Astrology for 08/18/2018

08/18/2018 Saturday by Wangmo & Jampal

Theme: A day to enjoy

There is a light-heartedness in the air that is beneficial for both your mind and heart. It’s a good day to practice relaxation, read a good book, and undertake activities that expand and engage your mind. As Winnie the Pooh says, ‘People say nothing’s impossible, but I do nothing everyday’. It’s remains a time to dream big – but as with all big plans the details are important in the big picture of things. It’s a good time, especially in the second half of the day, to engage in a variety of activities and projects: be adventurous.

Today the Moon is Void of Course from 11.08 am EST USA until 12.46 pm. If you’re in another country check what that means for you time-wise. It’s best to avoid making major decisions or signing contracts during this time.

Astrology for 08/17/2018

08/17/2018 Friday by Jampal & Wangmo

Theme: Opening the heart

With the Moon close to Jupiter, the planet of good fortune and expansion today, there is emphasis on good feelings, generosity and sharing of resources. This is also a spiritual uplifting day, if you make it so. New ways forward in challenging times are also possible. There continues to be a lot of energy for long-term restructuring. ‘Without training our hearts to love altruistically, we will never recognize love. The door of heart opens from within.’~Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo

Eyes Wide Open

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo from the Vow of Love series

You may ask, “Why do I have to think about suffering? Why is it that the Buddha talks about suffering and nobody else does? Why is it that today’s New Age thinkers are saying, ‘I want to be me. I want to be free,’ and the Buddha is still talking about suffering after thousands and thousands of years?” It is because the Buddha has a teaching that is very logical and very real.

If we want to exit a room, but there is a chair between us and the door, we have a number of choices. We can say that the chair is not there. We can pretend that the chair is not an obstacle to our passing through the room and that it’s not important. Or we can notice that the chair is there and get on with our journey by walking around it. That is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching. The Buddha doesn’t stop at saying, “There is suffering.” The Buddha follows that by saying, “There is a way out of suffering.” And that’s the ticket. You cannot motivate yourself to follow the path out of suffering until you generate the commitment through the realization of suffering. You can’t make yourself walk around the chair to get to the door until you face the fact that the chair is blocking your way. You have to look at the chair.

It isn’t only about walking around a chair so that you can get to the other side of the room, so that you can get out the door. There’s more to it than that. You must understand that your commitment is two-fold. In order to become the deepened practitioner that you must be, to really sink your teeth into the Buddhadharma, you must have compassion for others that is so strong and so extraordinary it will nourish you even when you are dry.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Astrology for 08/16/2018

08/16/2018 Thursday by Wangmo & Jampal

Theme: Non-reactivity

The Moon moves into Scorpio today bringing emotional intensity to engagements. Expect emotional surprises today. At some point in the day there will be disruption, a feeling of being separate and some conflict. In this setting patience is a real virtue. Reactivity will cause more problems. Better than a thousand hollow verses
Is one verse that brings peace.~The Buddha

Today the Moon is Void of Course from 3.57am EST USA until 4.55 am. If you’re in another country check what that means for you time-wise. It’s best to avoid making major decisions or signing contracts during this time.

Compassion: Foundation Of The Path

An excerpt from the Vow of Love Series by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

In a superficial way the idea of compassion can seem very simple, and we might make the mistake of thinking that we understand it. But if we study compassion deeply, eventually we will come to understand that the ultimate view of compassion is enlightenment itself. It is the natural, primordial wisdom state itself. That’s why compassion isn’t truly known until we reach supreme enlightenment.

Compassion is the foundation of the Buddhist path. Without it, like any house that does not have a firm foundation, the house will crumble. It will not stand. One’s motivation to practice must be compassion. If your motivation is not compassion, it will be very difficult to firmly stick to the commitment to practice and meditate every day. I feel for those who say, “I’d really like to practice. I would really like to have a time in my life everyday to meditate, and yet I don’t have the discipline. I don’t have the strength. I don’t have the commitment.” If you have the right motivation, if you want to do this solely and purely from the point of view of compassion, you will find the time and you will find the commitment and you will find a way to do it. For those who have tried to meditate everyday or be consistent in their practice, if they can’t do it, my feeling is somehow the foundation of compassion isn’t strong enough.

