Friday, August 31, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: The Power of the Ordinary

As inner strength develops from the accumulation of mindfulness in the ordinary moments of life, equanimity follows.

—Gil Fronsdal and Sayadaw U Pandita, “A Perfect Balance

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Drop the Math and Just Be

To be in a real relationship, a loving relationship, is simply to be willing to respond and be there for the other person without always calculating what we are going to get out of it.

—Barry Magid, “No Gain

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: A Brighter World

When we share our light with others, we do not diminish our own light. Rather, we increase the amount of light available to all... When out of gratitude we use our candle to light other people’s candles, the whole room gets brighter.

—Master Sheng Yen, “Rich Generosity

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 29, 2018

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.

 - Ram Dass -

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Defining Compassion

Letting things be, without obsessing to change or improve them, could be seen as a highly developed form of compassion, one of the most central of all Buddhist virtues.

—Rita M. Gross, “Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Integrity’s Lasting Benefits

Living a life of integrity is hard work. Following the path of spiritual growth is hard work. Awakening and staying mindful in each moment requires constant honesty. It’s exhausting (though sometimes also exhilarating), but it expands through all your relations and creates a lasting legacy. The benefits of integrity and wisdom compound over time.

—Franz Metcalf and BJ Gallagher, “Mindful Work

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 26, 2018

There is great delight in tuning through a variety of different methods, and really looking to each method to move you in its own unique way, but also keep opening you. So be very generous in your opening to methods, because if you bring to them a pure heart and a yearning to be free, they will serve you in that way.
The way you get your karmuppance with method, you use them for power, you get power. Then you are stuck with the power. If you use them to reinforce your separateness, you get left in your separateness.

I do my spiritual practices because I do my spiritual practices. What will happen will happen. Whether I will be free and enlightened now or in ten thousand births is of no concern to me. What difference does it make? What else do I have to do? I cannot stop anyway, so it does not make any difference to me. But one concern is to watch that you do not get trapped in your expectations of a practice.

- Ram Dass -

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Via Lion´s Roar / Buddha’s Bicycle

Siddhartha taught that moral responsibility was an important tool for the prevention of dukkha or suffering. But, says Zachary Bremmer, clinging to the five precepts as law can cause more suffering than it prevents. Instead, we should approach the five precepts as training wheels to guide our practice.
The brilliance of the precepts is that they also work on a much more subtle level. The not so obvious benefit is that through our practice we are not only transforming externally by avoiding unskillful ways of acting but simultaneously transforming the internal structure of how we think about and react to certain situations. If I habitually give in to my cravings I will certainly suffer as a result because, as Mick Jagger pointed out, I can’t always get what I want. If I do not allow myself to be pulled around by these insatiable desires, though, I will become awakened to a new way of dealing with these feelings. I will begin to realize that I do not need to act on my lust for food or drink or objects. I will no longer be ruled by an endless cycle of grasping but rather simply take notice that I have certain desires and let them be. The precepts help to accomplish this.

Via Lion’s Roar / The Guidelines of Buddhism

I’m not sure I remember anymore what I was looking for when I first came to Buddhism — some kind of meditative lens, I suppose. But, what did I think that would really be? Whatever it was, I didn’t get it.
I do remember, though, that I was not looking for some new set of moral guidelines. I was a fairly uptight kid already, and I think I saw in Buddhism a path toward loosening up a little, trying on a different me. So when I got handed the precepts, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I’m sure I didn’t always interpret them according to their original spirit; honestly, I’ve always held them clumsily, with far more questions than answers. But I’ve never put them down since.

The basic five go like this:
  1. Do not kill (refrain from destroying living creatures).
  2. Do not steal (refrain from taking what is not given).
  3. Do not misuse sex (refrain from sexual misconduct).
  4. Do not lie (refrain from incorrect speech).
  5. Do not indulge in intoxicants (refrain from substances that lead to carelessness).
On the surface, these seem impossible to really uphold: the internet keeps telling me that I’m eating pounds of bugs in my sleep, as one example. And in today’s economy, how can we always know what is given or not given? If I click “Like” just to be supportive, is that a lie?
At the same time, the precepts are ambiguous enough that we can, if we’re so inclined, weave some convincing stories about how the thing we most want to do is actually the exception to the rule. Eventually, they can become mere background noise. But they can also — if we remain open to what they mean in each new circumstance — provide a framework of questioning that turns the lens of this practice away from ourselves and toward how we can serve others. They can give us, at least in this moment, a place to stand.

—Koun Franz, deputy editor, Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly

Via Daily Dharma: An Understanding That Will Change Your Life

Just understand your mind: how it works, how attachment and desire arise, how ignorance arises, where emotions come from... Just that gives so much happiness and peace.

