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Astrology for 5/24/2016

5/24/2016 Tuesday by Norma

The best response to a sharp request is a pleasant, accommodating one. Be aware that someone is under tremendous pressure to act quickly and may not have time for niceties. You’ll forgive them when you understand the whole picture. (“A comet incinerated my house and that’s why I yelled at […]

Prayer: The Gurus of the Six Realms

Prayer: The Gurus of the Six Realms

The following is a prayer from “The Great Perfection Buddha in the Palm of the Hand: The Lama’s Oral Instructions Upon the Recitation and Visualization of the Preliminary Practice of Ngondro” as revealed by Vidydhara Terton Migyur Dorje

The syllable GURU is the Guru in the hell realms, Guru Nampar-nön.

Reddish-black in color, he holds a vajra […]

Prayer to Manjushri

Prayer to Manjushri

Prayer To Manjushri

Obeisance to my Guru and Protector, Manjushri,

Who holds to his heart a scriptural text symbolic of his seeing all things as they are,

Whose intelligence shines forth as the sun, unclouded by delusions or traces of ignorance,

Who teaches in sixty ways with the loving compassion of a father for his only son,

All creatures caught […]

Astrology for 5/23/2016

5/23/2016 Monday by Norma

A brilliant idea solves a perplexing problem and things go smoothly. A conundrum is behind you; don’t look back and don’t bring it up or it’ll start all over again, which you don’t want. People are talkative and must express themselves. Listen to each one carefully, leaving nobody out. […]

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5/24/2016 Tuesday by Norma

The best response to a sharp request is a pleasant, accommodating one. Be aware that someone is under tremendous pressure to act quickly and may not have time for niceties. You’ll forgive them when you understand the whole picture. (“A comet incinerated my house and that’s why I yelled at you.”) Widening your perspective beyond your own issues is helpful on several fronts today. Fortunately, most people are in a cheerful, light-hearted frame of mind. Henry Ward Beecher said, “Good-humor makes all things tolerable.” What’s good today? Physical exercise, going for a drive or a walk, reading, talking and gathering news. Women are more serious than men today- offer help and lighten their load.

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

Prayer: The Gurus of the Six Realms

The following is a prayer from “The Great Perfection Buddha in the Palm of the Hand: The Lama’s Oral Instructions Upon the Recitation and Visualization of the Preliminary Practice of Ngondro” as revealed by Vidydhara Terton Migyur Dorje

The syllable GURU is the Guru in the hell realms, Guru Nampar-nön.

Reddish-black in color, he holds a vajra and a scorpion,

Protecting all beings in hell from the suffering of heat and cold.

The syllable PED is the Guru in the hungry spirit realm, Guru Nam-nang-ched.

Maroon in color, he holds a vajra and an iron phurba,

Protecting all hungry spirits from the suffering of hunger and thirst.

The syllable MA is the Guru in the animal realm, Guru Seng-ha-ten,

Blue-black in color, he holds a damaru and bell,

Protecting all animals from the suffering of inferior persecution,

The syllable SID is the Guru in the human realm, Guru Pema Jung.

White and red in color, he holds a skull and a vajra,

Protecting all humans from the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death.

The syllable DHI is the Guru in the jealous gods realm, Guru Nam-par-gyal.

The color of smoke, he holds a Khatvanga and skull,

Protecting all jealous gods from the suffering of competitive warfare.

The syllable HUNG is the Guru in the god realm, Guru Sid-thub-dzin.

Yellow-white in color, he holds a vajra and bell,

Protecting all gods from the suffering of falling to the lower realms.

These six Gurus protect beings from the suffering of the six realms.

(Here one may repeat the Vajra Guru Mantra as many times as possible)

OM AH HUNG BENZAR GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG

 

Prayer to Manjushri

Prayer To Manjushri

Obeisance to my Guru and Protector, Manjushri,

Who holds to his heart a scriptural text symbolic of his seeing all things as they are,

Whose intelligence shines forth as the sun, unclouded by delusions or traces of ignorance,

Who teaches in sixty ways with the loving compassion of a father for his only son,

All creatures caught in the prison of samsara, confused in the darkness of their ignorance, overwhelmed by their suffering.

You, whose dragon thunder-like proclamation of Dharma, arouses us from the stupor of delusions

And frees us from the iron chains of our karma, who wields the Sword of Wisdom

Hewing down suffering wherever its sprouts appear, clearing away the darkness of ignorance.

You whose princely body is adorned with the 112 marks of a Buddha, who has completed the stages achieving the highest perfection of a Bodhisattva, who has been pure from the beginning.

OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHI
(Repeat the mantra many times through. The last time:
DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI…..SOHA)

I bow down to you, O Manjushri. With the brilliance of your wisdom, O Compassionate One,

Illuminate the darkness enclosing my mind.

