Astrology

1/6/2010   Wednesday

A serious or discouraging matter arises that must be dealt with.  Something is not working as expected and may need to be reconfigured or scrapped.  Perhaps you must deal with an unhappy person, an older person, or sad family or group matters. An expression of acceptance and love is called for.  Contact someone who loves you to get your dose of security, and do your best to express the love you feel for others, no matter how busy you are or how inconvenient it seems. Emotional needs clash with doing the job, but you can handle both in a successful manner.

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

1/5/2010 Tuesday

Diplomatic, kind speech is highlighted today. How you say something makes the difference between success and “try again.” What are words? They are symbols of something deeper.  Words expressed in a kind tone deliver a more effective message than words that feel angry or demanding.    Work is well completed today. A surprise expectation or request from outside must be accommodated, but nothing is lost in the process. Remember you are wrapping up things from the past.  Groups and friends, as always these days, are inspiring and supportive.

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!

Feeding Wildlife in the Winter

Bird Feeders
I thought I’d share some of my #wildlife endeavors. First a healthier suet recipe, guaranteed to help little birdies make it through cold.

Melt a jar of peanut butter and a tub of lard together, mix thoroughly, add rolled oats, cornmeal and birdseed until desired. Can add

Leftover nuts, cereals like Cheerios, a little sugar, and pack it into pound size tubs, freeze till hard. Unmold using hot water

And store blocks of suet in freezer. I offer it in a fly-thru feeder type. It will draw cold hungry ones from all around.

I also provide squirrel food blocks on the ground, sold in stores. They get corn and peanut butter too.

For the deer I provide planted forage, corn and apples. And fresh salt mineral blocks each season.

The best seeds for little birds in winter is Black Oil Sunflower seed, for the oil. For finches, Nyger seed.

If you can maintain an unfrozen water source, please do. Many birds die for lack of drinkable water in winter. I have a running stream.

Your larger birds, starlings, crows, etc will, oddly enough, eat small bite dog kibble, cheap brand w/GRAIN as main ingredient.

Isn’t good for your dog, they aren’t engineered for it. But larger birds are and they like the extra fat and protein in the winter.

My son made me the perfect bird feeder. He found an old disker or harrow, up-ended it and tied it to a tree. Viola! 6-level fly-thru feeder!

You can be creative with bird feeders and housing. I’ve been collecting and using all kinds of homemade stuff! Really fun.

Around here we have all kinds of oddball houses and feeders as well as bought stuff. Birds nest in almost anything with the right hole.

I hope you all enjoy helping the critters as much as I do. And there are many choices to help with. Love to hear some of your ideas!

Astrology

1/4/10  Monday

Now we are talking!  Things fall into place. You know what your job is and you do it very well.  Work done today is successfully accomplished.  The boss is pleased and is careful to give credit where credit is due.  Health problems can be successfully identified and resolved today.  If you’ve been wondering how to make something work, you find the way today. Hidden things are discovered or unearthed.  Men, people in authority and ideas are beneficial and loving.  Worker bees are in sync.  This is a “whistle while you work” day.

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!

Using Twitter as a Bonfire of Loving Kindness

1000 Armed Chenrezig
1000 Armed Chenrezig

The following is from a series of Tweets posted on Twitter:

Today, having made a shout out for prayer for my son, I was blessed to have so many pray and offer kind words.

It has really gotten me thinking what a glorious tool for good Twitter can be. For myself, I’ve had my eyes opened by this.

I have seen people use it for negativity and nastiness. Such a waste when the world community is so ready to love + support!

Or even just mindlessly for selfish purpose alone. But SO many are ready to jump right in and love. I reached out, U were there!

Just to see that made my heart soar! When I told my son Twitterverse was praying for him- he broke down and cried.

I wonder if we all realize how much prayer and kindness mean at times of need or suffering. So much. Even a RT for prayer IS prayer!

What a wonderful age this is and what an amazing gathering of good tweeple! I read so many who’s message is like nectar!

So sweet and nourishing! And I think how amazing, this bonding of little lights to make a bonfire of loving kindness.

Please join with me in this great flame, and let’s use this tool to benefit others and make this world a gentler place!

I don’t think we should accept meanness, hatred or hurtfulness here. I personally feel this tool is too good to waste.

Instead it can be used to facilitate the spiritual and emotional growth for this magnificent human Family and this jewel of a Planet!

