Recent Posts

Understanding the Opportunity

Understanding the Opportunity

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Decision Time”

I want to say a few words, if I may. How many of you, I wonder, feel that you have absorbed enough of the teachings over the years to have a good enough idea of the pointing out instructions […]

Astrology for 1/31/2015

1/31/2015 Saturday by Norma

Happy day! Emotional satisfaction characterizes this day. Someone loves you and wants to tell you about it. Expanded sensitivity gives x-ray vision into what’s needed at any given time, and you are able to say and do exactly the right thing for others. Something lost yesterday comes back today. Food is […]

Grasping for Happiness: The Root of Ignorance

Grasping for Happiness: The Root of Ignorance

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “The Foundation of Bodhicitta”

In closing, I wish to say this one thing. I talked to someone recently who was schooled in a meditation that could create a feeling that was kind of blissy. This kind of meditation had bliss-like qualities. […]

Astrology for 1/30/2015

1/30/2015 Friday by Norma

A sudden perception offers the solution to a problem with business, professional standing or older people. It’s hard to say where the idea came from, but it’s a good one. You’re making progress, although with Mercury in retrograde you feel like you’re in Reverse, not Drive! Everyone wants to go back […]

Calling to the Guru – Yeshe Tsogyal

The following is an excerpt from Mother of Knowledge translated by Tarthang Tulku

Yeshe Tsogyal is calling out to Guru Rinpoche as he prepares to leave Tibet to tame the land of savages:

The sun that warms the land of Tibet,
shining over both gods and men, has set.
Now who will warm us, who are totally naked?
The luckless Tibetans have lost their eyes.
Now who will lead us, who are blind and alone?
Our hearts have been torn from our breasts.
Now who will guide the mindless corpses?
You came here to benefit beings.
Why couldn’t you stay just a little while longer?

Kye Hud! Orgyan Rinpoche!
A time of thick darkness has come to Tibet:
A time when hermitages are empty;
a time when the Dharma throne is vacant;
a time when vase initiations are no more.
Now we can only guess as to the nature of the teachings;
now we must look to books for teachings;
now we can only visualize the lama;
now we must use images as his substitute;
now we must rely on dreams and visions;
now a grievous time has come!

Astrology for 1/26/2015

1/26/2015 Monday by Norma

A discrete conversation with an important person stabilizes matters. Use the heightened sensitivity of the times to work things out in private, to make deals with important people. No need to trumpet what’s happening, keep it under your hat. A woman makes a financial decision or purchase that bothers the boss. Things might have to be returned, so save the receipt! Remember to avoid buying mechanical items, unless you have planned in advance; impulse purchases are a disaster. However, a woman can accurately diagnose a major problem, which becomes quickly solved. Health matters are improving at the speed of light these days. Theodor Seuss said, “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!” What’s good today? Problem solving, imagination, love of friends, and improvement in health and work.

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!

Bit by Bit: Cultivating Compassion

kindness

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “The Habit of Bodhicitta”

We have been revolving in cyclic existence for literally aeons and all during that time, in some form or another, we have conceived the idea of self-nature. Our habit, then, is to hold the idea of self-nature as being very, very solid and very, very real. Our habit, absolutely from the get-go, is to distinguish between self and other. Our habit is to react toward other with hope and fear. Our habit is to think in that relative sense and that comparative sense.  There is no compassion in any of that, and it’s not going to happen.

In order to truly develop compassion, we have to first get the idea and really take to heart the idea that the only thing blocking us from giving rise to the great bodhicitta, or great compassionate activity, is our habitual tendency. So no matter what we feel, if we have the stupid idea that we are good or bad (or whatever our ideas are about life if you have them), set them aside for a moment, and address the singularly important fact that you simply don’t have the habit of truly empathizing and having compassion for the condition of other sentient beings in any consistent and real sense. It’s a question of habit and not a question of good or bad. Are you able to feel compassion?  Many students have come to me and said, ‘Well, I love the idea of compassion. I think it’s wonderful. I hope you are good at it. I hope you continue to teach it to others. But I just don’t really feel compassion for other people.  So I don’t think I can be a Mahayana Buddhist.’ And, really, I cannot count on all of your fingers how many times it has happened to me that a person has said, ‘I love it, but it won’t work for me. I just don’t have any compassion.’

