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What Drives You to Practice?

What Drives You to Practice?

An excerpt from a teaching called Bodhicitta by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Some of you show up for practice because you think your teacher will get mad at you if you don’t. So you make yourself visible. Some of you show up for practice because you’ve got to get it in today. When do you [...]

Astrology for 7/24/2014

7/24/2014 Thursday

Feeling indecisive? Can’t make up your mind? Want to do something but not sure what to do? Relax, the planet of action is going through the sign of indecision. In two days you will be 100% certain about what you must do. This is a feel good time- happiness abounds. Sophocles said “Happiness [...]

Those With Hopes of Us

Those With Hopes of Us

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Antidoting the Mantra of Samsara”

The Buddha teaches us that there are literally so many sentient beings that, not all the great Bodhisattvas and lamas have connections with all of them. That’s how many sentient beings there are. We don’t have [...]

Astrology for 7/23/2014

7/23/2014 Wednesday

A sudden realization or awareness gives insight into an ongoing problem. You can solve it, now that you know the facts. Act promptly and change what needs to be changed. A difficult time has ended and a new time has begun. A brighter future is here. Dress up, sparkle, be happy! Men are [...]

What Drives You to Practice?

An excerpt from a teaching called Bodhicitta by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Some of you show up for practice because you think your teacher will get mad at you if you don’t.  So you make yourself visible.  Some of you show up for practice because you’ve got to get it in today.  When do you do practice because you are sick of delusion? When do you do it because you are sick of death?  When do you do it because you are sick of watching sentient beings suffer and yet are helpless to help them?  When do you say those prayers so deeply that your heart and your mind are purified of delusion and of hatred, greed and ignorance, so that your heart and mind are so deepened that you will absolutely incarnate in such a way to benefit beings?

The single most abundant deepening quality that you all have is your great love and desire to help others.  If that’s the ticket with you, ask yourself if you really want to help others or if you want to look like you are helping others?   Sometimes I think people want to look like they are helping others so they can be a nice person.  As soon as you’re finished with that and you decide that you really help others because you really can’t bear to see their suffering and are finished with watching people suffer, then use that.

Why do you just practice by the book?  Why don’t you walk around the temple and make prayers constantly, visualizing the refuge tree; walk about the living quarters of your Lama and the temple itself and the Sangha that’s in it saying, “In this way, let me follow you forever.  In this way, let me always revolve around the Three Precious Jewels.  In this way, let me be born under whatever circumstances to help sentient beings,” making these profound and sincere prayers.  Maybe you can break through into depth.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/24/2014

7/24/2014 Thursday

Feeling indecisive? Can’t make up your mind? Want to do something but not sure what to do? Relax, the planet of action is going through the sign of indecision. In two days you will be 100% certain about what you must do. This is a feel good time- happiness abounds. Sophocles said “Happiness depends on wisdom.” Emotional generosity characterizes the day, and the greatest danger is overeating. Invite people for a meal and enjoy the happiness. Reminiscence is wonderful. Speak of the past and what you have accomplished. It’s a time to fill yourself with joy. Write letters, make phone calls and thank people for all they have done for you. If you are grinding away at a job, not stopping to relax, you are misusing the energy of the day. Avoid pushy people, sidestep them gently. Emotionally disturbing news comes and it takes all your self control to avoid blasting. Wait. You’ll be glad you did later.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Those With Hopes of Us

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Antidoting the Mantra of Samsara”

The Buddha teaches us that there are literally so many sentient beings that, not all the great Bodhisattvas and lamas have connections with all of them.  That’s how many sentient beings there are.  We don’t have connections with all of them.  That means that there are sentient beings with whom you have connections, sentient beings that you have been involved with in one form or another since time out of mind, and their only connection to future practice, to being liberated from samsara, to practicing Dharma, is you.  Literally there are sentient beings right now who are waiting for you to achieve liberation.  The more you dance around with this, the more they suffer and the longer they wait.

From the moment that you begin to practice Dharma, these are the ones that you should live and breathe for—these precious ones who have hopes of you.  You should think of them as your children, as your purpose, as your parents, as your beloved because without you, they have not much hope.  That’s why we practice Dharma. That’s why we work hard at it— to alleviate suffering for self and others.  And we consider that to be completely nondual and equally importantSofor this reason it’s time to face the music, go deeper, and that hated word, commit.  That’s what it takes.

  Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/23/2014

7/23/2014 Wednesday

A sudden realization or awareness gives insight into an ongoing problem. You can solve it, now that you know the facts. Act promptly and change what needs to be changed. A difficult time has ended and a new time has begun. A brighter future is here. Dress up, sparkle, be happy! Men are extremely generous and helpful, and women offer ideas and verbal support. Travel is good, reading is favored and conversation is excellent. Talk things over with people and you’ll have a fresh perspective. Love is in the picture and people walk around starry-eyed. Conversations are shocking, and the news blows you out of your comfort zone. Be prepared to change today, whether you want to or not. Richard Hooker said “Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.” What’s good? Everyone is happy and excited about the future! Love is in bloom, and medical treatments are successful.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Where is Your Heart?

