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Astrology for 7/28/2014

7/28/2014 Astrology by Norma

Excitement is in the air and people are feeling frisky. Combine this with an inclination to be out of touch with reality, and pretty much anything can happen! Josephine Pollard said “The wheel goes round and round, some are up and some are down, and still the wheel goes round.” You [...]

A Better World

A Better World

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Western Chod”

I hope all of us will remember that, according to Lord Buddha’s teachings, there are many realms of cyclic existence, more than the human realm. There are lower realms of cyclic existence such as the animal realm, and there [...]

Astrology for 7/27/2014

7/27/2014 Sunday

A disappointing message comes early in the day; people are tired and out of sorts. At the same time an exciting idea is galvanizing, but the new idea can wait. A pervasive need to rest is overwhelming. Do not push yourself, pace yourself today. The image of a marathoner who continues to run [...]

You Can Make It

You Can Make It

An excerpt from a teaching called Bodhicitta by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo given after her return from India and Nepal in 1996

In Nepal, right next to one of Guru Rinpoche’s caves where he practiced chemchok, lives a wonderful Dakini. She is the consort of Lama Tulku Orgyen. And she’s been there for years and [...]

Where is Your Heart?

An excerpt from a teaching called Bodhicitta by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

What makes you a deep practitioner?  What makes you a deep practitioner is really having renounced cyclic existence.   Those of you that are casual practitioners are practicing, but your mind is still a mind of distraction.  You are still running hither and yon, doing this thing and that thing, and you’re superficial.  You have to do this activity over here that is so important, so you go to the meat market. And you have to do this thing over here with your family.  All these have-tos have to happen. There is nothing wrong with going to the meat market, and I want you to have a wonderful family, but it’s that life of distraction that I am arguing with.  It’s that distracted mind that keeps you practicing superficially and keeps you a casual practitioner.

After having received all this teaching, all this loving, after all that you have felt and known in your own heart to be truth, if you are still doing that after all this time, then somehow you have not fully taken refuge in the Three Precious Jewels.  You are not a renunciate.  In your mind, there is still something in the world out there to be accomplished, something that you feel is going to meet your need or answer your problem.  In other words, you still believe in the world of appearances.  You still believe that this apparent reality has some solution or has some basis in realness. You still believe that something is there and you haven’t let go of it.  You haven’t really turned your mind away from it.

When I say turn your mind away from the world, I don’t mean that you have to become a monk or a nun necessarily.  I don’t mean that you have become a nerd or a dead person.  I don’t mean that you are limp and you just don’t have any fun anymore.  That’s not what I am talking about. You can engage in any activity that you feel to engage in, but you simply don’t take refuge in it.  It’s not something that you get tense about.  It’s not something that you get compulsive about. This is Nyingma philosophy.

Right now your mind is all divided.  You are off here and off there.  As you are running off in any of those directions, if someone were to say to you, “Where is your heart?”  You’d have to feel around for it, because you don’t know where it is.  You’re not thinking about the teachings of Lord Buddha.  You’re not thinking about the precious Dharma.  You’re not thinking about the Sangha, you’re not thinking about the Lama, you’re not thinking about the Buddha.  You’re not thinking about clear mind.  You’re not relating to that at all.  You’re all over the place.  You are all over the map.  You want this and you want that.

The reason why you haven’t renounced apparent reality, even though you know it’s going to kill you – this is a fatal condition we have here, even though it’s never answered your problems – never in the past and it never will, even though you know that, you still have one problem.  It’s a big problem and that problem is desire.  You have not overcome desire.  You have desire for this and that, and they are baubles.  This is one of the first teachings of Lord Buddha.  And if you listen to the teachings, after you get that bauble, even if you can get it, it is impermanent and if it doesn’t break apart or destroy itself in some way, you will die clutching it and then you can’t take it with you.  It’s all impermanent.  Even if you attain this bauble that you probably won’t attain in the first place, because it’s nothing but a conceptualization and has no basis in reality, after you’ve wasted all your time going over this desire, you have no guarantee.  Even though you were practicing the Dharma, that even though you’ve completed Ngondro, if you still have desire and you have not completely become a renunciate – a person who has renounced cyclic existence – you have no guarantee that you will not be reborn as a hungry ghost.  Hear what I am saying?

