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Astrology for 7/1/2016

7/1/2016 Friday by Norma

Something dear to your heart seems out of reach, but on closer examination you’ll see that certain restrictions control the situation. This means you can obtain your wish by following the guidelines, which you object to. It’s your choice, really, but no complaining if you don’t comply. (“I want […]

Stupas of KPC: A Resource for Healing, Peace and Prayer

Stupas of KPC: A Resource for Healing, Peace and Prayer

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

If weary, sick or sad, come to the KPC Stupas and rest and pray. Leave an offering to say “I was here!”.

Stupas are meant to heal suffering, bring peace, balance, strengthen one’s path. Come see for yourself.

I wish I had funds to build Stupas all along […]

Walk The Talk: YouTube Video Teaching

The following is a YouTube video teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo extracted from a talk called “The Attitude of Gratitude”

Astrology for 6/30/2016

6/30/2016 Thursday by Norma

A grand trine in earth signs indicates progress in material ventures. This is the day to build a fence, a house or the bridge to your success. Financial matters go well and shopping is a dream. Stick with down-to-earth plans and avoid anything brand new or exotic. It’s […]

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6/26/2016 Sunday by Norma

You receive information that’s either wrong or incomprehensible, after which you’ll get lost. Have a laugh at yourself, good humor is the gift of the day. Later your thinking deepens and you’re able to understand a mystery. Albert Einstein said, “Look deeply into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” An old love is coming back into the picture, and something you’ve dreamed of is heading your way. The urge to do a bit of travel is strong but it’s better to stay home near the
refrigerator, the stove and the table. That’s where the food is. Ok, you can go to a restaurant. Yes, you must continue to keep an eye on what lurks in the dark. You can respond to what you see, but you won’t see anything if you’re not looking.

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

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6/25/2016 Saturday by Norma

Things settle down, and relaxation combines with sensitivity to make for a happy day. Stay away from rationality in planning outings, go with your intuition. (“The top of the hill is above everything, but my gut says to head for this clearing.”) Spend time with children, family and household matters today. Artists are creative, physicians and healers are doing excellent work and sensitivity abounds. Listen to music. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Take a music bath once or twice a week, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body.” Go for a swim, a sail or run under the sprinklers. Avoid discussions of politics and avoid anyone pressing extreme views. Answer pleasantly, but tell yourself what to do today.

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

Natural Practice

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

I came  to understand that that is the way it would be.  I had to not lie to sentient beings.  I could not hold these beings in my arms and say, “Here I am for you.  I’ll do anything I can for you,”  because it was complete, pardon my French, bullshit.  You know, I was lying to them.  So I began to think, “Well, if this unlimited luminous, pure, uncontrived nature that is free of suffering could somehow be here, that’s it.  That’s it.”  But how to do it?  How to do it?

At that time I really didn’t have the answers. Honestly, I have to tell you that part of my life was like mountain tops and valleys at the same time, because I really felt the bliss of feeling that I had come to understand the faults of this world and had come to truly reach for and lift my sights to something that was so much purer, so much better.  I really felt the bliss of that, and kind of excitement and happiness of being on my way. But the suffering of knowing that you could do nothing but lie to your child…  The suffering of knowing that everything that we see looks so good, so colorful and wonderful, and it’s bullshit. It’s a lie.  That kind of suffering! It was a very difficult time.  Plus the struggle of thinking “I’ve got to find a way!!”  And I had no teacher who could give me the way.  No teacher at that time had come to my life yet who could say, “All right.  Do this and this and this, and that will happen.”  So I’m struggling with this and I’m thinking every day, “What can I do?” I mean literally I had gotten myself into such a state that if I could have physically ripped out my heart and handed it to Lord Buddha himself… I didn’t think of Lord Buddha at that time, I forget.  It was just that absolute nature.  If I could rip out my heart and physically hand it to the absolute nature, I would do it, because I was going crazy, kind of a little crazy.  There was this crazy Yogi phenomenon happening, you know? I was a little crazy with this idea.  I couldn’t think about anything else.  It was weird.

I would sort of reward myself at the end of the day, here on this farm. I would sit down and have a cup of tea and a snack.  One day I went out and got some potato chips. I thought I would have some potato chips and a coke.  Now I like potato chips, but potato chips don’t like me, so this was a splurge.  So I had a potato chip. And then I started thinking about my practice, and thinking about the children, thinking of beings in samsara, thinking about my mouth.  Did I give this up or not?  I did.  The whole thing became so disgusting to me.