You can’t hide out in that any longer. That’s not a valid excuse, because the fact of the matter is that we are all in the same condition. No one here truly has the habit of compassion. Well, we have a little. Every now and then a jigger of compassion gets mixed into the cocktail of life. (Pretty cute, huh?)  But in truth, we have very little. If we had a great deal of compassion, our whole lives would be given over to benefiting others. There would never be another choice. There would never be another choice. Everything that we do would come out as benefit to others. It would be like magic. You wouldn’t even have to think about it if you had really given rise to the bodhicitta and broken the habit of self-absorption. There would never be another option.

But that’s not the case for sentient beings. We are all in the same condition. So what we have to do is stop waiting to feel compassion, because you are always going to paint yourself into a corner with that one. You are never going to be satisfied with what you are feeling. Until enlightenment, we are never going to be satisfied with anything. So you can’t hide out in that excuse. You simply have to develop a new habit. Sometimes when you are developing that new habit, it can look like this: OK, it doesn’t so much matter what I want here. There are other people that want things in this room, and I’m going to give it up. It can look like that at first. That doesn’t mean that you’re not doing a good job; and it doesn’t mean that you are wrong. It doesn’t mean that you’re bad, and it doesn’t mean that you are a martyr either. It doesn’t mean that you are making an extremely valiant effort and should be rewarded. It doesn’t mean anything. It only means that you are developing a new habit, bit by bit.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Astrology for 1/25/2015

1/25/2015 Sunday by Norma

Fun is coming your way today, and you’re ready for it. Dress up and represent yourself and all you stand for; be aware that your appearance is persuasive so make the most of yourself. Jim Clotfelder spoke of a woman who was so beautiful that, “All she had to do was show up, and everybody was on board!” The energy is so strong today that if people don’t get moving, they’ll become antsy and possibly aggressive. Do something! At the same time, most of what you’re doing involves clarifying matters from the past. It’s possible to fix things that weren’t done right, the first time around. Groups and friends are an important source of happiness, and at the same time the need to withdraw and have private time is important. Do your best to balance the two. What’s good today? The energy of fire, inspiring and cheerful! Use this in all your interactions. Friends and creativity provide satisfaction, and you can heal issues from the past.

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!

Jealousy

Jealousy

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “The Foundation of Bodhicitta”

The next realm is the jJealous gods realm. The jealous gods realm is actually the war-like gods, the competitive gods. We have stories about them in our old testament, don’t we? We have stories about a god that is very jealous and war-like. We have stories about Old Testament,not Buddhist but Christian-Jewish Old Testament. The jealous god realm consists of gods who are very willful and very bossy and very competitive; and they really want things done their way, now. And if you don’t do it, kaboom, thunderbolt to you pal, turning you into salt or something like that. They are constantly fighting each other. They are constantly doing things that make you look at them and say, “Get a life.”  I mean I wouldn’t do some of the things that they do, and what do I know? They act like three year olds. (She looks up at the ceiling in anticipation of retaliation. laughter)  Don’t you hope that I would get away with that? If I got struck by lightening, though, it would prove what I just said, maybe.

Anyway, there is terrible suffering in the jealous gods realm; and that suffering is the suffering of warfare and competitiveness; and it is ongoing. It never ends. There is a violence there; there is a constant, violent outpouring there. It is a very strong war-like energy. They are not particularly happy. They are happy in some ways: They have lots of riches, and they have lots of people underneath them. I guess that makes them happy. They are actually always engaging in some kind of very active war-like activity; and therefore they are not happy and eventually they die. All of these realms are impermanent. They all begin with birth and end with death.

