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Astrology

An emotional disappointment comes early today. Avoid taking a fixed position about anything. As the day progresses, groups learn from setbacks and take steps that put them in tune with the times. Be open to new ideas. Be very willing to change your deepest convictions if someone persuades you that they won’t work in the [...]

Astrology

An early purchase is fortunate. Friends appear who understand what you’re doing and are willing to help! A group accomplishes something an individual or twosome can’t. A woman comes up with a brilliant idea. Mechanical devices are favorable and new inventions are possible. Use them with an understanding of what machines can and cannot do. [...]

Caretaking the Gift

Caretaking the Gift

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

It is so important and so precious that we have this human existence. We should consider ourselves caretakers of that—that prize, that gift, that blessing—that it should not be taken lightly.

Sometimes we think, “Oh, you know, [...]

Astrology

A perfect square in cardinal signs encourages people to sit tight in terms of taking action. Do something and it won’t quite work out as you wish. Emotional volatility is present, but because of its coldness you may not recognize it as a component of emotion. If someone behaves gruffly or falls silent, check for [...]

Astrology

An emotional disappointment comes early today. Avoid taking a fixed position about anything.  As the day progresses, groups learn from setbacks and take steps that put them in tune with the times. Be open to new ideas. Be very willing to change your deepest convictions if someone persuades you that they won’t work in the current situation.  It’s an “old dog, new trick” sort of day. Be aware that until you learn you’re doing something wrong, you can’t change and do it right.  Shopping continues to be a good activity and mental peacefulness and patience is prevalent. William Burroughs said, “Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”

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 children or family, some in work and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology

An early purchase is fortunate.  Friends appear who understand what you’re doing and are willing to help!  A group accomplishes something an individual or twosome can’t.  A woman comes up with a brilliant idea. Mechanical devices are favorable and new inventions are possible.  Use them with an understanding of what machines can and cannot do.  Emo Philips said, “A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.” Matters associated with aviation are excellent.  Circulation is important.  Exercise to improve your body’s circulation and disseminate information to circulate ideas.  Be in the loop today; know what’s going on and things go well.

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 children or family, some in work and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Caretaking the Gift

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

It is so important and so precious that we have this human existence. We should consider ourselves caretakers of that—that prize, that gift, that blessing—that it should not be taken lightly.

Sometimes we think, “Oh, you know, I would really like to live a life that is warm and fuzzy.  I don’t want to live a life where I have to know about all these bad things and apply antidotes all the time.  Oh gosh, that’s just so…  I’d rather be warm and fuzzy like a puppy.”  Well, all right, but I have puppies and I can tell you that I love my puppies so much I can’t explain it.  They are so adorable.  I love them so much.  They are so good for me.  I am so good for them.  I love my puppies.  They are like my kids.  However, my puppies cannot hear the Dharma.  They cannot look at me and say, “This is my teacher.” The devotion they feel is clearly based on food and scratching behind the ears and I hope it’s not the same for my students.  They cannot attain view.  They cannot recognize anything but the most minimal cause and effect relationships.  They know not to sit in an uncomfortable place if they’ve sat there before or they recognize something hot if they’ve seen it before, like that—the simplest associations—but they have no capacity for practice.

And yet, I have my students that say to me, “Oh, they are so lucky. They get to live with you all the time and go with you wherever you are and they sit on your lap.” No they’re not.  You don’t want to travel with me all the time, be with me all the time and sit on my lap.  What is that going to do?  How is that going to get you through life? And what are you going to do in the bardo?

So we have to understand that Buddhism is about really examining what is in front of us, seeing what is on our plate.  And although we may not be so glib and so cool and savvy with the positive remarks and the upbeat thinking, we will be savvy and smart and intelligent and able to change things that would seem to be impossible to change once we understand what the Buddha has taught.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

 

Astrology

A perfect square in cardinal signs encourages people to sit tight in terms of taking action.  Do something and it won’t quite work out as you wish. Emotional volatility is present, but because of its coldness you may not recognize it as a component of emotion.  If someone behaves gruffly or falls silent, check for hurt feelings.  The tendency is to think “that’s how he/she is” but don’t believe it. People behave like automatons today. What they’re doing is trying to follow the rules in order to avoid criticism or censure. What’s good today: emotional satisfaction that needs nothing more, artistic creativity, imagination and love?  Marcel Proust said, “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they’re the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

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 children or family, some in work and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Why Is This Rebirth Precious?

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

When we practice the Buddhadharma, one of the first things that we have to do is to examine the faults of cyclic existence.  Nobody likes to do that.  That is not fun.  But what is interesting is you can really tell the more experienced, more sophisticated person.  Nobody wants to hear that cyclic existence is faulted and flawed and that it is impermanent and that it is pervaded with suffering.  Nobody wants to hear that.  But when you talk to somebody who is experienced and sophisticated enough in their own lives to see that: “Sometimes I’ve tried my best and life still goes off the tracks.  You know, sometimes I try my best and some dreadful disease will pop up.  Sometimes I try my best and somebody else I love will just leave or be sick or die,” There is no way to prevent these things from happening.  And if we are old enough and mature enough, we’ve had enough experience to know there is clearly something else in the driver’s seat here besides what “I want.”  We’re getting it.

