For healthy mental and emotional growth, we need a gentle, skillful, balanced approach, avoiding extremes.
If we are becoming arrogant and self-important, the antidote is to think about our own problems and sufferings, to bring us down to earth.
But if we are feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, helpless and depressed, it’s important to reflect on our positive qualities or achievements to uplift our minds. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
When explaining meditation, the Buddha often drew analogies with the skills of artists, carpenters, musicians, archers, and cooks. Finding the right level of effort, he said, is like a musician’s tuning of a lute. Reading the mind’s needs in the moment—to be gladdened, steadied, or inspired—is like a palace cook’s ability to read and please the tastes of a prince.
Collectively, these analogies make an important point: Meditation is a skill, and mastering it should be enjoyable in the same way mastering any other rewarding skill can be. The Buddha said as much to his son, Rahula: “When you see that you’ve acted, spoken, or thought in a skillful way—conducive to happiness while causing no harm to yourself or others—take joy in that fact and keep on training. ~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu
This daily dharma came to me today and as always, was right on time.
Most of the time, we feel like we should be ‘the best’ or dare I say it, ‘perfect,’ from the start of anything we attempt to do.
Those feelings of ‘should be’ keep us from learning, growing, and becoming the true person we are.
Meditation is a skill (as stated above). So how can I expect to be ‘good’ at anything if I do not practice?
It takes Practice.
Precious Metal Blog – I wasn’t going to weigh in on the shooting in Tucson, AZ because… Use your voice like a BIG BOY!!!
“Thank you for the great post.
Yes, for a long time now, we just say whatever…and do not think that our words take root in someone’s mind…well, folks words hurt or heal.
Somewhere along the path of this very perturbed individual, someone’s words hit a mark in him…gave him a reason to focus his violent thoughts into a target.
And now…we have a sad and horrible situation. Of which no one wants to take responsibility of creating because …’they are only words, no one would possibly think to do anything violent’….as PM says….use your words ‘like a big boy/girl’ …all of our words matter….if they did not matter why would we use them?
May all sentient beings be happy and have the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes if suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that is free from suffering.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free attachment and detachment.”
When someone harms you, see that person as a kind teacher showing you the path to liberation. Pray that you may be able to help that person and never hope for revenge.
Look right into it, and you will see that the person who is harmed, the person who does the harm, and the harm itself are all totally devoid of any inherent reality. Faced with these empty appearances, is there anything to be lost or gained? It is all like an empty sky. Recognize that!
As long as you pay heed to your hatred and attempt to overcome your external opponents, even if you succeed, more will inevitably rise up in their place. Even if you managed to overpower everyone your anger would only grow stronger. The only really intolerable enemy is hatred itself. To defeat the enemy of hatred, meditate one-pointedly on patience and love until they truly take root in your being. ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Self-righteous morality is jealousy with a halo. ~ H G Wells
Recognize the Void
In truth, the notion of self we attach to the aggregates is a mere mental fabrication, a label put on something that does not exist. People who wear tinted glasses or suffer from a visual impairment would see a white conch as yellow, even though the conch has never been anything but white. In the same way, our deluded minds attribute reality to something that is utterly nonexistent.
This is what we call ignorance: not recognizing the void nature of phenomena and assuming that phenomena possess the attribute of true existence although, in fact, they are devoid of it. With ignorance comes attachment to all that is pleasant to the ego as well as hatred and repulsion for all that is unpleasant. In that way the three poisons—ignorance, attachment, and hatred—come into being. Under the influence of these three poisons, the mind becomes like a servant running here and there. This is how the suffering of samsara is built up. It all derives from a lack of discernment and a distorted perception of the nature of phenomena.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, “An Investigation of the Mind.”