What is the meaning of life?
Meaning of Life
How does life change,
how does life seem to operate / function
Filters of perception
Levels of Consciousness
Is there a God?
Who am I?
What is life then?
What is reality?
Relative truth vs absolute truth
Law of Cause and Effect
How to Live in Harmony & Be Happy
Ultimate Aim of Life
Quick Tips & truths
Coping with Stress
Changing the World
How do I actually live?
Living in Harmony
More Tips & Truths
So What Now?
What is my True Purpose?
Paths to Enlightenment
Other methods of awakening
Protection / Support
Wisdom - Seeing Clearly things as they are
The Key - The Shortcut
What is this page all about?
There may come a time in life when we start wondering what is life all about? For different people this may be at different times, stages in life due to certain changes or circumstances.
I have been interested in this type of topic most of my life, however for me personally the first time I became absorbed and concentrated on this subject came in my early twenties after my degree and when I heard my Mum was diagnosed with cancer in 1999.
More than 15 years have passed since I started this website and now I have now returned [i never really left] to this particular page in 2015. A lot has changed in my life since then, most notably now I am married to my lovely wife, have one beautiful daughter and we are planning to have another child in soon.
The main reason for my return here however was that I found out that my step-brother, whom I feel very close to, was diagnosed with cancer too.
So I felt an inner urge to come back more actively to my website, especially the Cancer related pages [which I have spent some time updating recently] and as well as to this page to see. It is an interesting experiment to see if my beliefs and convictions from over 14 years years still holds true, to see if anything can be improved, be made more user friendly, or if I could perhaps word ideas more eloquently or layout the sections slightly more effectively or logically.
The following is a summary of 'The Meaning of Life' as I see it - followed by tips for harmonious living and possibly some tips for fully realizing our potential as human beings. By reading this page and other pages on this website it may assist you, as a pointer, on the path to being happy, balanced and at peace with you Self and others around you - as I believe the understanding and practices have helped me.
The information on this page is based on my personal experience, level of consciousness and research of modern, ancient, spiritual texts and scientific articles, exercises and observations. This information is not specifically linked with any particular religion or faith. In my opinion all the innermost core truths from most of the worlds religion converge.
Follow your own heart, path and intuition.
Truth or Knowledge does not neccessarily bear fruit if not put into action. Nobody here is going to force you to do anything
Do not blindly believe anything here - experience it for yourself. Be open minded but be healthy skeptical.
If one puts right knowledge into action through regular practice you may have more experience or be aware of more good luck and you may be able to manifest and attract anything your heart desires and your life may have more meaning and direction.
This is real and available to all who are ready, willing and able.
Now I've given you the positive sales pitch, I have to warn you.
Warning on the path to Truth
Asking the questions that this page and site deals with is a serious matter, no joke. Monks would cleanse and purify themselves before contemplating some of the deep questions of life.
In the Ancient Mystery Schools of Egypt one would spend at least twelve years on the left brain, & twelve years on the right brain (left and Right Eye of Horus). In Tibetan Buddhism one prepares and learn for years before being shown certain teachings and being initiated / empowered into higher spiritual practices.
However the chances are you have already been thinking about it (consciously or unconsciously), otherwise you wouldn't be here. Even if you think you are here by accident / pressure / politeness I would hazard a guess that there is a deeper meaning to your presence here. But then again I could be wrong! Time will tell!
By seriously contemplating important questions in life your life may more than likely change at rapid, but not too uncomfortable pace - But once you start becoming conscious it is difficult to turn back. Relationships change as people try and hold you back or as other's don't know how to deal with you
However if you decide to embark on this journey,
Do your best to assist others on the path and in life, helping those in need, starting as much as possible with those closest to you. However if you can't assist others then at least do no harm to any other sentient beings.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY OR DANGER
If life is too hectic
If start losing your mind or losing a grip on everyday reality
Are you ready?
Do not read any further unless:
Each question or step leads onto another one.
Hopefully you've already looked at or contemplated some of the following topics because it's a bit 'full on' and in note form (summarized, essential, concise, to the core). It might be a good idea to contemplate a section for a little, while really thinking about it, but then detach and release, and be open for insights & realizations.
If you have any aha! realization moments - stay with this feeling, relaxed but be aware.
Pray to be shown the true meaning of the lessons, and apply the wisdom don't just theorize. Become an inner scientist.
Pray for divine guidance, divine protection & divine strength.
Each section will have some related pages for further reading as below:
Definition of Life
Oxford Dictionary Definition - Life - state of functional activity and continual change peculiar to organized matter -
Physical life is activity and constant change - this is observable and verifiable
'Change is the only constant' Chinese Proverb [This fits with Buddhist 'Law of Impermanence' ]
As many experience at peak times in life - Life can be described as an amazing flow of interconnected events and relationships bringing friends and family together and apart in the cycle of pain and pleasure, brith and death [and possibly rebirth - who knows].
So how does life change?
Seems that everything that is born into existence / given life goes through several stages:
birth, growth, peak, maturity, decline, death
It seems entropy / eventual death and decay is inevitable.
Physical Mortality is one of the few guarantees we have in life! [Well as the saying goes - 'Only Death and Taxes are certain']
As observable in Nature our Life experiences move in cycles - much like the seasons, the orbits of planets, day - night, and there seems to be an observable polarity too in nature and science ie. male - female, positive - negative.
If we look more closely Life / Nature seems to evolve in spirals - like the galaxies, fractals, plants - pine cones, shells etc
Life seems to evolve from dense matter to lighter matter, from within to 'without' [evolution in consciousness, physical / mental / emotional / spiritual evolution.
Life and sentient beings wants to survive - our bodies are set up to procreate and survive - animals either fight or flight - this is the primordial basic instinct..
and thus it can be observed that Life, nature, and all sentient beings seem to obey certain laws - Natural laws, Universal laws, Physical laws etc. Such as Law of conservation, Gravity, Newton's Laws and cause and affect - [ and some would argue there is a Law of Karma (see below)].
Some of these natural laws we can change, manipulate, bend some it seems perhaps we cannot.
Understanding laws of nature, allow us to ride the wave / rhythm of life a lot better.
Life shows signs of organization -
How does life operate / function?
What is the activity?
There are universal laws of nature that govern the world of phenomena.
l. The Principle of Mentalism - "The all is mind: the universe is mental."
2. The Principle of Correspondence - "As above, so below; as below, so above."
3. The Principle of Vibration - "Nothing rests: everything moves: everything vibrates."
4. The Principle of Polarity - "Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled."
5. The Principle of Rhythm - "Everything flows, out and in; everything has its tides; all things rise and fall; the pendulum swing manifests in everything; the measure of the swing to the right is the measure of the swing to the left; rhythm compensates."
6. The Principle of Cause and Effect - "Every cause has its effect; every effect has its cause; everything happens according to the law; chance is but a name for law not recognized; there are many planes of causation, but nothing escapes the law."
7. The Principle of Gender - "Gender is in everything; everything has its masculine and feminine principles; gender manifests on all planes."
SOURCE: THE SEVEN GREAT EGYPTIAN HERMETIC PRINCIPLES
As above so below, as within, so without - Hermetic Law
Life is a mirror - Our experiences are attracted to us consciously and unconsciously (from subconscious)
People that irritate us are there to show us we have an imbalance in our personality - you don't like in others what you don't like about yourself!
Life is chaos - don't be attached to control, logic and order
Interconnectedness / Interdependence
/ Oneness / Unity of Life
We are all connected on all levels -
Physical / Material / Economical Level
So water, hydrogen, breathing, and the Sun are very close to our true physical essence / source
so the potential for laughter and sadness is in our true nature
peace, tranquility, boundlessness, non-locality, are close to our true essence
While in existence we are connected through Karma - Law of Cause & Effect how you sow shall you reap, - on physical, mental, emotional, levels. On spiritual level there is no karma, there is just pure being and non being / un-manifest - pure potential for Karma to arise
So we see that no act is insignificant - a butterfly's wings can seem to cause a avalanche on the other side of the globe - we are all interconnected whether we like it or not!
In fact as one gets into it one realizes - where does self finish? where are the boundaries of self - where does the mind finish? who set the boundaries?
some teach there is no self / non-self - as in no separate entity from the oneness of being
others teach we are individuals simultaneously in union
We are always in balance and connected. Imbalance and separation is an illusion.
Every profession has a filter
Generalizing a fair amount:
A comedian may see everything through a filter of humour and how to build it ito a comedy routine or just to make people laugh.
A lawyer may see things through the filter of an adversarial legal battle with a win / lose orientation.
A business person may work through the filter of making money while an artist does so through the filter of beauty, which ties into the effect of the rays, each of the seven major rays being a lens that affects the soul and monad.
A healer may look at everything in terms of energy, and a social worker through the filter of social implications
A family counselor is focused on the family unity in terms of relationships and children.
An astrologer works through the astrological horoscope, and that is how all experience is organized.
As you can see we stack filters on top of filters on top of filters until very little if any light gets through. The ideal is to become crystal clear about which filters are affecting our consciousness, which means still being inclusive ie. accepting all filters as a part of the whole
Seek and you shall find -
We see with our minds not our eyes
Everybody perceives a different reality - based on subjective or relative experience - as verified by quantum mechanics. eg. the picture of the old woman / young lady or the duck / rabbit etc. Even when confronted by a Holy Being some people may see Jesus, others may see only a badly dress homeless person. It depends on your relation to the experience.
