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The Beginning of Awakening

The Beginning of Awakening

An excerpt from the Mindfulness workshop given by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo in 1999

One of the practices that we are taught as Buddhists is that always, always, Guru Rinpoche should be above the crown of our heads.  We should be mindful that Guru Rinpoche is always there, seated on his lotus throne.  Upon going to sleep, we […]

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Astrology for 2/10/2016

2/10/2016 Wednesday by Norma

Once you move past an early sense of tiredness or feeling discouraged, this is a wonderful day! You can solve your problems: one, two, three! Consider that the early difficulty opened the door to good things and don’t hold hard feeling, in fact be grateful! Robert Ingersoll said, “The […]

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Get Real

Get Real

Yeshe Tsogyal

From The Spiritual Path:  A Compilation of Teachings by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

 

The Vajrayana path is a great gift. Your mind can be purified through the practice of allowing it to arise naturally with those qualities of perfect union and perfectly purified perception. “Well,” you may say. “That sounds good, but will it work?” […]

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Astrology for 2/9/2016

2/9/2015 Tuesday by Norma

A dreamy energy permeates the day, reflecting a feeling of uncertainty. Use this open energy to look at the issues of your life from a perspective of not knowing the solution to your problem. Set aside your strongly held agenda and the answer appears, allowing you to move forward with […]

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Facing Helplessness

Drunk_06

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “AA and Buddhism”

The idea that I’m trying to present is that you have to be at that place of total honesty. Now, in Alcoholics Anonymous, when you get to that place of total honesty, basically your life is broken down. In Buddhadharma, when you get to that place of total honesty, you take apart your life. You break it down yourself. Because if you wait for samsara to totally break you down… First of all, who wants to wait? It takes too long. It just takes too long. Plus you have been broken down before. According to the Buddha’s teaching, you have died and been reborn uncountable times under very unfortunate circumstances. And noodniks that we are, we still haven’t gotten it. We just can’t get a grip!

For some reason, the way that samsara is constructed, it’s very much like a narcotic. It’s like being under the influence of the drug, or under the influence of alcohol. While you’re really loaded, you really just don’t know your behind from a table. You just can’t find anything. You just can’t figure it out because the drug is in your system. The whole time we are revolving in samsara, in a sense, that drug is in our system, because we always view, don’t we, through the experience of continuum. And we always view with the assumption of self-nature being inherently real.  So we are fueled by this alcohol of the desire of continuum in a certain way to experience as ego. We can’t see clearly.

Now that happens to the alcoholic too. And so, one of the steps… And again I don’t know the program well enough to know which step is which or what comes first. I’m relying mostly on the Buddhadharma to tell me what to do. But once you have discerned the faults of cyclic existence… And you really have to spend some bone-crushing time on that one, and that is not your favorite part of the practice. I mean get this: It’s not the part you’re going to enjoy. And it isn’t the one where you can sit on a high mountain in the Himalayas with your hands just right and your feet in a lotus position and think of yourself as very holy while you’re doing it. You’re not going to get a lot of gratification at that point. Same with the alcoholic. When they decide that they are really bottomed out, that is not a gratifying time. I mean, am I right? That is the worst, most horrible time that one can possibly imagine. But in practice one has to do that also. And you feel a little bit like you’re going crazy because you have to dismantle everything you held to be sacred. You have to really look, and you’re helpless unless you do.

So the next step, as I understand it in the Buddhadharma, is to decide that in samsara (and this is one of the faults of samsara as it is one of the faults of drug addiction or alcohol abuse) we are in this condition, helpless to change. Now, boy we hate that, America! Man, this is the worst! Because in America we’re very democratic. We like to think that everybody’s got power. We can all vote so that makes us happy. Although I don’t know what good it’s actually doing us. But anyway, we feel in America that we are really, really, really democratic in our thinking. We want to really, really think that we have something very powerful. But, in fact, you have to get to the point where you can’t stop. You’re helpless. You’re helpless.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

 

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