Then, of course, sometimes when students first approach the path, they don’t have that sophistication yet.  Maybe they are young or young at heart or young in head. Who knows? But they haven’t had the kind of experience that is actually ultimately a blessing, that will bring them to a kind of sobriety, sort of like recovering alcoholics.  They get to a place where it becomes unbearable.  You have to stop.  You’ve got to grow up.  People who have had the experiences that come with ordinary samsaric existence and have seen them, and are not putting on blindfolds, are for the most part ready to hear this information.  And if you still have any doubt, pick up a newspaper.  Watch TV.  It’s all there.

So once we do hear that there are faults in cyclic existence, then it’s our job to begin to examine them.  Again, here, also it’s not so comfortable, because we don’t like to think about it.  Especially when you have to go every six weeks and have your hair dyed.  I mean, you look in the mirror and everything is turning gray and it’s all heading south, and you realize that something is happening that is not changeable.  It’s just going to happen.  It’s going happen right underneath your head.,and there’s not a thing you can do about it. You can work at it, but it’s going to work on you.  Eventually gravity wins.  Once you start to realize that, you realize that it doesn’t pay to put everything we have into this basket that is going to abandon us.

So now we come to examine the faults of cyclic existence.  Lord Buddha said that one of the things that we should understand about cyclic existence is that what we are in right now is called the “precious human rebirth.”  The reason why it is so precious is because it is so rare.  We’re sort of locked into a closed circuit TV system, if you can imagine such a thing.  We’re only mindful of our own kind of creatures.  We can see people.  We can see animals.  That’s pretty much it— the occasional ghost for those of us who are a little strange—but for the most part that’s it.  It’s people and it’s animals.  Those are the ones that we can see.  Those are vibrationally on our channel, so we can see them.  But Lord Buddha teaches us that there are other realms of cyclic existence: There are hell realms, all kinds of hell realms;  there are hungry ghost realms;  there are animal realms; there are human realms; there are jealous god realms; there are long life god realms.  So there are all these different kinds of realms and they are invisible. Even within each realm, while some are totally invisible to us, they are still within the form and formless realms.

The teachings of Lord Buddha about this precious human rebirth are that human beings are the only beings that have the kind of consciousness that can hear this teaching and then go practice and contemplate,.  The amount of human beings that are birthed now in samsara are like the amount of grains of sand that would fit on one’s fingernail, while the amount of sentient beings that are wandering in other places in samsara are like the grains of sand on all the earth, all the beaches, every square inch of it. The traditional teaching tells us by using the image that being reborn as a human being is as rare as a turtle surfacing in the ocean and putting its head through a circle, like a floating circle.  The chances of that happening are pretty slim, and so that is the way we are made to understand that this is a precious human rebirth.  Now why are we supposed to hear that?  Well, we’re supposed to hear that so that we don’t waste our time.

Another traditional teaching that we hear is that being reborn as a human who has the capacity and the karma to hear the Dharma is like going to a continent filled with precious jewels.  You only have to bend over and pick something up.  That’s how easy it is compared to other sentient beings who have not created the connections, not created the causes as yet. And while they have the same capability and same desire to be happy, they will not get to that continent.  They will not pick up that jewel. Conversely, the Buddha also teaches that to meet with the Dharma as a human being and to meet with one’s teacher and to meet with the path and not to practice is like the fool who goes to this precious continent, looks at all the beautiful colors and enjoys it and then goes away with nothing, going back into poverty with nothing, nothing precious.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology

The mood turns serious today.  Observe protocol in everything you do. Stand when older people appear and shake everyone’s hand.  Dress conservatively.  It’s important to play your part to the best of your ability.  Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players. And one man in his time plays many parts.” If you hold an important position, step up and own it!  Think of Queen Elizabeth or President Obama: each represents a nation.  Oddly, the more formally you behave the happier you’ll be.  Goof off and you’ll get into trouble.  What’s good?  Shopping, food and relaxation.

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 children or family, some in work and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

I Choose Enlightenment

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

People ask: “In your tradition, is Buddha like God?”  No, Buddha is not like God.  “Is Guru Rinpoche God?”  No, Guru Rinpoche is not God.  “Well, what do you call God in your tradition?”  We don’t call anything God.  There are gods, but they are not the goal.  Westerners try to find a way around that, saying something like, “All right, then what is the goal?” I tell them, “Enlightenment.”  They reply, “Okay, then Enlightenment is God.”  No, it’s not. The goal is not anything as personalized and externalized as that.  There is no “other.”  The moment we are caught up in “self and other,” we have lost the essential Nature.  We are fixated, stuck in duality.