So our relative view is our subjective view. The most gross relative truth would relate to the lowest level.
How we perceive life relates to how we will experience it. How we perceive life is based on our levels of consciousness and filters or as Dr Joshua David Stone calls 'Psycho-epistemology'. Through experiences, beliefs, attitudes, training in a particular profession etc. we develop a way of looking at life.
If you are living on the lowest level of consciousness, living mainly attached to the first body / level then you will be concerned with food, money, sex, survival, security.
Unfortunately this is where most of us are at! Most of us are operate no differently to what some perceive to be the lowest forms of life!
The journey of evolution / enlightenment / ascension is up the ' Tree of Life' to - union with the divine / limitless and un-manifest. Below is a simplified table of seven level of consciousness for full table see here. Obviously we can split the categories into 7, 12, 14, 18 etc, levels but the point is the same -
move from - service to self / survival / ego
to - service and devotion to others, developing generosity, patience, compassion, respect, understanding, wisdom, insight, unconditional love - developing bodhichitta (buddha nature mind-stream) and High Virtues
to - union with the Divine / non being / Void - leaving the wheel of Karma, gaining status of 'Never Returner' or as you can choose to stay until all sentient beings are enlightened - Bodhisattva's
Most of us react to the environment and our negative egos and instead of responding with inner guidance.
The Seven Bodies - Maitreya Ishwara
Seventh Body is nothingness, the beyond. The inconceivable.
Divine Death, non-being, nirvana
Sixth Body - cosmic body revealed when being transcended.
Consciousness, witnessing, pure awareness
Fifth Body - spiritual body is the Being, revealed when ego dissolves.
Unlimited by space/time - being touched through meditation
Fourth Body - mental / psychic body - heart / love meditation, prayer, devotion & non-doing
Third Body - Astral Body - Power, creativity, work, intelligence, expression,
Second Body - emotional body -relating, sharing, intimacy - emotional healing
First Body - physical - Food, sex, money, security
This shows us a configuration of filters that we use to perceive life. So if you are operating from the first body / chakra - you will react / respond by either fight or flight - in order to survive. If you operate from higher levels you will respond from higher morals / values / virtues / awareness.
The aim is to be able to see that there are many different ways of looking at a particular situation. Be detached and see all perspective
You can even imagine a board meeting of all of these bodies - each giving their perspective. Choose the right response - for the highest good of all.
Obviously we can chose different filters to look at life. eg, archetypes / rays / star signs / attitude / beliefs / prejudice.
So once we are aware of this we have an array of responses available to our disposition - we are empowered. We become more mature and we can be more detached
The journey of life (or many lives) is realization and integration of all seven levels. No level is necessarily better than any other - you need to have balance. eg. many psychics are not spiritual and don't necessarily believe in God.
Other systems have different numbers (10, 12, 14, 22, 144, 352 etc.) however the principle remains the same - evolve consciousness, drop negative ego - ascend the Tree of Life - back to the Godhead / Para Nirvana / Great Tao / Unknown / Limitless Light. This journey is known as the path of - self realization, enlightenment or ascension.
We will discuss more on filters in what is reality' below.
Is there a God?
People don't like this word. Maybe because the God they prayed to let them down some time in the past, or they think life would be like this if there is a God.......who knows?
As we saw above - The God you look for or expect, will be the God you find - based on your filter / ray / archetype / star sign / level of awareness / meme etc.How we perceive God, is based on which level of awareness we operate from. Eg. which of the 7 levels of consciousness are we at.
If deep down you believe God is a nasty, judgmental old man with a beard then that is one that you will perceive as controlling reality - you will see reality through that lens. If you feel GOD is the divine Ultimate Artist, Fair and Just then that is the one you will experience.
Here are seven possible stages of God. (from How to Know God, by Deepak Chopra)
Stages of God
God of Pure Being - "I Am", God is As We Are
|God of Miracles|
|God the Creator|
|God the Redeemer|
|God of Peace|
|God the Almighty|
|God the Protector|
|Source: How to Know God by Deepak Chopra|
We are the Children of God. We are made in the image of God.
We are holographic -containing the whole within the part.
We are the microcosm of the macrocosm. We are cells on the body of God.
Inside us is the potential for creation, destruction & sustainability. From ideas comes creation, but requires effort, courage, patience, discipline etc.
We've created & destroyed so much - now we need to sustain balance & harmony.
We are responsible - we are the hands of God - here on Earth. God has given himself / herself in the way of creation & the elements - and this can especially be seen with Water - which Lao Tzu sates. 'Water is the highest form of goodness'. 'Why is the Ocean the king of the river's? Because it lies lower than them!' 'To serve is to rule'
The elements can be seen as a states.
Water changes from ice to water to steam. God can be like this. The most crystalline being the physical.
Matter is frozen light. David Bohm
We need to align with Heaven & Earth. God has given us the ability to choose our own fate / destiny / karma. We need to let God into our hearts. Jesus / Buddha nature is waiting patiently in our hearts - ready for us to reawaken the seed of compassion.
God is Vital force / The Great Breath / Spirit
On the most concrete, material, crystallized form we can interchange the word God with Life or Existence.
Life is God - if there is Life / existence there must be God - to be intelligent enough to create, preserve, sustain, organize, govern - organisms / energy beings and natural laws of life like Karma.
God is Law. Laws encompass things. God is at least the law of life, the law if nature, the law of karma.
However God is also beyond Life and existence. God includes the Quantum Foam, or Field of pure potential as well as beyond.
GOD equals Man minus Ego
The way to be and experience GOD, moment to moment, is to release negative ego -drop the self grasping, conceptualizing, over analyzing mind
The attachment to ego , the separate sense of 'I' and other , causes so much suffering - This separation is an illusion. In Truth we are always one with GOD.
GOD is all there is,
I AM not separate from That
When one realizes: God is all there is, everything changes. It means there is no one other than you. You are the whole, including all the unconscious, ignorant people. This means your sense of self expands to include everyone and everything. It means other people are also God. It means you are the world. Separation from existence is the human reality. To understand Advaita is to be free from separation. To miss the point is the hell of the ego.
We are children of God, Integrated parts of the whole.
The mother - is laid out for our use - in service to the highest good - eg. Mother Earth, Divine Feminine
Our father waits patiently.
First there was the Word and the
Word was God, (John 1:1)
or as the Rishis taught the Word was the primordial sound 'OM' or 'AUM'
- the super-string from which all manifestations stem from
Who am I?
Most people haven't really contemplated this question enough.
Meditate on it. Contemplate it.
I am whatever I identify with!
"Identification means that we mentally or emotionally lose ourselves in something inside or outside of ourselves. We become absorbed in a person, a place, our career, a hobby, our personal viewpoints... When we identify with our thoughts, we call it day dreaming... Identification also means to wrongly take something as being part of our essential selves. Take your name. That is only a label attached at birth. If you change your name, it would not make you any different. Take the physical body. That is merely a vehicle for living on earth. Your True Self does not consist of name, body, money, home, career, or your personal beliefs. You are something entirely different from these attachments."
Most people identify with their body, ego, job, fears, memories, beliefs. Most people think they are their ego / personality roles - eg. Mother, Businessman, Poor me, Intimidator, Aloof, Caretaker, Parent, Child,
Most people react without thought, acting out roles - automatic like robots!
Most people let their minds go on and on without contemplation, mindfulness, attention or thought about what they are thinking, saying, feeling, tasting, knowing, learning, eating, doing with body, speech & mind.
The roles we play are not the essence of who we really are. We are a river of many things, (& pure potential for anything), however here, as always I am interested in the pure essence of who we really are.
It is said, The ultimate realization
- I AM THAT I AM
- God is That, I AM not separate from THAT -
"GOD could be likened to the Sun which shines down upon the forest and creates beams of sunlight upon the forest floor. We each are a beam or ray of GOD's infinite Light. Let us not try to be a beam of light that is in truth not what GOD created us to be. Let us instead see all the beams of light stemming from the same source, all being of equal value and importance. GOD's Divine Plan cannot be completed unless each and every single person on planet Earth fulfills their puzzle piece as GOD would have it be!"
From Embracing your puzzle piece" by Dr Joshua David Stone
I Am the pure potential to be Creator, Destroyer or Preserver (3 Hindu Aspects of GOD)
We truly are made in the likeness of GOD.
Our individual highest awareness is always one with GOD awareness
GOD realization, as I perceive it, is being fully conscious moment to moment, not clinging to anything, being in the presence of GOD / LOVE / ONENESS, feeling reverence and gratitude, and compassion and serving others - seeing the prism / diamond of life and it's refractions / reflections simultaneously - beyond our comprehension.
Aware of the pure, subtle level of awareness, simultaneously aware of what is in the moment - Not of this world but in this world! Aware of the bird, sky, and the self simultaneously
Many Hindus believe one day we will wake up, as if from a Cosmic dream
What is Life then?
LIFE IS NO-THING. LIFE IS AN ENDLESS CHAOS OF POSSIBILITIES. BY SELECTING SOME OF THOSE POSSIBILITIES WE WEAVE A WEB DETERMINED BY A PATTERN WE CANNOT KNOW BEFOREHAND. IT IS THIS SELECTION OF POSSIBILITIES, OR THE WEAVING, OR THE WOVEN WEB, WHICH PEOPLE MISTAKENLY LOOK UPON AS LIFE. YET REALISE THAT LIFE REMAINS FOR EVER UNTOUCHED BY THE WEAVING OF MAN. WE MAKE OUR UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE WHAT WE WILL, BUT LIFE IN ITSELF IS A TRANSCENDENT STATE OF FLUX HAVING NO FORM, AND YET GIVING RISE TO ALL FORMS.
