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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Enlightenment is Awakening

Enlightenment is Awakening

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

In their Nature, all sentient beings are essentially the Buddha––all humans, all animals, even all the microscopic little beings running around on the tips or our noses. We should regard that Nature as the basis or seed of the Path. The [...]

Astrology

A diplomatic person makes a suggestion that annoys everyone.  If this is you, be grateful if nobody gives you the raspberry. Indecision reigns and all avenues are blocked, as though construction crews were making repairs on all four sides of an intersection.  There’s nowhere to turn and nowhere to go.  What to do?  Park.  Enjoy the homeostasis of doing nothing, going nowhere.  Horace said, “Cease to ask what the morrow will bring forth, and set down as gain each day that Fortune grants.” Relax, watch TV; write in your journal.  Quiet, inspiring activities are excellent and food 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

The work continues, and today you tackle a serious job.  An analytical approach can solve a mysterious problem.  Take it apart and examine it piece by piece and you will understand what needs to be done. Samuel Johnson said, “The love of life is necessary to the vigorous prosecution of any undertaking.”  Think small, a tiny part may be causing trouble.  You are able to solve something so important that all you can do is go home and relax afterwards.  Do so, you deserve it.  Take a break. Talkative people are fun but don’t have much of value to say.  A dream or premonition gives a solid hint.

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

Workaholics unite!  Today is your day.  People zip around, dusting madly, sweeping like maniacs and digging into tasks at the speed of light!  If you aren’t part of the job force get out of the way.  Otherwise you’ll be swept off the couch with the other stuff.  Work is fun and people are happy to have something to do.  Someone on the job can discover the secret of the universe, find the right bigwig to talk to and cook up an outstanding meal without breaking a sweat!  Jonathan Winters said, “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it!”  Who knew activity could be so much fun or so productive? If you snooze you’ll lose today.

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

Turning On the Light

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

Lord Buddha teaches us that we are wandering in cyclic existence, and that cyclic existence is tricky.  We are taught that cyclic existence is like that room full of furniture, full of obstacles.  You have to get through it, but lots of things are going to happen.  You’re going to go through events; karmic ripenings will take place.  There will be sickness.  There will be old age, and there will be death.  The only way you get out of old age is if you die first.  These are the rules.  That’s how the house works.

So that being the case, the Buddha teaches us, as well, that everything in samsara has a beginning and therefore has an ending.  Literally every time you meet and come together with a loved one, at that moment, you have given rise to the parting from that loved one. These moments, these cause and effect relationships arise interdependently; and although they seem to us to be separated by time, that’s part of our delusion.  Cause and effect arise interdependently.

So when we meet the great love of our life that we have waited for oh these many years, then we are also at that moment entering into the experience of separating, because it will happen.  Should we attain fame, fortune, whatever it is that our society teaches us that we want, then we should understand that the moment we have achieved this very thing, we have also given rise to its end. There is nothing one can accomplish through and within samsara that has any real lasting value other than to cultivate the mind, other than to cultivate the practice.  Only that brings results that are carried forward because it creates a virtuous mind and pure habitual tendencies.  But not one penny of the money we make, not one bit of any relationship, other than memory, will survive death.  We’ll all come together again, but it will all be different.

Lord Buddha teaches us that this is a constant, spinning, spinning, spinning in samsara. While each of us has in common the wish to be happy, we do not understand how to create the causes of happiness.  We think that to have more will make us happy or to be with somebody will make us happy or to be cured of something will make us happy or to change our lives and sail around the world or whatever, that’s going to make us happy.  But we find that ultimately it does not.  You can travel all over the place, sail around the world, have all kinds of relationships, make all kinds of money and you will find that in the heart, you have not attained happiness. We do attain temporary happiness. I feel pretty happy right now. But having lived with yourself for lo these many years, surely you must know by now that this happiness is so, so temporary.  It’s like the dew vanishing on the leaves every morning.  It’s like that.  That easy to lose. And there is no amount of positive thinking that is going to change that.  All you can do is make yourself crazier, crazier, crazier and more neurotic. You know you are suffering.  You know you’re not happy and you’re going, yes, I am.  Everything is fine.

So Lord Buddha teaches us that what we have to do essentially in our path is to turn on the light. Some of the furniture we’re going to have to move, get it out of the way.  That’s called pacifying obstacles, and we do that through practice.  Some of the furniture we’re going to have to climb on top of.  It’s just there and it’s going to have to be something we move beyond.  Some of the furniture we’re going to have to get under, Maybe we could liken that to undoing some of our poisons, like the five poisons that we have within our mind stream.  But whatever it is, things have got to change.

