Monthly Archives: February 2012

Forgetfulness…

Forgetfulness is the darkness,

mindfulness is the light.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh

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In Times of Crisis…

BLW Buddha Shakyamuni

Image via Wikipedia

And how do you protect others when
protecting yourself?
By pursuing the practice
developing it, devoting yourself to it.
  —Shakyamuni Buddha

In times of crisis, we often feel we don’t have the time or energy to practice, but those are precisely the times when the practice is most necessary. This is what we’ve been practicing for: the situations where the practice doesn’t come easily. When the winds of change reach hurricane force, our inner refuge of mindfulness, concentration, and discernment is the only thing that will keep us from getting blown away. When we can be secure in our inner source for true happiness, we don’t expose ourselves to the devastation that comes when outside hopes for happiness and security are dashed. We have our shelter, our place of security, inside. And we needn’t be afraid that this is an escapist shelter. When the basis of our well-being is firm within, we can act with true courage and compassion for others, for we’re coming from a solid position of calmness and strength.

So take heart. Do what you can to help the living, and dedicate the merit of your practice to the dead. We may be powerless to change the past, but we do have the power to shape the present and the future by what we do, moment to moment, right now. And in maintaining our intention to be as skillful as possible in thought, word, and deed, we’ll find the only true refuge there is. ▼

Thanissaro Bhikkhu is abbot of Metta Forest Monastery and the translator of numerous Thai meditation guides. His most recent book is Noble Strategy.

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Just sitting…

Just sitting means just that. That ‘just’ endlessly goes against the grain of our need to fix, transform, and improve ourselves. The paradox of our practice is that the most effective way of transformation is to leave ourselves alone. The more we let everything be just what it is, the more we relax into an open, attentive awareness of one moment after another.

~ Barry Magid, “Leave Yourself Alone” 

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If you cannot free yourself from being obsessed…

Dilgo Khjence rinpoche

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‎”If you cannot free yourself from being obsessed by your body, your attachment and negative emotions can only increase. Consider your body as an illusion, a form in a dream. Give whatever care is needed to keep it in good health, and devote all your attention to your spiritual practice.”

– Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

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The quality of one’s rebirth in the next life is….

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama brings togeth...

Image via Wikipedia ~ HH the 14th Dalai Lama

‘The quality of one’s rebirth in the next life is determined by the quality of one’s mental activity in this life. Generally speaking, we have no power to choose how we are born; it is dependent on karmic forces. However, the period near the time of death is very influential in terms of activating one from among the many karmas that a person has already accumulated, and, therefore, if one makes particular effort at generating a virtuous attitude at that time, there is an opportunity to strengthen and activate a virtuous karma. Moreover, when one has developed high realization and has gained control over how one will be reborn, it is possible to take what is called “reincarnation” rather than mere rebirth. ‘ (p.42) ~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace

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