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Friday, February 24, 2006

A Wish for All Beings

May all beings be filled with joy and peace. May all beings everywhere, The strong and the weak, The great and the small, The mean and the powerful, The short and the long, the subtle and the gross: May all beings everywhere, Seen and unseen, Dwelling far off or nearby, Being or waiting to become: May all be filled with lasting joy.

Let no one deceive another, Let no one anywhere despise another, Let no one out of anger or resentment Wish suffering on anyone at all. Just as a mother with her own life Protects her child, her only child, from harm, So within yourself let grow A boundless love for all creatures.


James's comment: What a wonderful prayer. I would only add to the list the things that are not beings as well. We must care for and maintain balance with the forests, lakes, mountains, oceans, rivers, etc. just as we care for all beings.

-Peace to all beings-

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Religious United Nations?


IsraelNN.com, Feb 19, 2006

Tel Aviv, Israel -- Israel's Ashkenazi chief rabbi, Yonah Metzger, meeting with the Dalai Lama, a Buddhist monk who is the leader of Tibet, suggested that representatives of the world's religions establish a United Nations in Jerusalem, representing religions instead of nations, like the UN currently based in New York.

"Instead of planning for nuclear war and buying tanks and fighter jets, it will invest in peace," Metzger said. He later reported that the Tibetan leader was very excited about the idea and offered to help advance it.

Also at the meeting was Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee (who is on good terms with the Roman Catholic Church), Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa, kadis (Ethiopian rabbis) and various Islamic sheikhs.

James's comment: What a wonderful idea in a world that currently reflects so much religious and political tension, ignorance and anger. This would be a great organization to help promote more peace and understanding between the followers of the many paths. And goodness knows that we need more peace and understanding. We truly do have more in common then not.

-Peace to all beings-

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Having Fun with "Satan"

That's right! The Christian, Uber Anti-God plays for (and is from) Slovakia!! I was watching the Olympic hockey match between Russia and Slovakia when I noticed that one of the players had the name "Satan" on his jersey! So I decided to look into this further and found his NHL club team card:

LOOK!! He even wears a red jersey! I'm waiting now to hear from Pat Robertson that Satan is alive and well and living in Slovakia and that we need to boycott everything from Slovakia and call for his assassination.

So I think hockey is just what "Satan" does in his free time when he wants to "cool off" and "let off a little steam." I've heard, however, that he likes to "blow smoke and hot air" up the asses of his team mates. Hehe.

Anyway,

-Peace to all beings including Satan-

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

We All Have Blind Spots

Mindfulness practice is the practice of one hundred percent honesty with ourselves. When we watch our own mind and body, we notice certain things that are unpleasant to realize. As we do not like them, we try to reject them. What are the things we do not like? We do not like to detach ourselves from loved ones or to live with unloved ones. We include not only people, places and material things into our likes and dislikes, but opinions, ideas, beliefs and decisions as well. We do not like what naturally happens to us. We do not like, for instance, growing old, becoming sick, becoming weak or showing our age, for we have a great desire to preserve our appearance. We do not like someone pointing out our faults, for we take great pride in ourselves. We do not like someone to be wiser than we are, for we are deluded about ourselves. These are but a few examples of our personal experience of greed, hatred and ignorance.

If we do not have hatred in us we will not be concerned when someone points out our shortcomings. Rather, we will be thankful to the person who draws our attention to our faults. We have to be extremely wise and mindful to thank the person who explicates our faults so we will be able to tread the upward path toward improving ourselves. We all have blind spots. The other person is our mirror for us to see our faults with wisdom. We should consider the person who shows our shortcomings as one who excavates a hidden treasure in us that we were unaware of. It is by knowing the existence of our deficiencies that we can improve ourselves.

James's comment: Before my mindfulness practice I was a very prideful person. Very judgemental and full of hate (mostly for myself as I have learned through meditation). I was constantly feeling the victim and that was a phantom that I was chasing as it slowly lured me into the living hell of a hungry ghost. Nothing satisfied me (even when I "won" an arguement).

I have since been much more able to see myself as no better or worse then anyone or anything else which has allowed me to let go of the insane notion of separateness. Of course I still struggle with such things. However, my mindfulness practice has given me the tools to sit back and watch the endless negative thoughts and see them as attachments to ghosts rather then hard truth to cling to and worship as reality.