An excerpt from a teaching called Bodhicitta by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

What makes you a deep practitioner?  What makes you a deep practitioner is really having renounced cyclic existence.   Those of you that are casual practitioners are practicing, but your mind is still a mind of distraction.  You are still running hither and yon, doing this thing and that thing, and you’re superficial.  You have to do this activity over here that is so important, so you go to the meat market. And you have to do this thing over here with your family.  All these have-tos have to happen. There is nothing wrong with going to the meat market, and I want you to have a wonderful family, but it’s that life of distraction that I am arguing with.  It’s that distracted mind that keeps you practicing superficially and keeps you a casual practitioner.

After having received all this teaching, all this loving, after all that you have felt and known in your own heart to be truth, if you are still doing that after all this time, then somehow you have not fully taken refuge in the Three Precious Jewels.  You are not a renunciate.  In your mind, there is still something in the world out there to be accomplished, something that you feel is going to meet your need or answer your problem.  In other words, you still believe in the world of appearances.  You still believe that this apparent reality has some solution or has some basis in realness. You still believe that something is there and you haven’t let go of it.  You haven’t really turned your mind away from it.

When I say turn your mind away from the world, I don’t mean that you have to become a monk or a nun necessarily.  I don’t mean that you have become a nerd or a dead person.  I don’t mean that you are limp and you just don’t have any fun anymore.  That’s not what I am talking about. You can engage in any activity that you feel to engage in, but you simply don’t take refuge in it.  It’s not something that you get tense about.  It’s not something that you get compulsive about. This is Nyingma philosophy.

Right now your mind is all divided.  You are off here and off there.  As you are running off in any of those directions, if someone were to say to you, “Where is your heart?”  You’d have to feel around for it, because you don’t know where it is.  You’re not thinking about the teachings of Lord Buddha.  You’re not thinking about the precious Dharma.  You’re not thinking about the Sangha, you’re not thinking about the Lama, you’re not thinking about the Buddha.  You’re not thinking about clear mind.  You’re not relating to that at all.  You’re all over the place.  You are all over the map.  You want this and you want that.

The reason why you haven’t renounced apparent reality, even though you know it’s going to kill you – this is a fatal condition we have here, even though it’s never answered your problems – never in the past and it never will, even though you know that, you still have one problem.  It’s a big problem and that problem is desire.  You have not overcome desire.  You have desire for this and that, and they are baubles.  This is one of the first teachings of Lord Buddha.  And if you listen to the teachings, after you get that bauble, even if you can get it, it is impermanent and if it doesn’t break apart or destroy itself in some way, you will die clutching it and then you can’t take it with you.  It’s all impermanent.  Even if you attain this bauble that you probably won’t attain in the first place, because it’s nothing but a conceptualization and has no basis in reality, after you’ve wasted all your time going over this desire, you have no guarantee.  Even though you were practicing the Dharma, that even though you’ve completed Ngondro, if you still have desire and you have not completely become a renunciate – a person who has renounced cyclic existence – you have no guarantee that you will not be reborn as a hungry ghost.  Hear what I am saying?

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/22/2014

7/22/2014 Tuesday

Inventors unite, today is your day! Got a idea you’re itching to unleash on the public? Express it! Brilliant thinking flourishes. Be open to “out of the box” plans. Go for a run, a walk or a drive,
and pay attention to everything. A call or message is exciting. Observe children and young people in the environment, they open the door to the future. Confidence appears in the form of a leader who is so radiant and inspiring that everyone is willing to go along! Expansion is possible, after a long period of contraction. If you haven’t bought new clothes in a while, this is the time to do so. The better you look, the more luck comes your way. Politicians, religious leaders and public figures are favored. Speak and listen today. Andre Gide said “The most important things to say are those which often I did not think necessary for me to say – because they seemed to me too obvious.” Listen to the obvious and be inspired. Loved ones, food, parades, spectacles of every sort are all good today.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

What Does Love Taste Like?


In this excerpt from a teaching called The Dharma of Technology, Jetsunma is speaking to her students who had recently received the Rinchen Terzod from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche who conferred the Rinchen Terzod at Kunzang Palyul Choling in 1988

Do you remember in the empowerments in the Rinchen Terzod we had the opportunity to taste different things, something sweet and something bitter, then His Holiness said, “Who is the taster?  You know what makes this sweet and this bitter?”  The taster does, because if you tried to find the essence of the thing that you’re looking at, remember, if you divided it down and looked at it under the microscope you would never find its thing-ness.  In fact, you would never find its sweetness.  Which molecule is the sweet one?  You would never really find that.  What is sweet is sweet to the tongue and the tongue is the determiner of that taste.  Who does the tongue belong to?   The tongue belongs to you.  So you, in fact, are the one that determines whether the thing is sweet or not.  You are the taster.  And so when you examine yourself and you boil everything down and smear it on the microscope, you can’t find where you are, then you realize that sweet and sour, sweet and bitter are concepts and they are just proliferations of the mind.

