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No Time to Waste

No Time to Waste

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Death comes to us all, often sooner than we know. Prepare for death. If you have accomplished Phowa then death is not frightening, and can be noble and of benefit. Leave with no debt unpaid, and practice. Death will be in the heart of […]

Astrology for 5/2/2016

5/2/2016 Monday by Norma

Imagination and creativity are highlighted today. Share your ideas and they will be implemented, start working on your own and you’ll become frustrated and end up in a snarl. Listen carefully to others’ comments and accept advice gracefully. Feeling grumpy or sick? Spend time outside in the sun […]

Message from Gyaltrul Rinpoche to Jetsunma: Pure Offerings

The following is a message from Gyaltrul Rinpoche to Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and her sangha given on November 11, 2011:

VGR to JAL 11.11.11

In November 2011 Venerable Gyaltrul Rinpoche offered the following spontaneous teaching about Jetsunma at a sangha gathering at Tashi Choling in Oregon.

Gyaltrul Rinpoche began by asking Jetsunma’s student who was in attendance at […]

Astrology for 5/1/2016

5/1/2016 Sunday by Norma

Feeling successful? You probably are, today. A sense of satisfaction combines with imagination and happiness to make for a pleasant day. Enjoy it! Think of Ferdinand the Bull lounging in the clover, basking in contentment, and you have the picture of the day. Lily Tomlin said, “For […]

No Time to Waste

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Death comes to us all, often sooner than we know. Prepare for death. If you have accomplished Phowa then death is not frightening, and can be noble and of benefit. Leave with no debt unpaid, and practice. Death will be in the heart of the Primordial Mother.

One can practice Amitaba Buddha, and at the time of passing to Dharmakaya Buddha, the practice will be the connection. OM AH MI DEWA HRI!

Either way, if dying, renounce all, for not one grain of rice will go with you. This is not a time to pick apart the world, or hurt anyone.

These are the teachings as given by my Lineage, Palyul.

If death is chaotic and fearful, unprepared or cruelly, there is unimaginable suffering in the Bardo of death. Always attend your mind. Leave some worthy act of compassion, keep the mind loving and peaceful. Life is as short as a cup of water travelling down a waterfall, and as fast.

© Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo

 

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5/2/2016 Monday by Norma

Imagination and creativity are highlighted today. Share your ideas and they will be implemented, start working on your own and you’ll become frustrated and end up in a snarl. Listen carefully to others’ comments and accept advice gracefully. Feeling grumpy or sick? Spend time outside in the sun and you’ll perk right up. Avoid the tendency to run around engaging in activity that only frustrates you. John Updike said, “Most of American life is driving somewhere and then driving back wondering why you went.” It’s a great day to stay in one place, to confer with women, children and those closest to you, to cook and eat and to nurture your inner artist. Medicine is effective and medical cures are possible. Music, intuition and inspiration are strong today.

The astrology post affects each person differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message affect your life today!

Message from Gyaltrul Rinpoche to Jetsunma: Pure Offerings

The following is a message from Gyaltrul Rinpoche to Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and her sangha given on November 11, 2011:

VGR to JAL 11.11.11

In November 2011 Venerable Gyaltrul Rinpoche offered the following spontaneous teaching about Jetsunma at a sangha gathering at Tashi Choling in Oregon.

Gyaltrul Rinpoche began by asking Jetsunma’s student who was in attendance at the gathering to stand and to convey this message to Jetsunma.

“You opened your center.  Then you bought a house, and then you invited Holiness Penor Rinpoche. Then you sponsored the whole Rinchen Terzod, and invited so many high lamas.

You got really sick, but still you are upholding that center.  Right now you miss Holiness, but it doesn’t matter.  I heard that you offered your center to two tulkus who are His Holiness’ successors. You are the servant.  You have merit.  In that way you succeeded in growing your center. Now you have the merit to offer it to Holiness’ successors – two tulkus and the whole lineage.  You gave everything to them purely, cleanly, and without attachment. You don’t make claims.  You dedicated that merit to sentient beings to cleanse obscurations.  Thank you so much.  This is the way of dharma, not just the way of “mine.”  The way of “mine” is, “We need to practice.”  Mine is “We need to generate merit and cleanse obscurations.”  That’s mine. You took a big step that is opposite of the American brain.  You didn’t say “mine.”  You said that according to Buddha it belongs to sentient beings.   It is the Buddha’s offering for sentient beings.  You dedicated it. Thank you so much.

