Posts Tagged ‘Buddhism’

Young man, be aware of these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend who endures in good times and bad, the mentor, and the compassionate friend.

The helper can be identified by four things: by protecting you when you are vulnerable, and likewise your wealth, being a refuge when you are afraid, and in various tasks providing double what is requested.

The enduring friend can be identified by four things: by telling you secrets, guarding your own secrets closely, not abandoning you in misfortune, and even dying for you.

The mentor can be identified by four things: by restraining you from wrongdoing, guiding you towards good actions, telling you what you ought to know, and showing you the path to samsaric heavens.

The compassionate friend can be identified by four things: by not rejoicing in your misfortune, delighting in your good fortune, preventing others from speaking ill of you, and encouraging others who praise your good qualities.

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  • Sometimes, making the “right choice” in life is difficult because it involves some sacrifice of our momentary pleasures… But framing any decision we face with the question “Will this bring me happiness?” can be a powerful strategy… Shifting the focus from what we are denying ourselves to what we are truly seeking – ultimate happiness.
  • If you possess this inner quality, a calmness of mind, a degree of stability within, then even if you lack various external facilities that you would normally consider necessary for happiness, it is still possible to live a happy and joyful life.
  • How can we achieve inner contentment? Not to have what we want, but rather to want what we have.
  • A tree with strong roots can withstand the most violent storm, but the tree can’t grow root just as the storm appears on the horizon.
  • If we think about the injustice done to us, the ways that we have been unfairly treated, and keep thinking about it over and over, it feeds the hatred. Through this constant familiarity and thinking, we ourselves can make our emotions more intense and powerful.
  • The ability to shift perspective – asking, “How can I see this differently?” – can be one of the most powerful and effective tools we have to help us cope with life’s daily problems.
  • The essential ingredients to happiness.
    • Determination, effort, time.
  • Feelings of grief and anxiety are natural responses to loss. But if you allow these feelings of loss and worry to persist, there’s danger: if these feelings are left unchecked, they can lead to a kind of self-absorption.
  • I’ve found that sincere motivation acts as an antidote to reduce fear and anxiety.
  • Real spiritual practice is in some sense like a voltage stabilizer. The function of the stabilizer is to prevent irregular power surges and instead give you a stable and constant source of power.
  • Our body is here, but our mind is somewhere else – in the past or the future, possessed by anger, frustration, hopes, or dreams.
  • As we breathe in, we know we are breathing in, and as we breathe out, we know we are breathing out.
  • Breathing in, I am aware of my eyes. Breathing out, I smile to my eyes.
  • When we get in touch with our eyes, our heart, our liver, our breathing, and our non-toothache and really enjoy them, we see that the conditions for peace and happiness are already present.
  • Peace is already with them. We only need to help them cultivate the habit of touching peace in each moment.
  • In the way that a gardener knows how to transform compost into flowers, we can learn the art of transforming anger, depression, and racial discrimination into love and understanding.
  • We live in forgetfulness, looking for happiness somewhere else, ignoring and crushing the precious elements of happiness that are already in us and around us.
  • When mindfulness touches something beautiful, it reveals its beauty. When it touches something painful, it transforms and heals it.