So Dharma is like that.  Dharma provides us a way to turn on the light.  You get the picture.  You see what is in your way and you decide how to deal with it. There are methods for how to deal with it,  but the big thing is eyes opened.  To wish and hope that everything is going to turn out well because, you know, I’m a spiritual person, therefore, da da da, whatever, is just not going to cut it, because you are still whistling in the dark.  You are walking through that room and you’re whistling in the dark.  Buddhism says, “Turn on the light.”

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

 

Astrology

A setback occurs during the night or in the early morning.  Something pops your balloon: what you hoped for isn’t going to happen after all, or not as spectacularly as you’d like.  Be aware that your aspirations had become a bit inflated and you’ve returned to reality. Something owed, a debt or payment, is necessary and it will not go away. Make the call, put things in motion and work it out.  Subterranean matters continue to be an issue.  What’s beneath the surface is important.  Try digging into private matters and find out what’s going on.  It’ll feel dangerous.  Erica Jong said, “The trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”  Just don’t challenge authority.  Love and medicine are great; in fact love IS medicine today.

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

Why I Chose Buddhism

HH Penor Rinpoche & Jetsunma in 1985

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

I never cease being surprised when someone is personally challenged by my path, especially since I never try to convert them.  I don’t understand why it should bother one person what religion another person practices.  Or how one person can take it as a personal threat when someone else doesn’t believe in their god.  I cannot for the life of me see where unity argues with diversity.  In fact, I think that a lot of the world’s problems, at least from the relative point of view, arise because people have no tolerance for one another.

Since I have listened to many people describe to me their heartfelt feelings about what it was like for them when I chose Buddhism, I would now like to tell you how it was for me when I chose Buddhism.  I think turnabout is fair play.

First of all, from my perception, there was never any conversion process.  There was never a time when I converted from something else to Buddhism.  The reason why is that since the time of my adulthood, I have never formally identified with any religion.  There was never a time that I felt that I was going to an external god; and yet I have a very spiritual and religious sense of there being a goal, a path and a reality that is absolute or true.  And I knew that that reality had no describable nature, that that reality was essentially free of all conceptualization, that that reality wasn’t a reality in a sense, because reality implies thingness.  I knew that there was something that was beyond; and that beyondness was free of any ideas of here or there, or high or low, or self or other.  It was free of any contrivance

I didn’t use the word emptiness at first because I didn’t know the word, but I used to think of it as being vibrationally zero.  That is to say, there was no artificial construction within it, no contrivance, no conceptualization.  I knew that any conceptualization or idea that one had was delusion.  And I knew that there was an awakened state in which one realized one’s nature, and that nature was essentially free of all limitation.  That nature is not separate, it is not other; it is not something that one must go to or even progress toward.  That nature is the true nature, and one needs to awaken to it, and that awakening occurs naturally.

In order to describe that philosophy, at first I had to use general metaphysical terms.  There were no other terms for me.  I never had anything to do with Buddhism.  I had never even read a book about Buddhism.  When I met His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and I began to hear about the Buddha’s teachings, my sense was not of changing at all.  Nothing of the Buddha’s teaching seemed strange to me.  From the deepest part of my heart, I felt that I had come home.  My sense was, “At last, here’s the vocabulary I’ve been looking for.  Here are the words that I’ve needed all this time to describe what I’ve been trying to teach.”  And so gradually I began to absorb and introduce the vocabulary into my teaching, because I already had students at that time.

Now Penor Rinpoche says that I’m an incarnation of somebody that used to be Tibetan 400 years ago.  I don’t really know if that’s true or not.  If Penor Rinpoche says what he says, then that is due to his wisdom and his kindness, and I can’t take any credit for that; and I have nothing to do with it, other than that I rely on it.  I feel like I am just an ordinary person and I’m doing my best.  I believe in the Buddha’s teaching.  I believe that compassion will save the world.  I believe that enlightenment is the end of suffering.  That’s what I know.

So I’m not going to pull an ego trip and say, “Oh, when I heard the Buddha’s teaching, I recognized it, I knew it, I remembered it,” in some hokey way.  I’m not going to say to you, “Oh, immediately upon hearing the Buddha’s teaching I came into my own, and therefore I knew all these amazing things.”  It wasn’t like that at all.  It was something like the joy you might feel if you recognized music that had been in your heart for a long time being played on the radio.  There was a part of me that could recognize this truth as being truth.  It wasn’t really a change.  It was more like finding the right suit of clothing for my size.  So if any of you are uncomfortable with the fact that I’ve changed, please don’t be; I’m certainly not.  I’ve always been a Buddhist.  I just didn’t have the words.