Speaking to the student, Gyaltrul Rinpoche continued.  

Students at the center need to maintain it for sentient beings.  Note what your teacher His Holiness did.  At the same time follow what Jetsunma did.  She offered the center and everything back to the lineage for your benefit.  Now you have to maintain it.  Don’t crack.  Don’t damage it.  How do you crack it?  How do you damage it?  By the breaking of samaya.  By fighting.  This is “my” way, your way, this way, that way.  Whose way?  His Holiness’ way.  Your way as a human being is Holiness’ way.  Penor Rinpoche is Holiness.  As non human beings it is Shakyamuni Buddha’s Way, Guru Rinpoche’s Way.

Through the whole Rinchen Terzod you got the whole lineage.  You guys need to maintain that benefit for all the sentient beings that are connected with you.  You have to open up for them, as much as you can for sentient beings.  Not only for him that you like or her that you like or not, but for all sentient beings, even bugs.  Do according to Shakyamuni, according to Guru Rinpoche and according to your root lama, Penor.  We don’t have anything to be ashamed of with the wonderful way of our root lama, the Dalai Lama.  Follow that example.  I pray for you guys.

Right now we have the amazing fortune in this life and next life to offer some benefit for others.  Almost nobody has that kind of merit.  Therefore don’t forget how fortunate, how lucky we are.  This is our luck, all of our fortune.  Therefore don’t throw away your luck.  Don’t throw away your merit.  Continue.  There are lots of obstacles up and down, but try.  Be patient. Be more compassionate for sentient beings.  We have this opportunity only one time – this time.  If we lose this one, we won’t get another.  Recognize this.  Try that.  Tell all the centers that this is my request.  Thank you.  Tashi Deleg.

I’m so happy she [Jetsunma] offered it, you know?  It is amazing that way.  She has freedom.  So you have heard this example.  You guys are working for the sentient beings.  Don’t be proud working for yourself.  Everybody is working hard.

Some of you guys came here today.  Some didn’t come.  One way – snow.  One way -laziness.  One way – excuse.  One way is saving next life’s merit, and cleansing obscurations.  We need to keep that savings.  We don’t want to clear it out.  We don’t want to save the merit too much.  Therefore we need to save space.

Everybody is working so hard but I’m not embarrassed.  I don’t have any regrets about it.  I’m happy.  The reason is not that I am happy using you guys in ten directions.  I’m not satisfied that you guys are tortured.  Look at Philip, how old his body is.  And Ani here is an old lady.  Everyone says these guys torture themselves from working so hard.  The reason is to generate merit – purification.  Anytime you have an opportunity, don’t ignore that opportunity.  We don’t know how short our life is.  You may think, “I’m not like that ugly old man.  I’m quite handsome.”  Anyway one day you are going to be cranky like me, ugly like me, a bozo like me.  You will look like that.  It’s not only me.  I’m not the only one being punished from old age.

The nature of samsara is like that.  We trust.  You think samsara is trustable, even more than your boyfriend, more than your husband, more than your wife or girlfriend.  You guys trust so much.  I love you. This is the real reason for our shorter life that we have that idea.  The bottom line is reaching another life. Everybody try.  Help each other practice.  Dedicate.  Nothing is more useful or better.  It all is temporary, but we have a chance, an opportunity.

You need to go.  You guys need to go because there is snow, but try in the future.   You have an opportunity.  You have amazing good fortune.  I’m not saying you are pretty or handsome or smarter.  I’m not saying you’re richer.  Being rich means nothing.  Look at how rich Qadaffi was.  All sentient beings are going to die, even Shakyamuni’s father and mother.  When we read the history of Shakyamuni, do we think of Shakyamuni as a poor guy?  No.  Did he get drunk or crazy?  No.  Read that history carefully.  I’m not asking you guys to become a nun or monk.  Nun means nothing.  Monk means nothing.  If you follow Shakyamuni’s footsteps then yes, but lots of monks are about ritual.  Lots of monks are samsara leaders.  This is more cheating of Shakyamuni.  Actually we are cheating ourselves.