So what is the cause of being born in the jealous gods realm?. The cause of being reborn in the jealous gods realm is jealousy, competitiveness and jealousy—that kind of arrogance, ego kind of thing. Have you ever seen people like that? Have you ever been like that? Have you ever seen people who just think they are so glad that they have it and you don’t? Have you ever seen people who sort of set themselves up in a very high place and they really engage in activity to try to get as much money as they can, and they compete and they really like the game? Think of the movie Wall Street. Remember that a few years back? That kind of thing. That is jealous god activity right there, a perfect example of what is going to happen. The people involved with that when they take rebirth could very likely end up in a jealous gods realm. They were like gods, and they were always engaged in that kind of competitive activity.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Astrology for 1/24/2015

1/24/2015 Saturday by Norma

An absolutely electrifying communication causes you to fly out of your chair and blast off to do something. Of course you can just sit there, but why? You’ve been summoned for a good cause, one that you’ve considered previously, and it’s making a second pass in your direction. Accept, or forever hold your peace. Thomas Nash said, “You never get any fun out of things you’ve never done.” It’s very important to avoid brand new things today since Mercury’s retrograde, so be careful about a prospect you’ve never heard of before. “Don’t sign, don’t buy,” is the caution. It’s an especially bad time to purchase anything you expect to work – a car, a blender, a computer, any mechanical device. A man or friend offers good advice, and you are actually backing up into a good situation. This is an odd day, because of all the different strictures, but go ahead and enjoy yourself anyway!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact
people in different areas of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

Relief From Suffering

HumanRealm

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “The Foundation of Bodhicitta”

Now having been introduced to the six realms, you should look at all of the different qualities that produce these rebirths: anger, grasping, ignorance, doubt, jealousy and pride.  You should think that the thing to do, if you have any understanding at all, is to begin to engage in activity that pacifies those kinds of qualities.  How does this mesh with compassion?  When you think about engaging in compassionate activity, you have to view compassionate activity in accordance with this teaching because you might think that compassionate activity would only be to be nice to people, and actually that is one kind of compassionate activity, or to give money to the poor, or to feed people.  That is one kind of compassionate activity; that is one kind of bodhicitta, but it is temporary bodhicitta.  It will produce a temporary cessation of suffering for the people that you help.  If you give them food when they are hungry, it will produce the end of temporary suffering.  If you give them money when they are poor, it will produce the end of temporary suffering.  But if you really want to get into ultimate bodhicitta, which is the quintessential practice of the Mahayana vehicle, and Vajrayana as part of Mahayana—Vajrayana is what we practice here—what you really want to do is to practice ultimate or supreme bodhicitta.  Ultimate or supreme bodhicitta is creating some kind of practice that will be a vehicle by which the qualities that produce this result will be pacified both in yourself and in other sentient beings.

I’ve described the six realms of cyclic existence.  Where in the six realms is there relief?  Nowhere.  Will you find relief as a result of temporary help in any of the six realms?  No, because you will be reborn again. And where?  We don’t know.  We just don’t know.  In cyclic existence, there is no true relief.  All there is in cyclic existence are the components of cyclic existence.  That is all that is in that pot.  You cannot expect true relief from cyclic existence.  So ultimate bodhicitta and an ultimately compassionate act would be to become a Buddha yourself.  To become highly enough realized yourself to make that commitment to attain realization in order to return again and again and again, emanating from the mind of enlightenment in order to be of benefit to sentient beings, because that is where relief comes from.

Now let me see if this is a typical thangka?  No this is not a traditional thangka.  The traditional thangkas usually show a path coming out from the human realm leading to enlightenment.  As a human, you can make the ultimate gift.  You can engage in the supreme practice.  You can achieve enlightenment yourself and, therefore, you can be a returner.  You can return again and again and again in order to lead sentient beings through a display of your enlightened compassion.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Astrology for 1/23/2015

1/23/2015 Friday by Norma

A softening of attitudes is occurring, adding an element of introspection and sympathy as the day progresses. Everything that happens goes through a filter of sensitivity, for better or for worse. Sudden bursts of emotion are likely, along with an increased awareness of suffering. Sad discoveries are possible, and at the same time increased perceptiveness catches troublemakers lurking in the background. Byrd Baggett said, “Always keep in mind that what others tell you is only the tip of the iceberg.” This is an excellent day to solve old health issues; visit the doctor, psychiatrist, or whatever health professional fits your complaint. Water plays a important role today, either in the weather or elsewhere. Fun with friends and groups continues, and everyone wants to talk. What’s good today? The possibility of solving an old problem, learning, scientific pursuits, and everyone’s favorite – happiness!