I pledge to do my part, and I know so many of you will! And I say. “AMEN” to that! EMAHO!

OM MANI PEDME HUNG

Follow ahkonlhamo on Twitter

Introduction to Buddhism – A Reading List

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There are many excellent books about Buddhism.  Here is a selection that provides an introductory foundation to Buddhism.  Other introductory books on Buddhism can be found here.

An Open Heart:  Practicing Compassion in Everyday – HH the Dalai Lama

Buddha – Karen Armstrong

Buddha:  His Life and His Teachings – Walter Henry Nelson

Cave in the Snow – Vicki McKenzie

The Clouds Should Know Me By Now:  Buddhist Poet Monks of China – Pine & O’Connor

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism – Chogyam Trungpa

Daily Wisdom:  365 Buddhist Inspirations – Josh Bartok

Dhammapada:  The Sayings of the Buddha – Thomas Cleary

Enlightened Journey, Buddhist Practice As Daily Life– Tulku Thondup

A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night:  A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life – Dalai Lama

Gates to Buddhist Practice– Chagdud Tulku

Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life – Santideva

Healing Power of the Mind – Tulku Thondup

Hidden Teachings of Tibet:  An Explanation of the Terma Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism – Tulku Thondup

Introduction to Tantra – Lama Yeshe

Open Heart, Clear Mind – Thubten Chodron

Opening of the Lotus:  Developing Clarity and Kindness– Sherab Gyaltsen Amipa

Relating to a Spiritual Teacher – Alexander Berzin

Start Where You Are – Pema Chodron

Taking the Bodhisattva Vow – Bokar Rinpoche

Teachings of the Compassionate Buddha – E.A. Burtt

Tibetan Buddhism from the Ground Up – Allan Wallace

Transforming Problems Into Happiness – Lama Zopa

When Things Fall Apart:  heart Advice for Difficult Times – Pema Chodron

Words of My Perfect Teacher– Paltrul Rinpoche

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind – Shunryu Suzuki

Are you living up to your potential?

Reading from the I Ching:

How does one fulfill their spiritual potential?

Original hexagram is Thunder over Thunder; 51
The Expansion is Fire over Thunder; 21
The Kernel is Fire over Water; 64 BY WAY OF Water over Mountain; 39

The shock that comes once there is an understanding of more than the physical; that there is a spiritual, can be overwhelming. Once there is understanding of the depth of spiritual existence one can actually become afraid.  As we tap into the depths of a spiritual path, we begin to realize just how vast the journey might be.  While fear is the most common reaction among us humans, it doesn’t take long to realize that pursuing a spiritual path actually brings us a lot of joy.  Once we have learned truly what the fear and trembling might be; having a spiritual path and journey gives us assurance and the confidence to continue~ we sense success through the obstacles that lay ahead. Once this understanding of what the fear is about, what we want to pursue, and a method on how to get there, we get our lives in order and set our hearts in motion.

As we travel our spiritual journeys, we begin to encounter obstacles.  The text indicates that the best way to overcome these obstacles is taking a posture of firmness, yet gentle and “bite” one’s way through them.  What does “bite” mean? It’s an energetic term really. In other words, get out of the way of your own ego, search for the balance between the weaknesses and the strengths, travel a firm, but gentle order, and face up to the consequences of your actions. By this method, one gains inner and outer respect that is required to pursue a spiritual path.  Without respect and regard for the inner-nature of oneself (buddhanature), and respect for one’s spiritual master and path, it will be difficult to overcome the obstacles one is sure to face.  It’s about breaking through the obstacles.

Once we have traveled a bit on our path, there may come a time when what we see before us reminds us of an abyss of sorts, or a steep inaccessible mountain that we must cross.  Or, worse yet, the abyss before us and the mountain behind us with no observable method of escape or retreat.  These are obstructions, however if one can remain still enough there are implicit hints of appropriate, and successful travel. These hints appear in time, and should we choose to follow, we will find our way overcoming the obstacles.

The text indicates that it is important to surround yourself with like-minded people; friends and spiritual family, following one of great leadership that is equal to the situation~ thus a qualified Teacher.  With these conditions, one is sure to find their way across and through the obstacles.  However, it does requires one to focus on the inner purpose and the will to persevere.  This focus and will is sure to bring good fortune.  “An obstruction that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development.  This is the value of adversity.”

