Monthly Archives: January 2015

Courage

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Great Middle Way

Courage is the mental and moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty in the face of opposition, shame, scandal, and discouragement.

Courage manifests as the Three Minds:
1. THE SINCERE MIND —the willingness to acknowledge our own fundamental goodness without arrogance, knowing that all sentient beings share Natural Perfection; and to recognize our innate stains without despair, knowing that we have the capacity to overcome and control our afflicted emotions and obscurations.
2. THE DEEP MIND —the ability to maintain full conviction and faith in the grace received from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, regardless of doubts, obstacles, or difficulties, and to act according to our highest understanding of the Dharma.
3. THE ASPIRING MIND —the determination to dedicate this and all future lives to benefit others, tame our afflictions, open wide all the gates to the Dharma, and embody the path to enlightenment for every sentient…

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For The Benefit Of Others

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Great Middle Way

Lord-Kshitigarbha-V1_2_1-723x1024Bodhisattvas work for the benefit of others in eleven ways:

  1. befriending the friendless;
  2. counseling the confused;
  3. helping the helpless;
  4. protecting the fearful;
  5. comforting the grieving;
  6. sharing with the destitute;
  7. mentoring those who seek spiritual guidance;
  8. accompanying those traversing the path;
  9. praising the prudent;
  10. admonishing the rash; and
  11. subduing those who will not yield to good counsel.

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Forms of Compassion

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Great Middle Way

ThangkaIf there are sentient beings who need someone in the form of a Buddha in order to be liberated, Chenrezig (Avalokiteshvara, Kwan Yin, Kannon) immediately manifests as a Buddha and speaks the Dharma for them. If they need someone in the form of a Solitary Realizer to be liberated, the Bodhisattva immediately manifests as a Solitary Realizer and exemplifies the Dharma for them. If they need a Disciple to be liberated, the Bodhisattva immediately manifests as a Disciple and speaks the Dharma for them. 

If they need a powerful god, a great general, a heavenly king, a worldly king, an elder, a layperson, a minister, a priest, a monk, a nun, a female elder, a female layperson, a female minister, a priestess, a young boy, a young girl, a celestial being, a dragon, a human being, a non-human being, or an indestructible deity to be liberated, the…

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Five Fundamental Practices

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Great Middle Way

amida-nyorai-amitabha-late-13th-early-14th-centuryIf a good man or woman performs the Five Fundamental Practices and has accomplished them, he or she will eventually attain birth in the Pure Land of Bliss and see Buddha Amideva.

What are the Five Fundamental Practices? They are: (1) reverence; (2) praise; (3) aspiration; (4) contemplation; and (5) merit-transference.

What is reverence? It is a bodily act of honoring Amideva the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Perfectly Enlightened One. One performs this act because one aspires to be born in His Land.

How do we praise Amideva? We praise Him by means of speech. We call the Holy Name of that Tathagata which describes His Light, the embodiment of Wisdom, wishing to practice in accord with the Dharma, that is, in agreement with the significance of the Holy Name.

How do we aspire to be born in the Pure Land? We constantly and definitively resolve, fixing our thoughts on…

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Thoughtful Thursdays #82 – Hurting Others

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No one attacks without the intent to hurt. Cruelty becomes protection. You mean to hurt others  to have freedom. You attack because of fear. Fear of invasions or fear of a feeling. You are looking for freedom from fear. Freedom from feeling your own inadequacy.

If it is you that is lashing out, talk it out with someone who is sympathetic to you. If you are the victim of this type of lashing out let it go because they are hurting and have bad people skills.

Let it go.

This is paraphrased from a section in a Course In Miracles.  Poor behavior is reflection of the person doing the wrong action. It is not a reflection on the intended victim.

Thoughtful Thursdays # 81 – I Am Proud Of Myself

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So many times we don’t give ourselves credit for how much we do, accomplish or endure.

How many times have you bit the bullet and went to work because it was necessary. Congratulations.

How many times have you overcome an obstacle that seemed impossible. Congratulations.

How many times have you had to endure a really uncomfortable situation. Congratulations.

Each opportunity is a chance to say “I am proud of myself”.

Proud that I earn a living.

Proud I don’t give up.

Proud I have endurance.

Make a list of everything that makes you proud to be you and you will see how very capable you are and how valuable you are to everyone in your world.

Lucky you!!!!!

 

We All Have Schizophrenia

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This is going to sound strange but yes we are all schizophernic to one degree or another.

Google Definition:

schiz·o·phre·ni·a
ˌskitsəˈfrēnēə,ˌskitsəˈfrenēə/Submit
noun
a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.
(in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.

For example, we can have a mental disorder that leads to breakdown in thought, emotion and behavior when we fall in love or  have murderous rage.

Inappropriate actions and feelings can come from having our egos brused and wishing death and destruction to the offender and acting on those feelings. These are common stories in the news paper.

Withdrawal from reality in relationships can come from going into denial that you may be in a bad relationship, job, etc.

Inconsistent or contradictory elements can come from being frozen with indecision that you are paralized.

I am not negating the severity of schizophrenia but we all have different aspects of ourselves.

We can be the parent, the child, the protector, the killer, the compassionate one or more. Pay attention to how you behave in your interactions in your daily routine. These aspects will become visible if you pay attention.

We are a blend of aspects in our psyche and that is normal. Some aspects are more pronounced than others. Sometimes we are mostly sweet or angry, sad or outgoing or any other role. We all have flashes of insight and can choose whatever behavior we want.

It is our job to accept all aspects of ourselves and deny nothing. In this way we are in touch with our humanity and the humanity of others.

Happy exploring.

 

Thoughtful Thursdays # 80 – New Year Resolutions

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I don’t do well with New Year Resolutions because I feel like I am being forced to do something just because every one else is. I was never one to follow the crowd.

These resolutions seem like a set up for beating yourself up if you don’t follow through on an empty promise you made to yourself.I don’t beat myself up and neither should you.

Instead expand on what has been working in your life and leave behind what does not work.

This is the time for year for new ideas, new feelings and new adventures.

Happy New Year 2015.