From the above analogy it is clear to see that life is not at all what most people believe it to be. As the aphorism at the beginning of this chapter indicates, life for the average man and woman is nothing more than a dream, and their actions nothing more than folly. And yet this does not imply that life is not real, or that it cannot be real, nor does it imply that our actions are useless. What this aphorism does imply is that life is not what men and women believe it to be, and that if we base our actions on this false sense of reality, then our actions must perforce amount to folly.
The aphorism above describes life beautifully, even though it is perhaps one of the most radical statements with which any apprentice has to contend. People have been so conditioned into believing that they know what life is, that it is not easy to put aside all the many misconceptions, preconceived ideas and prejudices with which all of us have grown up.
Source: The Mists of Dragon Lore by Theun Mares, p50
There are many schools of philosophy and masters who teach on the subject of Reality. eg. Buddhism - Sravaka, Madhyamaka (middle way), Shentong. Vedanta, Yoga - Patanjali, Shankara, Yogacara.SEVEN SYSTEMS OF EASTERN PHILOSOPHY
A good Buddhist approach to understand reality is to see that there are two levels of reality or truth. One is the relative level of reality and the other is the absolute level of Reality or Truth (or True Self). (for full article on the two truths see reality page)
The relative level is the conventional world we all see and experience, and is governed by laws of nature such as Karma, Impermanence, Life & Death, habit and space-time.
The relative level is ultimately not real. It is like a dream, like a film on a screen, like an image in a mirror, like a wave on an ocean.
the instance of moving pictures on the screen in the cinema-show. What is
there in front of you before the play begins? Merely the screen. On that Screen
you see the entire show, and for all the appearances the pictures are real.
But go and try to take hold of them. What do you take hold of? Merely the
screen on which the pictures appeared. After the play, when the pictures disappear,
what remains? The screen again.
So with the Self. That alone exists, the pictures come and go. If you hold on to the Self, you will not be deceived by appearance of the pictures. Nor does it matter at all if the pictures appear or disappear. Ignoring the Self the ajnani thinks the world is real, just as ignoring the screen he sees merely the pictures, as if they existed apart from it. If one knows that without seer there is nothing to be seen, just as there are no pictures without the screen, one is not deluded. The jnani knows that the screen and the pictures are only the Self. With the pictures the Self is in its manifest form; without the pictures it remains in the un-manifest form. To the jnani it is quite immaterial if the Self is in the one form or the other. He is always the Self. But the ajnani seeing the jnani active gets confounded." Sri Ramana Maharshi
- The Life
we experience has the meaning that we superimpose on it.
- look for good / light and you will find it, especially if you are focused and determined enough. Likewise look for bad in people and experiences and you will always find it.
What we see & experience is just like a dream. In a dream we think it is real, but then when we wake up we laugh or are relieved as we say 'I was only dreaming'.
Life is like this, when we finally wake up to the cosmic dream we know that what we thought was real is actually not the ultimate reality.
- we project our own meanings onto a blank slate, a mirror, an enigma.
What we see
is a mirror of our own making. Like a moon reflected on water. What we think
is real (the reflection of the moon) is a projection, created by our minds,
onto the mirror which is the pure ultimate level. We are actually one with
the mirror, like waves on an ocean.
The ultimate level, beyond concepts alone is said to real, permanent, unchangeable, beyond Space-Time. (and even those are superimposed labels and concepts)
Many schools of Eastern philosophy state that the Ultimate Absolute nature of reality - is 'Emptiness-Bliss' - not as in an empty vacuum, but full of potential and with inherent goodness, loving - kindness, compassion and bliss.
Buddhist systems of ideas, there are many interpretations of what exactly
these two levels of truth are. They are set forth as the four Buddhist schools
In the most profound school, the Middle Way Consequentialist school, just what is emptiness or the ultimate? It is this: that in fact nobody or nothing, anywhere, has anything that inherently makes it what it is. Nothing has its own personal mark. Everything exists simply through language, through ideas.
The absence of something, the total absence, the total not-being, non-existence of anything that is not there through the power of language and thought is shunyata, emptiness, the ultimate truth."
of the fundamental views in Buddhism is the principle of
"dependent origination." This states that all phenomena, both subjective
experiences and external objects, come into existence in dependence
upon causes and conditions; nothing comes into existence uncaused. Given
this principle, it becomes crucial to understand what causality is and
what types of cause there are. In Buddhist literature, two main
categories of causation are mentioned: (i) external causes in the form of
physical objects and events, and (ii) internal causes such as cognitive and
......The fact that our inner experiences of pleasure and pain are in the nature of subjective mental and cognitive states is very obvious to us. But how those inner subjective events relate to external circumstances and the material world poses a critical problem. The question of whether there is an external physical reality independent of sentient beings' consciousness and mind has been extensively discussed by Buddhist thinkers. Naturally, there are divergent views on this issue among the various philosophical schools of thought. One such school [Cittamatra] asserts that there is no external reality, not even external objects, and that the material world we perceive is in essence merely a projection of our minds. From many points of view, this conclusion is rather extreme. Philosophically, and for that matter conceptually, it seems more coherent to maintain a position that accepts the reality not only of the subjective world of the mind, but also of the external objects of the physical world."
Q & A with Sri Ramana Maharshi
Q. What is
A. Reality must always be real. It is not with forms and names. That which underlies these is reality. It underlies limitations, being itself limitless. It is not bound. It underlies unrealities, itself being real. Reality is that which is. It is as it is. It transcends speech. It is beyond the expressions 'existence, non-existence', etc.
The reality which is mere
consciousness that remains when ignorance is destroyed along with super-knowledge
of objects, alone is the Self (atma). In that Brahma-swarupa [real form of
Brahma], which is abundant Self-awareness, there is not the least ignorance.
The reality which shines fully, without misery and without a body, not only when the world is known but also when the world is not known, is your real form [nija-swarupa].
The radiance of consciousness-bliss, in form of one awareness shining equally within and without, is the supreme and blissful primal reality. Its form is silence and it is declared by jnanis to be the final and unobstructable state of true knowledge [jnana]
Know that jnana alone is non-attachment; jnana alone is purity; jnana is the attainment of God; jnana is the attainment of God; jnana which is devoid of forgetfulness of self alone is immortality; jnana alone is everything.
Q. What is this awareness
and how can one obtain and cultivate it?
A. You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is not-self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains, and that is the Self.
Q. If the Self is itself aware, why am I not aware of it even now?
A. There is no duality. Your present knowledge is due to the ego and is only relative. Relative knowledge requires a subject and an object, whereas the awareness of the Self is absolute and requires no object.
Truth is the pathless land - Krishnamurti
Realization of Truth is in the realization, understanding and awareness of is-ness / such-ness / pure awareness / Impermanence / cessation / emptiness of the pure essence of phenomena
The ultimate realization, as many mystery schools teach / transmit is the realization of Emptiness / Void-ness of reality - The awareness of No-thingness, No-thought, No-attachment to senses, Just Pure Being, Pure Potential, Transparency, Non Duality, Non-Self
The thing that never dies ( as many teach), the thing that which is not bound by time or locality, which is Unchanging, causeless, all pervading, all knowing is the Pure intrinsic primordial awareness! Known as Rigpa in the Dzogchen Tradition.
That is what links us all! We all have Awareness / consciousness and Existence! From little ants to Mother Earth!
That is our essence, or as close as many can get
The teachings suggest we focus on the emptiness / void-ness of form / senses / reality
Focus on your breath, thoughts, feelings, emotions moment to moment -
We can get to the awareness of awareness and possibly further.
Most people are unaware of what they are doing moment to moment. Most people are unconscious / asleep acting out of preprogrammed habits and self hypnotized attitudes and filters. Living from one perspective only, unaware and no respect or understanding for the other perspectives.
In day to day life checking your motivation for doing things. Responding rather than reacting. Practicing generosity, patience, moderation, and so on see below.
As yet Science suggests that there is no real objective view, only observer-objective view
Relative and Absolute Truth
Looking at our 7 level model - a being on level one would be most relative,acting from fight or flight. A being on levels 5 - 7 would be more spiritual, open minded and objective.
level seven would be acting most objectively - acting from unity consciousness -absolute truth / reality / such-ness /as it is!
"If you don't transform your suffering you transmit it". Richard Rohr
Life / God is difficult &
beyond logic and the rational mind.
Once this truth is understood & accepted,
the fact that life is difficult, no longer matters!
GOD can't just instantly solve all our problems, GOD works through us - so we solve our problems for ourselves or realize these problems are just opportunity for growth
Buddha taught Life is Dissatisfaction / Suffering -but he also taught how to end suffering.
We suffer because of our attachment to the cycle of karma / rebirth - Birth / Death, Pleasure & Pain - Duality & Polarity.
We suffer because we are identified with and attached our little ego self - which is continually grasping, separating, self-centred.
After pleasure / birth comes pain /death - natural
You only suffer if you are attached to something, some action / non-action, outcome, or person.
eg. the degree to which you are annoyed by somebody
breaking your arm is the degree to which you are attached to your body!
you would be more annoyed if your writing hand was broken!