Clinging to such views only made me more unhappy since I could not change other people (and the world--now that's pride for ya!) as I felt that I had to accomplish. It allowed me to see that I am not separate from anyone or anything else and I am now much more able to see how my faults and positive traits affect other people. I am the weaknesses I saw in other people and I am also the love and goodness that I saw in other people whom I thought were so much "better then me." I am so very thankful to have found the Dharma. Thank-you for helping me to see some of my "blind spots." And on I walk.

-Peace to all beings-

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Peace

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

James's comment: Despite all the wonderful and truthful teachings of the Dharma I have found for myself that I can only find the true peace and understanding that these teachings give us through my personal practice.

This is exactly what the Buddha taught. He can only lead us so far with his words and then we must go it alone (so to speak) the rest of the way and experience them for ourselves.

Even while taking refuge in my sangha I must still practice on my own. No one can do the sitting for me.

-Peace to all beings-

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Neither Self Nor Other


In the face of reality’s illumination
There is neither self nor other,
No duality, no division-void of identity
And yet neither voidNor not void,
There’s no perceiver at all.
Eh Ma! Until a mountain yogi
Has realized well the meaning of this,
He should not disparage cause and result!

-Drinking the Mountain Stream: Songs of Tibet’s Beloved Saint,
Milarepa

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Do Not Cling to Truth Either


"The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new."

~Pema Chodron

James's comment: I think that too often we as "Buddhists" cling to the idea of being a "Buddhist" rather then just being and sitting in the clear light of universal truth.

We sometimes also get hung up in the trappings of "Buddhism." We think that we are close to enlightenment or that we are advancing because we "do" all the "right things." We light incense, we bow to a Buddha statue, we ring a bell, chant mantras, shave our heads and wear the right robes.

However, these things are simply fingers pointing to the moon and not the moon itself as the Buddha taught.

Being too caught up in these symbols of the dharma we begin to become so entangled up in them that we can easily forget that there are many other fingers that are capable of pointing to the moon as well. The five fingers on ones hand are like different religions that all point to the same universal condition or truth. Taken by themselves they appear to be seperate and different but when we look deeper we see that they all blend down into the same hand of ultimate truth. Without the thumb for example we can not have a full hand or full truth in our example.

The thumb is no better or no less then the other fingers.

It is important to look outside "Buddhism" to appreciate other shades of the same, interdependant truth so that we might eliminate any feelings of seperateness from other people and their faithes.

I hope I made sense and didn't just get entangled in too many words which is something I need to avoid as one of my last posts taught me.

-Peace to all beings-

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Transforming Problems Into Happiness

Leave the mind in its natural, undisturbed state. Don't follow thoughts of "This is a problem, that is a problem!" Without labeling difficulties as problems, leave your mind in its natural state. In this way, you will stop seeing miserable conditions as problems.

"-Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "Transforming Problems Into Happiness"

James's comment: This is a great teaching. When ever I have just seen problems as normal events (no better, no less then any other event) I have been more able to let them slip from the grip of attachment. This helps me address these "problems" with less panic and fear and move on.

-Peace to all beings-

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Don't Use Pointless Words

Better than a thousand pointless words is one saying to the point on hearing which one finds peace.

~Shakyamuni Buddha

James's comment: A great reminder that one can not find liberation from spouting off a bunch of flowery, philosophical speech.

-Peace to all beings-

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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Western Doctors Embracing Meditation

Boston, Massachusetts (USA) -- Regular meditation may increase smarts and stave off aging, according to an ongoing study. The research is one in a string of studies that suggest some time spent getting in tune with the flow of one's breathing can complement a regimen of pills, diet, and exercise. Meditation is being prescribed for stress, anxiety, infertility, skin diseases, and other ailments.

Many medical professionals in the West remain skeptical or are against the use of meditation for therapy.

But some are beginning to endorse its benefits, said neuroscientist Sara Lazar, who leads the research at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

"Our hope is that by providing concrete evidence of [meditation's] benefits, more people will at least try it and see if it is beneficial for them," she said in an email interview. Lazar presented a paper on the research during a visit of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, to the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience last November in Washington, D.C.

-Peace to all beings-

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