The daily astrology post affects everyone. Because individual charts vary, the circumstances outlined in the post will impact people in different areas of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

The Mixed Karma of the Human Realm

doubt

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “The Foundation of Bodhicitta”

Now we are getting to the egg yolk. Actually the optimum life is to be born as a human,. even more than the god realm. Interestingly the god realm seems to be more fun. Wouldn’t you rather have a nice cool glass of the elixir of life?. Or would you rather have a glass of water? Now I know the answer to that. You monks and nuns, it’s been a long time since you have had anything to drink. You would like a nice elixir of life, wouldn’t you?. So, it seems like you would want to born in the god realm. The interesting thing about the human realm is that it does have definite suffering, which you have seen (and I have explained what the suffering is). Plus it particularly has the suffering of old age, sickness, and death. They don’t mention taxes. Maybe they didn’t have them when the Buddha was here. You might escape taxes, but you will never escape death. Maybe that is why he didn’t mention it. Even though those sufferings are present in the human realm alone, there is the peculiar meshing of karma, the peculiar evolution of karma that comes together in a certain way that we can practice the Dharma. We can make a choice and practice compassion. We can practice meditation on emptiness. We can practice Dharma in such a way as to achieve realization. We have this kind of queer mixing, or spaciousness, in our mind. In some cases it is not spaciousness, but it is just that the karma is ripening in a certain way that we can practice.

The teaching says that we have time to practice. Time to practice means what? ? Time in our minds to practice, not time in the day to practice. Anyone can get so busy that you don’t have time in the day to practice; but if you can conceive of time to practice, you have time to practice. You can make time to practice. In the animal realm, there is no time to practice because they are too busy being ignorant and fearful. In the hell realm, there is no time to practice because they are too busy suffering horribly. You can’t practice, you can’t think about compassion, if someone is bonking you over the head. You can’t think about compassion, or burning up in a burning house. In the hungry ghost realm, there is no thought of practice because all you can think about is need—I need, I want, I want, I want. But in the human realm, one can consider practice. There is space to practice. In the god realm, one cannot practice very well either because you are too busy enjoying bliss. You are so filled with bliss all you have to do is drink water. Why would you want to practice? All you have to do is touch something and it feels like waves of bliss. Why would you want to practice? Why you would want to practice is that all of these six realms are impermanent, even the god realm. In the human realm, though, you can practice. We too have sufferings—old age, sickness and death.

What causes us to be born in the human realm? Two things: A lot of merit and virtue that we have accumulated in the past through eons and eons of cyclic existence happened to pull together in one big puddle and ripen in such a way as to produce a human rebirth. But there is also non-virtue that produces a human rebirth. If we had total virtue, if that was all that we had, we’d just wake up one day enlightened, I guess. But that is not what happened. We got reborn in the human realm. What is the non-virtue that accounts for a human rebirth?. The main non-virtue that produces human rebirth is doubt. Doubt. You don’t believe that, right? I knew that. See what I mean. The main suffering of the human rebirth results from doubt as well. And that is why it is possible for so many of us to have with the auspicious opportunity to meet with the Dharma, to meet with the human condition with which we can practice. And we don’t practice. We don’t. If you really believed, if you understood that these six realms of cyclic existence exist, if you understood about your death, if you understood the cause and effect relationships that bring about an auspicious rebirth, if you understood what it takes to produce enlightenment, that is what you would do. You’d practice. But you have doubt, and that is why you don’t do it.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

Astrology for 1/22/2015

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1/22/2015 Thursday by Norma

A setback or down feeling tells you it’s time to pull in, to give yourself some quiet moments. Creative momentum is in operation today, and two modes prevail. Your job is to take advantage of both. On one side, groups and friends open new vistas for you; on the other, an innovative breakthrough occurs that must be accomplished in private. A brilliant idea seems to come from nowhere, gets your creative juices flowing, and leads to fortunate longterm outcomes. Allow yourself to withdraw and let your ideas marinate and cook! Visualization, imagination and inner processes bring forth new worlds. Ignore rules (we aren’t talking about traffic rules here, use your common sense), and especially ignore anyone who makes fun of or judges what you are working on. Jim Rogers said, “If anybody laughs at your idea, view it as a sign of potential success.” If it seems everything is happening at once, it is! Hang in there.

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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