But you wouldn't be so annoyed if were a school kid who didn't want to take notes!!
Likewise if you are attached to and co-dependent with your boyfriend and he dumps you might be devastated.
I didn't say 'if you love boyfriend...' - because true love is unconditional - based on acceptance, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude - you would understand your boyfriend dumping you would probably be for the higher good of all. (after all he's / she's dumb enough to dump you, right?!! ha ha)
In fact it is your ego that is hurt and crying - self pity - crying that you are alone - however separation is an illusion - see unity of life below.
Detachment makes a better poker player.
Enquire into who is the one who is suffering?!
The ego, or identification with self causes suffering.
God created man, but man created ego.
All the joy the world contains
is through wishing happiness for others
All the misery the world contains
has come through wanting pleasure for oneself
(8.129 - Shantideva - Bodhicharyavatara)
Everything is mental!
Ultimately our ego is not real. It has no real self.
Pleasure & Pain both arise
Everything arises in mind,
like waves on an ocean, like pictures on a movie screen, like our dreams.
What you experience and perceive as reality
is based on memory, habits, beliefs, karma,
level of awareness, and attitude etc.
You filter unconsciously what you want to see / not see
The Law of Cause and Effect
'As you sow shall you reap' Saying of Jesus
Karma is linked in with synchronicity
- it works through subtle ways -
this is Divine Law - often working mysteriously beyond rational logic
However once you are aware of karma and it's consequences your life changes
Just try it. If you steal or do something something just be aware for the next half hour, hour, day /week / etc. for any things that either get stolen from you or any unexpected payments / fines / losses / bad experiences
Karma and a relates to your thoughts, actions, words, feelings and even thoughts!
Where thought (yi) goes, energy (chi) follows
If prayer / positive intention is proven to work then it stands to reason that negative intention will also effect other people. So imagine every time
There are obviously varying degrees of good / bad karma.
Different levels of Karma - Personal,
Group, Race, etc,
Karma also extends over past and future lives.
For verify I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled -Matthew 5:18
And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail - Luke 16:17
Karma holds and is a true law -
Thus Buddhists recommend that we
build good karma as soon as possible -
if anything it is like sweetness around hot chilies!
Accumulating Good Karma
To gain good karma practice the perfections / virtues / paramitas - generosity, patience, praise, silence, honesty etc. (See buddhism)
Also always have a pure intention / motivation - eg. for highest good of all
Take refuge with the Three Jewels - The Buddha, Dharma (teachings) and the Sangha (Community)
Service to Others / GOD / LIFE / SOUL / MONAD
Living in Harmony with self & others
OK so the relative is not ultimately real, but we all still experience it on some level. So how do we just get along with others.
The following guidelines will help you live in harmony with others.
The His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama on Life
1. Take into account that great
love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
Ultimate Aim of Life -
Bahai Faith Perspective
The ultimate aim in life of every human soul, the Bahai writings state, should be to attain moral and spiritual excellence--to align one's inner being and outward behavior with the will of an all-loving Creator.
That each individual has been bestowed with a unique destiny by God--a destiny which unfolds in accordance with the free exercise of the choices and opportunities presented in life lies at the center of Bahai belief.
In particular, it is through the moral exercise of our divinely conferred free will that opportunities are provided for spiritual advancement. "All that which ye potentially possess," Bahá'u'lláh confirms, "can...be manifested only as a result of your own volition."1
In a poetic passage, Bahá'u'lláh described the actions of the moral individual and urged His followers to live accordingly:
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men.Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.
Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.
How many of us are swept away by what I have come to call an active laziness? Naturally there are different species of laziness: Eastern and Western. The Eastern style consists of hanging out all day in the sun, doing nothing, avoiding any kind of work or useful activity, drinking cups of tea and gossiping with friends.
Western laziness is quite different. It consists of cramming our lives with compulsive activity, so that there is no time left to confront the real issues.
If we look into our lives, we will see clearly how many unimportant tasks, so-called responsibilities accumulate to fill them up. One master compares them to housekeeping in a dream. We tell ourselves we want to spend time on the important things of life, but there never is any time.
Helpless, we watch our
days fill up with telephone calls and petty projects, with so many responsibilitiesor
should we call them irresponsibility's?
See the order in chaos,
pleasure in pain,
stillness in movement,
unity in diversity,
balance in imbalance,
Enjoy every experience!
see the good / divine in all
Surf the Waves of Life, Like a Dolphin
Be the eye of the cyclone
Forgive, accept, don't judge,
give thanks and praise, bless,
have compassion, understanding, respect
Take responsibility for actions, thoughts & words
Be aware moment to moment of your
thoughts, feelings, actions, words.
Checking motivations, filters, archetypes
Responding from higher perspectives
instead of reacting from subconscious habits
Detached but Involved
centered, at peace,
innocent but wise,
but don't even be attached to that, be free from fixed beliefs or perspectives
Know for yourself. Examine everything. Be an inner scientist - yourself being the lab!
Stress and Irritation,
"Stress is wanting what is to be something it isn't."
is other people'
Quite often people that annoy us the most, or rub us the wrong way may be the ones who inadvertently show us something within ourselves may not be in balance.
become aware of any control dramas
people are playing out
for example 'poor me, aloof, interrogator, intimidator'
Don't become a victim, don't fall for the game
~ be independent of the good opinion of others
Don't take things personal - realise that people often make projections onto us based on their own beliefs, perspectives, upbringing filters etc
If you lose balance, or stressed take a few
look at the situation from a wider / deeper / alternative perspective
~ increase self-esteem
become aware what this feels
like and just watch it
unattached and without judgment or reaction
"If you don't transform your suffering you transmit it". Richard Rohr
Sometime you can distract the
'source of irritation'
like a spider flicking hairs, by changing the subject or attracting attention to something else -
like dealing skillfully with an infant or elderly person.
However this doesn't deal with the problem but it is useful short term tool
Changing the World
Be the Change that you want to see - Mahatma Gandhi
You can only make others better by being good yourself. Hugh R. Hanels
If you want peace in the world, be peaceful with yourself first. Then you will realize you don't need to change the world but you will automatically want to - for the highest good of all, as a servant of the mysterious divine - or to end the suffering of all sentient beings.
By looking after yourself, that's one less person for others / society to worry about.
When you are healed / whole & happy - you will be in a much better position to deal with obstacles.
That is a worthwhile goal - become aware of your ego dramas /roles / archetypes / sub-personalities, attitudes, patterns beliefs, motivations, intentions, fears etc.
Train your mind and suffering will disappear and all virtues fall in your hand.
Buddhists and many others teach that the lives we lead are based on previous karma. So accumulate merit - serve others, donate to charity, be generous, patient, silent, tolerant etc.
Reality now is based on future expectations, motivations and intentions (eg. stock exchange)
So if we live in harmony, understanding, acceptance, gratitude and peace with ourselves, our family, our community, our society, nature and environment we will literally have heaven on Earth!
In fact an enlightened being has no boundaries between 'I' and 'other' - all are one. The enlightened being has developed and then released his / her negative ego.
So how do I actually live?
We cannot direct the wind...But we can adjust the sails.
Failure is not the worst thing in the world. The very worst is not to try.
There are four steps to
Plan Purposefully. Prepare Prayerfully. Proceed Positively. Pursue Persistently.
The harder you work the luckier you get. Gary Player - Golfer
Life is my college. Louisa May Alcott.
Practically, you are responsible for living in harmony with your neighbors& developing your talents and creative abilities for the highest benefit to all. Not wasting your abilities & potential through laziness.
Spiritually, you understand that nothing is in your hands. You allow the energy of the moment to guide you in all things, with the awareness that this is a gift from Source.
Surrender, be detached and let God / Heaven / Higher Self / Life take care of your spiritual evolution. Align yourself with The Tao - the flow of nature
True happiness comes from service to others / God / life /spirit and from realization of Truth and being / expressing that Truth - and from being able to cope with situations and relationships.
namely having a quiet, centered mind - detached from ego desires but involved and serving others doing what needs to be done right now in the current moment - developing perfections (virtues) and acting for the the highest good of all.
'God is other people'
Perfect Health / Body / Accumulation is worth
nothing without Peace of Mind
"The wealthiest person is the one who needs the least" Lao Tse
As Caroline Myss put it -
"Our Challenge is to be Contemporary Mystics without Monasteries"
Be equally comfortable and centered,
Birth or Death, Day or Night,
Good or Evil, Order or Chaos,
for these are the prerequisites
of physical life / samsara / existence
The unexamined life is not worth living.. PLATO
The rational mind is a faithful servant and the intuitive mind a divine gift. We have created a society that worships the servant and has forgotten the gift. ALBERT EINSTEIN
Living in Harmony
The most important person is
the one you are with in the moment
Rather than thinking or saying - 'What's in it for me?'
Maybe Say, think, feel - 'How can I help?'
Rather than 'My will be done'
accept that 'Thy will be done'
Life is 'like this now' -
(Insight of such-ness, Vipassana)
However note that 'this too shall soon pass'
No-thing is permanent,
'Change is the only constant'
(Law of Impermanence)
'Be Happy with what you have,
or you will not be happy when you get what you want'
No act is insignificant
'How you sow, shall you reap'
Live fully present,
Moving gracefully from moment to moment,
clinging to no-thing,
taking responsibility for actions,
in reverence, gratitude, devotion, service to Life / Consciousness / God / Others
Aware of the Oneness, Interdependence and interconnectedness of all our lives
"To serve is to rule!"
