Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Door to Satisfaction

The Door to Satisfaction
by Lama Zopa Rinpoche


If you neglect to protect your mind, you can neither close the door to suffering nor open the door to happiness.

When you are cherishing yourself, thinking only of yourself—”How can I be happy? How can I be free of problems?”—there is no happiness in your heart, only worry and fear. You see only problems, and your mind is not relaxed. But in the next moment, when you change your object of concern to another sentient being—even if it is only one other sentient being—suddenly your heart is released from self-cherishing, like limbs released from chains.

Just like you, all these (sentient) beings want happiness and do not want suffering. There is nothing more important in your life than working for sentient beings, pacifying their suffering and giving them happiness. There is nothing more important than this. Anything other than living your life for other sentient beings is meaningless, empty.

Living your life for others, cherishing them with lovingkindness and compassion, is the door to happiness, the door to enlightenment.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
by Chogyam Trungpa


In meditation practice we clear away the confusion of ego in order to glimpse the awakened state. The absence of ignorance, of being crowded in, of paranoia, opens up a tremendous view of life. One discovers a different way of being.

The neurotic state of mind is not difficult or impossible to deal with. It has energy, speed and a certain pattern. The practice of meditation involves letting be - trying to go with the pattern, trying to go with the energy and the speed. In this way we learn how to deal with these factors, how to relate with them, not in the sense of causing them to mature in the way we would like, but in a sense of knowing them for what they are and working with their pattern.

Trust and compassion for oneself bring inspiration to dance with life, to communicate with the energies of the world.

One must be willing to stand alone, which is difficult.

One's whole (spiritual) practice should be based on the relationship between you and nowness.

In meditation practice we clear away the confusion of ego in order to glimpse the awakened state. The absence of ignorance, of being crowded in, of paranoia, opens up a tremendous view of life. One discovers a different way of being.

The neurotic state of mind is not difficult or impossible to deal with. It has energy, speed and a certain pattern. The practice of meditation involves letting be - trying to go with the pattern, trying to go with the energy and the speed. In this way we learn how to deal with these factors, how to relate with them, not in the sense of causing them to mature in the way we would like, but in a sense of knowing them for what they are and working with their pattern.

Trust and compassion for oneself bring inspiration to dance with life, to communicate with the energies of the world.

One must be willing to stand alone, which is difficult.

One's whole (spiritual) practice should be based on the relationship between you and nowness.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Start Where You Are

Start Where You Are
A Guide to Compassionate Living
by Pema Chodron


With our minds we make a big deal out ourselves, out of our pain, and out of our problems.

I'd like to encourage us all to lighten up, to practice with a lot of gentleness.
"Well, my life has taught me to be more curious than afraid." Ishi
There's nothing really wrong with passion or aggression or ignorance, except we take it so personally...

How can we help? The way we can help is by making friends with our own feelings of hatred, bewilderment and so forth. Then we can accept them in others.

Underneath all that craving or aversion or jealousy or feeling wretched about yourself, underneath all that hopelessness and despair and depression, there's something extremely soft, which is called bodhichitta.

...compassion starts with making friends with ourselves, and particularly with our poisons - the messy areas.

If we really want to communicate, we have to give up knowing what to do. When we come in with our agendas, they only block us from seeing the person in front of us.

...so this is very important, this making friends with ourselves. It's the key to a more sane, compassionate planet.

What you do for yourself - any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself - will affect how you experience the world.

The happiness we seek is our birthright. To discover it we need to be more gentle with ourselves, more compassionate toward ourselves and our universe. The happiness we seek cannot be found through grasping, trying to hold on to things. It cannot be found through getting serious and uptight about wanting things to go in the direction we think will bring happiness. We are always taking hold of the wrong end of the stick. The point is that the happiness we seek is already here and it will be found through relaxation and letting go rather than through struggle.

By acting out or repressing we invite suffering, bewilderment, or confusion to intensify.

The only way to effect real reform is without hatred.

You begin to realize that all the (Buddhist) teachings are about yourself; you're here to study yourself.
"You should never have expectations for other people. Just be kind to them." Trungpa Rinpoche
...other people trigger the karma that we haven't worked out.

Searching for happiness prevents us from ever finding it.

Dharma is basically a good recipe for how to cook yourself, how to soften the hardest, toughest piece of meat. Dharma is good instruction on how to stop cheating yourself, how to stop robbing yourself, how to find out who you really are...

The key to feeling at home with your body, mind, and emotions, to feeling worthy to live on this planet, comes from being able to lighten up.

The key to compassionate action is this: Everybody needs someone to be there for them, simply to be there.

Patience implies willingness to be alive rather than trying to seek harmony.