If we could make the idea of compassion so strong that it becomes a burning fire consuming our hearts, until we are nothing but a flame. If the need to benefit others becomes so strong that it’s irresistible. If the understanding that others are suffering so unbearably in realms that we cannot even see, let alone the realms we can, that we cannot rest until we find a way to be of some lasting benefit to them. If these things can truly become part of our minds, we will find the strength to practice.

How do you find the strength to breathe? “Well,” you say, “that’s easy. Breathing is a reflex. I have to breathe. If I don’t breathe, I die.” What if you could cultivate the understanding that all sentient beings are filled with suffering that is inconceivable in its magnitude and that there are non-physical realms of existence we are not even aware of, filled with suffering? What if you could cultivate this understanding so deeply that, because of your realization, compassion and profound generosity became as much a reflex as breathing? That is possible.

“Well,” you say, “I don’t have that kind of understanding. I’m just not like that. I can’t make myself really buy into that.” Let me comfort you with this awareness. Unless you are supremely enlightened you are not born with that perfect understanding. No one is. No one is born with enough understanding of the suffering of others, and an affinity with the idea of compassion, to create that perfect discipline naturally. That understanding comes only through its cultivation, and we must cultivate that understanding consistently every day.

Astrology for 08/15/2018

08/15/2018 Wednesday by Jampal & Wangmo

Theme: Mindful communication

Mercury goes direct on the 20th of August so you have a few more days of opportunity to practice your communication skills and forgive miscommunication!  As Kahlil Gibran wrote: ‘Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.’ With the Moon in challenging aspect to Pluto it’s a day to draw on your inner resources and skillfully navigate your own and others compulsions. It’s a call to self-honesty. Environmental awareness and healing the earth is a theme at this time.

Cultivating Selfless Compassion

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo from the Vow of Love series

It’s almost impossible to attain the goal of selfless compassion, where you commit every fiber of your being to benefiting all sentient beings, seen and unseen, without a moment’s hesitation. It’s almost impossible to develop the kind of compassion where you understand that all sentient beings are revolving helplessly in such suffering that they can’t bear it, and you can’t bear to think it’s going on, without cultivating a deep understanding of suffering. You want to avoid the trap of making the very same prayers that the selfishly motivated person might do, but instead have the idea that you want to be a great Bodhisattva.

One goal will produce lasting results and the other will not. The person with the motivation of selflessness has the key. Through extraordinary, selfless compassion, that person has the strength to persevere through everything until he or she is awake. That person will persevere until he or she has completely purged from his or her mind even the smallest, gossamer thin seeds of hatred, greed and ignorance. The person whose motivation is to be the ‘good person’ will not be able to do the same for any length of time. The foundation isn’t strong enough. That person may need some kind of feedback, or warm fuzzies as reward for being good. Even tried and true Buddhists will find this impure motivation in your minds. Even our ordained Sangha will find that they, themselves, will have dry periods. You’ll go spiritually dry, bone dry, and you’ll think, “What am I doing here? I can’t go on; it’s just too hard.” Then the next day, you’ll wake up and you’ll think, “Another day…good.” You’ll have all these different feelings that are just so common. Everybody, everybody has them. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to have these feelings.