The goal is the process!
Consciousness / God is That, I am not separate from That
'One candle can light many
just don't burn yourself out too soon!
More Quick Tips & Truths
The sea has got power, but the tides are governed by the pull of the moon!
Life is a Like a Mirror - Essenes (Jewish ascetics)
What You don't like in others you aren't comfortable with in yourself! Herman Hesse
- As Above, So Below - As Within, so Without - Hermes
Life is what you make it; you are a co-creator of your own reality: you are where you are now because you chose to learn these lessons
- you get what you need, not necessarily what your ego desires
your life experiences become what you focus on - you attract situations that symbolize internal relationships. Therefore be aware of and dissolve negative thoughts / subconscious blocks - Chi follows Yi eg. if you are violent & aggressive - then you will attract these situations and project your reality onto outside events
Increase your consciousness level through some form of meditation and all this will come naturally. Virtues will flower as the causes and conditions ripen through sincere effort.
Just a couple more thoughts
Coincidences happen for a reason - to help us on a path - evolution - destiny
This physical life is training - we have to progress through many different levels to reach a higher level of consciousness / vibration
Everything bad for a reason? Law of Karma? Law of Cause and Affect
Is there time? Is it important? Don't know - waste time thinking about it?
We are interested by things that we don't know or can't fully understand or doubt - that is the core of intelligence. However, I believe many of the unanswered questions will be answered soon, as we move from an information age towards a more spiritually aware society and as science is focuses more on the invisible unexplained paranormal.
Perhaps it's pointless asking
certain questions, so get up of your backside and -
'Just Do It' .......
do what? ........
do what's important to you and what makes you happy!!!
[Prioritize - see below!]
List your priorities of life
1. Self survival, Self preservation - food, clothes, home
2. Family - Relationships
3. Money - survival
5. Help friends and others
1. Know thyself, Be Healthy, Have Inner Peace / inner bliss
2. Help family, friends and those who cross my path
3. re-Learn to give and receive Love - happiness
5. Money & material possessions
Make a list that suits you!
1. Acceptance & surrender : giving without expecting to receive (after you have enough self love)
3. Develop Virtues - such as generosity, patience, tolerance, silence, humbleness, purity
However I can practically guarantee: if you follow your heart, and do what you are inspired to do, helping others -then all of the above qualities / priorities will manifest with effortless ease! You will find it hard to distinguish between work and play!
There seems to be a higher force that is directing our lives in certain directions. Whether these are group, planetary, government forces who knows.. but when we find the right path and we know what we want - we are unstoppable, everything that we desire is just attracted to us. Just know that you'll have it - and you will - (see Law of Dharma)Be alert & Aware - Follow coincidences & signs - 'Drive slowly enough to see the signs!'
See good / divine in all people
Treat people how you want to be treated
What goes around comes around!!
Let's anchor Heaven on Earth!
Be the best you can be!
Go with the flow!!
What is your True Purpose?
I don't just want to get by. I want to attain, realize, experience, understand,know, be, embody the ultimate!!
I want to actualize my potential!
First meditation, the supreme antidote to distraction, brings the mind home and enables it to settle into it's natural state.
Second, deep practices of purification, and the strengthening the positive karma through the accumulation of merit and wisdom, start to wear away and dissolve the emotional and intellectual veils that obscure the nature of mind.
PATHS TO ENLIGHTENMENT -
"My Religion is simple. My religion is Kindness." H.H. 14th Dalai Lama
'My religion is to die with no regrets' Buddhist Saint
People the world over are always seeking secret or mystical spiritual techniques, hoping they will provide a short cut to enlightenment. There are no special techniques other than the basic principles revealed here.
If you turn to the Christian contemplation practices espoused by St Augustine you'll find cessation and contemplation.
If you turn to the Jewish Kabbalah, or the self-remembering techniques of Gurdjeff, or even the practices for moral self-improvement advocated by Benjamin Franklin, you'll find cessation / contemplation practices once again.
Most of the spiritual practices are based on the principles of stopping (samadhi) and observation (prajna), so if you really wish to master the road of spiritual cultivation, there's no way you can accomplish this feat without understanding the priciples of cessation and contemplation, and applying these in your spiritual sadhana (cultivation practice).
p17 - Twenty Five Doors to Meditation, A Handbook for Entering Samadhi, William Bodri & Lee Shu-Mei
Guide to Approaches to Enlightenment [in the Buddhist tradition]
by Tathang Tulku
Generally the wide variety of traditions and paths in Buddhism reflects the numerous dispositions and capacities of its followers. Within the Nyingma tradition they are all synthesized into nine, of which Dzogchen of Ati yoga is the supreme, the others being considered as tools or adjuncts to this. Just as there are disciples at varying stages of spiritual development, there are also varying of spiritual paths, and these paths reflect the type of practice which is emphasized at such levels.
Out of the nine vehicles or Yanas, the first and second, that of Hearers, Shravakas, and that of solitary realizers the Prateyekabuddhas both belong to the lesser vehicle or Hinayana. Their training consists mainly of cultivating pure moral discipline. The third is the vehicle of the Bodhisattva, the Awakening Warrior. Here the cultivator mainly cultivates the Awakening Mind, the alturistic thought to bring ultimate benefit to others. This way and the successive vehicles belong to the Greater Vehicle or Mahayana. These first three Yanas are known as causal vehicles, because the practice is directed towards those activities which act as a cause for the attainment of Enlightenment. They are also known respectively as the lower, middle and higher spiritual paths of beings on the ordinary level of capability.
The last six vehicles, which include the Action or Kriya, Performanace or Carya and the Yoga Tantras, and the Maha, Anu, and Ati Yogas, are all part of the Tantric Path. They mainly involve the training in the purification of the appearances of existence. The first three are known as the resultant Vehicles because the practice primariliy centers on the result of the path itself, being taken as the practice. This is the path for those of exceptional ability, who are endowed with excellent or superlative capacity.
In the Tantra Known as Heruka Kalp it states:
the Causal Vehicle it can be understood
That the mind is the cause of Buddhahood.
By the Resultant Vehicles meditate
That the mind itself is Buddhahood."
In the Causal vehicles the mind will accumulate the mental and physical merit, and by practicing the path of the Bodhisattva's conduct the result will be obtained. Thus it is considered that the mind is just the cause of the result and that the cause and the result precede and follow one another. Thus they are known as the Causal Vehicle.
The six vehicles of the Tantras are viewed in such a way that the essence of the mind is the final attainment or the result, and that this has been within oneself from the very beginning, yet is covered by fleeting defilements and negativities. If these are uncovered and the recognition of one's self-nature arises, that is the attainment of the ultimate result. So in this case there is no discrimination of "preceding and following" in the idea normally associated with cause and result. Therefore it is called the Resultant Vehicle. These six higher vehicles are more extraordinary than the lower ones by virtue of the wide variety of profound and rapid skillful means with their practice.
The Three Causal Vehicles
i. Shravakayana or the Way of the Hearers
ii. Prateykabuddhayana or the Way of the Solitary Realizers, the Self-Enlightened or Silent Buddha's
The Six Resultant Vehicles
The Three External Tantras
a) Kriya or Action Tantra
b) Carya Tantra or Upa Yoga Tantra
c) Yoga Tantra
The Three Internal Tantras
a) Maha Yoga - Father Tantras
b) Anu Yoga Tantra - Mother Tantra
c) Ati Yoga - Great Completion
Source: The Dzogchen, Innermost Essence Preliminary Practice by Jigme Lingpa, Translated by Tarthang Tulku, LTWA
Other methods & Paths of Awakening
Quick Methods - Established
Through the senses:
Through Examining the Nature of elements
Through Visualization, generation & completion
Through Mantra Recitation, Jipa
In Vedanta Philosophy
Through Virtue - the path is the fruit
Practices - [Buddhist Approach]
'Ngondro' - pp154-55
For the masters introduction to be fully effective however the right conditions or environment. Only a few special individuals in history, because of their purified karma, have been able to recognize and become enlightened in an instant; and so the introduction must always be preceded by the following preliminaries. It is these preliminaries that purify and peel away the ordinary mind and bring you to the state where in your Rigpa can be revealed to you.
First meditation, the supreme antidote to distraction, brings the mind home and enables it to settle into it's natural state.
Second, deep practices of purification, and the strengthening the positive karma through the accumulation of merit and wisdom, start to wear away and dissolve the emotional and intellectual veils that obscure the nature of mind. As my master Jamyang Khentse wrote:
"If the obscurations are removed, the wisdom of one's own Rigpa will naturally shine."
These purification practices, called Ngondro in Tibetan, have been skillfully designed to effect a comprehensive inner transformation. They involve the entire being - body, speech, and mind - and begin with a series of deep contemplations on:
These reflections inspire a strong sense of "renunction," an urgent desire to emerge from samsara and follow the path of liberation, which forms the foundation for the specific practices of
All these practices build up to and center around Guru Yoga, which is the most crucial, moving and powerful practice of all, indispensable for the opening the heart and mind to the realization of the state of Dzogchen.
