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.”
It is my firm conviction that human nature is essentially compassionate and gentle.That is the predominant feature of human nature.
Anger, violence, and aggression may arise, but on a secondary or more superficial level; in a sense, they arise when we are frustrated in our efforts to achieve love and affection. They are not part of our most basic, underlying nature. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
Even our physical structure seems more suited to feelings of love and compassion. We can see how a calm, affectionate, wholesome state of mind benefits our health and physical well-being. Conversely, feelings of frustration, fear, agitation, and anger can be destructive to our health. This is why we are impelled to seek happiness. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
Sometimes we have been holding onto anger or bitterness related to a particular person or event.
Something to think about is: What would I have to give up in order to free myself from this bitterness? We might think, “Well, yes, but what he or she did was absolutely unforgivable.”
Consider the possibility, and I am only saying consider the possibility, that maybe nothing is unforgivable. Maybe there is a way to find forgiveness even for what we have believed for so long to be unforgivable. Explore this mindfully.
To forgive does not necessarily mean to forget. Sometimes to forget is not wise, but to forgive is wise. And it is at times not easy. It can, in fact, be quite challenging.
It will come as no surprise that one of the most difficult people to forgive can be yourself. Yet with patience and gentle determination, it can be done. ~ Allan Lokos
Hatred, jealousy and excessive attachment cause suffering and agitation. I feel compassion can help us overcome these disturbances and let us return to a calm state of mind. Compassion is not just being kind to your friend. That involves attachment because it is based on expectation. Compassion is when you do something good without any expectations – based on realizing that “the other person is also just like me.” ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. ~ Samuel Johnson