Why does it flip flop back and forth? Because you have not built the firm foundation of very pure, selfless compassion. You need to cultivate it every single moment. You need to get yourself past the point where you need warm fuzzies to keep you going. If you are only looking at the symptom of suffering and trying to manipulate your environment to turn suffering around, you will always need feedback. That feedback may or may not come. Your compassion, your love should not depend on that.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Astrology for 08/14/2018

08/14/2018 Tuesday by Wangmo & Jampal

Theme: The gentle diplomat

With the Moon in Libra next to the planet of diplomacy – Venus – it is a good day to work out agreements, but keep in mind the need to be disciplined in your activity. Expect some resistance as you work towards your goals today which is fueled by your expectations that things should happen more quickly than is realistically possible. The period of intense subjectivity is ending. Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.~Daniele Vare

Today the Moon is Void of Course from 12.38 am EDST USA until 12.58am. If you’re in another country check what that means for you time-wise. It’s best to avoid making major decisions or signing contracts during this time.

 

Everything Counts

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

No two people experience anything exactly alike, ever. It’s almost as if we see through different-colored glasses. Even the same person can experience the same event quite differently on different days. Something that bugs the potatoes out of you one day will roll right off your back the next. This is due to the ripening of your karma at the time. It ripens in slightly different ways at every moment, creating a different inner experience. A tapestry is being woven, interdependently arising. Your mind is not the same today as it was yesterday, because different karma has ripened. The threads of the tapestry are different, but your ego-clinging makes it seem the same.

Some indigenous peoples do not use the word “karma” but acknowledge that if you take something from Mother Earth, you must return something. For instance, American Indians believe that you may cut down a tree because you need the wood, provided you repay or replenish the earth. If you don’t, there is a hole that nature or Mother Earth must fill. Additionally, the imbalance you cause in the environment will be played out somehow in your life—in mind or in body, but especially in your spirit.

This idea is very similar to the concept of karma. Had we grown up with the belief that cause and effect cannot be altered, that this is a universal law that, whether we are caught or not, there will sooner or later be a payback for every situation—we would have an entirely different culture. We would not have damaged the ecological system, while disregarding the consequences. Though concern is growing, we still abuse the environment and our natural wealth. We constantly make deals promoting personal gain. This is not wrong unless we take from others with no regard for their welfare. But we applaud business deals that benefit us and hurt others. Getting ahead is the American way. “That’s politics,” or “That’s business,” we say. We have learned to condone selfishness, totally disregarding its impact on our minds.

As we “learn” that for some things there is no payback, a poison gradually infiltrates our mindstreams. Many powerful people profess traditional religious beliefs yet complacently engage in graft, bribery, obstruction of justice, embezzlement, and lying. Believe me, if the first people to cut down a rain forest (or to bring a species close to extinction) had been struck by lightning, there would be no ecological problem today. If the earth had opened up and swallowed the owners and operators, there would be no problem with strip mining. But the payback is often slow in coming. We remain unskilled in connecting causes with their inexorable effects.

Suppose you go to a party at someone’s house and see some perfume samples. You think: “They have lots of these, so I’ll just take one. It’s no big deal. Surely if I asked, they would give it to me.” Later you go to a grocery store and think: “Gee, I’d really like one of those cookies. Just one, because if I buy the whole pack, I might get fat.” Then you notice a pack that is broken open. “Well,” you think, “it’s already open, so I’ll just slip one little cookie out. The store can’t sell them now, anyway. They have a budget to cover that.” Even if no one misses the perfume or the cookie, you have changed in your mindstream. The change is subtle. But you have changed. And if you continue to act that way, your mind will become hard. It must—because something inside of you knows what is right and what is wrong. Something inside you is very moral. There is a sensitivity to things balancing out. It may not be the part that you can listen to, but karma, the potential for karma, the reality of karma, the interaction of karma—exists in the mindstream of every sentient being.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Astrology for 08/13/2018

08/13/2018 Monday by Wangmo & Jampal

Theme: Deep emotional exchanges

The urge for harmony remains strong in spite of the challenges. Discipline in relationships bears fruit. Emotional nourishment is the overall theme of the day. There is a desire to be of service and emotionally share with others. This can be a deep experience. You can gain insight into your inner workings including your relationship with your mother or the mothering person in your life. If you realize the self in your innermost consciousness, it will appear in its purity. This is the womb of wonder, which is not the realm of those who live only by reason.~Lankavatara Sutra