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Short Confession: From Nam Chö Vajrasattva Ngondro

Short Confession: From Nam Chö Vajrasattva Ngondro

The following is a Short Confession found in the Nam Chö Ngondro practice of Vajrasattva revealed by Tertön Migyur Dorje:

In the View, I confess all commitments broken through mental activity,
Knowing the View is the all-pervasive foundational Bodhicitta;
Realizing that the View exists in non-existence,
And practicing meditation that is non-existent,
Realizing activity is neither existent nor non-existent,
The Bodhicitta […]

Astrology for 8/28/2016

8/28/2016 Sunday by Norma

Pour everything you’ve got into your project today. Speaking, writing and communication go well: this is the day to create your opus magnum. Writing a novel, your memoirs or the shopping list? It comes out with such beauty and precision that an academy award is a possibility! […]

Astrology for 8/27/2016

8/27/2016 Saturday by Norma

Home is where the heart is today. Domestic matters go well; spend the day cooking, eating and interacting with family and you’ll be happy. Picnics barbecues and comfort food are in order! This is a great day to buy, renovate or decorate your home. Trust your instincts and you […]

Practicing Kindness and the Dharma Warrior – YouTube Video

Putting Out the Fire: Turning the Mind Towards Dharma by HH Penor Rinpoche

The following is an excerpt from a teaching given by His Holiness Penor Rinpoche at Kunzang Palyul Choling on Bodhicitta:

We start first with the special method that will turn one’s mind towards the Dharma.  In that method, we have to understand that wherever we are born in the world, in this universe, there will not be much happiness.  There is hot and cold suffering in the hell realms, and the hungry ghosts have the suffering of hunger and thirst.  The animals have the suffering of killing each other.  The human beings have a short lifespan, and within that short life, there is a lot of suffering.  Even those god beings in the god realms have a very good life there, but because of their carelessness, they are just spending and wasting their lives with happiness.  The sentient beings in this world have their own sufferings.  It is important, the Buddha said, for you to understand that wherever you are born, there is no happiness.  There is suffering.

When you understand that, then in order to remove the suffering, you need to have diligence to remove the suffering, like the diligence you do when your hair is burning, when your dress is burning.  During that time, you will put all your efforts toward removing the fire.  Similarly, once we have understood the suffering of samsara, of the world, then we have to really put some kind of diligence toward removing the suffering of samsara. Then if our hair is on fire and our dress is on fire, then we will not really remain peaceful.  We will definitely do something.  So, similarly, once we understand the suffering nature of samsara, we will not waste our time.

 

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8/23/2016 Tuesday by Norma

Ah, stability and feelings of contentment, you’re here at last! Use this peaceful day to balance your accounts, tend to banking matters, make a carefully thought out purchase, plow happily through mounds of work. Six planets are in earth signs, meaning if you can’t eat it, sit on it or spend it you’re not interested! Material matters are favored and simplicity rules. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said, “There’s a ball. There’s a hoop. You put the ball through the hoop. That’s success.” The only way to go wrong today is to complicate matters, using abstract or ideological thinking to put the ball through the hoop.

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

A Variety of Stupas

An excerpt from a teaching called Cosmology of a Stupa by Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche

Stupas can be roughly divided into two categories – Theravada or Hinayana stupas, and stupas in the Mahayana tradition.  There are further subdivisions of those stupas, with different shapes and designs.

In the Hinayana tradition, there are stupas that are roughly in the shape of the Buddha’s body, some in the shape of his robes, some in the shape of his alms or begging bowl, and some in the shape of his throne or in the shape of a staff.  There are different renditions.

BurmeseStupa

In the Mahayana tradition, there are eight principle stupas.  At the time after the Buddha was cremated, his relics were divided into eight piles and given to eight different great kings who made stupas for those relics.  According to the great teacher, Nagarjuna, there are eight principle stupas that perform eight different functions.

These eight principle stupas in the Mahayana tradition commemorate the great deeds of the Buddha’s life, from the time when he was born till his passing into nirvana.  For example, there is a stupa that commemorates his birth, that moment just after his birth when he took seven steps in the four directions.  Each time he took a step, a lotus flower blossomed under his foot. And so, there is a stupa that commemorates the birth of the Buddha.

stupa-types-1stupa-types-2

There is a stupa that commemorates the fact that the Buddha studied a whole variety of topics in his youth and mastered them all.  There is another stupa called the auspicious many-gated stupa.  The Tashi Gomang stupa celebrates the fact that the Buddha descended back down from Tushita Pure Land, where he was teaching his mother.