  • We believe that happiness is possible only in the future. That is why the practice “I have arrived” is very important. The realization that we have already arrived, that we don’t have to travel any further, that we are already here, can give us peace and joy. The conditions for our happiness are already sufficient.
    • There is no need for us to struggle to arrive somewhere else. We know that our final destination is the cemetery. Why are we in a hurry to get there? Why not step in the direction of life, which is in the present moment?
  • We have to live in a way that liberates the ancestors and future generations who are inside of us.
  • Everything we do for ourselves is for others, everything we do for others is for us.
  • The happiness of one person
    • We see that the other person, like us, has both flowers and compost inside, and we accept this. Our practice is to water the flowerness in her and not bring her more garbage. We avoid blaming and arguing. When we try to grow flowers, if the flowers do not grow well, we do not blame or argue with them. We blame ourselves for not taking care of them well. Our partner is a flower. If we take care of her well, she will grow beautifully. If we take care of her poorly, she will wither. To help a flower grow well, we must understand her nature. How much water does she need? How much sunshine?
    • Each of us has our own suchness (difficulties, aspirations, suffering, anxiety). If we want to live in peace and happiness with another person, we have to understand his or her suchness and our own.
    • “This is difficult, darling, but I have faith you can do it.”
    • Living together is an art. Even with good will, you can make your partner quite unhappy. Art is the essence of life. We have to be artful in our speech and action. The substance of art is mindfulness.
    • You form a community of two in order to practice of live – taking care of each other , helping your partner blossom, and making happiness something real in that small community.
My friend, do not rely on anything outside of yourselves. Be an island unto yourself, and take refuge in the island of yourself. – Buddha
  • See how
    • I have seed of unkindness and anger as well as the habit energy to make the other person unhappy.
    • I have mistakenly thought that making the other person suffer would relieve my own suffering.
    • By making him or her suffer, I make myself suffer.
  • “I am sorry, I was unmindful. I got angry too easily and without any basis. Please forgive me.”
  • …tax their bodies and minds…
  • We have to teach ourselves and our children how to appreciate the simple joys that are available.
  • We have to make the effort to heal words by using them properly and carefully.
  • … loving speech and deep listening…
  • I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure.
  • The teaching of interbeing
    • Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos.
  • Life is an art. We should all be artists in order to live a happy life.
    • During dinner time we feel grateful that we are together, we have food to eat, and we really enjoy the food and the presence of each other.
  • We have to find ways to rebuild the foundations of our communities and to offer people something to believe in.
  • Mindfulness is something we can believe in.
    • It is our capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment.
  • Faith is the first of five powers taught by the Buddha.
    • Energy -> Mindfulness -> Concentration -> Understanding
    • A good friend is someone who can inspire faith.
  • You will never find a perfect sangha.
    • An imperfect sangha is good enough. Rather than complain too much about your sangha, do your best to transform yourself in a good element of the sangha. Accept the sangha and build on it.
  • A sangha is also a community of resistance, resisting the speed, violence, and unwholesome ways of living that are prevalent in our society.

