By This Merit…

Golden statue of Nagarjuna at Samye Ling Monas...

Image via Wikipedia ~ Nagarjuna

By this merit may we obtain omniscience
Having defeated all the enemies of wrong-doing
May we liberate migratory beings suffering in the ocean of existence
From its stormy waves of birth, old-age, sickness and death.

~ Nagarjuna’s dedication of merit

Everything’s good…

Everything’s good…Everything. Man is unhappy because he doesn’t know he’s happy. It’s only that. That’s all, that’s all! If anyone finds out, he’ll become happy at once, that minute. ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama prayer handsA wonderful photo of H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama:

Happy in Everything

Book Review: ‘The Art of Happiness’ by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

The Art of Happiness, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Handbook for Living
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

Book Review: ‘How to Practice’ by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama

How to Practice : The Way to a Meaningful LifeIn How to Practice, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama presents the path to achieving enlightenment in these instructions for those seeking to follow the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.

The book is written for practitioners of all levels from those who are curious or just beginning with meditation to an explanation of the philosophy of mind and emptiness for those further along their path.

I thoroughly enjoyed every chapter.  This title will be one I return to on a regular basis for guidance and wisdom.  The book is separated into sections that correspond to a practitioner’s ability to gain understanding starting with morality.  Behavior and ethics are discussed as related to the Four Noble Truths, Refuge and the ethical precepts taken by Buddhists.  He then moves on to explaining meditation and the types and methods for cultivating your practice.

The final section expounds upon the essence of emptiness and wisdom with an explanation of the Heart Sutra and then briefly explains Deity Yoga and Tantra and their relationship to the path.  This to me is a must have title for everyone seeking to understand the teachings of Buddhism. ~ Review by Digging-the-Dharma

Calm Abiding

Besides settling the mind, mindfulness meditation develops a certain kind of strength, a sort of mindfulness muscle, and cultivates stability so that every thought doesn’t drag us out of the room. Hostile thoughts, sexual thoughts, thoughts about ice-cream don’t just drag us away. We are able to be steady and present with whatever arises in our mind – that’s why this practice is also known as calm abiding. ~ David Nichtern

Tricycle’s 28-day meditation challenge ~ February 1st

1 February is the first day of Tricycle’s 28 – day meditation challenge.

If you are like me, you have a zillion books to read. Well, maybe not a zillion, but near that many! 🙂  So the prospect of getting another book…well, it was daunting.

You can take this challenge without having to buy a book.  Click here for the link.

My thoughts:  The most important part of the 28 days will be the act of sitting every day. Lately, I have been sitting almost every day with #OMCru & #Drepung (twitter groups). Knowing there are others sitting with me at the same time…even if we are a world apart works well for me. I am curious to see how my days unfold as I move along the month.

Hoping you will join me and many others as we ‘Commit to Sit’ .

Been there? Done that? 🙂 Let’s start again, who knows what you will learn this time around!