In the Vajrayana tradition, the tantric vehicle, there are specific stupas that accomplish particular purposes.  For example, there are the four main types of stupas for pacification.  Some are to magnetize.  Some are to increase, increase prosperity and merit, and others are for more wrathful activities. There are different shapes that the stupa can adopt, but the fundamental meaning is the same – stupas represent the enlightened body, speech and mind of the Buddha.  The stupa primarily represents the enlightened mind of the Buddha.

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8/22/2016 Monday by Norma

An unexpected person, event or mood appears this morning, followed by a significant agreement or understanding with a powerful person. Be respectful of everyone; as the day passes those seeking acclaim roll up their sleeves and get to work, a complete change from what came before. Marianne
Mountain said, “Forever to travel is our destiny,” and change is a form of travel that you must accommodate now. A new steadiness is in play, and cheerful conversation, jokes, repartee-all are par for the course, join in. If you’ve got a joke up your sleeve, a rabbit in your hat, today’s
your day to shine. Endless stories that put people to sleep are on the menu too, all good!

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

The Benefits of the Awakening Mind

1000 Armed Chenrezig Mandala

Here is another excerpt from the first chapter of A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life called “The Benefits of the Awakening Mind.”  May these words written by Shantideva inspire all who encounter them.

#26

How can I fathom the depths

Of the goodness of this jewel of the mind,

The panacea that relieves the world of pain

And is the source of all its joy?

#31

If whoever repays a kind deed

Is worthy of some praise,

Then what need to mention the Bodhisattvas

Who do good without it being asked of them?

#32

The world honors as virtuous

One who sometimes gives a little, plain food

Disrespectfully to a few beings,

Which satisfies them for only a half a day.

#33

What need be said then of one

Who eternally bestows the peerless bliss of the Sugatas

Upon limitless numbers of beings,

Thereby fulfilling all their hopes?

#34

The Buddha has said that whoever bears a harmful thought

Against a benefactor such as a Bodhisattva

Will remain in hell for as many aeons

As there were harmful thoughts.

#35

However, if a virtuous attitude should arise (in that regard),

Its fruits will multiply far more than that.

When Bodhisattvas greatly suffer they generate no negativity,

Instead their virtues naturally increase.

#36

I bow down to the body of those

In whom the sacred precious mind is born.

I seek refuge in that source of joy

Who brings happiness even to those who bring harm.

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8/21/2016 Sunday by Norma

Nobody’s moody today, the Aries Moon won’t allow it! Something bothering you? You’ll just pester it into submission, refusing to back down, barking out orders as you go. Everybody’s a drill sergeant, so be prepared to drop and give ’em twenty push ups if commanded. See the fun in the situation and you’ll enjoy it. (“Ok, I can use a little exercise.”). Good will abounds and a happy mental attitude generates world class tolerance today. Marcus Aurelius said, “The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.” Looking ahead, be aware that Mercury goes retrograde between August 30 and September 22, so you’ll want to make plans now, not during the retrograde Mercury period when new plans go awry. You’ll use that time to handle matters from the past.

The astrology post affects everyone differently, based on individual horoscopes. Look to see how this message reflects your life today!

Prayer to His Holiness Karma Kuchen

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo while at Palyul Ling Retreat Center in Upstate New York:

To the victorious Guru Karma Kuchen I pray – for the sake of beings in these degenerate times, ascend the Lion Throne of Palyul fully endowed with every strength and virtue! May we who long for your blessing be satisfied!

In previous times you came to us as Karma Tashi to clear our ignorance, our attachment to ordinary confused appearance!

You again sat on the glorious Palyul throne to grant us the awakening to Primordial Buddha nature as the great display Karma Gyurmed, the dance of suchness, as it is!

Then you returned as Karma Tegchog Nyingpo, also known as Tsawei Lama by the peerless Guru, the Third Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche.

You now have come again as Karma Kuchen, pure and stainless. Kye ho! Such are the many miracles of your display for the sake of beings. Now please abide steadfast upon the Lotus Throne of my heart. Rise this very moment, clear all obstacles to mighty Palyul, banish the enemies of the Heart Essence Nectar given to us by the second Buddha Padmasambava through the child Terton Migure Dorje. Restore us all to original purity, clear recognition and perfect virtue!

May Palyul remain as the great unbroken refuge it is in the world now. Please establish the work of your predecessors and that of our Guru. Protect with mighty vigor the insurmountable accomplishment of our Guru Kyabje Pema Norbu, may nothing be wasted, and may all beings benefit!  Live long! Strengthen the Throne of Palyul and remain in perfect health! Show your holy face as we hunger and thirst; and we need you now more than ever, in these darkening times we need your light, the sun of Palyul, Guru within my heart, grant your blessings!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved


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8/20/2016 Saturday by Norma

A troubled person needs encouragement. Be prepared to speak every supportive word in the dictionary to boost someone’s mood. Absolutely do not criticize, (“Well, this is your fault because…”) especially if it’s true: the person already knows it. No “piling on” today, be kind. Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” When the situation changes, you’ll have a friend for life. What’s good today? Improvement in health, satisfying work, excellent communication and mental expansion.