So that’s the kind of experience that I had.  Many of you will say, “Well, I don’t know if I want to have that kind of experience.  Thank you very much.”  But I have to say that also in that was a tremendous amount of joy, like nothing I had ever experienced in the world.  Greater joy than even my family, which I was very happy with and very much caring for and very close to.   Greater joy than anything I could see or touch or eat or smell or anything, because I could feel that here was some noble potential. Maybe it hadn’t been actualized yet, but somewhere was this noble potential, and the excitement of that was really happy.  It was a happy and genuine thing, and I really thought that somewhere in here there is going to be the solution for sentient beings.

Here I was—you have to understand the humor of this.Here I am back in Chandler, North Carolina, reinventing the wheel, literally reinventing the eight-spoke wheel because I didn’t realize that Lord Buddha had already done this.  I had no idea.  I had absolutely no idea.  So here I am trying to find the way.  I didn’t realize that Lord Buddha at some point made the same decision.  He noticed that there was old age, sickness and death and he left to go figure out how to make this better.  He took off and tried to make it better. In a way, that’s exactly what I was trying to do.  If only I had known, I could have short-circuited that a little bit.  I have to tell you, that particular practice, done in that way, from my heart, with very little guidance —especially that nothing was written down so that I had to make it up—was so profound.

Stopping the Merry-Go-Round

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

Now, during this practice, with our whole body we’re purifying body karma arising from the non-virtuous activity that we have engaged in since time out of mind, when instead of going for refuge, we went for ice cream.  So instead, now we are actually using our body, speech and mind—using the body by making prostrations, using the speech by reciting, and using the mind by remaining absorbed and visualizing.  Now we are training in the same way that a body builder trains a muscle. He develops and trains that muscle by pumping it and working it and working it.  Now we are working to sharpen our focus, not to be simply reactive and discursive the way we are in samsara going towards meaningless goals with no distinction whatsoever.  I mean, we’ll follow anything!

Instead of going for meaningless goals that have no meaning whatsoever, instead now we are training body, speech, and mind to be single-pointed for the first time.  This is pretty amazing!  I mean, think about it.  For the first time, single-pointed.  I take refuge in the Buddha, in the Dharma and the Sangha.  And if you do it with your body, speech and mind, the potency of reciting that 100,000 times is extraordinary!  Simply extraordinary!  I mean, completing 100,000 repetitions of the refuge mantra and prostrations is an extraordinarily life-changing experience.  It’s like stopping the merry-go-round for a minute. If you were born on a merry-go-round and your movement was invisible, and then suddenly you stopped, don’t you think that something inside of you would go, “Whoa! Whoa!  Whoa!  What’s this?  This is new!”  And that would be the beginning of a new kind of experience.  And it takes the weight of that kind of practice to make that happen.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved

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6/24/2016 Friday by Norma

A group has a brilliant idea, which immediately gets a thumbs down from the boss. Be happy, you are oblivious to hidden factors currently influencing matters. A new direction opens, one that would have been blocked by the previous idea. Things are moving so fast that quick thinking is required: leave for a coffee break and your office is in a different building when you return. Kurt Vonnegut said, “History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.” What’s good today? Brilliant medical advice, wonderful progress on work projects and food. So, work, plan medical treatments and eat!

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

The Way Out

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called Turning Adversity Into Felicity

When we practice Guru Yoga, we actually begin to develop the view that the lama is the source of liberation.  We begin to understand using traditional, prescribed images.  For instance, we are taught that we should think of samsara as being like a burning room. In samsara there is a great deal of suffering, and it’s actually just as probable that you will experience adversity as it is probable that you will experience felicity.  It is just as probable that you will experience suffering as it is that you will experience happiness and joy.  So we think of samsara as being untrustworthy, and we think—and this is true—that within samsara, because of our confusion and our lack of awareness about what our nature actually is,  we are constantly giving rise to the causes for more suffering.  This is constantly the case.  So we think of samsara as being like a burning room with no windows, that there is no escape except for this one door.  In our practice we think that the Lama is like that door.

The Lama is considered to be the door to liberation, the very means by which the blessing comes to us.  Without the Lama, we would not have been hooked onto the path.  Without the Lama, we would not receive the teaching.  Without the Lama, we would not understand the teaching.  Without the Lama, our minds would not be empowered and ripened and matured.  That is the responsibility of the relationship between the guru and disciple.  The mind must be matured in order to progress on the path.  So we rely on the Lama for all of these things without which we remain wandering in samsara experiencing birth/death/birth/death/birth/death with very little control.

Of course, when life is going well we think that this must not be true.  It looks like we have a lot of control in our life.  But if you think that, then you should read the newspaper more frequently, and you should talk to people who have been inflicted with incurable, diseases, who were afflicted completely out of the blue, not expecting that their lives would come to this.  You should talk to people who have suffered through circumstances that seemed to come from outside, misfortune, the loss of a job, the loss of loved ones.  These are terrible sufferings for us as human beings, and until we have experienced our fair share of them — and we will, eventually; old age, sickness and death, these things occur to all of us — we have the delusion of a certain kind of control in our life.  Ordinarily that kind of delusion comes with youth, and then later on, as we pass the age of supreme omniscience at about 30, we begin to discover that, in fact, we are not totally in control, that life seems to control us.

