To sever attachment to home, family, and friends, chödpas moved from valley to valley, village to village, sacred place to sacred place, charnel ground to charnel ground, staying only for brief periods in small tents and under trees before moving on. They would camp in groups, but only as close as the sound of a kangling could reach.
Trust is one of the basic qualities or life skills we need to learn and embody if we want to shift from living a life based on defense mechanisms and survival strategies to an open and authentic way of being and relating. We need trust to open up and surrender to a broader life perspective, to say Yes to moment-to-moment fresh experiencing of life as it is.
When we are lucid during a dream, instead of following along with the content of the dream, we have the opportunity to do a variety of useful and insightful kinds of meditation practice. Doing meditation practice while dreaming is particularly interesting because of how quickly and responsively our mental states are reflected in the content of the lucid dream.
When we say yes, but in fact, we really mean no, when we do things that we really do not want or simply follow what others have done, we are being co-dependent and not patient or generous! A co-dependent attitude may seem positive at first, but actually, it is generating low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
Sympathetic joy holds compassion back from becoming overwhelmed by the sight of suffering. It soothes the painful burning of the compassionate heart and keeps us free from melancholic brooding and from a futile sentimentality that weakens and consumes our strength.
The whole meditation set-up is built on unfounded assumptions, but hey, so is everything else, nothing new there. Here is the difference: In the meditation state you can find out, what is real and not, because you are not occupied with something else.
With a mind completely fixated on hurrying to meet my friend until I was stopped by a relatively loud shout: “Mikk!” Turning around I was a little confused. Where did this come from? Who called me?
Let’s hold hands together, let’s practice together so that for the sake of our children and the earth, we can go back to being real ordinary human beings again. Through our practice, and our connection to each other and to all things, let’s put the humane back into being human.
True practice involves changing thick habits of body, speech and mind. Sounds simple when you say it. It even sounds romantic and heroic: I will transform my thoughts, words and deeds to become enlightened for the benefit of all sentient beings. A hardcore dharma practitioner soon realizes that this particular resolve is hard.
As human beings, we are subject to continuous change throughout life. Taoists speak of ten thousand sorrows and ten thousand joys. The joy turns into sorrow. Sorrow turns into joy. There is no exception. Equanimity is a liberating quality that gives us an open, equitable, peaceful and stable heart towards the vicissitudes of life.