It’s the same thing with Guru Rinpoche.  Guru Rinpoche is not a poor guy.  G. Rinpoche is not a poor guy.  I’m not asking you to give up your position, or money or anything.  But recognize first what is of benefit and what that means.  What is good or bad?  Check everything.  Don’t jump over this.

Look at how many countries are fighting and for what?  Power, money, and that kind of thing.  You guys are smart.  Look carefully.  Don’t think its all Funky Rinpoche.  “He’s dying.  He’s losing his life.”  Yeah.  You are right.  But it’s not only me.  You too.  I don’t have preparation so don’t follow me.  Wake up.  Stand up.  You have an opportunity and you have the blessing of Holiness Dalai Lama, Dudjom Rinpoche, Penor Rinpoche, and the Karmapa.  Sunshine shows your hand or behind or friend or whatever.  You are not in the darkness.  All dharmas – Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana – everything is there blazing on you. At that time don’t go Qadaffi style.  Don’t go down dark tunnels.  Still your “bad” is showing.  Therefore, everybody try.  Don’t be smart.  You want to be smart?  Understand cause and effect.  You need someone smart who can benefit you?  Know who can help or harm you.  That’s smart.  You don’t need the scholar going blah, blah, blah.  A hundred thousand pages you do for one second, but everything is blah blah blah.  You don’t follow that meaning or result, or you don’t care.  It’s just blah blah blah.  Therefore everybody try.

Goodnight.  We have snow, so I’m not going to blah no meaning.  I don’t want to make obstacles for you.”

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5/1/2016 Sunday by Norma

Feeling successful? You probably are, today. A sense of satisfaction combines with imagination and happiness to make for a pleasant day. Enjoy it! Think of Ferdinand the Bull lounging in the clover, basking in contentment, and you have the picture of the day. Lily Tomlin said, “For fast acting relief, try slowing down.” Groups are fun and earthly enjoyments abound. The urge to get moving is destabilizing, do your best to ignore it. The more you run around, the less satisfied you’ll be today. Take it easy.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message affects your life today.

The Burning Room

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Bringing Virtue Into Life”

We can live our lives as the walking dead, and then die, unprepared, like going to a continent filled with precious jewels and coming back empty-handed.  Or, we can switch on the lights, face facts and do what it takes to negotiate the shoals of samsara, as painlessly as possible.

The Buddha teaches us that we should think of our lives as like a burning room and that the smoke is beginning to choke us, fill us up. And you know, if you’re in a burning room, eventually you’re going to get burned.  It’s going to consume you, right?  So think of ourselves as being in a burning room, and think that there is one door.  That door is wide open to you.  Do you get that?  It is wide open to you.  That door is the door of Dharma.  There is one door by which to escape and you can walk out that door.  You should think of the very doorway of that door as being your own root teacher.  That is the implement, the tool, that you should use to get out of that room—your teacher, your practice,  Dharma.

If you were in a burning room right now, and your skin was beginning to crackle and the smoke was beginning to overcome you, how would you think about that door?  With fervent regard,  the way we are instructed to think about our practice.  That door would look pretty much like God to you!  That door would look like the best thing you ever saw!  Every breath of air that came through that door would be sweeter than anything you have ever known because that door is freedom.

You should think about your practice that way, because that is the way it is.  That is the way it is.  In samsara here, we are locked in a burning room and there is a door. And we have the great good fortune of not only seeing that door, but having the capacity to exit through that door.  Not only that, but that door has a door sill that is friendly and helpful and appropriate for the size and shape of our bodies that will help us to exit that room comfortably.  And that’s how we should think about our practice.  Number one, wake up.  Number two, get the big picture.  Number three, act as though you were a sane and reasonable person, which most of us don’t.  We don’t act like sane and reasonable people.

I’m not telling you anything you didn’t know.  You know that life is impermanent.  You know that you have suffered, and you know that you feel unable to really face all these things because it seems so hard to simply live a virtuous life. But I can tell you that it’s like anything else that you do as a friend for yourself that’s good for you, such as changing your diet to really nutritious food.  At first when you do that, you know how it is.  When you’re young, you can eat anything.  You have a cast iron stomach.  I mean the things I ate when I was young I can’t even look at now.  Now I’m 45 years old and I have to eat right.  If I don’t eat right, I don’t feel good.