In the same way, this person that drives you crazy and this person that is the precious jewel in your life are equal.  It is the hatred and the desire, the hope and fear, the attraction and aversion in your mind that causes you to make a difference between them.  If you looked at them with the mind of enlightenment, you would see that they are the same.  Yet we all have our likes and dislikes.  But somehow through our practice, we have to accomplish such pure view, free of desire and on fire with love that they are the same.  We have to give our lives equally for both of them.  We have to be willing to eat an ocean of suffering for the ones we can’t stand and for the ones we truly love.  It’s easy to make sacrifices for the ones you love.  It’s easy to make sacrifices for your children.  That’s not hard.  Anyone can do that.  I was reading the other day about a creature called a midge.  It conceives its children inside its belly and then as the children grow, they eat the mother from inside out and the mother dies.  It’s a shell and it opens up and the children come out.   And then after a while they reproduce in the same way.  If a little bug can do that, if it can give its life to nurture its children, you can do that.  That’s not hard.  That happens even on the lowest realms.

What’s really hard is to give your life for all sentient beings, the ones that you know and the ones that you don’t know and to do so in a way so that the ones that you can’t stand are equal to the precious pearls in your life.  They have to be the same.  If you give only so much and you stop giving, only extending your love to your family or friends and to the people that you know here, or your nation or your planet or even your universe — what about the other 2,999 myriads of universes?  What about all of the sentient beings who are, with hatred in your heart, not worthy of your love, but with love in your heart, the same as you?

That’s when you have accomplished Dharma, when your love is that great, when you are that mindful of compassion, when through your meditation and through your practice, and through your understanding of the Buddha’s teachings, you have come to understand the equality of all that lives, that they are the same mind, the same uncontrived primordial wisdom nature, that they only appear to be different.  They suffer, they live and they die because of their confusion.  What makes the ones you hate so hateful?   First of all, it’s your vision of them.  You are the taster.  Someone else loves them.  Who loves them is the same as you and you’re the same as them.  The difference is the particular karmic pattern of attraction and repulsion, of desire that manifests in your life.

The one that you hate is the same nature as you with the same capabilities, with the same desire to be happy.  The difference is that this person may be confused and the only way they know how to reach for happiness is in the ways that make them unhappy.  And of course you, in your hatred and your greed and your ignorance interpret their activity because of the karma of your mind.  This sounds like elementary stuff. The sun pours forth and it doesn’t say, “Well, I think I’ll go to violets today and roses are going to be in the dark.”  The sun doesn’t do that.  Its nature is to pour forth and embrace all life and it is the source of life.  Your compassion, your mind is like that in its natural state.  It is that all-pervasive compassionate reality, that all pervasive non-dual mind state and so your love has to be that way.  Your accomplishment of Dharma has to be like that, with that understanding.

It sounds elementary.  It sounds simple.  But we still hate.  We still judge.  We still have the seeds for war in our bodies and in our minds.  We still have the seeds for old age, sickness and death.  We still have the seeds for all the six kinds of suffering in all of the six realms, and so in that way, we have not accomplished Dharma.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/21/2014

7/21/2014 Monday

Either an assertive person will not leave you alone, or else you are putting too many demands on yourself! There’s a risk of pushing something until it breaks: step back and wait. Ignore anyone telling you to charge into danger. Invite that person to charge, and watch the disappearing act that follows. Don’t be someone else’s foot soldier! Lewis Mumford said “A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.” The energy changes as the day progresses and people become talkative. Expect calls or texts from everyone, and watch the news carefully. An announcement is exciting and a public event is inspiring. Pay attention. It is possible to be both excited and squelched at the very same moment. No problem, you’ll laugh it off. Food, family and loved ones are wonderful today, and good news comes.

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

What Prayer Supersedes all others?

An excerpt from a teaching called The Dharma of Technology by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Compassion is the foundation of Dharma.  It is the meaning of Dharma.  Without compassion, there is no accomplishment of Dharma and you have to make a fervent prayer, a prayer that supersedes any other prayer that you will ever make.  You pray that you will accomplish the extreme great compassion, to put your mind and your heart in such a way that if Lord Buddha Amitabha did come to you and offer you the suffering of the six realms, you would eat it with happiness and with joy.  And just before you took your first bite you might say, “Please Lord Buddha, save me.  Help.”  And then you’d eat.