—Lama Thubten Yeshe, “Chocolate Cake

Friday, August 24, 2018

Pretty Privilege

Via Daily Dharma: A Culinary Delight

With cooking, you can use your awareness to inhabit physical movements that may be new... until, with practice, there is an invigorating flow of energy in those physical experiences, a delight. Such energy, focus, and wholehearted attention nourishes yourself and those you feed.

—Laura Fraser, “The Joy of Mindful Cooking

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Happiness is Here and Now

Happiness means feeling you are on the right path every moment. You don’t need to arrive at the end of the path in order to be happy.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Heart of the Matter

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Seeing through the Filter of Perception

Once perception occurs unfiltered, stripped of the habitual veil of automatic preconception, it is inherently fulfilling.

—Henry Shukman, “The Unfamiliar Familiar

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 22, 2018

For every teacher, every life experience, everything we notice in the universe is but a reflection of our attachments. That is just the way it works.

- Ram Dass -

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Global Family of Gratitude

Gratitude connects us: it lets us see that we are all connected. Any goodness we encounter in the world is a gift from people now and in the past—a handful of people we know by name, and millions of others whose names we’ll never know.

—Kurt Spellmeyer and Sofia Ali-Khan, “Dialogue Across Difference

Monday, August 20, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Leap into Life

We have a choice. We can complacently watch life from the sidelines, or we can risk our pride, our ideas, and whatever else we use to separate ourselves from others and leap fully into our life.

—Michael Wenger, “Entering the Lotus

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Tap into What’s Truly There

On the long path of practice we move from living from our self-images and our many stories to living more from our deepest values, our most authentic self.

—Ezra Bayda, “No One Special To Be

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 19, 2018

There is a lovely story of a boy who goes to a Zen Master and asks, “Master, I know you have many students, but if I study harder than all the rest of them, how long will it take me to get enlightened?” The master said, “ten years.” The boy said, “well, if I work day and night and double my efforts, how long will it take?” The master said, “twenty years.” Now the boy talked of further achievement and the master said, “thirty years.” The boy replied, “why do you keep adding years?” And the master answered, “since you will have one eye on the goal, there will only be one eye left to have on the work. And it will slow you down immeasurably.”

- Ram Dass -

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Growth Demands Wholehearted Effort

When you admit to yourself, “I must make this change to be more happy”—not because the Buddha said so, but because your heart recognized a deep truth—you must devote all your energy to making the change.

—Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, “Getting Started

Friday, August 17, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Say “Yes!”

Think of equanimity as the ability to quickly and deeply say “Yes!” to each new sensory arising.

—Shinzen Young, “The Power of Gone

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Via Prince Ea / The Simple Secret to Happiness

The Buddha was once asked a question by a very frantic disciple.
He asked…

“Buddha! Buddha! Just give me the secret, just please,
just give me the answer; how do I become enlightened?
I gotta go, I just need something quick! Please, can you just
give it to me right now?”

The Buddha replied, “No, no, no. It can’t be done.”

The disciple begged, “I gotta go, I gotta go! Please, please just
tell me. Just tell me, I gotta go, please!”

Then the Buddha said, “Ok, I will give you the secret. Here it is:
When you eat, eat. When you drink, drink.”

That was it. The most powerful practice you can do every day.

To be here now. To only focus on what you’re doing. 

When you walk, walk. When you’re with somebody, be with them.

Don’t be thinking about a million things, don’t be stressing about
the past or the future, just be with them. 

Just be here now.


Prince Ea

Via Daily Dharma: Adopt a Sacred Outlook

When we discover the Buddha that we are, we realize that everything and everyone is Buddha... When we regard thoughts and emotions with humor and openness, that’s how we perceive the universe.

—Pema Chödrön, “Where is Buddha?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hamlet, Act III, Scene I [To be, or not to be] William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.—Soft you now!
The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons
Be all my sins remember’d.

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 15, 2018

The best preparation for dying is to be here now. Then when this moment is the moment of death, I will be here now, which is the optimum way to be when you’re dying. It’s quiet simple. It really is.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: The Enlightened Pause

In doing nothing, in simply stopping, we can live freely and true to ourselves and our liberation will contribute to the liberation of all beings.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, “Simply Stop

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: A Commitment to Freedom

Samaya is our commitment to awakening—to experiencing life directly, free from the projections of thought and feeling. It is also our commitment to use whatever we encounter in life to further that awakening.

—Ken McLeod, “How Samaya Works

Monday, August 13, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Body of Wisdom

Even as one’s mindfulness develops to incorporate and comprehend other key facets of human experience—feelings, the mind, and mental objects—the body remains the locus of self-realization.