But do you remember what it took to change into learning how to live well in that regard?  To go from eating the food that I liked to eating the food that I have learned to like was hard, and I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t think I was up to it.  And to go from the kind of activity that I engaged in when I was younger… Oh I could stay up all night if I wanted to, every night if I wanted to.  I was blazing.  I was a crazy girl.  But now, if I don’t get a certain amount of sleep, the next day I’ve got bags down to my knees. You know, it’s horrible what life does to you!  You look terrible and your whole face shows it.  You feel awful. You feel like a dog.  You feel worse than a dog.

So how did you feel when you had to change from those old habits to these new habits?  At first it was painful.  You didn’t want to do that.  You didn’t want to change.  When you learned that your body was going to fall down if you didn’t exercise, you started to exercise. At first, you hated it.  You hated it.  Nobody likes it when they first start to exercise.  It’s painful.  Your body doesn’t want to do that.  But then when you finally do start to exercise, your body likes it and loves it and it feels good.

Living a virtuous life is like that.  The decision to live a virtuous life is painful at first because you have to face the facts, and the facts are you’re dying.  You’re dying on the hoof, right now. The second fact is that if you engage in virtuous activity you’ll be happy, and if you engage in nonvirtuous activity, you will be unhappy. That is not something we want to face.  We want to do what we do, effortlessly, la la la la la, like little children.  We don’t want to examine ourselves.  We don’t want to look at what we do, but once we have done that,I’ve found, and many of us who are practicing for some time now have found, that we come to love our practice.  We come to deepen in it and truly love it.  We come to love the life of Dharma.  We come to love a life that is engaged in bringing benefit and happiness to others.  We come to find out at last that we never, not for a moment, liked ourselves when we were living the other way, the nonvirtuous way, the no-brainer.  We never liked ourselves.  There was no self-esteem happening there at all.

So then my suggestion is that we get started.  Go through it.  Buck up little soldier!  Do what it takes to stand up tall and open your heart and get the big picture. Once you do that and you start to engage in a virtuous life, your mind will be smoother, you will be happier.  You will be happier.  This I promise you.

In the meantime, because our minds work the way they do and because we can’t see the direct relationship between cause and effect, we have to listen to our teachers.  There is no other choice. Our teachers have crossed the ocean of suffering, just as the Buddha has done.  Crossed the ocean of suffering, and returned for our sake. Our teachers, having seen the further shore and having seen the journey there and back, have come back to bring us this understanding.  Live this way.  Bring your life to the pinnacle of what it can be, and hold it steady and grow up, because that’s what it takes to be happy.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved

 

 

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4/30/2016 Saturday by Norma

Friends are satisfying and a group is excellent today. It’s time to renew old relationships that you’ve been too busy for recently. Samuel Johnson said, “A man, sir, should keep his friendships in good repair.” Call your friends, invite them somewhere, cook up a surprise party! An unexpected source of happiness comes later in the day. If you must make a purchase be certain you’ve considered it previously as brand new ideas won’t work at all! A pleasant sense of settling down after a long push is satisfying. Something you’ve worked for is headed your way. Relaxation and attention to beauty, these things are important now.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message affects your life today!

Do It Because You MUST

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Bringing Virtue Into Life”

Here are some thoughts that we do not accomplish because initially they are uncomfortable.  They are painful.  We do not want to know this.  We have this idea when we’re young, that by the time we get to be an adult we’re going to have all the answers.  And in fact you do have all the answers, until you’re about 25.  Before that you’re omnipotent you see, and then when you’re 25 you’re no longer omnipotent. Do you know why that is?  Because you have a brain that has finally started to grow in your cranium.  Before that it was only brain buds.  So now that you’re about 25 you’re beginning to realize that you don’t have all the answers and the omniscience, the supreme omniscience that you were afflicted with earlier, is dissipating.

That happened to me too.  When I was little I used to think when I grow up, I’m going to be completely comfortable.  I thought when I have children I’m going to raise them just this way; and I will never do this and I will always do this.  Who has had good luck with that I want to know?  Have you ever heard yourself yelling at your kid and you find out you are your mother?  You have turned into your mother for real!  Well, that kind of thing has happened.  Also, you grow up and you think, when I grow up I’m going to have all of the answers.  When I grow up I’m going to be secure.  When I grow up I’ll have financial things worked out.  It’s all going to come together for me.  When you’re young you think like that. And when you’re older you realize almost none of it is going to come together for you, almost none of it.  Some, yeah.  There are good things in life.  There are good things in samsara, but you realize that it’s not what it seems to be.