So we think of samsara as being this untrustworthy, inescapable difficulty, and we think of the lama as being the door to liberation.  We hold that kind of regard.  It isn’t that we worship a personality.  Of course, it’s not like that.  That would be very superficial and useless.  What good is a personality?  If we conceive of the Lama as a personality, what good would that do us?  We are a personality, and look where it’s gotten us!  That’s nothing to rely on.  So we rely on the Guru as the condensed essence of all the objects of refuge: all the Buddhas, all the Bodhisattvas, all the Lamas, all the meditational Deities, the Dakinis and the Dharma protectors all rolled into one, including all of the teachings.  These are the liberating truths of Dharma.  These are the objects of refuge.  So the Lama becomes the door through which we exit samsara.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

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6/23/2016 Thursday by Norma

A group makes a wise decision that takes everyone’s wishes into account. Thoughtful friends are nearby and the urge to talk too much is overwhelming. If you notice you simply must say “Just one more thing,” consider that you’ve already said it and pass the pie! You’re either eating or talking about food nowadays, both of which give satisfaction. Jay Leno said, “If you give everybody a slice of pie, you will still have more than enough.” Anything involving detailed work and analysis goes well today. Are you translating War and Peace, converting your books to the Metric System or adding up every expense since 1989? This is your day! Plan a majestic meal to round off the day and enjoy it with friends. You cannot go wrong with food!

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

What is Your Refuge?

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

When we practice prostrations we are applying the antidote to pride. Well, you think to yourself, if that’s what we’re doing, I’ll just stop being proud!  And how long do you think that’s going to work because you know what you’ve already done?  You’ve already said I could figure out how to do this better than the Buddha did!  You don’t think there’s a little pride in that?  Hm?  Hm?  I do. There’s pride in that already.  Instead of being oriented towards engaging in non-virtuous activity and creating non-virtuous habitual tendency and continuing our delusions, instead we should make prostrations. And how do we make prostrations?  We say, “I take refuge in the Buddha, in the Dharma and in the Sangha.”  The Three Precious Jewels—the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. Now why is it necessary to do that 100,000 times and to bend our bodies when we do that?  Because inside ourselves we are constantly saying “I take refuge in what-I-want, what-I’m-gonna-get, and what-I’ll-have-in-the-future. I take refuge in you-love-me, you-take-care-of-me, you-give-me-stuff.”  We are constantly taking refuge in stereo, TV, CD player. We are taking refuge in chocolate. What else?  What do you like?  Cake?  Ice cream!  I mean, these are the ways that we think!  We don’t realize that, but when you go for something, what do you go for?  You go for something else!  You don’t go for the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha.  You go for ice cream!  You go for a new car!  You go for anything but the Buddha the Dharma and the Sangha!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved

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6/22/2016 Wednesday by Norma

An early surprise requires a speedy response, so get moving! Be careful about your understanding of the news; you can misinterpret something you hear and go off on a tangent. What you should take seriously today is work, food, family and your intuitive perceptions. It’s possible to roll them all into one package by going out to eat with friends and family or whipping up a meal at home. Elsa Schiaparelli said, “A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” Anything to do with water is satisfying: go swimming, wash the car or float around in the tub. Underground endeavors are successful, yet you must continue to watch out for hidden things looking for a way in. Lock your doors.

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

The Four fold Prayer for Motherly Sentient Beings Equal to Space

The following prayer is from the Nam Cho Ngondro, The Great Perfection Buddha in the Palm of Hand

MA NAM KHA DANG NYAM PA’I SEM CHEN THAM CHED

I pray that all motherly sentient beings, countless as space,

LAMA SANGYE CHÖ KYI KU LA SÖL WA DEB SO

May realize the Guru’s Dharmakaya Buddha Body.

MA NAM KHA DANG NYAM PA’I SEM CHEN THAM CHED

I pray that all motherly sentient beings, countless as space,

LAMA DE CHEN LONG CHÖD DZOG PA’I KU LA SÖL

WA DEB SO

May realize the Guru’s Great Bliss Sambhogakaya Body.

MA NAM KHA DANG NYAM PA’I SEM CHEN THAM CHED

I pray that all motherly sentient beings, countless as space,

LAMA THUG JE TRUL PA’I KU LA SÖL WA DEB SO

May realize the Guru’s Great Bliss Nirmanakaya Body

MA NAM KHA DANG NYAM PA’I SEM CHEN THAM CHED

I pray that all motherly sentient beings, countless as space,