Enlighten my intelligence and wisdom so that I may gain insight

Into Buddha’s words and the texts that explain them.

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5/23/2016 Monday by Norma

A brilliant idea solves a perplexing problem and things go smoothly. A conundrum is behind you; don’t look back and don’t bring it up or it’ll start all over again, which you don’t want. People are talkative and must express themselves. Listen to each one carefully, leaving nobody out. Jack Kaine said, “It’s easier for people to see it your way if you first see it their way.” Express your view even though it seems you’re in the minority, different opinions are needed now. Mercury has gone direct and things are moving forward again! What’s good today? A successful project, new horizons, interesting conversations and an “on the road” feeling. It’s time to go somewhere!

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

You are Alive

An excerpt from Marrying Spiritual Life with Western Culture by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

If you have a real relationship with your own nature and you really understood the wisdom and the beauty of the Buddha’s teaching and didn’t see it as his teaching, but as a wisdom that appeared in the world here.  You could see it as your teaching, as a wisdom that you could connect with.

Actually, we Westerners have a similar problem to what Black Americans have approaching Christianity.  Black Americans pray to white Jesus.  It’s not to say that their faith is small.  I don’t know whether they have a problem with it or not, but it must be odd.  What does it look like seeing a white face on an altar when you’re a black person?  Go home and look at all those Asian faces on your altar?  They don’ t look like us.  What to do about it?  How do you take refuge?  How do you connect?  It’s not about those pictures.  It’s not about those faces.  It’s about you!  And it connects inside.

It isn’t about the shape of those eyes.  It’s about what those eyes see.  So you have to have that completely personal relationship where you look beyond that which is slanted or colored or this way or that way.  It’s got to be a deeply personal relationship.  To do that you must connect deeper than you’ve ever been before.  We love to just skate over the surface of our experience of life.  We’re even addicted to the highs and lows.

You can’t really understand why and how to take refuge by learning a set of equations or laws or rules.  These can only function as guidelines.  It’s really up to us to be powerful and strong and noble and knowing and awake on our path.  Virtue cannot be collected.  It has to be experienced, tasted, understood.  Its nature must be understood.

This is not the news we want to hear.  We want an easy religion.  We think, “Just tell us the ten things we have to do so that we’re not uncomfortable about dying.” I’m not saying those ten things are bad they’re good, they’re wonderful, but where does it lead you?  Aren’t you still the same scared little kid who was so neurotic because you are compressed with rules and society and with being told you can’t feel things?  And now we’re going to do this with our religion too.  Ten more times.

What if, instead of being a girdle that makes us out of touch just trying so hard to be good, we experienced our path – our method – in a wisdom way, in a connected way, in an in-touch way?  From that fertilization that happens when you really understand an idea and it causes you to go, “Ah, hah, therefore…” from that point of view it’s like a plant or a tree coming up inside you and growing.  It bears fruit.  It is a joyful thing, and you can see the fruit of your life.  Most of us are so unhappy and so neurotic because we cannot see the fruit of our life and we do not understand its value.  We have not tasted it.  This direct relationship one can taste.

It needs to be like that in order for us to really take refuge and not be lost, little kids scared of dying, just trying to do the right thing be good boys and good girls with a new set of rules – because maybe if we just had a new set of rules, maybe then we’d be good.

Instead of that, what if we were dynamically in love, inspired, breathing in and out on our path?  The path can, in that way, be a companion, a joyfulness, a child of yours, a creation, a painting, something beautiful you’ve done with your life.  You can’t make a beautiful painting by number.  You have to make a beautiful painting from your heart.

So ask yourself, where are you?  If you find that deadness inside of you, don’t blame your path, don’t blame your teacher, don’t blame your society, and don’t blame the Buddha.  Instead, go within and find what is true and meaningful to you.  Work the sums.  Reason it out.  Lord Buddha himself said, “Forget blind faith.”  He said, “Reason it out.”  The path should make sense.  It should be logical and meaningful to you, not to me.   What’s it going to mean to you if it’s meaningful to me?  It has to be logical and meaningful to you.  This is what the Buddha said.  It would really help you to try that out for yourself, living in a society where we are separate from some fundamental life rhythms and where we are trained to think that things are happening outside of us.

We’re in a world filled with terrorism and racial abuse, religious abuse, all kinds of conflict, and yet we think racial intolerance for instance, is happening out there.  We read about it in the paper.  No, racial intolerance is happening in here.  That’s where it’s happening.