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

Working with Anger and Ingratitude: Commentary by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The following is respectfully quoted from “Enlightened Courage” a commentary by His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

No evil is similar to anger,
No austerity to be compared to patience.

Never give way to anger, therefore. Be patient–and, moreover, be grateful to someone who humiliates you, as they give you a precious opportunity to strengthen your understanding and practice of bodhicitta. The great Jigme Lingpa said:

Ill treatment by opponents
Is a catalyst for meditation;
Insulting reproaches you don’t deserve
Spur your practice onward;
Those who do you harm are teachers
Challenging your attachment and aversion–
How could you ever repay their kindness?

Indeed, you are unlikely to make much spiritual progress if you lack the courage to face you own hidden faults. Any person or situation that helps you to see those faults, however uncomfortable and humiliating it may be, is doing you a great service. As Lord Atisha says,

The best spiritual friend is one who attacks your hidden faults.
The best instructions are the ones that hit your hidden faults.
The best incentives are enemies, obstacles, and sufferings of illness.

and the Kadampa master Shawopa used to warn his disciples as they came to see him, saying, “I only show people their hidden defects. If you can avoid getting annoyed, stay; but if not, go away!”

Of the eight ordinary concerns, therefore, even from the relative point of view there are many ways of eliminating the distinction between the good an bad, those you want to happen and those you do not. From the point of view of absolute truth, there is not the slightest difference between gain and loss, pleasure and pain, fame and disgrace, praise and disparagement. They are all equal, all empty by nature. As Shantideva says:

Thus, with things devoid of true existence,
What is there to gain, and what to lose?
Who is there to pay me court and honors,
And who is there to scorn and revile me?

Pain and pleasure–whence do they arise?
And what is there to give me joy and sorrow?

b. Using on the path the two things that are difficult to bear.
The two things that are difficult to bear are (i) being wronged in return for kindness and (ii) humiliation.

i. How to use on the path being wronged in return for kindness

16

Even if one I’ve lovingly cared for like my own child
Regards me as an enemy,
To love him even more,
As a mother loves a sick child, is the practice of a bodhisattva.

If you do something good for others, it is a mistake to expect anything in return, or to hope that people will admire you for being a bodhisattva. All such attitudes are a long way from the true motivation of bodhicitta. Not only should you expect nothing in return; you should not be disturbed in the slightest when people respond ungratefully. Someone for whom you have risked your very life may return your kindness with resentment, hatred, or harm. But just love him all the more. A mother with an only child is full of love for him no matter what he does. While she is suckling him, he may bite her nipple and badly wound it, but she will never get angry or love him any less. Whatever happens, she will continue to care for him as best she can.

Many people do not have the good fortune that you enjoy of having met a spiritual teacher, and thus cannot find their way out of delusion. They need your help and your compassion more than anyone else, no matter how badly they may behave. Always remember that people who harm you are simply the victims of their own emotions. Think how good it would be if they could be free of those emotions. When a thoughtless child wrongs a thoughtful adult, the adult will not feel resentment, but will try with great love to help the child improve.

To meet someone who really hurts you is to meet a rare and precious treasure. Hold that person in high esteem, and make full use of the opportunity to eradicate your defects and make progress on the path. If you cannot yet feel love and compassion for those who treat you badly, it is a sign that your mind has not been fully transformed and that you need to keep working on it with increased application.

A true bodhisattva never hopes for a reward. He responds to the needs of others spontaneously, out of his natural compassion. Cause and effect are unfailing, so his actions to benefit others are sure to bear fruit–but he never counts on it. He certainly never thinks that people are not showing enough gratitude, or that they ought to treat him better. But if someone who has done him harm later changes his behavior, is set on the path, and achieves liberation, that is something that will make a bodhisattva rejoice wholeheartedly and be totally satisfied.

 

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8/19/2016 Friday by Norma

A sensitive interlude requires a careful response. Not feeling well? Ask for help, see a doctor or counselor. Listen to people’s problems and concerns with compassion, they are real. Assist in whatever way you can and put your own schedule aside; people need help when they need it, not when you have time. Clarence Day said, “If you don’t go to other people’s funerals, they won’t go to yours.” Kind words, prompt action and helpful behavior can solve a million problems today. Everything to do with water is good: drink it, swim in it, water the plants. Music, art, film and visualization are also helpful.

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