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/22/2014

7/22/2014 Tuesday

Inventors unite, today is your day! Got a idea you’re itching to unleash on the public? Express it! Brilliant thinking flourishes. Be open to “out of the box” plans. Go for a run, a walk or a drive,
and pay attention to everything. A call or message is exciting. Observe children and young people in the environment, they open the door to the future. Confidence appears in the form of a leader who is so radiant and inspiring that everyone is willing to go along! Expansion is possible, after a long period of contraction. If you haven’t bought new clothes in a while, this is the time to do so. The better you look, the more luck comes your way. Politicians, religious leaders and public figures are favored. Speak and listen today. Andre Gide said “The most important things to say are those which often I did not think necessary for me to say – because they seemed to me too obvious.” Listen to the obvious and be inspired. Loved ones, food, parades, spectacles of every sort are all good 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 family or children, some in work, and so forth. There are many departments of life. Look to see where the dynamic affects you!

What Does Love Taste Like?

In this excerpt from a teaching called The Dharma of Technology, Jetsunma is speaking to her students who had recently received the Rinchen Terzod from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche who conferred the Rinchen Terzod at Kunzang Palyul Choling in 1988

Do you remember in the empowerments in the Rinchen Terzod we had the opportunity to taste different things, something sweet and something bitter, then His Holiness said, “Who is the taster?  You know what makes this sweet and this bitter?”  The taster does, because if you tried to find the essence of the thing that you’re looking at, remember, if you divided it down and looked at it under the microscope you would never find its thing-ness.  In fact, you would never find its sweetness.  Which molecule is the sweet one?  You would never really find that.  What is sweet is sweet to the tongue and the tongue is the determiner of that taste.  Who does the tongue belong to?   The tongue belongs to you.  So you, in fact, are the one that determines whether the thing is sweet or not.  You are the taster.  And so when you examine yourself and you boil everything down and smear it on the microscope, you can’t find where you are, then you realize that sweet and sour, sweet and bitter are concepts and they are just proliferations of the mind.

In the same way, this person that drives you crazy and this person that is the precious jewel in your life are equal.  It is the hatred and the desire, the hope and fear, the attraction and aversion in your mind that causes you to make a difference between them.  If you looked at them with the mind of enlightenment, you would see that they are the same.  Yet we all have our likes and dislikes.  But somehow through our practice, we have to accomplish such pure view, free of desire and on fire with love that they are the same.  We have to give our lives equally for both of them.  We have to be willing to eat an ocean of suffering for the ones we can’t stand and for the ones we truly love.  It’s easy to make sacrifices for the ones you love.  It’s easy to make sacrifices for your children.  That’s not hard.  Anyone can do that.  I was reading the other day about a creature called a midge.  It conceives its children inside its belly and then as the children grow, they eat the mother from inside out and the mother dies.  It’s a shell and it opens up and the children come out.   And then after a while they reproduce in the same way.  If a little bug can do that, if it can give its life to nurture its children, you can do that.  That’s not hard.  That happens even on the lowest realms.

What’s really hard is to give your life for all sentient beings, the ones that you know and the ones that you don’t know and to do so in a way so that the ones that you can’t stand are equal to the precious pearls in your life.  They have to be the same.  If you give only so much and you stop giving, only extending your love to your family or friends and to the people that you know here, or your nation or your planet or even your universe — what about the other 2,999 myriads of universes?  What about all of the sentient beings who are, with hatred in your heart, not worthy of your love, but with love in your heart, the same as you?

That’s when you have accomplished Dharma, when your love is that great, when you are that mindful of compassion, when through your meditation and through your practice, and through your understanding of the Buddha’s teachings, you have come to understand the equality of all that lives, that they are the same mind, the same uncontrived primordial wisdom nature, that they only appear to be different.  They suffer, they live and they die because of their confusion.  What makes the ones you hate so hateful?   First of all, it’s your vision of them.  You are the taster.  Someone else loves them.  Who loves them is the same as you and you’re the same as them.  The difference is the particular karmic pattern of attraction and repulsion, of desire that manifests in your life.