—Atia Sattar, “Brown Body, White Sangha

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 12, 2018

To bring to our daily life a quality of awareness, an open-heartedness, a consciousness that understands the interrelationship of all things, means that you can begin to hear the way in which you can live on Earth in harmony with all things.

- Ram Dass -

Via Daily Dharma: Intelligent Faith

Faith is vital, but the way in which one arrives at one’s faith is important. When faith arises as a result of analysis, it is much more stable, because that analysis will astutely detect and be able to resolve whatever doubts one might have.

—Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, “The Path of Faith and the Path of Reasoning

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Transform Adversity into Wisdom

Cultivating an awareness of the gifts of adversity can help us to not only weather the difficult storms of our lives but also come out wiser and more compassionate than ever before.

—Carolyn Gregoire, “Buddhist Thank-You Cards

The Buddha And The Beggar - ชายขอทาน

Friday, August 10, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Quenching the Fire of Anger

Like a forest fire, anger tends to burn up its own support. If we jump down into the middle of such a fire, we will have little chance of putting it out, but if we create a clearing around the edges, the fire can burn itself out. This is the role of meditation: creating a clearing around the margins of anger.

—Mark Epstein, “I’ve Been Meditating for Ten Years, and I’m Still Angry. What’s the Matter with Me?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 8, 2018

I am still a person with an ego and in form, in which there is a little bit of stuff in which I’m somebody. So I’m in training to become nobody. And this is my training field, right here. I have to sit day after day with hundreds and thousands of people looking up at me, like this, saying ‘Yes, oh yes, oh Ram Dass yes, oh yes, ah thank you, ah Ram Dass.’
That is my fire. It’s all those mind nets saying, ‘This is who you are, this is who you are, this is who you are, this is who you are.’ And if I get stuck in being the actor, in being somebody who’s doing good, watch it! Then my mind creates a reality in which everybody that comes into my mind field is somebody for whom good needs to be done…

We can play the roles, but let’s not get stuck in them. …it’s so seductive to get caught in roles.

- Ram Dass - 

Via Daily Dharma: Synergy in Presence

In the Buddhist path we are bringing together our actions, our view, and our practice. It is a balance of awareness, insight, and action, working harmoniously together.

—Judy Lief, “Is Meditation Enough?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Step into Self-Forgiveness

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, “Lighten Your Load

Monday, August 6, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: The Pure Happiness within Us

When it is warm with tenderness and affection toward others, our own heart can give us the most pure and profound happiness that exists and enable us to radiate that happiness to others.

—Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, “Opening the Injured Heart

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 5, 2018

If you’re involved with relationship with parents or children, instead of saying, "I can’t do spiritual practices because I have children," you say, "My children are my spiritual practice." If you’re traveling a lot, your traveling becomes your yoga.

You start to use your life as your curriculum for coming to God. You use the things that are on your plate, that are presented to you. So that relationships, economics, psychodynamics—all of these become grist for the mill of awakening. They all are part of your curriculum.

- Ram Dass -

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Where Compassion Comes Naturally

When you have a deep, deep friendship with someone, you don’t only care, “Is this good for me?” You care for them naturally . . . [This] is vital to developing the deep heart of lovingkindness in the context of dedication to dharma.

—Interview with Ayya Tathaaloka and Thubten Chodron, “The Whole of the Spiritual Life

Via Daily Dharma: Practice Is Simple

You only have one shot at this moment—don’t miss it.

—Andrew Olendzki, “This Moment Is Unique

Friday, August 3, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Consider the Consequences

The efficacy of our actions will be determined by the quality of the contemplation that precedes them.

—Lama Surya Das, “Why Sit?

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: A Love That Sees Clearly

Real love comes with a powerful recognition that we are fully alive and whole despite our wounds or our fears or our loneliness. It is a state where we allow ourselves to be seen clearly by ourselves and by others, and in turn, we offer clear seeing to the world around us. It is a love that heals.

—Sharon Salzberg, “Real Love

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Via Daily Dharma: Take a Fresh Look

When we trust with our open heart, whatever occurs, at that very moment that it occurs, can be perceived as fresh and unstained by the clouds of hope and fear.

—Dr. Jeremy Hayward, “First Thought

Via Ram Dass / Words of Wisdom - August 1, 2018

The interesting question is, how do you put yourself in a position so that you can allow ‘what is’ to be? The enemy turns out to be the creation of mind. Because when you are just in the moment, doing what you are doing, there is no fear. The fear is when you stand back to think about it. The fear is not in the actions. The fear is in the thought about the actions.

- Ram Dass -