Now, I would like to tell you a little bit about what I felt in my heart when I found the Buddha’s teaching.  I felt humbled to have the opportunity to practice a path that has been around for more that two and a half millennia and that has brought people to enlightenment again and again and again.  Ordinary sentient beings, through the intensity of their devotion and their practice, have achieved not theoretical, but exacting, reportable and repeatable physical and psychic signs that indicate enlightenment, such as bodies producing relics at the time of death and other miraculous signs.  This has happened again and again and again to guys like you and me.

Sometimes I stop and I think, “What can I have possibly done to have this opportunity?  What good fortune has befallen me?  What circumstances have come together over ages and ages of time to give me this chance to practice a path that really works and has worked again and again and again?”

I am awestruck that I don’t have to follow someone’s advice who is not enlightened, because I am following the Buddha’s teaching.  The Buddha knows what he’s talking about because it brought him to the state of supreme realization, and it has produced enlightenment in so many beings.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo


Astrology

A happy, regal attitude can bring two parties together.  A diplomatic person is so warm and friendly that all sides will join together.  An unusual opportunity to resolve differences appears today, take it.  Watch for the person with the big smile, full of Bill Clinton-ish confidence, and listen carefully. Things are heating up; you feel physically warmer.  If there is a dispute between two parties, look to a mediator.  Make no attempt to settle things yourselves.  Over eating is a serious problem and everyone feels a bit out of control.  Don’t worry if you think you’re losing it.  Paul Valery said, “A man who is ‘of sound mind’ is one who keeps the inner madness under lock and key.”  Love, creativity and medical procedures are successful today.

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

The Nature of the Path

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

I like to see students start off kind of smallish and grow bigger in their practice, because I think that is more realistic.  The best way to start out our practice is to understand what Dharma is trying to accomplish—what are the faults of cyclic existence and what are the results of practicing Dharma—to get a clear idea of that so that we can see for ourselves that this is a beneficial thing, so that we don’t have to argue with ourselves further down the path when it’s not appropriate any more.

So these teachings that I would like to give you are designed to get you to progress.  They are made to get you somewhere.  You are not meant to stay where you are on the path.   One progresses and that means change.  You know, that scary word.  So we have to ask ourselves then: What is Dharma engineered to do?  How does that change take place?  What does it look like?  What does it mean?

Well, first of all, look at something that is not Dharma.  Look at whatever sense of spirituality or religion you have that is not Dharma.  If we look at the ideas that we have generally as a culture about spirituality, spirituality is like salt.  It’s a condiment, a little ketchup on the hot dog of life.  It’s a flavor, but it’s not nourishment.  It doesn’t give you what you need every moment of every day necessarily, unless you yourself find a way to relate to that faith so strongly.

With Dharma, it’s a different story.  You don’t ever have to feel your way around.  You are never walking around in gray zone.  You can do practice.  You were taught how to increase your knowledge and your wisdom. You go from one practice to another to another to another through the different levels.  You can move through them according to your habitual tendency and your karmic propensity.  So there is something exacting, something like a method.

The reason why is that Dharma is not meant to act as a barbiturate, to calm you.  It’s not Valium.  It’s not meant to soothe you and make you feel more comfortable.  It’s more like if you could imagine your life as being a dark room, like any other room—filled with furniture. And it’s very dark.  You can’t see a thing.  This is kind of your life as a sentient being, because we really don’t come into this world understanding anything about cause and effect or how to make ourselves happy.  We come into this world unknowing, with only habitual tendencies.  That’s all we come in with, deep habitual tendencies from previous experiences.

So in a way, our lives are like this dark room, filled with obstacles. By now, now that we’re getting a little long in the tooth, we know there are obstacles. We’ve had them.  Some of them, anyway.  Doubtless there are more to come.  So we think of our life like this room with furniture in it and you’re supposed to get from the birth door to the death door successfully and make some progress in the meantime.  Well, if it’s pitch black and there are all these things in the room, the chances that you are going to walk through without knocking yourself into oblivion are pretty slim.  So the way that Dharma works is it forces you to turn on the lights.  You have to look at obstacles.  You have to look at what is in that room.  With another kind of faith you might think that the best thing to do is think positive and be positive and plaster good thoughts on your head. You know, just try to be kind of upbeat and make the best of everything.  All good ideas. But when you are stumbling through a pitch black room and there is a lot of furniture in there, you are going to trip.  And no amount of positive thinking is going to get you through that room successfully.  No amount of positive thinking is going to keep you from entering that last door.  Nobody has done it yet through positive thinking.