The one that you hate is the same nature as you with the same capabilities, with the same desire to be happy.  The difference is that this person may be confused and the only way they know how to reach for happiness is in the ways that make them unhappy.  And of course you, in your hatred and your greed and your ignorance interpret their activity because of the karma of your mind.  This sounds like elementary stuff. The sun pours forth and it doesn’t say, “Well, I think I’ll go to violets today and roses are going to be in the dark.”  The sun doesn’t do that.  Its nature is to pour forth and embrace all life and it is the source of life.  Your compassion, your mind is like that in its natural state.  It is that all-pervasive compassionate reality, that all pervasive non-dual mind state and so your love has to be that way.  Your accomplishment of Dharma has to be like that, with that understanding.

It sounds elementary.  It sounds simple.  But we still hate.  We still judge.  We still have the seeds for war in our bodies and in our minds.  We still have the seeds for old age, sickness and death.  We still have the seeds for all the six kinds of suffering in all of the six realms, and so in that way, we have not accomplished Dharma.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/21/2014

7/21/2014 Monday

Either an assertive person will not leave you alone, or else you are putting too many demands on yourself! There’s a risk of pushing something until it breaks: step back and wait. Ignore anyone telling you to charge into danger. Invite that person to charge, and watch the disappearing act that follows. Don’t be someone else’s foot soldier! Lewis Mumford said “A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.” The energy changes as the day progresses and people become talkative. Expect calls or texts from everyone, and watch the news carefully. An announcement is exciting and a public event is inspiring. Pay attention. It is possible to be both excited and squelched at the very same moment. No problem, you’ll laugh it off. Food, family and loved ones are wonderful today, and good news comes.

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!

What Prayer Supersedes all others?

An excerpt from a teaching called The Dharma of Technology by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Compassion is the foundation of Dharma.  It is the meaning of Dharma.  Without compassion, there is no accomplishment of Dharma and you have to make a fervent prayer, a prayer that supersedes any other prayer that you will ever make.  You pray that you will accomplish the extreme great compassion, to put your mind and your heart in such a way that if Lord Buddha Amitabha did come to you and offer you the suffering of the six realms, you would eat it with happiness and with joy.  And just before you took your first bite you might say, “Please Lord Buddha, save me.  Help.”  And then you’d eat.

We are all in a body that has an ego associated with it, a body that is an ego that has an “I” identity.  We want to work for our safety. We are very concerned with our safety.  So it’s understandable that you might make that prayer, “Please, by the grace of the wisdom of your mind, let the suffering, once I eat it, be transformed.”  But you should eat it and not really care whether it works out that way or not.  If you could be the only one that suffered and all of the six realms could be liberated, if you could be the very last, the only one left, that should be your greatest joy.  If all of the ones that you have hated and judged, the ones that you thought were the thorn in your side, if they could achieve enlightenment before you, that should make you happier than the thought of your own enlightenment.  If you can really come to that understanding not in a superficial way, but from the depth of your heart that if Lord Buddha Amitabha would give you this opportunity you would take it in a minute, then you have accomplished Dharma and you are to me the light of the world.  You are to me the best student there is.  You are a treasure.  And I don’t really care if you accomplish anything else about Dharma, because the mind  that does not differentiate, the mind that is free of hatred, the mind that has overcome desire associated with the self to the extent that it will take on the suffering of all the worlds, that mind is the liberated mind.  That is a jewel.  That is the mind that is the wish-fulfilling jewel.

The reason why I am telling you this is because I want you to know as my students, I really want you to understand and have there be no question in your mind what I think Dharma is.  I want you to understand what I respect and what I admire.  I’ve told before that I see students that are learning the technology of Dharma and some of them hang out with the big lamas and they go for the big empowerments and stuff like that and they remain unloving, unchanged, and full of gossip, full of judgment and I don’t think much of that.  I wouldn’t have a student like that.

If my opinion is of any value to you at all, then please understand that to the best of my ability this is what Dharma really is.  This is the understanding that I have.  To the best of my ability, I understand Dharma to be that love. I am not going to teach you something that will not lead to enlightenment.  I don’t claim to have any special powers, but if you have any consideration that I’m your teacher, any faith in me, then hear this.  If you accomplish this and do nothing else, you will have accomplished Dharma and basically, that’s really all you’re ever going to learn from me.  That’s all I really have for you.  I hope that you will consider that precious.  There is no other Dharma.  There is no other enlightenment besides that.  The mind of bodhicitta, that is the supreme goal and there is none superior to that.  When you have accomplished that, that’s it.  Your mind is liberated from the very causes of suffering and you then are in the position where you can, in turn, liberate minds.

