Posts Tagged ‘enlightenment
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
Thus, the transformation of sociological and psychological structures must take place initially in our own minds. . . (this is) the blueprint for revolutionary change, first in the individual, then in the community of which he or she is a part. . .if we truly hope to address the root cause of social suffering -Charles Johnson
Rapid technological advances. Increased wealth. Stress. Stable lives and careers come under the pressure of accelerating change. The twenty-first century?
the sixth century B.C.E.—a time of destructive warfare, economic dislocation, and widespread disruption of established patterns of life, just like today.
In conditions similar to ours, the Buddha discovered a path to lasting happiness. His discovery—a step-by-step method of mental training to achieve contentment—is as relevant today as ever.
Putting the Buddha’s discovery into practice is no quick fix. It can take years.
The most important qualification at the beginning is a strong desire to change your life by adopting new habits and learning to see the world anew.
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana from “Getting Started ,” Tricycle, Fall 2001
(ahh history just continuously repeats itself ~John – but you don’t have too)
I have been privileged enough to have some great people and opportunities in my life to practice and develop a sense of self kindness. I cannot express more, how I wish that everyone has the chance to practice self compassion. It has made such a difference not only on how I view myself, but also on how I see the the world and treat others. It has been life changing.
I’ve got a ways to go yet in cultivating this stance; however, I am so grateful for what has awakened in me thus far.
Here’s a post from Tricycle on the subject:
Open Yourself to Yourself
When you don’t punish or condemn yourself, when you relax more and appreciate your body and mind, you begin to contact the fundamental notion of basic goodness in yourself. So it is extremely important to be willing to open yourself to yourself. Developing tenderness toward yourself allows you to see both your problems and your potential accurately. You don’t feel that you have to ignore your problems or exaggerate your potential. That kind of gentleness toward yourself and appreciation of yourself is very necessary. It provides the ground for helping yourself and others.
Chögyam Trungpa, The Sanity We Are Born With (Shambhala Publications)
The Challenge of Enlightenment
If the traditional realization of enlightenment is that everything is already perfect and whole, then why should anyone bother trying to improve themselves or the world? In the following excerpt from a classic dialogue between American Buddhist pioneer Roshi Bernie Glassman and EnlightenNext founder Andrew Cohen, these two teachers explore the potential danger of complacency and self-satisfaction on the spiritual path:
|COHEN: The challenge of enlightenment is that on one hand everything is already full and complete and already free and, at the same time, there is an overwhelming amount of suffering that urgently needs to be responded to in every moment.
GLASSMAN: Exactly. Some people experience that first stage and get caught there. They think, “There’s nothing to do.”
COHEN: Yes. And they may even use it as an excuse not to have to do anything. That’s how many people actually squelch the expression of their own conscience, their own humanity. That’s a pretty bad place to be.
GLASSMAN: That’s sort of where I started—trying to encourage people not to remain in that place. There’s a state in Japanese Zen that’s called the “Cave of Satan.” It’s that place where you just stay—because there’s nothing to do. And you can get in that state and it can be an overwhelming experience. But the point is to kick the person out of that cave.
In one his movies, the comedian W.C. Fields walks into a bank and up to the teller’s window. The teller asks, “Can you identify yourself?” Fields says, “Of course. Do you have a mirror?” When presented with one, Fields immediately states, “Yup, that’s me!”It’s meant as a joke, but it carries a ring of truth. Who among us can say they really know themselves, without illusions, beyond the face in the mirror, their name-rank-and-serial-number role in the world, their personas, defense mechanisms, and self-deceptions?
Do we distinguish between when we are being authentic and inauthentic?
Do we know what we really feel about things, what our true values and priorities are, what lies below the surface of consciousness, and what makes us tick?
– Lama Surya Das, from The Big Questions (Rodale)
Here’s to finding out who you really are in the quiet moments.
After a busy and fun holiday weekend, I am in need of some quiet moments – no tv, no internet, no phone, no family and no friends.
I think a walking meditation on the beach is called for tonight, before I even return home from work.
The sound of water & sand, wind, my heartbeat and my breath – Observing my thoughts arise and then watching them fall away, like the water receding and coming to shore again.
Stripped away and back to me.
About 20 minutes should do it – the rest of the night won’t be the same. The rest of my life won’t be the same.
Yeah, it’s time to prioritize.
With Hands Open and Receptive,
Without commentary by me, more wisdom from Sakyong Mipham from Turning the Mind into an Ally :
“If we think of how many other beings are born here on Earth, it’s amazing that we’re born human.
A traditional Buddhist teaching on the difficulty of obtaining human birth uses the image of a blind tortoise swimming in the ocean that’s as big as the Earth, with an ox’s yoke tossing on the surface. Once every five hundred years the turtle swims up to the surface. The chances of obtaining human birth are said to be as small as the chances of that turtle emerging with its head in the yoke.
. . . we’ve been born in a time and place where we have the luxury of
and putting into action
teachings that awaken us to our enlightened mind”
May you be free from pain,