Difficult times forces one to look at themselves; their posture, their purpose, their faults and fears. The lesser person will place blame, bewailing fate while the superior person will seek error within oneself and through this introspection manifest the occasion for inner enrichment and learning. The conditions are difficult and the tasks are great, not to mention full of responsibility.  “It is nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion…”  However, “it is the tasks that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the forces now tending in different directions.”

This understanding of obtaining one’s spiritual potential is good for always, and not just for the day or the week or the month. Have a wonderful week pursuing your potential in all arenas of your life.  Pursuing the spiritual one will bleed into all other facets of your life, in a positive and beneficial way.  Happy New Year 🙂

To learn more about the I Ching, see the I Ching Page!

Astrology

1/3/10   Sunday

Whoops, a fight could be in the air.  A person in authority, or one who wishes to have authority, could feel disrespected and a group could vote down a strongly held view.  Do your best to respect both sides of the issue.  Everyone should get part of what they want.  Do bear in mind that for the next several weeks new policies will end up being revised or scrapped, so avoid making a big deal out of something that will “ come to nothing” in the end. Conduct yourself mentally as though you were playing a board game, where all the pieces will be put back into the box when the game is over.  With this image in mind you will maintain the mental lightness and flexibility required to negotiate the issues of the day.

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

1/2/10   Saturday

Enthusiasm, joy and emotional confidence swirl around you.  Women are beautiful and inspiring today, and children are happy. You feel emotionally expansive and confident, proud of yourself. Relationship issues can be favorably resolved.  Entertainment is favored.  Go out to a dinner, a party, and a movie or theatrical production.  Get dressed up and show the world you’re still in the game! The power of personality and salesmanship are highlighted. Statesmanship and diplomacy are favored.  Confidence rules!

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!

Enlightened Activity

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An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo from the Dakini Workshop

Enlightened activity is considered consistent with the nature of the dakini in that it arises from pure spaciousness and does not remain fixed or absorbed in the mind of duality.  What arises, arises effortlessly and spontaneously and is spontaneously complete because the basis of that emanation is the Buddha nature, free of distinction, free of contrivance, free of duality, free of ego clinging.

What arises in an uncontrived way from the sphere of truth without clinging, without fixation is pure enlightened activity.  Pure enlightened activity always results in perfect result, perfect meaning or enlightened result.  From the point of view of practitioners, from the point of view of those who have not established themselves firmly in the view, activity appears in a myriad of ways and we attach meaning to that activity. What we see then, when we see that activity, is only our meaning.  We do not see the activity.  Therefore, when one holds to and one views the enlightened activity that is consistent with the dakini nature and when one sees that compassionate activity from the point of view of duality and distinction, one will always see ones own mind.  Therefore that activity will be seductive in the way that our minds seduce us, that activity will be meaningful in the way that our minds deduce meaning, that activity will be objectionable in the way that our minds object and that activity will be confusing in the way that our minds are confused.  That is what we see.

Yet, in striving to attain a deeper understanding of this enlightened activity we have no other recourse other than to achieve realization ourselves.  We have to.  That is the only way to reach any kind of understanding.  And we are beaten over the head with our own minds because our own minds are flashed back at us. We see our mind constantly.  We are relentlessly seduced with our own stupidity.  We are browbeaten with our own inconsistencies until at some point, eventually, because this is an effortless process, because it is natural, because it arises from the uncontrived state, because it is our nature, this intensified process of putrefaction will putrefy itself into pureness effortlessly.

Well, it will not seem effortless on your part, exactly.  But that is because the mind is still clinging to perceptual experience.  The mind is in that continuum.   The consciousness is there.  That is what the perception is.  But try to remember that all that is being viewed is our own confusion.  That is all that is being seen.  It is very much like the symbolic image of the peacock – the bird with big feathers –who eats poisoned things and ends up with this beautiful plumage.  To some degree, that is what our practice looks like.  We just eat ourselves and eat ourselves and keep on consuming this thing that we see that arises only from our mind until finally at some point we can achieve a glimpse of the pure basis of that.  At that point, the pure basis of that is understood to be effortless.  It is understood to arise from the sphere of truth and complete itself instantly.  It is understood in its nature, but while we revolve in confusion we cannot feel that way.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

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