I found this teaching by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama on Lama Yeshe’s site.
After reading it, I knew I should share this wonderful teaching. Here is a snippet of what you will read:
‘You have come a long way to be here, from various countries, and often with much difficulty and trouble. There are the strikes, and there are many of you, and it is not easy to get here. And you have not come here with the intention of going to a festival, for entertainment, or to do a good business deal, or for any personal glory. You have come here to hear the Dharma, more precisely Mahayana Dharma, to receive a tantric initiation, more particularly that of anuttarayoga, and among these Kalachakra. To some completely samsaric people, this may seem strange and even comical. Never mind… Even if we have not come with a perfect motivation, this is already something very great, the goal is an excellent one.’
So remember when you read…’Even if we have not come with a perfect motivation, this is already something very great, the goal is an excellent one.’ 🙂 Namaste
[In listening to teachings one] of the defects is to listen in a way that is like a container with holes. This means that even though we are listening to the teachings, we do not retain their contents. In this case, we lack mindfulness and memory. Practice of Dharma means that we should be able to benefit from what we have heard. It is not a pastime, like listening to a story. The teachings give us guidance on how to live meaningful lives and how to develop proper attitudes. So in order to benefit from the teachings, we must retain them with mindfulness.
In all kinds of learning processes, listening, reading, etc., we must pay full attention and should endeavor to remember their contents. When our interest is halfhearted, we only remember half the points, and we retain them for only a short time. We should reflect and think about whatever we have heard, over and over again. In this way, the knowledge will stay in our mind for a long time. Another technique for remembering instructions is debate as it is practiced in the traditional debating schools. (p.22)
from Stages of Meditation by the Dalai Lama, root text by Kamalashila, translated by Geshe Lobsang Jordhen, Losang Choephel Ganchenpa, and Jeremy Russell, published by Snow Lion Publications
I am a simple Buddhist monk – no more, no less. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
A great rock is not disturbed by the wind; the mind of a wise man is not disturbed by either honor or abuse. ~ His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama
What else needs to be said about a classic? This book literally changed my life. When I first read the book I was in a really bad spot in my life and need to “change my perspective” and sure enough this book taught me how.
The 10th chapter of the book is entitled “Shifting Perspective”. His Holiness explains his philosophy on perspective as such “The ability to look at events from different perspectives can be very helpful. Then, practicing this, one can use certain experiences, certain tragedies to develop a calmness of mind. One must realize that every phenomena, every event, has different aspects. Everything is of a relative nature.” He goes on to explain that allowing our perspective to be so narrow and self-center just furthers our problems and doesn’t allow us to see solutions.
The book, in my opinion, is required reading for anyone. It isn’t a Buddhist book, it’s a wonderful self discovery book written by a psychiatrist and a monk. The discussions are incredibly relevant to our busy, over-loaded society where issues of anxiety, depression, anger far outweigh those instances of true sublime happiness. We all need to learn this Art of Happiness. ~ Digging_the _Dharma
It is clear that inner peace is the principal cause of happiness. We can observe this in our daily lives. On days when we are calm and happy, even if difficulties arise or we fall victim to a mishap, we take it well, it doesn’t bother us unduly. But on days when we feel sad or have lost our usual calmness, the least little annoyance will take on enormous proportions and be deeply upsetting to us. ~ H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama
A little known secret: I enjoy quotes especially ones that take you deep within. Yes, I know, what a surprise! 🙂 It seems I am not the only one. most of my twitter contacts enjoy quotes also. Maybe like attracts like? Hmm.
365 Nirvana Here and Now: Living Every Moment In Enlightenment, edited and with commentary by Josh Baran is one of those quote books that you can let the book fall open and you have your ‘gem’ for the day or if you are me, for the week. (Barnes & Noble/Amazon do not have this book in stock at this moment…your local well-loved book store might though!)
Given the title, you would think 365 Nirvana is entirely comprised of Buddhist quotes, yet it is not so…. Examples: “With ‘I’ eliminated…this is Nirvana here and now. ~ The Buddha, ‘It is right in your face. This moment, the whole thing is handed to you. ~ Yuanwu, ‘You search for God in heaven and earth, but you don’t know the one who is right before your eyes, because you don’t know how to search into this very moment. ~ Jesus.’
And this from the Introduction by Josh Baran…’This treasury of insights, a chorus of the present moment sung by ancient and modern voices that span time, distance, religion, tradition, and culture – is an invitation’ … I could not have said or written it better. This little book has become a constant source of reflective material that sits on my nightstand within easy reach.
So tonight…I let 365 Nirvana ‘pick’ the quote ending this post…see where it takes you.
Just One Time
Where you are going
and the place you stay
come to the same thing.
What you long for
and what you’ve left behind
are as useless as your name.
Just one time, walk out
into the field and look
at the towering oak —
an acorn still beating at its heart. Peter Levitt