So Dharma’s tendency, rather than act like a soother or a barbiturate or something that is calming, Dharma turns on the light.  Dharma says, “Look folks, here is what’s happening.”  You are born, but you don’t remember how you got here.  There are uncountable cause and effect relationships since time out of mind that have formed into habitual tendencies and karmic propensities. And here you are born as a child.  How did you get those parents?  How did you get in this world?  How did this happen?  That’s what I said when I woke up as a kid.  What’s wrong with this picture?

So we find ourselves here and we’re kind of helpless.  That’s one of the teachings that the Buddha gives us. That in truth, we are all the same and in our nature we are exactly the same; but in our ordinary appearance as sentient beings, we are in a state of confusion.  We do not understand cause and effect relationships, because we can only see this present lifespan. We have had so many lifespans to give rise to causes in an amazing amount of time, since time out of mind.  So we have no understanding of this.

Dharma teaches us that all sentient beings, while we are the same, and while we are wandering in confusion, have one thing in common and all of our activity is geared towards that.  And if you think about it, you know that it is true.  Even when we are doing for others, until we really have given rise to compassion, we’re always trying to be happy.  It’s natural.  The organism wishes to be balanced and at peace, happy.  But we don’t understand what balanced and at peace is.  So we keep grabbing for stuff.  Yet Lord Buddha teaches us all that we are suffering due to desire.  It’s not that you don’t have something that makes you suffer, but your reaction to the not having it…that is most of the suffering.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo All Rights Reserved

 

Astrology

Be prepared to look your best; it’s show time!  You are on stage and others notice you.  Smile! Spiff up, be friendly and act the part.  A leader accepts a plan, finally, and forward motion is possible.  Kids are important today.  Watch them perform, applaud their activities, pay attention.  Someone needs recognition and you are the person to give it!  Have fun today.  Plato said, “Serious things cannot be understood without laughable things, nor opposites at all without opposites.”  Laugh, overeat and live it up a bit.  Give the fire signs a chance to shine, that’s what they do best, and you’ll be inspired.

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!

Becoming Stable on the Path

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

There are many different ways to practice Dharma according to our individual needs.  For that reason, it behooves us to kind of sit back and get the lay of the land before we start frothing at the mouth and chomping at the bit.

The tendency is to come in here and say, “Oh, great.  Well, first thing I’d like to do is start wearing robes.  The second thing I’d like to do is have me at least four or five interesting malas of all different colors.”  And we like to have the books. And we’d like to have a shawl, you know, a zen.  Only a real one, like them [the monks and nuns].  So we have all these ideas.  We think, I really want to get this where you sit on a bench.  It’s such a noble thing to do.  You sit there and you practice.

When we first come to the path, we have all kinds of funny, cute, but childish ideas, almost like a child viewing the world for the first time and trying to make sense out of it.  But then eventually there is a certain kind of relaxation that happens when the newness wears off. And then we are able to make some intelligent choices.

When we first start in our Dharma practice, we always think we are going to be great practitioners.  A couple of years later, we’re still hoping we’re going to be great practitioners. We find that it’s really taken this long to get the lay of the land, to really understand what is the relationship with the Three Precious Jewels.  What is the relationship with one’s teacher?  What is this about view?  Why are we here?  What’s this on my foot?  (I told you we’re going to have fun.)

So what are some of the fundamental ideas that we have to really accomplish and become at peace with in order to make intelligent choices on the path, in order to make choices that are lasting and commitments that are real? When we first enter onto the path, we might be filled with – I’ve seen this happen so much –with a kind of excitement, maybe even a feeling of passion.  But these feelings are emotional feelings, and emotional feelings come and go every 10 minutes or so.  You know how up and down our emotional condition is.  So those feelings, while stimulating and exciting at first, will not last and cannot be relied on.

So the best thing to do when you approach the path, is to approach it, not critically, but intelligently.  Look at the path and really become bonded with it in the way that it’s almost like— well, maybe women can relate to this more—but it’s like buying a really extraordinary new outfit.  I don’t know about you, but if I buy a new outfit, it has to hang outside of my closet for a little while so I can look at it and grok it in fullness.  Then and only then can I actually put it on my body.  So in a way, Dharma should be like that.  We should really examine how’s it going to lay, how’s it going to fold.  What is going to happen here?  It’s like we have to look at it. Examine, examine, examine. Because once we put on the clothing of Dharma and engage in our practice, we should try very hard at that point to remain stable. That’s important.  Once we engage in this close relationship with our own root gurus—when we meet the guru on the path and that hook is set and the connection is made, and we have found the potential for our liberation—then that has to remain stable.  That is not the time to vacillate.  So we should hang out a bit. Examine intelligently. Examine the qualities of our teacher, examine the qualities of our Vajra brothers and sisters. Then once we realize that this is our teacher and this is the place that we will practice, at that point, we are required to become stable.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo All Rights Reserved

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