I wish that you would actually use this technique.  I wish you could really think about what if Lord Buddha Amitabha came to you and offered you the six realms of suffering.  Would you take it?  Try to cultivate your mind and gentle your mind and purify your mind to the point where you would gladly, willingly take it and be willing to suffer for an endless amount of time, and be really happy about that.  Think that your precious self, the one that you love so much, might be deformed and made gross by that suffering.  Think that might happen and still be happy about it.  You should think about all the people that drive you crazy and all the people that you hate and try to get to the point where you’re really happy if they make it ahead of you and think that the people that are precious to you, your family, the ones you make such a big deal about, make it in your mind where they are the same, exactly the same as the people that drive you crazy.  When you have accomplished that, through whatever means, and generally it happens through kindness and practice just in the way Lord Buddha dictates, then you have accomplished Dharma.

Through the cultivation of your mind to be pure in that way, through a mind like that, through that exalted mind of bodhicitta, you will certainly have the power to appear in an emanation form again and again under all circumstances, in all roles, in strange places, under strange conditions and be able to provide a means to enlightenment to all sentient beings, just through that and nothing else.  You don’t even have to be smart to do that.  That’s why sometimes I think intelligence is a pitfall.  You don’t have to be smart to do that, but you have to be determined to accomplish Dharma.

I hope that you find meaning in this and that you have it clear in your mind what I really cherish and what’s really important to me.  I would like it very much if you understood me that well at least because then if you decided that you really wanted to be my student for the duration and learn what I have to teach you, that’s it.  That’s all I can teach you.  But I can teach you that.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology for 7/20/2014

7/20/2014 Sunday

The closer you stay to home and loved ones, the happier you’ll be today. Cook half the day and spend the rest of the day eating! A brunch, barbecue or potluck is in order. Organize one if you have no plans. Carry a basket of delectable snacks and pass them out wherever you go. Food solves a million problems today! Dress up and look your best. Appearance counts now. An assertive partner continues to make demands, and you must go along. Save emotional outbursts for the privacy of family, they will get you in trouble in public. Authority figures have no interest in your feelings. If you live in a dangerous area, go indoors to express yourself. Be very aware of who is near you in public places, being distracted can make you a target. William Shakespeare said, “One may smile and smile and be a villain.” What’s good today is food, loved ones, shopping and the confidence that things are getting better!

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!

Time To Practice

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Antidoting the Mantra of Samsara”

New students keep saying “Well this is amazing. I’ve been looking for something that’s that deep and that profound and this sounds really good, and as soon as I have time, you know, I’ll get into it. But right now I have children, and I have wife and I have a job and I have a car to support and all these things. So you know, I’m really for you and I hope lots of people become Buddhists and do all this. But right now for me I have to wait. I have to wait for a while. I have to wait ‘til my kids grow up. I have to wait ‘til my car is paid for. Right before I get the next one. And I have to wait for…, I just have to wait, you know, because waiting is what I do.”  And so the thought that we have when we’re waiting is that somehow this is all going to work out well. We’ll be exposed to the Buddha’s teachings and we’ll hear something. It’s that magical thinking: It’ll just sort of come together eventually.

Actually, if you really think about it, the Buddha’s teachings are so extensive, so developed, so profound, so deep that they take time to contemplate, to understand, to prepare for, to even build the foundation that causes you to practice foundational preliminary teachings. It takes time. Why? Because you have to change in the process!  We’re not in the business of applying bandaids here. It takes time for you to change. Some of you change faster than others. And it takes time to do the practice. The practice is extensive. So, I’m looking around the room now and I’m seeing that most of us are not under 10 years old. Therefore, whether we’re 20, 25, 35, 45, 55, 75 or however old we are, and it seems like there’s a mixture here, you need to start right now. Because there’s not much time.

There are two reasons: First of all the Buddha taught that there is no guarantee as to how long any of us are going to live, and you can’t understand this. For some reason it is beyond human capacity to understand this kind of thing, unless you yourself have been struck with a terrible illness or a terrible accident where you could have died or may still, or unless you’ve seen someone near you just kick off. Once you’ve had that experience you may understand, but before that, it’s very hard to understand what the Buddha has taught. There is no guarantee that you’re going to wake up tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year.