It’s like that with everything on this path.  You cannot let it happen out there.  It’s your responsibility, your empowerment, your life.  Waiting for someone to tell you how to live it is not going to fly.  When you walk on a spiritual path that you know, that you have examined, that you have given rise to understanding, you draw forth your natural innate wisdom.  That fills your heart with a sense of truth because you understand it – not because someone else does.  That’s the way to do it, and that’s what the Buddha recommended.  In fact, he said, “I’ve given you the path.  Now work out your own salvation.”

That wasn’t just a flip thing.  When people hear that they go, “It’s such a cool thing that he said that!  He must have had a great sense of humor.”  He meant it!  The path is there, but you’ve got to work it out.  That’s how you walk on the path.  Otherwise you’re walking alongside the path.  Then you’re a friend of Dharma, an admirer of Dharma, but not a practitioner – even if you wear the robes.

So handle the dead zone.  Empower yourself.  There is no reason why you can’t.  Don’t live your life by “bash-to-fit, paint-to-match.”  Don’t do that.  You are alive.  In every sense, your nature is the most vibrant force in the universe, the only force in the universe.  It is all there is.  To play this game of duality where you stand outside your own most intimate experience and like a sheep get led through your life, that is not the way to go.

Many of you came to this path from another path because you felt dead there.  But remember this:  Wherever you go, there you are.  You brought the deadness with you.  So handle it.

I hope that you really, really take this teaching to heart because it’s really an important thing.  If I had one gift that I could give you all, it would be to stay alive in your path, to have your spiritual life be like a precious jewel inside of you, living, something to warm you by.  If life took everything else away from you, which it will eventually, this is the thing that cannot be taken.  Thank you very much.

Copyright © 1996 Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

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5/22/2016 Sunday by Norma

It’s an active day, making you hop from thing to thing. A perfect grand square is forming where all directions are represented. New factors must be taken into consideration, and an escape hatch is blocked. Used to running away when things get tough? The bridge is washed out and you’re staying! Be prepared to hold up your end in every conversation, your input is important. The savior is, again, Mercury friendly to Jupiter. Think more expansively than you’ve ever thought before. Everyone gets a vote. What’s good today? The ability to chat away in a confounding situation, holding up your end the entire time. David Comins said, “People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.” Hint: quote others.

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

Ten Virtuous Activities

An excerpt from a teaching called How Buddhists Think by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

You should think of the Buddha’s teaching as a philosophy that you can follow according to your capability.  You don’t need to look or act a certain way.  Basically, what you’re learning is cause and effect.  You learn that there are ten virtuous activities that bring about Realization, if they are done frequently and consistently.  These are:  1.) Composition––the creation of prayers or stories which increase others’ faith.  2.) Offering––even a simple butterlamp, offered daily to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha creates causes for Buddhahood at some future time.  3.) Generosity and kindness to others, even at the expense of your own comfort; you are one, and they are many.  4.) Attentiveness to the teachings––sometimes difficult when you want to go outside or fall asleep.  5.) Recitation––of prayers, practices, and mantras.  6.) Memorization––of the teachings and instructions for practice.  7.) Teaching––appropriate to do only when we are ready.  8.) Praying.  9.) Contemplation––of the teachings you receive.  10.) Meditation.

First we receive training about how to perform these activities; then we practice them the best we can.  Some people will spend a whole week contemplating the teaching I’m now giving; others won’t think about it until they come back for another teaching.  But they come back!  And there is virtue in that.

The ball is in your court.  Your progress will depend on how hard you work, how well you take hold of your mind, how much you demand of yourself, how courageous and honest you are, and how much true generosity you develop.  Accordingly, you will pacify the obstacles that keep you from achieving the Awakening to your own primordial Wisdom Nature.

Until you do this, you will wander helplessly in the six realms of cyclic existence.  It would take weeks to give a thorough traditional teaching on these realms, but the purpose here is only to explain how Buddhists think.

 

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

To download the complete teaching, click here and scroll down to How Buddhists Think

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5/21/2016 Saturday by Norma

A happy person is responding to a message you can’t see, be aware of this as you interact with others. Secrets abound. Men are chatterboxes today and women are strangely quiet. Wait it out, you’ll learn in time what’s going on. The tendency to disagree with others is powerful and should be approached tactfully; you may be right, but you may harm a friendship. Mercury and Jupiter remain in good aspect: speak kindly, think big and give others the benefit of the doubt. Edward R. Murrow said, “People say
conversation is a lost art; how often I have wished it were.” Listen patiently and congratulate yourself on your good manners. Oh, you may just learn something too!

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

The Foundation of Dharma

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Commitment to the Path”

Today I would like to begin to lay the foundation by which we will practice. Even for those of us that have been practicing for some time, if we lose the foundation or if the foundation, like in the analogy of a house, becomes weak or compromised in any way, it’s not long, then, before the house will topple or the house will lean or become unstable.  It’s like that with our practice.  If certain fundamental thoughts are not stable in such a way as to hold up the rest of our practice and support us on the path, then eventually our path, our practice, will decay, decline in some way.

