It is better to practice

 

Cover of "Atisha's Lamp for the Path to E...

Cover via Amazon

 

 

 

Dromtönpa once saw a monk doing circumambulations and intuitively knew he was doing them for a worldly motive. He remarked, “It’s good to do circumambulations, but it would be better to practice.” Later he saw the same monk making prostrations. “Prostrations are good,” he said, “but it would be better to practice.” After some time, the monk began to do meditation and Dromtönpa again remarked that doing retreats was laudable, but it would be even better to practice. Finally the monk, who by this time was thoroughly perplexed, inquired what he meant by the word practice. Dromtönpa answered that it meant letting go of our preoccupation with this life and developing true love and compassion. ~ Atisha’s Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment, by Geshe Sonam Rinchen, edited and translated by Ruth Sonam, pages 30-31

 

 

Who is our friend? Who is our enemy?

In meditation, imagine that in front of you are three persons—an enemy, a friend, and a neutral person. At that time, in our minds we have (1) a sense of closeness for one of them, thinking, “This is my friend”; (2) a sense of dislike even when imagining the enemy; and (3) a sense of ignoring the neutral person. Now, we have to think about the reasons why we generate these feelings—the reasons being that temporarily one of them helped us whereas the other temporarily harmed us, and the third did neither. However, when we think in terms of the long course of beginningless rebirth, none of us could decide that someone who has helped or harmed us in this life has been doing so for all lifetimes.

When you contemplate this way, eventually you arrive at a point where a strong generation of desire or hatred appears to you to be just senseless. Gradually, such a bias weakens, and you decide that one-sided classification of persons as friends and enemies has been a mistake. ~  His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama, The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace, page 166
page 166.

A very wonderful offer…

Sofan Chan of ‘The Art of Happiness Gallery’ has offered TBLC use of her paintings (credit will always be given)…and I think this the most wonderful offer! Click on the link above and I think you will agree with me. Thank you Sofan and I apologize for the delay…Summer has been hectic this year. 🙂

Here ‘s her bio from her site:

Sofan Chan – Painter 
I was born and spent my formative years in Hong Kong, a place of great cultural diversity. I studied advanced western painting techniques at the fine art institute of Chicago in the USA, before finally settling with my husband Rochman in Australia.

My paintings have an easily recognisable, unique style filled with filled with vibrant, happy colours and flowing lines. My original oil paintings and limited edition prints are now proudly displayed in a wide variety of collections around the world.

Painting is a form of meditation for me. When I am truly in tune with what I am painting, the inspiration begins to flow, and the paint takes on a life of it’s own and effortlessly appears onto the canvas.”

Later in the coming week…lovely art will accompany some posts. 🙂 ~ Debra

From Snow Publishing….a Dharma Quote

“Suppose there is this religious group building thousands of childcare facilities and hospices…. Although these religious workers are doing a lot of caring work, there is no wish to enlighten sentient beings. Their aim is just to provide food and education. At the same time, imagine there is one hermit living somewhere in the mountains of the Himalayas who is doing none of this. In fact, within close range of him, there are a lot of babies dying, yet outwardly he is doing nothing about it. Inwardly, however, he is actually meditating, “May all sentient beings be enlightened!” and he continues to do this every day. Purely because of the enlightenment aspect, this person is worthier of homage than the first group. Why? Because it is so difficult to truly and genuinely wish for the enlightenment of others. It is much easier to give people food and educate them.

Most of us don’t really appreciate this fact. We have never before genuinely wished for someone else to achieve enlightenment. Likewise, if someone were to come over and say to us: “Here you go, you have a ticket for enlightenment. There is only one ticket.” I don’t think we would even think about giving it to someone else! We’d grab it and go for it. Enlightenment is such a valuable thing.

Actually, enlightenment is much too large a subject, so let’s not take that as an example. Instead, let’s say someone comes along with a potion that promises you clairvoyance or omniscience. We would drink it ourselves, not even sharing half of it with others!

Just think how often we are jealous when someone is a better practitioner. How often do we get jealous when someone receives a better or a higher teaching than we do? If you have genuine bodhichitta, you should be happy, shouldn’t you? After all, isn’t that what you wished for? Their getting enlightenment means your wish is at last coming true. Their receiving higher teachings, or becoming better practitioners, means that your aspiration is finally being fulfilled! But we don’t feel this way, instead we feel jealous or envious. Some of us may be so-so Dharma practitioners, so we don’t really feel jealous or envious, but we still feel left behind. Who cares? If you are a genuine bodhisattva, you shouldn’t care about these things. (p.123) ”

–from Entrance to the Great Perfection: A Guide to the Dzogchen Preliminary Practices compiled, translated, and introduced by Cortland Dahl, published by Snow Lion Publications

**Entrance to the Great Perfection • Now at 5O% off
(Good until July 29th).

**Disclaimer: I have no financial connections to Snow Lion Publications or the author.  I post this information as a service to the Dharma with no hidden agenda.

Dealing with Anger

Treat your anger with the utmost respect and tenderness, for it is no other than yourself. Do not suppress it—simply be aware of it. Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed. When you are aware that you are angry, your anger is transformed. If you destroy anger, you destroy the Buddha, for Buddha and Mara are of the same essence. Mindfully dealing with anger is like taking the hand of a little brother.

-Thich Nhat Hanh Thich Nhat Hanh