Our current dominating ideology is that of the neo-classical economics thinking combined with Darwinist philosophy of survival of the fittest. It teaches us that we are in an eternal battle zone where money constitutes the ultimate goal, and only the fittest survive. To get money, we must work hard. And we must fight others as competitors, and seek to place ourselves in the front, by all means. Besides from the fact that such a strife indeed does inflate our self-focus in quite materialistic ways, it also ties us up in very tight time schedules, leaving little room for self-inquiry.
No matter how complex a situation may appear on the surface, when we break it down we find a series of simple guiding posts. In this regard we can speak of two sign posts; relative reality and absolute reality. From the latter perspective we must remain just as we are. That is, as we really are; the changeless, ever present self from which all of this display arises.
For almost all countries that Buddhism came to, it was a force of civilization. Japan, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Tibet, Mongolia, all got their written languages from Buddhist scholar-missionaries. But not China. China was a civilized country at the time, with its own language and literature when Buddhism arrived.
The day my 7 year old laid down beside me and told me she was afraid to die was the day I realized my daughter was starting to have questions that were beyond my ability to explain and her maturity to understand the answer. Her logical reasoning told her that dying is so scary that it would be better not to be born at all. At the moment she told me her thought, my mind started to scatter about all the possibilities.
In previous articles we looked at how the digital technologies of our modern world are affecting us physically and emotionally and now we come to their psychological impact. On each level; physical, emotional and psychological the affects are pervasive and widespread but perhaps their impact on our mind space is in most urgent need of our consideration.
My approach to astrology, and to most things in general, is to learn, to listen, to be open minded, to research, and then to check it out deeply for myself, using my common sense, my intuition, my body, contemplation, observation, waiting and cross checking. Somewhat like a scientist. Somewhat like a meditator. Somewhat like an artist. I don’t and never have taken things on blind faith, and I would highly recommend you don’t either when you read my posts.
Cyber technologies and social media have enormous potential for reaching out in a way that previously was never possible, but there is also a shadow side. They give us a degree of on-line anonymity that makes it easy to enter into relationships in which our normal responses and responsibilities can be evaded. What might this mean to the younger generation who are being brought up within this kind of environment?
While we appear to be more easily contactable more and more people are actually alone with their devices than not. Take the ever increasing instances of when family or friends are sitting together in a restaurant, or at home, ostensibly to share a meal together and yet all the while busily tapping out messages or fiddling with something on their smartphones and quite oblivious of one another.
There can be no doubt that our digital age has extraordinary and beneficial advantages but nothing in the material world comes to us without a price. What is the price of digital technology? Can we offset the dangers by being more aware or are we all inextricably caught up in this seemingly unstoppable electronic tide?
Each kind act is like a rung on the ladder to the truth of wholeness, dissolving the illusion that we are separate. When we drop our own story to listen to someone else, it forges cracks in the mind’s inner shell, allowing light to flood in.
I lived less than a hundred meters away from an old village cremation ground and witnessed the unceasing flow of processions, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly. The solemn groups of family, friends and community members who carried the deceased on their final journey to fires of dissolution all passed by my small abode.
I took the Red Elm tree as medicine, the inner dried bark of which is used as a remedy for a number of ailments for thousands of years by the north American natives and is in use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. From years of agonizing pain an unable to walk more than 20 meters, 95% of my pain is now gone.
This is a time for skillful and effective action, informed by meditation practice, inspired by compassion. With the rise of the far right movements emphasizing racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and more, for me, sitting on the cushion, though always vital, is no longer enough.
Every disagreement – even the tiniest quibble about how to correctly squeeze a tube of toothpaste – is a display of contradictory perspectives that, by definition, cannot co-exist in the very dimension in which they collide.
On behalf of the indigenous people at Standing Rock, a member of the Yaqui tribe in the Southwestern part of United States has yesterday requested help to pacify the situation in North Dakota. In full regalia he made his prayer for a peaceful solution before the Buddhist master and benevolent sorcerer Chokling Rinpoche, and a group of 5000 people from all over the world.
We know if we work hard enough, life will eventually come to blossoming fruition. But lately I’m realizing that is just not true. Or at least it is only half the story. The other half of the story is dissolution: the way things fall apart.
Authenticity gives you courage. It comes from an honest place where there is no fear, only truth. It is this core focus that brings contentment sensations, a genuine sense of peace! You no longer feel fear or envy – You have the courage to make the right decisions. You become truly happy for those who are around you, because you know you are living life as authentically as possible. You are being real!
No one was more observant, aware and dynamically present than the Maharshi. He missed nothing. From the tremendous power of his inner stillness and outer simplicity, he was far more present and vitally alive than most could ever imagine.
Death is a daily experience but we may be unaware of that. We die and come back to our daily life again and again until we stop breathing and a whole new experience begins. There is no need to feel afraid of our death because she helps give meaning to life. No need to fight death because every moment we breathe is an opportunity to be better, to improve our lives.
Life as a nun is for some looked upon as a very bad destiny, as the poor soul must be just miserable living under such humble conditions, not having her own property, a partner, a close family, let alone a career and status! From the normal worldly outside perspective it is not at all attractive nor interesting. But they could not be more wrong.
In the midst of a happy life are we likely to stop and ask ourselves; what is this all about?’ But when sorrows blight our existence nothing is more natural than that we should step back and question our existence. We need not shun our mind or our emotions, because, in time, they can become our greatest motivators and our staunchest allies.