We are all in a body that has an ego associated with it, a body that is an ego that has an “I” identity.  We want to work for our safety. We are very concerned with our safety.  So it’s understandable that you might make that prayer, “Please, by the grace of the wisdom of your mind, let the suffering, once I eat it, be transformed.”  But you should eat it and not really care whether it works out that way or not.  If you could be the only one that suffered and all of the six realms could be liberated, if you could be the very last, the only one left, that should be your greatest joy.  If all of the ones that you have hated and judged, the ones that you thought were the thorn in your side, if they could achieve enlightenment before you, that should make you happier than the thought of your own enlightenment.  If you can really come to that understanding not in a superficial way, but from the depth of your heart that if Lord Buddha Amitabha would give you this opportunity you would take it in a minute, then you have accomplished Dharma and you are to me the light of the world.  You are to me the best student there is.  You are a treasure.  And I don’t really care if you accomplish anything else about Dharma, because the mind  that does not differentiate, the mind that is free of hatred, the mind that has overcome desire associated with the self to the extent that it will take on the suffering of all the worlds, that mind is the liberated mind.  That is a jewel.  That is the mind that is the wish-fulfilling jewel.

The reason why I am telling you this is because I want you to know as my students, I really want you to understand and have there be no question in your mind what I think Dharma is.  I want you to understand what I respect and what I admire.  I’ve told before that I see students that are learning the technology of Dharma and some of them hang out with the big lamas and they go for the big empowerments and stuff like that and they remain unloving, unchanged, and full of gossip, full of judgment and I don’t think much of that.  I wouldn’t have a student like that.

If my opinion is of any value to you at all, then please understand that to the best of my ability this is what Dharma really is.  This is the understanding that I have.  To the best of my ability, I understand Dharma to be that love. I am not going to teach you something that will not lead to enlightenment.  I don’t claim to have any special powers, but if you have any consideration that I’m your teacher, any faith in me, then hear this.  If you accomplish this and do nothing else, you will have accomplished Dharma and basically, that’s really all you’re ever going to learn from me.  That’s all I really have for you.  I hope that you will consider that precious.  There is no other Dharma.  There is no other enlightenment besides that.  The mind of bodhicitta, that is the supreme goal and there is none superior to that.  When you have accomplished that, that’s it.  Your mind is liberated from the very causes of suffering and you then are in the position where you can, in turn, liberate minds.

I wish that you would actually use this technique.  I wish you could really think about what if Lord Buddha Amitabha came to you and offered you the six realms of suffering.  Would you take it?  Try to cultivate your mind and gentle your mind and purify your mind to the point where you would gladly, willingly take it and be willing to suffer for an endless amount of time, and be really happy about that.  Think that your precious self, the one that you love so much, might be deformed and made gross by that suffering.  Think that might happen and still be happy about it.  You should think about all the people that drive you crazy and all the people that you hate and try to get to the point where you’re really happy if they make it ahead of you and think that the people that are precious to you, your family, the ones you make such a big deal about, make it in your mind where they are the same, exactly the same as the people that drive you crazy.  When you have accomplished that, through whatever means, and generally it happens through kindness and practice just in the way Lord Buddha dictates, then you have accomplished Dharma.

Through the cultivation of your mind to be pure in that way, through a mind like that, through that exalted mind of bodhicitta, you will certainly have the power to appear in an emanation form again and again under all circumstances, in all roles, in strange places, under strange conditions and be able to provide a means to enlightenment to all sentient beings, just through that and nothing else.  You don’t even have to be smart to do that.  That’s why sometimes I think intelligence is a pitfall.  You don’t have to be smart to do that, but you have to be determined to accomplish Dharma.

I hope that you find meaning in this and that you have it clear in your mind what I really cherish and what’s really important to me.  I would like it very much if you understood me that well at least because then if you decided that you really wanted to be my student for the duration and learn what I have to teach you, that’s it.  That’s all I can teach you.  But I can teach you that.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/20/2014

7/20/2014 Sunday

The closer you stay to home and loved ones, the happier you’ll be today. Cook half the day and spend the rest of the day eating! A brunch, barbecue or potluck is in order. Organize one if you have no plans. Carry a basket of delectable snacks and pass them out wherever you go. Food solves a million problems today! Dress up and look your best. Appearance counts now. An assertive partner continues to make demands, and you must go along. Save emotional outbursts for the privacy of family, they will get you in trouble in public. Authority figures have no interest in your feelings. If you live in a dangerous area, go indoors to express yourself. Be very aware of who is near you in public places, being distracted can make you a target. William Shakespeare said, “One may smile and smile and be a villain.” What’s good today is food, loved ones, shopping and the confidence that things are getting better!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will affect people differently. Some will feel this energy in the personal arena, some in finances, some with family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

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