The second reason is the cause and effect relationships that constantly engage our own sea of karma. That sea of karma that is already hooked up and functional within our mindstream is very fluid and it’s constantly being catalyzed by other events. Each one of you most likely has the karma to live for a very long time and also the karma to die quickly. Which one will ripen?  Well, that’s up to you, according to how you practice, according to how you live, according to how you determine your mind state because everything you do, everything you think, everything you engage in is an additional cause and effect relationship and an additional catalyst. Everything you do is important.

So for each and every one of us the wisest thing to do is to begin to practice now. You know yourself very well. You know when you tighten up. You know what you need. You know when you get scared. You know when you do your best. You like to think you don’t know and you kind of get limp and act like you need guidance for everything, but in fact you do know. You do know how to take care of yourself if you stop and think about it and engage in some self-honesty. So do whatever it takes to mother yourself through, to nurture yourself through, to get to the point where you can actually practice.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved


Astrology for 7/19/2014

7/19/2014 Saturday

Stability is here and it’s great. An early happy meal or experience sets the tone for the day. Cooks flavor every morsel with good wishes and food tastes delicious. If you are the cook, outdo yourself. Food equals love today. A purchase solves a medical matter. Need the right pillow or aspirin? You’ll find it today. An intermediary spreads good news among people, and a hidden matter is drawn into public awareness in a favorable way. Give gifts to those you care for. A small trinket gets a wonderful response. Elsewhere, antagonistic forces vie for power. Step away and look away from people who are interested in stirring up trouble, no good comes from this. Jawaharla’l Nehru said “Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”

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!

Astrology for 7/18/2014

7/18/2014 Friday

Emotional matters vie with personal wishes today. It’s a question of what “I” want, versus what’s good for family. Add an insistent partner to the mix and an overload of demands will definitely come today. The good news is that you are just bursting with confidence. “I can handle it,” is your attitude, and you’re right! Don’t question this crazy confidence, use it to roll through the day. Wear the brightest colors you can find. Laugh at messes, chuckle at setbacks. The boss is upset, people are volatile, so what? A feeling of emotional happiness combines with an intuitive awareness of what to do, and you can overcome pretty much anything. E. James Rohan said, “If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.”

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!

Using the Enemy as Guru

An excerpt from a teaching called The Dharma of Technology by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Think about the people in your life.  Is there one person that you just can’t stand? I know that you’re a Buddhist, however, there is probably one person in your life that gets your goat every time.   If you think there is no such person that you can’t stand, then you don’t know yourself at all.  Think about all of the people in of your life and think about whether you can sincerely wish that each one of them gets ahead, has all the happiness, all the approval, all the food, all the money, all the goods, all the joy, all the accomplishment that they could possibly have.

Think about all the people in your life. There is somebody in your life, probably more than one person, who when they get praise or that good old pat on the back from the authority that you’d like to have approval from, you’re not happy about it.

You want all sentient beings to be happy.  You want everyone to get ahead.  You want everyone to have a new car, lots of food, a great house to live in, everything they could possibly want and then you want them under those circumstances to reach enlightenment even without trying.  That’s what you want for all sentient beings.  But if you examine yourself, there is at least one person in your life that you really would like to see work for it.  And you wouldn’t mind if this person got disciplined heartily along the way.  You’d like to see this person get what they really deserve.  It may be somebody that you flat out hate.  There is always somebody like that.

Take that person and then think of that person next to the person that you love the most in the world, the person whose qualities you think are the purest, the one you’d most like to be like, the person that you really love.  Maybe a child or a mate or a teacher or a friend who has given you so much, somebody that has been so kind to you and someone you really feel like you couldn’t make it in this life without. There must be somebody in your life who is such a treasure to you.

Your job, in order to fully accomplish Dharma, is to make that person that drives you crazy the same in your mind as the person who is the real treasure in your life.  They have to be the same.  And in fact, if the person who drives you crazy to the point that you can’t live with being crazy like that any more, and through the Buddha’s teaching you are able to accomplish loving that person equally with the jewel in your life, then that person is more valuable to you than the one you love easily.  That person is your real guru. You have to think about the one person in your life that you would never, under any circumstances, call your guru.  That’s the one you use, the one person that you would be embarrassed to have the world know that was teaching you anything.  That’s the one you use.

Somehow you have to develop a sense of stability of mind and that is only done through compassion where you understand the equality of those two, because they are equal.  They are exactly the same.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

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