Poverty of Spirit

Posted: March 4, 2014 in Short Stories
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A poor man asked the Buddha,
“Why am I so poor?”

The Buddha said, “you do not learn to give.”

So the poor man said, “If I’m not having anything?”

Buddha said: “You have a few things,
The Face, which can give a smile;
Mouth, you can praise or comfort others;
The Heart, it can open up to others;
Eyes, who can look the other with the eyes of goodness;
Body, which can be used to help others.”

So, actually we are not poor at all, poverty of spirit is the real poverty.

  • It is very important to surround yourself with people who have loving kindness, understanding, and compassion, because day and night we are influenced by the collective consciousness.
  • When you observe your mind, you use your mind… If your mind is caught in anger, confusion, discrimination, then it’s not clear enough to do the work of observation, even if you have expensive scientific instruments.
  • It’s not important that you remember what was said, but that you are free.
  • The nature of a seed is that its manifestation, its fruit, is already contained in the seed.
    • You need a few conditions to help them manifest.
    • The seed and the fruit are not two different things.
    • You need the kind of environment where the seed of Buddhahood can manifest to the maximum. These are supporting conditions.
  • Sometimes obstacles and difficulties help you to succeed.
    • If the pine encounters only easy conditions along the way, then its roots may not go as deeply and firmly in the earth, and when the strong winds come it may be blown over.
  • A practitioner should be strong in order to accept both kinds of supporting causes: same direction or opposite direction.
  • Transformation and healing need to be steady and continuous.
  • Everywhere there is a perception, there is a delusion.
  • The Four Reflective Inquiries
    1. The Name – We tend to believe that since the name remains the same, the reality has remained the same also.
    2. The Meaning of the Word – We are always ready to label things with the names and concepts that we already have.
    3. Conventional Designation
    4. The Particular
  • Nondualism gives rise to nonviolence.
  • The nature of interbeing: Everything contains everything else; everything penetrates everything else. Looking into the one, you see the presence of the many, the presence of the all.
  • Every thought, every speech, every act bears your signature – you can’t escape.
    • If you produce something not so beautiful you can’t take it back – it has already gone out ahead in the future and begun to produce a chain of action and reaction.
  • We are a continuation. It’s like the stream of water on Earth is a continuation of the cloud in the sky. And the stream of water has not been born. It’s only a continuation of the cloud.
    • A cloud may become rain or snow or ice or water. But it is impossible for a cloud to become nothing.
  • The substance with which the future is made is the present moment.
    • If there is peace, harmony, right effort, and mindfulness now, we know the future will be good.
  • The Six Paramita (The Six Perfections)
  • When your heart is small, you suffer a lot. But when your heart becomes bigger, very big, then the same thing does not make you suffer anymore. So the secret is how to help your heart to grow.
  • Liberation is found on the other shore. But it is not a matter of time, not a matter of distance to reach the other shore – it is a matter of insight, of realization.
    • Releasing the shore of ignorance, of delusion, of attachment, of wrong perceptions we are already touching the shore of freedom, of happiness. It is not a matter of time.
  • When we love each other, we are not the possession of the other, we are not an object of consumption for the other person. Love has the substance of maitri inside, that is, the capacity to offer friendship and happiness.
  • The four element of love
    • Maitri – friendship
    • Karuna – loving kindness
    • Mudita – joy
    • Upeksha – equanimity, non-discrimination
  • You don’t really need a lot of money, or fame, or power to be happy. We need mindfulness in order to be happy. We need freedom – freedom from our worries, craving, and anxiety – so we are able to get in touch with the wonders of the life that are available in the here and the now.
  • The Five Earth-Touchings

Walking Meditation

The mind can go in a thousand directions.
But on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.
With each step, the wind blows.
With each step, a flower blooms.

I have arrived.
I am home
in the here,
in the now.
I am solid.
I am free.
In the ultimate
I dwell.

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Quotes
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Compassionate listening brings about healing… Deep listening nourishes both speaker and listener… You have to listen in such a way that compassion remains with you the whole time you are listening. That is the art… Compassion is the only energy that can help us connect with another person.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Posted: August 4, 2013 in Quotes
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I believe all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed.

– Dalai Lama

Posted: August 2, 2013 in Quotes
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When clear water contacts yellow, it turns yellow. When it contacts green, it turns green. It will change color every time. Actually, that water which is green or yellow is naturally clean and clear. This is also the natural state of the mind, clean and pure and unconfused. It becomes confused only because it pursues mental impressions; it gets lost in its moods!

Posted: April 11, 2013 in Quotes
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Nothing whatsoever should be clung to.

– The Buddha

Someone approached the Buddha and asked him whether he could summarize his teachings in one phrase and, if he could, what it would be. The Buddha replied that he could. The Buddha then emphasized his point by saying that whoever had heard this core-phrase had heard all the Teachings, whoever put it into practice had practiced all the Teachings, and whoever had received the fruits of practicing this point had received all of the fruits of the Buddhist Teachings.

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Quotes
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How people treat their fellow human beings, and indeed the world around them, largely depends on how they conceive of themselves. We may consider ourselves in terms of gender as men or women, or as followers of this or that religion, or as members of this or that race or nationality … Depending on which perspective we take, we raise different expectations of ourselves. And this in turn affects our behavior, including our treatment of other people.

It is of primary importance to have a clear understanding of what unites us all, namely our common humanity. We are all human, all seven billion of us. In this respect we are all one hundred percent the same.

– His Holiness The Dalai Lama