Although practice, like life itself, is often cyclic, sometimes we feel we are in a position to do more practice and other times we are in a position to do less practice.  Still in all, we have to make sure that we’re able to make slow and steady progress. The reason I say slow and steady progress is because oftentimes new students will trip themselves up by trying to go too fast without the depth of understanding.  It’s exactly like building your house on sand.  It’s exactly like that.  We want to go into the neater stuff; we want to go into the cooler stuff.  We want to learn the stuff that makes us look exotic when we practice, but none of us will really be practicing in truth if we don’t have certain foundational ideas and if we don’t constantly review them over time and constantly make them part of our contemplative life.

Of course those thoughts are engineered to turn the mind toward Dharma.  In order to turn the mind toward Dharma, we have to have our eyes opened.  We can’t be lightweights; we can’t be bliss ninnies.  We just can’t say, “Oh, it’s so cool to practice Dharma.  Let’s go on.”  We have to understand why we are practicing Dharma, because Dharma is a path and a lifestyle and a method that one has to use throughout the course of one’s life.  We have to be consistent.  We have to be persistent.  It can’t be the kind of faith that you have only on Sunday mornings or only on liturgical holidays.  It’s a walking-through-your-life kind of thing, and it requires you to make enormous changes. Behavior and ideas that may have been acceptable before will gradually become unacceptable – not in a way that you should be filled with guilt or shame.  It’s not like that.  It’s more like when you really understand the Buddhadharma and you understand what samsaric existence is, and what the display of one’s nature is, it will become more natural to practice the bodhicitta and to give rise to compassion, to caring for all sentient beings.

In order to proceed effectively on this path that challenges us every moment of every day, we have to remain focused, remain mindful in ways we never thought we could or we’d ever have to.  And the reason why again is that Dharma does not simply come from magical thinking.  It does not come from the stars.  It does not just descend upon us on some lucky day for no apparent reason.  Dharma is the awareness of cause and effect relationships.

Now for me, that’s why Dharma makes so much sense.  I know when I first introduced some of the ideas of Dharma to my students, they were, you might say, a little resistant.  They would think things like “You mean, like path?  Like you have to do something every day?  Like you have to change the way you think and the way you act?  I mean, couldn’t we just like get salvation?”  And that’s the idea.  We’ve been raised with the idea that religion is like a condiment on the plate of life.  You know, something to sweeten it up with or salt it up with.  A little oregano on the pasta.

But in fact, we find out that we have to learn something different.  Dharma becomes our heart.  Dharma becomes enthroned on the mind and heart.  And the reason why is that Dharma has to accomplish something that is very breathtaking.  Dharma has to accomplish something that is enormous, that seems almost inconceivable.  It has to take our perception of ordinary samsaric cyclic existence, which is a state of delusion, a state of non-recognition, and it has to transform our capacity to be able to recognize our own innate nature.  Yet, everything about us is geared to function in duality.  Two eyes, two nostrils.  All of our senses are extensions of our ego, so they always work to function in duality.  So how can this thing happen?  We ask ourselves, what in the world, what kind of experience, what kind of event could turn us around to where our perception could become so clear that we could be like the Buddha, awake to our primordial wisdom nature.

Well, what is it that Dharma is supposed to do, exactly, and how does it do it?  The idea is to have a path on Dharma that is exacting and is a method that takes you to a to b to c to d, and also is flexible.  You can go from a to d to m to t.  Dharma is suitable for all sentient beings, because there is some element of Dharma that is compatible with one’s own karma.  So it’s not a general here’s-the-true-label for everybody.  There are teachings that the Buddha gives that are incontrovertible.  They will never change.  They are about the nature of samsaric existence.  Yet the path is individualized.  For instance, I really like to practice Guru Yoga.  That’s my thing.  That’s what I do.  And somebody else might really like to practice Vajrakilaya.  Ultimately it’s the same practice.  One is a peaceful practice, one is a wrathful practice. One is based on deepening the connection with the root guru.  The other is also based on that, and is also based on very actively manifesting one’s compassion.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo All Rights Reserved

 

 

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5/20/2016 Friday by Norma

Someone presents an opposing point of view to yours and it’s a winner. Actually, the combination of the two ideas is the winner. Integrate the new into your strategy and watch your productivity expand. Insist on your way or cave in to somebody else’s way and it’s wasted. This is an important day take what you’ve learned to the boss; you could just provide the open door that’s been missing. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” What’s good today? Shopping, mental expansion, investing and creativity. Continue to avoid discussions that are aggravating, politics and naysayers. Avoid those who say it can’t be done.

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