Buddhism ultimately is not about making ourselves comfortable and well adjusted in samsara. It is about getting off that wheel entirely, by ending what they call the uncontrolled rebirth that arises out of confusion. We have to be careful in caring for each other and adapting to circumstances that we don’t reify the self, and reinforce our suffering.
I was deeply touched when my mother shared with me an experience which she had a number years ago with …
When we buy a piece of meat, doesn’t the supply-chain economy react to replace it in the grocery aisle, where it otherwise would not? If hundreds of tantric Buddhists shopped in the same Whole Foods outlet, perhaps that would be the case. But if we relatively few tantrikas are thoughtful and selective, we not only are very unlikely to add to the toll of lives lost to consumption of meat by our twice-monthly small purchase, but likely will be substituting our purchase for that of another person who lacks our motivation and purpose in forming a compassionate and aspirational karmic connection with the being whose flesh has been slaughtered.
The Moon landing showed that humans can set foot on other worlds, and Hubble validated the Big Bang fourteen billion years ago, but Voyager revealed the depth of humanity’s astounding hubris by simply travelling from planet to planet and taking pictures of our solar system. It was like looking in a mirror while high on LSD and seeing 99.99999% Emptiness — a great void — with a few tiny bits of luminous matter spinning about a blob of boiling solar plasma that will eventually consume itself.
We must take empowered responsibility, skillful means, insight, awareness, make decisions with perspective and perform interconnected and compassionate actions beyond self-interest and fear, the fear of ourselves or self-doubt, fear of others, of the open space of possibilities, and beyond fear of action.
The Bodhi Tree is a type of fig tree (Ficus Religiosa) so during the time it is bearing fruit there is much life in the tree as birds and chipmunks are attracted to the tiny figs. October is one of those times so I was fortunate to be able to gather some of the seeds that had dropped from the tree. These can be planted easily and will grow very well in a tropical climate, or as house plants further north.
Enjoy this Santa Xmas meditation, overflowing with generosity and good wishes by Adam Moes.
What to do when no place feels like home? I chose to open myself freely to whatever happens outside while being in an inward retreat, which means I try to protect my mind while knowing the absolute ridiculousness of dwelling, getting attached to thoughts, emotions and the dream-like world.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, we learn to see ourselves and all others like this, as essentially divine, transparent beings of light. We interact continually with others and this world, receiving blessings and responding compassionately as needed. At first we do this as an act of imagination, but gradually we learn to see that this is how things actually are, all by themselves. At that time, what we call prayer, in thought, word, and action are entirely natural.
The process that I went through to come to my current appreciation of making offerings is a worthwhile lesson in curiosity, diligent investigation, and the development of evidence-based faith. I need things to make sense. I need to know that what I am doing has a purpose and leads to a measurable outcome. I’m not fond of hypothetical constructs, blind faith, magical thinking, adherence to protocol, or unquestioning obedience to authority. If somebody tells me to do something “because it’s good,” but then offers no reasonable explanation as to why it is good, I tend to walk away.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Most of the time people have a hard time giving away things to others which they themselves really like. Yes, we buy a present for someone and then we give that away. But something that you have bought for yourself often has more attachments to it and therefore is harder to give away. But in essence, it is just energy and energy needs to flow to be healthy.
Misapprehension of language only perpetuates our confused, dualistic perception of reality and thereby leads us away from the realization the single taste of reality. Contrary to this, when language is infused with skillful means, it becomes a vehicle for liberation.
Writing is for another. Like talking, speech is for the other. May this white space surrogate for the natural appearance of thought, uncensored. In bygone years, mother’s vision took upon a likeness of ‘white space’. Her thoughts took flight. They were like wings of creative energy, expressed without pause, without censorship.
Everyone speaks to everyone here. But the words. The words are different. The words are angels, each carrying soul and kindness between beings, sprinkling a transformative beauty from their wings. When I returned, I couldn’t help but wonder of a world where words are used in this way.
The loss of the feminine features and energy is a serious problem in our society. The society we live in today is shaped by masculine aspects that impose a patriarchal culture based on race, power game, rationalism and success based on strength.
Most of us have experienced extraordinary moments of presence in self-forgetting union with everything in existence and have realized, in that instant, the inexpressible goodness and infinite beauty of being. Such a moment can be so intensely real and enriching that we stop in pensiveness and rest in the reverberations.