Third, a special meditative investigation into the nature of mind exhausts the mind's restless hunger for thinking and research, and its dependence on analysis, and references, and awakens a personal realization of the nature of emptiness.
I cannot stress strongly enough how important these preliminaries are. They have to work hand in hand systematically, to inspire the student to awaken the nature of mind, and to enable the student to be ready and prepared when the master chooses the time to show him or her the original face of Rigpa.
Source: Above excerpts from "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying ~Sogyal Rinpoche Rider Paperback - 7 May, 1998 - Paperback - 440 pages new edition (7 May, 1998) Rider; ISBN: 0712671390 (read more - amazon.co.uk)
Virtues and the
Intention to Become Enlightened
- Freedom from Suffering
When your aspiration to become enlightened is firm, you should implement it in deeds. These are called Bodhisattva deeds, and principal among them are the six perfections:
1. Giving includes (1) donating material things such as money, clothing and food (2) Giving love (3) giving the teachings of spiritual doctrines and practices; and (4) giving relief from fearful situations to all beings - including animals; help even an ant out of a puddle
2. Morality; which refers mainly to the alturistic attitude and behavior of Bodhisattva's
3. Patience, which is exhibited in stressful situations, or used to sustain difficult endeavors, such as learning teachings and practicing over a long period
4. Effort, which maintains enthusiasm for virtue and assists all the other perfections.
5. Concentration, which is the practice of stable and intense meditation
6. Wisdom, which is necessary for understanding the nature of cyclic existence and impermanence, as well as dependent arising and emptiness
The six perfections, in turn, can be condensed into the three training's of Bodhisattva's - training in the perfection of morality (which includes the perfections of giving and patience), training in the perfection of concentration, and training in the perfection of wisdom. The perfection of effort is required for all three training's. This is how the six perfections are included in the three-fold practice of morality, concentrated meditation, and wisdom.
Source:How to Practice The Way to A meaningful Life, by His Holiness Dalai Lama, Translated by Jeffrey Hopkins, Shambhalla Publications
The Three Bodhisattva Training's [Buddhism]:
The Five Paths [Buddhism]
There are five successive paths on which a bodhisattva develops:
of accumulation (sambharamarga)
The path of training or preparation (prayogamarga)
The path of seeing (darshanamarga)
The path of intense contemplation (bhavanamarga)
The path of liberation or no more training(vimuktimarga)
Morality & Vows
Morality is for our own protection. It purifies us, stops us accumulating more karma and promotes a harmonious lifestyle.
The precepts, vows, 10 non virtues, 10 commandments align us with pure goodness - ripening the conditions for our awakening to our true nature (which is pure inherent goodness - bodhichitta)
There are many levels of vows & commitments. But many people of society don't even know the 10 commandments or their equivalent.
Vows bring us into the moment and make us aware of our actions. Many monks from various religions make a vow to always be in the present moment.
Marriage vows are there to keep harmony, trust and serve as sound foundations to a stable happy marriage. However it seems many forget these vows and lack discipline.
Marriage is about surrendering the little 'I' (own negative ego) for the good of the relationship / family.
However these vows require discipline, vigilance, sincere effort, patience, tolerance etc.
We need to be realistic & authentic with ourselves.
In order to realize our true nature we need to purify ourselves / our minds - from the mind poisons - eg. attachment, aversion, ignorance.
In order to have a peaceful mind, we need to simplify our lives - reduce the number of responsibilities & necessities. This is why beings choose the path of renunction. Giving up (attachment to) worldly possessions.
A sadhu - is a spiritual seeker, a renunciate who has given up worldly possessions.
Contentment is the order of the day. In monasteries, monks have only one or two robes.
TAKING REFUGE / PROTECTION / SUPPORT [Buddhism]
There are many different refuge
For instance in the Buddhist tradition:
'OM NAMAHO SHIVAYA' I take refuge in Shiva
I pay homage to all the gurus, from all times.
Until I am enlightened I take refuge in the Three Jewels - The Buddha, The Dharma (Doctrine), and the Sangha (Spiritual community)
Be a student not a follower. Find a master that is qualified & recommended.
Your The ultimate master is your inherent Buddha Nature / Inherent Goodness. Follow your heart.
Accumulate merit - Serve Others - Karma Yoga
Our present reality is based on our previous karma, memories, imprints & our future expectations.
So in order to have a more positive future, sow positive seeds now. Use the weeds to feed flowers.
When you become aware and start serving others mysterious beyond chance occurrences happen - you will be guided if you are aware enough to see and read the signs.
from that higher perspective serve others on a practical level and live in peace and harmony with natural / divine law.
- serve with the knowing that by serving others you are indeed serving yourself (karma) - be spiritually selfish, enlightened self interest - aim for Win-Win instead of just what's in it for me.
- or with the knowing that there is no-self or suffering - so you might as well occupy moments with serving GOD / Others
Dedicate merit, accumulated through practicing the 6 / 10 paramitas / virtues - towards your enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.
Make offerings internal (give up thoughts, self-centredness, visualizations etc.) and external (incense, candles, flowers, food- not animals!)
WISDOM - CORRECT UNDERSTANDING - RIGHT VIEW
Understanding the true nature of things. The Yogi's, Teachers, Saints, Buddha's, Krishna's, of all times teach the same things.
For example - understanding the law of karma, realizing emptiness,
The Sutras are believed to be the Teachings of the Buddha. Although written around One hundred years after his paranirvana. The Hinayana Thervada - Pali Cannon - varies from the Mahayana Selection of Sutras.
Quite often the commentaries on the sutra's by great Indian Yogi's are studied more than the Sutras' themselves.
The essence of all teachings is contained in various sutras -eg. The Heart Sutra, The Lotus Sutra, The Diamond Sutra, Yogi Sutra's of Patanjali, Shiva's 112 methods.
Tantra is about transformation. Action.
The ultimate wisdom is realizing emptiness of all things, and realizing that form and emptiness are one. Method and Wisdom is united.
Right view is seeing things clearly, as they are.
PRAJNA - DISCERNING WISDOM
In order to integrate the bliss Realization into everyday life you need to become an inner scientist - observing without judgment how your mind works in day to day situations. You will soon see the nature of things when you see how your mind blocks and filters reality!
Hence the phrase you see what you want to see, you hear what you want to hear & 'let those who have ears listen'
Know the things that are worthwhile - eternal. Know the right place, purpose and timing of things.
Know the things that you can change. Accept the things you can't.
Become a conscious breather. The more mindful we are in our waking hours the more mindful we will be in our dreams. Experienced Yogi's and spiritual practioners are awake even in their dreams.
CULTIVATE COMPASSION, LOVING KINDNESS, LOVE & JOY
'The aim of religion is a warm heart - Compassion, loving kindness, respect, acceptance, patience, tolerance, service, sharing, generosity, charity - basically cultivating all the virtues.
The alturistic intention is at the core of the awakened mind. It is our true inner nature - Our inner goodness, divine within, Buddha Nature, Christ Consciousness etc. However it is often obscured by our delusions & mind poisons (greed, attachment, hatred, jealousy, envy, self-centredness)
The essence of Tonglen practice is to:
all profit and gain to others,
Take all loss and defeat on yourself.'
The holy secret of the practice of Tonglen is one that the mystic masters and saints of every tradition know; and living it and embodying it, with the abandon and fervor of true wisdom and true compassion, is what fills their lives with joy. One modern figure who has dedicated her life to serving the sick and dying and who radiates this joy of giving and receiving is Mother Teresa. I know of no more inspiring statement of the spiritual essence of Tonglen than these words of hers:
We all long for heaven where God is, but we have it in our power to be in heaven with Him at this very moment. But being happy with Him now means:
as He loves,
Helping as He helps,
Giving as He gives,
Serving as He serves,
Rescuing as He rescues,
Being with Him twenty-four hours,
Touching Him in his distressing disguise.
Sogyal Rinpoche, Glimpse of the day, Sept 21st, rigpa.org
As you can see cultivating compassion and the alturistic intention is the opposite of the self-cherishing attitude.
Virtues , Love, Bodhicitta, Christ Consiousness, Service to others, meditation, awareness, attachment, enlightenment, Emptiness, Buddhism, Zen, Dzogchen pitfalls of the spiritual path and seeking
Eight Verses on Transforming the Mind [Buddhism]
by Geshe Langri Tangpa Dorjey Sengey
With a determination to accomplish
The highest welfare for all sentient beings,
Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel
I will learn to hold them supremely dear.
Whenever I associate with others I will learn,
To think of myself as the lowest among all,
And respectfully hold others to be supreme,
From the very depths of my heart.
In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
Endangering myself and others,
Will firmly face and avert it.
I will learn to cherish all beings of bad nature
And those oppressed by strong sins and sufferings,
As if I had found a precious
Treasury very difficult to find.
When others out of jealousy treat me badly
With abuse, slander, and so on,
I will learn to take all loss
And offer the victory to them.
When one whom I have benefited with great hope
Unreasonably hurts me very badly,
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide.
In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception,
All help and happiness directly and indirectly,
And respectfully take upon myself,
All harm and suffering of my mothers.
I will learn to keep these practices,
Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly conceptions,
And by understanding all phenomena as like illusion,
Be released from the bondage of attachment.
The Eight Verses on Transforming the Mind
by Geshe Langri Tangpa Dorjey Sengey
Virtues , Bodhicitta, Christ Consiousness, Service to others, meditation, awareness, attachment, enlightenment, Emptiness, Buddhism, Zen, Dzogchen pitfalls of the spiritual path and seeking
The Key - 'Just Watch' - 'Simply Be!'