This is about Awakening, which is the pacification of such fixation.  You must understand the fundamental distinction between Buddhism and Western thinking––whether you are considering beginning the Path or are already a practioner. You must understand this difference, so that you will know what your true objects of refuge are.

The statement “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, and I take refuge in the Sangha” is an essential element throughout your practice of the Buddha’s teaching.  What does this statement mean?  It means you have looked at the faults of cyclic existence, and you have seen that it produces no real happiness.  You have learned that the Buddha said there is a cessation of suffering, this cessation is Enlightenment, and it is also the cessation of desire.  So you have decided to go for Enlightenment.  That means you have to really understand the faults of cyclic existence––even if these ideas are difficult to swallow.  It’s like taking a medicine that tastes bad until you get used to it.  It is like that in the beginning.

Having decided to take this medicine, you look at those who deliver it.  We look to the Buddha, and this includes all those who have attained Buddhahood, not just the historical Shakyamuni Buddha.  We look to the Dharma, which is the revelation or teaching brought forth from the mind of Enlightenment.  And we look to the Sangha, the spiritual community to which we belong.  It is the Sangha who are responsible for treasuring and propagating the teachings.

In the Vajrayana tradition, we also say, “I take refuge in the Lama,” who is considered representative of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.  Without the Lamas, you would not hear the Buddha’s teachings.  And without the Lamas, there would be no Sangha.

When you say you take refuge in all of these, what you are saying is: “I choose Enlightenment.  I choose the cessation of suffering.”  You move away from the faults of cyclic existence, and you remain focused on the ultimate goal.

In a deeper sense, however, you must understand that you are ultimately taking refuge in Enlightenment itself.  You must understand it as both the Path and the intrinsic Nature.  So you are taking refuge in the Nature of your own mind.  If you understand this thoroughly, you can never be duped.  But you do have to work very diligently and with discipline towards the goal.

The method is very technical, very involved. It isn’t easy because it must cut through aeons of compulsive absorption in self-nature.  It must cut like a knife!  It must be powerful––and it is powerful.  You have to think of Dharma that way.  The technology has to be strong––and real.  You can’t just talk about it.   There is work to be done!

Although it is strong, the technology is very flexible.  You need not be afraid.  You will not be forced to go any deeper than you want to go.  You have the right to practice gently.  You will still be accumulating causes for a future incarnation as a human with these auspicious conditions, and then you will be able to practice well and dilligently.

There are people who only do very small, very gentle practice.  And that’s fine.  There is a large tradition of that in the Buddha Dharma.  There are also people who are more deeply involved, though in a mediocre way.  They practice an hour or so a day.  They do a good job, and they’re faithful, and that’s it.  Then there are people who practice many hours each day.  They continually try to propagate the Teaching, and they work very hard.  So you have a choice. You can determine the level of your involvement.

 

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

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

Astrology

Good fortune comes early from a private source.  Somebody does you a favor and walks off, leaving you surprised and happy.  Pass it on to someone else when you get the chance. A message is uplifting and spirits are high.  Men and women are in sync and children are good natured.  It’s a favorable time to travel and expand your horizons.  When speaking with others be sure to explain the overarching philosophy behind your actions.  People want to know why you do what you do.  Tell them. (” I went to this store because they carry bio-degradable items.” “I called my mother because she just had surgery.” “I like morning better than evening because of the way the air smells.”)  BECAUSE is today’s best word. Wolfgang von Goethe said, “A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss.” Today that answer is “Because…”

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 children or family, some in work and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology

An interesting conundrum is happening today.  You are under tremendous pressure and at the very same time under wonderful love aspects.  It’s all a question of where you put your attention.  Focus on inspirational matters, health issues and creative ventures and everything’s coming up roses! Focus on who is best, strongest or smartest and everything’s a mess.  George Foreman said, “There’s more to boxing than hitting.  There’s not getting hit, for instance.”  Don’t get hit today! Don’t even get in the ring. Spend time doing  things that make you happy.  Watch a movie, paint a picture, meditate, go for a swim.  All these things are great. Absolutely spend time with your loved ones.  If they’re not in the area, call them up and tell them how much they mean to you!  Love is wonderful.

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 children or family, some in work and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Astrology

Circumstances have a tendency to whip up emotions, to inflame the crowd today.  Don’t fall for it.  If you are faced with an upsetting situation do your best to relax, to move into a happy state.  This changes your life.  Two paths are open.  One is inflamatory and exciting.  Avoid this, it’s perilous. The other is relaxed, peaceful and natural.  Take this route and a million dangers are avoided.  Of course, the exciting one is hard to resist. Lyman Beecher said “Never chase a lie.  Let it alone and it will run itself to death.” Food and family continue to be wonderful.  Home is where it’s at.

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 children or family, some in work and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

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