As practitioners this is really what you have to take away with you.  As a practitioner, you cannot fall into the trap that we as younger people fall into.  You can’t stay there very long.  And you that are younger, you need to create the habit of thinking about this:  Samsara is a deluded experience.  It’s like a narcotic.  It fools you.  It creates a way for you to look in the mirror at 45 with dyed hair and think “I’m not dead yet!”  Instead of pinching your cheeks for a little blush, putting on your lipstick and bouncing out of the house like you did when you were 18 or 20, after 45 minutes with the makeup, you look at yourself, blink twice, hope that the eyelashes don’t stick together, and go “I’m not dead yet!” again.  You can’t stay like that.  You cannot keep yourself in that childlike, ridiculous idea.  You must, at some point in your life, realize that life is going by very quickly and that you are going by with it, and there is not a moment to be wasted.

When it comes to who should practice and who should not practice, it is not for you to practice to impress your friends.  It is not for you to practice because I want you to practice and it would please me.  Certainly not.  It is not for you to practice because you’ll be cheek by jowl with the other people who are practicing.  It is for you to practice because this is the nature of your situation.  You are involved in the cycle of death and rebirth. Life passes quickly and if you do not prepare for your next life, your next life will not be what you want it to be.  There is a very good chance that you will end up with a lower rebirth or a rebirth of extreme suffering. So, when you think about why you should embrace spirituality, particularly when you think why you should embrace the path of Dharma, don’t do it for me. Don’t do it for the temple.  Don’t do it because it’s cool.  Do it because you must.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved

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4/29/2016 Friday by Norma

Friends present themselves for activity and interaction. A financial impasse is resolved by quick action, but with Mercury retrograde you’ll spend time handling matters from the past. Five retrograde planets keep you hopping, in reverse! Don’t sign contracts and don’t buy anything you expect to
work in the future (cars, blenders, computers, etc). A conundrum exists where you want to work hard but aren’t sure what to do! P.J.O’Rourke said, “Worrying is less work than doing something to fix the worry. Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom with the dishes.” Just go ahead and do nothing. Ignore the urge to propose marriage, you’ll change your mind tomorrow. What’s good? Friends, happiness, health and enjoying the beauty that is around you.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message affects your life today!

Light of Compassion

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo from the Vow of Love series

Somehow you have found yourself in this fortunate, amazing position where this feast of possibility is laid before you. How did you come to this point? How is it possible that you have this option? You must have done something right in the past, and I suggest that you now build on it. If you don’t cultivate the mind of extraordinary compassion and such a burning love that compassion is the most important force in your life, then the natural inclinations of a mind filled with desire will overcome you. This is Kaliyuga, the age of degeneration, and that’s how it is. You must practice and cultivate that mind of compassion, of love, so thoroughly that you are moved to the core by even the faint possibility that you might achieve liberation in order to benefit beings. You think of nothing else. You must cultivate that until you burn with it. Don’t be afraid of that kind of love.

In the West we are taught, “Be cool. Hey, I’m an intellectual, I don’t think like that. I’m kind of special.” That’s what we’re taught, that’s our value system. That is the same value system we will take to our graves, and only the selfishness of that kind of idea will survive, not the intelligence. There is one thing that will survive this life, and will create the karma for your next life. It is the purity of your mind and the degree of love that you have accomplished. This will be the determining factor for how you will return time and time again in a form that will benefit beings until someday there is no more suffering.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

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4/28/2016 Thursday by Norma

A person working behind the scenes, steadily and unobtrusively, is making actual progress to the surprise of flashier players who thought they were smarter. Ogden Nash said, “Here’s a good rule of thumb: too clever, is dumb.” Step aside, honor the person and recognize the accomplishment. Applause is in order. Behave appropriately in public today, respect authority and treat others with kindness. News from abroad is perplexing and political matters keep changing. Be aware that the spinning wheel determining outcomes hasn’t stopped yet, all you can do is watch and wait. In the meantime, love is fun, health matters improve and work is satisfying.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, depending on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message affects your life today!