'JUST WATCH'. This means conscious recognition of your inner reality without any subtle attempt to change it. This passive awareness of your inner world leaves the ego unemployed.
Rest in the spacious, peaceful , open, relaxed but alert, awareness nature of mind. Rest in mere experience, the clear and knowing nature of mind - without adding anything or removing anything. Don't condemn or judge yourself, your thoughts, feelings, - just accept them.
Practically, you are responsible for living in harmony with your neighbors.
Spiritually, you understand that nothing is in your hands. You allow the energy of the moment to guide you in all things, with the awareness that this is a gift from Source.
Don't just believe or reject what I have to say,
EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF!!
Know Yourself and Be Yourself! Your true self!
Nobody is better or worse than anybody else - we are all have equal potential for good. Anger, greed, hatred etc. are fleeting emotions. It is difficult to find someone who has no goodness or love within.
Some beings may just be on a different path, or on a different stage on the journey that is life. We all have our own paths. Don't Judge, but be spiritually discerning. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
It seems that we have a deeper meaning to why we are here on Earth. An obvious answer is we are here to evolve. If we did evolve from the amoeba, what is next, what is the next stage. To me it seems that the next stage is higher awareness. Many experts in the field, believe that the next age is going to be the psycho-spiritual age. That is the logical progression, as we look back at our past.
However from certain perspectives eg. Krishnamurti & David Bohm - there is no journey, nowhere to go, except to be right here - present, attentive but relaxed. There is only this eternal presence -primordial intrinsic awareness. When one is enlightened there is nowhere to go. Nowhere better. No need for hope, because one is whole / healed / holy / full-filled - Manifesting & Anchoring Heaven on Earth.
The only path is inward. The path inward is through meditation & self-enquiry.
There are many techniques of meditation but the aim is the same - be fully present, aware and mindful in a state of even mindedness - without judgment or interpretation or mind chatter.
To develop meditation one needs to cultivate - attention, introspection, mindfulness, concentration, clarity, & compassion.
For mind training
Pick a style that suits you - eg. Chi Gong, Tibetan Buddhism Meditations - Tantra, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Taoist Yoga,
By meditating and by learning to meditate we interiorize our focus -we become aware of the true nature of our minds. We realize that we are thinking the same thoughts over and over.
We realize that actually we are in a hypnotic daze / trance most of the time - thinking about past or future ie. what's for dinner, or what to do in a situation, or what happened years ago.
At home we are thinking about work. At work we are thinking about home.
We realize that our thoughts, based on (beliefs, perceptions, filters, and attitudes) shape how we react to external things.
We realize that we have been slaves of our mind / body (thoughts / temptations) instead of being in control of them. When we meditate we become more conscious and alert.
When we are more conscious and alert we notice the signs, receive intuition and act accordingly. Sins drop off and virtues flower - as the right causes & conditions ripen.
We realize that reality, happiness, bliss, love is available here now - and it is only our thoughts / ego that are stopping us from experiencing bliss. Our constant grasping, desiring, clinging, fearing - stops us from pausing, just for a few seconds and observing and experiencing the beautiful miracle that is Life!!
A natural by product of meditation is relaxation, increased intuition, insight into the nature of things, (prajna wisdom) and fore-sight - we can predict the outcome of events - this is due to understanding the true nature of reality -ie. the laws of nature - ie. Yin / Yang, Cycles, Ego etc. the place and purpose of things...
By meditating one realizes how to be back in control of ones life and choices - instead of being a victim of ones unconscious choices. One grabs control of the reigns on the senses. Instead of reacting to impulses from our senses we will be steadfast - using the rational mind as a secondary tool. The primary mind being the natural, pure clear mind.
If you have difficulty meditating, perhaps you are restless, try heavy physical exercise / dancing or mental enquiry and then just lay back - our mind and body will need the break. see Osho Dynamic Meditations.
Or become aware of your restlessness / distraction - without trying to change anything
Or become aware of who is being distracted /restless. (see page on meditation for more tips)
To stay in a meditative state it helps if we develop concentration and one-pointed-ness of mind along with mindfulness. Stay focused on one thing for as long as you can. When you get distracted, come back to the support eg. breath / icon / image / mantra / mudra / feeling / sound / smell etc.
Studies have shown that after 21 days of practicing something regularly, the exercise will soon become habit. For example driving a car. At the beginning you may panic that there is so much to do (eg. mirror signal brake gears steering etc.) . However after a while it becomes natural (second nature).
The mind and body can learn something and then it becomes spontaneous - second nature eg. learning arithmetic, times tables - through discipline, effort & practice becomes spontaneous.
Obviously aspire to have positive habits instead of negative ones. (positive habits lead to pleasure for self & others, negative habits are selfish and based on wrong understanding (ignorance / delusion / hatred etc.)
From a state of no-mind, compassion and bliss arise naturally. According to many teachingsemptiness and bliss truth are one and the same.
You can apply this to meditation or practicing non-judgment or communing with nature.
MORE TIPS FOR MEDITATING
In order to have true inner peace - bliss - consciousness on a regular basis you need to directly experience and integrate the Realization. of Emptiness / Void-ness / Bliss - by staying relaxed, open, free and spacious. The root of our pleasure or pain, samsara or nirvana is in the mind. When we are distracted, agitated, or lazy and dull our true nature is obscured.
Nirvana, Samsara, Good, Evil are concepts of the mind.
Time to train your mind -
Integrate the state of meditation into everyday work. Be aware and mindful 24 hours a day.
Taking meditation with us.
through preparing yourself ie. purifying, cleansing yourself & accumulating merit. ie. renunction/ non-attachment, ethics & morality etc. and developing right view we now need to develop stability in our practice.
It's one thing to experience temporary enlightenment. It is much harder to integrate this state into everyday life.
In order to do this we need to develop concentration or one-pointed-ness of mind - equanimity - calm abiding - zhine practice.
CALM ABIDING - SHAMATHA - SAMADHI - MENTAL CESSATION - ONE POINTEDNESS- Concentration meditation
Pick a support -eg. breath and stick with it as long as you can. Don't over concentrate. become one with your object of focus.
eg. look at the Flame - then close eyes - stay with the flame in your mind.
If you are carried away by thoughts, don't judge or criticize, make a mindful note and return to your object of focus.
Start with short periods, and then extend practice.
There are at least nine levels of Samadhi.
Some mistake Samadhi meditation as the ultimate Realization. and become attached to it.
One aim of Samadhi is to realize that we are not our thoughts. In order to attain enlightenment we also need Vipashyana meditation.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION - VIPASSANA / VIPASHYANA - INSIGHT MEDITATION
to light the lamp of mindfulness and shine it on each moment, each act of
the day. You do everything in the light of mindfulness. Mindfulness
is the presence of God, is the energy of the Buddha within us, the element
of holiness within us" (p. 41). (The Path of Emancipation: Talks
from a 21-Day Mindfulness Retreat
~Nhat Hanh, Thich Nhat Hanh Parallax Press Paperback - 1 June, 2000 (.co.uk) (.com)
Mindfulness 'sati' literally means to stop. This is about stopping regularly - looking at our thoughts.
It is developing mindfulness of the present moment that brings us back to the moment when we are distracted.
It is the observer mind - pure attention that notices the activity mind.
in one sense mindfulness & concentration are the same. If your are concentrated, alert but relaxed, (focused on form / non form in the present moment) you are mindful.
Ultimately you need to pick your own goals however I have found the following to be worthy of contemplation:
All with an alturistic intention. ie. for the sake of all sentient beings, for the highest good of all, in the name of Jesus.
Realise your true potential, Mysticism, Religion
No Goal, Not Knowing
Think about what you want, not what you don't want. Guard Your thoughts carefully, because they create your experiences. Sometimes it seems that our thoughts choose us, but this is never the case. We always choose our thoughts-every moment. Our thoughts always have an effect, and there are no neutral thoughts. One-half second before you hold a thought, you decide to hold it. So, with practice, you learn to monitor and alter your thoughts. This is the equivalent of putting your hands on the steering wheel of life.
You may believe that your concentration
abilities are impaired, yet the fallible mind of God is within your own
mind. You can experience remarkable feats of concentration by affirming:
"I am now able to focus my mind at will. I hold only loving thoughts, and my angels act as my gatekeepers in establishing a steady stream of thoughts of love."
FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON...
* The Oneness of ALL Life
* The Limitless Abundance of God
* The Realms of Illumined Truth
* The Harmony of your true Being
* Your Divine Birthright as a Beloved Child of God
* Your infinite ability to Love
* Vibrant Health and Eternal Youth
* Being a Peace Commanding Presence
* Your ability to make a positive difference
* Actions you can take to improve your family, your job, your community
* Actions you can take to change the World
* Your gift of Healing and your loving touch
* Your nurturing Motherhood or Fatherhood
* Your Oneness with the Angelic Kingdom and the Nature Kingdom
* The Transfiguration of the Planet
* Ascension, Sacred Knowledge and Divine Wisdom
* Self-empowerment, Enlightenment
* The fulfillment of your Divine Plan *
Heaven on Earth
* And every other thought, word, action or feeling you can focus on to make a positive difference.
This is the clearing work we are all involved in, and is this process requires great introspection, self examination, and vigilance.
