?

13151793_774904789275665_808685264457470451_nWhen we feel aversion for others (anger, hatred, or malice), who is it that experiences the emotion and its effects? Most often, the putative object of our aversion remains unaware, and it is we who suffer the physical, emotional, and mental consequences.

In the same way, when we feel compassion for others, who is it that experiences it and its effects? Even if we cannot benefit others immediately, the consequences of this aspiration manifest in our minds in the very instant that it arises.

What, then, should we cultivate: aversion, or compassion?

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1st Precept

13177495_776777702421707_1258162934434321061_nIn the Dhammika Sutta, the Buddha says that ‘not to kill’ means three things:

You do not do it yourself;

you do not get others to do it;

and you do not encourage, condone, applaud, aid, and abet when others do it.  

What more does one need to prove that one cannot observe this precept as long as one buys the flesh of animals slain for our consumption? What encouragement does the meat industry need from us? Except that we buy what they kill –and allow them to reap the profits they get from our purchases?

—Mahinda Palihawadana

Professor Mahinda Palihawada co-authored The Dhammapadaa New English translationwith the Pali Text and the First English translation of the Commentary’s Explanation of the Verses with Notes and Critical Textual Comments, Oxford University Press.
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Wise or Sectarian

14079896_10210695708215644_4378556821155254739_nThe Dharma shows us the way to remove the causes of pain and to attain the experience of supreme well-being. Yet there is the danger of taking hold of Dharma incorrectly. If this danger is not avoided and one’s approach to Dharma is faulty, such “Dharma” becomes a cause of harm instead of benefit. This is not the intent of the Enlightened Ones nor of the Masters who have entrusted it to us.

Recognize and avoid this danger; it is narrow mindedness. It manifests among Buddhists in the form of sectarianism ―an attitude of partiality, a tendency to form deluded attachments to one’s own school and to reject other schools of Buddhism as inferior.

[…]

A wise person’s mind is vast like the sky, with room for many teachings, many insights, and many meditations. But the mind of an ignorant sectarian is limited, tight, and narrow ―like a vase that can only hold very little. It is difficult for such a mind to grow in Dharma because of its self-imposed limitations.

The difference between the wise Buddhist and the sectarian Buddhist is like that between the vastness of space and the narrowness of a vase. These are the words of Kongtrul Rinpoche.

― Dezhung Rinpoche Kunga Tenpay Nyima

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Go Forth!

11825695_1479261982388318_6246008015378550263_nGo forth, for the good of the many,

for the happiness of the many,

out of compassion for the world,

for the benefit, for the welfare,

for the gladness of holy and ordinary beings.

Let each of us go a different way

to share the Dharma that is beautiful in the beginning,

beautiful in the middle, and beautiful in the end.

Let us declare the holy life in its purity,

completely, both in word and in deed.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka

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