Don't be attached to one point
of view / perspective / attitude
- be free, look from as many perspectives as possible
Every book, every poem, every song, and every artwork has been filtered through, and is a the product of, a particular perception of life.
The entire world is a gigantic mishmash of filters, some stressing feelings, some thinking, some intuition, some of the five senses, some the right brain some the left brain, others heaven, still others earth and so on.
What I have found is that the Way to Live is by living in harmony with the Tao / The Way - Heaven & Earth.
The goal is the path. Be Here Now, fully present and aware - centered moment to moment, with only positive habits, Christ / Buddha thinking / mind stream. Living in presence of eternal awareness.
Although one may touch on temporary bliss, samadhi, Mystical Union - the aim is to bring the divine into the mundane.
The first goal is to stabilize our monkey mind. After all how can we learn anything if our minds are unstable, and distracted. First we need to tame our minds to make them pliable - so we can apply our mind to anything.
In order to have a pure mind we need to be ethical and need to eliminate obstructions such as greed, jealousy, envy, etc.
The second goal is to contemplate our true essence & our true condition.
The third goal is to purify our remaining karma.
The fourth goal is letting our innate buddha nature shine through - characterized by the alturistic intention to do good.
In reality all these are One.
The first stage is characterized by a series of aha! moments, realizations, epiphanies, insights, moments of clarity / peace / oneness / inspiration / thoughtlessness - cessation/
The second stage happens over a long period of time - this is where a lot of the learning about self and unlearning previous knowledge, negative habits.
(It can help to take refuge with a Perfect Guru Buddha -find a qualified teacher / master - ultimate refuge is your self)
True knowledge is transmitted through intuition - direct knowing - spontaneous realization.
Intuition, although ever present, gets clearer as the seeker becomes purer and develops virtue. Thus cultivating virtues is very important - to pay off karma, and for self realization. It is in the giving that we receive and learn about ourselves.
Right action is discovering our True Nature, when we release our thoughts, we see the World through God's eyes.... thus standing in awe of God's Love, Inherent Goodness, Mercy, Grace and many Virtues (Generosity, Patience etc.)
The only freedom is to detach yourself from the mind / body / emotions, realize that God is the only doer, and take a step back, watching the drama of your life unfold. This does n't necessarily mean that you do nothing, rather you are involved in life but detached from your ego desires and expectations. You still have thoughts, fears etc. except you don't react to them.
You do your best with no attachment to the fruit.
Rediscovering the state of Enlightenment - Bliss - Truth- Consciousness
Enlightenment is the state of pure consciousness - seeing things as they truly are , with no clinging, grasping, fear, desire or attachment. This is our natural state of being. We just have to clear out the debris, and still the muddy water, to return to our homeostasis.
To achieve this on a regular basis one needs the Fire Within, courage, patience and diligence. This is because we really need to be honest with ourselves and face our shadow side, ego and hypocrisy.
One should also enquire into who is doing the seeking?! Too much searching is also attachment / suffering.
The Spiritual Journey gets tougher, as subconscious blocks arise, but at the same time it gets easier because you gain the tools to deal with newer more delicate / subtle levels, and you realize that all comes from Consciousness / God, is Consciousness / God, and returns to Consciousness . God, so everything becomes an ever refreshing joy.
It just depends if you are ready to accept the ultimate challenge / goal / realization.
as your equal, (we are have the inherent potential for good / compassion
share more and experience unconditional love!
Know the Truth
for yourself - become an inner scientist - and you will then KNOW,
not believe, the Truth of Creation.
Just Be - Passive
Awareness - just watch -
surrender - detach - accept what is,
but be involved
Be aware of
Listen to the Listener
Enquire Who Am I?
of Such-ness; 'It's like this now!', 'As it is'
This too shall soon pass!
Do your best,
but don't be attached to the outcome!
Live in the
Drop your thoughts of the past & future.
But use your memory & imagination for good.
Dance / Live / Act / Be fully -
lose your 'self-conscious' feeling and inhibitions in the music / beat / rhythm / drumming
- be as if the only one on the dance floor!
- let your presence fill the room / landscape
THE WAY OUT
(ie. through internalizing focus - becoming aware of your own mind / reactions / self)
Look at your own reactions / over skeptical doubts to this text.
Doubt your doubts. Where are your doubts coming from?
Are your beliefs firm, based on knowledge - or have they been blindly accepted over the years
Visualize where you want to be....
TRY IT OUT! GIVE
IT A GO!
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!
Peace and Happiness
Love and Light.
PS. Say "How can I help you?" rather than "What's in it for me!"
also "As you wish" and "Thy Will be done" (Thy will, not my will)
pps. Do your best to assist others on the path and in life, helping those in need, starting as much as possible with those closest to you. However if you can't assist others then at least do no harm to any other sentient beings.
Source of Information, Articles, Quotes & Teachings
This 'guide' is the essence of what I have been studying, observing, researching, experiencing throughout my life. This entire website brings together many perspectives - esoteric teachings from the mystery schools in the East as well as cutting edge science from the West. Much of this knowledge and information may have been hidden (occult) [may be for good reason] until the 19th century.
The Theosophical society opened in the west in the 1920's - spreading previously unknown teachings from the Orient. Also since the 1950-60's when Tibetans were forced out of Tibet and the Vatican opened it's Libraries - there has been much more information that what previously hidden knowledge.
Yet this has all been said before - there are no new teachings here, nothing new can be added. Nothing more can be said. I am just re-hashing what others have said before me.
However now science is backing up what the mystic's have been saying for years. Only the vocabulary and state of the world is different.
As I mentioned - 'timing is everything' & 'nothing is more powerful than an idea who's time has come'
Do not blindly believe what is written here...try it out and see for yourself, and ask a quantum physicist!
The truth cannot be said, but you can be lead to the point from where you can see it. OSHO
This page and indeed the whole site is parallel to the teachings of many mystical and ancient wisdom traditions, schools & teachings. However the site is not promoting any one particular tradition, sect, dogma etc. The choice of path, dedication, discipline, attitude, view, perserverence, patience is yours
This site / page has influences from:
(in no particular order)
No tradition is left out on purpose. Don't be put off by any of these traditions. If you have something against any of the above, ask yourself why? What is the real reason I don't like...... Is it past experience? social conditioning? prejudice (pre judgment)? Or is it something else?
Also from modern day schools of thought
and from many teachings of modern and old Masters, Teachers, Guru's, Yogis, Ascended Masters, Adepts, Bodhisattva, Sages, Saints et cetera.
and modern teachers - The author has attended teachings, workshop's with many of the following & more
and also ancient Healing Arts and Yogic Systems
I pay homage to, salute, respect and revere all teachers and gurus of all times & dimensions - for treading the path of Self Realization before us - showing us the Light, The Way, The Absolute Truth. Our brothers and Sisters. Thank You.
related books & Authors
A guide to the basic steps of enlightenment, demonstrating how to practice morality, meditation and wisdom. His Holiness, The Dalai Lama provides guidance on mental calm, altruism and compassion, refraining from harm and focusing the mind, together with his more general teachings and wisdom.
(January 2002) Pocket Books; ISBN: 0743427084 (Europe /
of us is a river"--twenty one days in Vermont., June 14, 2001
Reviewer: G. Merritt (see more about me) from Phoenix, Arizona
In May 1998, Thich Nhat Hanh led a three-week mindfulness retreat in Burlington, Vermont, at which he delivered dharma teachings on the "Sixteen Ways of Breathing" from THE DISCOURSE ON THE AWARENESS OF BREATHING. This 279-page book is the transcribed record of that retreat, including three question-and-answer sessions. Thay offers lessons here on cultivating "the seeds of mindfulness, enlightenment, understanding, joy and loving kindness" (p. 97).
It is no surprise that Buddhist scholar, Robert Thurman, calls Thich Nhat Hanh "one of the greatest teachers of our time." This book provides easy-to-read instructions on "how to light the lamp of mindfulness and shine it on each moment, each act of the day. You do everything in the light of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the presence of God, is the energy of the Buddha within us, the element of holiness within us" (p. 41). Anyone can practice mindfulness. "You don't need to be a Buddhist," Thay says; "you don't need to be a Dharma teacher" (p. 43). Mindfulness is "deep looking" and "living deeply" (p. 66). Like the sun, when it touches something, it brings about transformation (p. 109). For instance, it allows us to discover everything in the cosmos in a flower: "the sunshine, a cloud, the earth, time, space, everything . . . except . . . a separate existence, a separate self" (p. 172).
mindfulness, we walk "the path of emancipation:" "We are
free from birth and death. Our true nature is no-birth and no-death. We
realize the ground of our being by looking deeply and touching reality deeply.
This is the only way to dissipate our fears. If we have this deep insight,
we will be liberated from our anguish and fear of being and nonbeing. The
Buddha said that all fears and cravings are born from ignorance. Through
knowledge and insight, we gain emancipation. We cannot have insight if we
don't practice looking deeply. Looking deeply is the practice of meditation"
(pp. 208-9). I have read more than a half dozen of Thich Nhat Hanh's books,
and I will be adding this one to my list of favorites: BEING PEACE (1988),
LIVING BUDDHA, LIVING CHRIST (1995), THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS (1996),
and GOING HOME: JESUS AND BUDDHA AS BROTHERS (1999).
Dr Joshua David Stone
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