Astrology

12/31/09 Thursday

On the last day of the year, remember Alfred Lord Tennyson’s words:

“Ring out wild bells, to the wild sky

The flying cloud, the frosty light;

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out wild bells and let him die.”

This is a time of endings and new beginnings, a time to let the old die and the new come into being.  Impermanence is present and an emotional wish is present.  You don’t want to let go of the old.  Respect your feelings, and commit to a goal for the coming year honoring that, which is lost yet aims toward the future.  The future is in your hands, nobody else’s.  This is a rousing, inspiring time.

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

12/30/09  Wednesday

Things pick up today and you feel cheerful again.  Artistic and philanthropic endeavors go well.  Music, film, and all creativity is favored.  You feel jovial, happy and in good spirits.  A sudden confusion or upset can appear but you are able to go through the day with a sense of clarity and optimism.  Remember that your main goal is wrapping up things from the past year.  Dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s.  You’d rather surge ahead but you will thank yourself later for the careful review you have done now.  You could find and correct mistakes.  Good job!

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!

Condensed Amitaba Practice

Buddha Amitabha Downloadable Image
Buddha Amitaba Downloadable Image

I’d like to address the very newest Dharma practitioners, and offer the #METHOD I speak so often and so fondly of. All can benefit.

Many are interested in Buddhism, read and think about it, enjoy it’s thoughtfulness. But the main point of Dharma is accomplishment.

One can be a friend of Dharma, a supporter, collector, even a Guru junkie! But the point of Dharma is awakening, + method applied.

There are no quick and easy routes, no magic buttons, no gadgets, no tincture of this or that worth the money or effort. Dharma is free.

All you really need is a comfy cushion, a quiet sacred space, a Mala (prayer beads) an image relating to your practice really helps.

Most practice requires empowerment (Wang) breath transmission (Lung), and the Lama’s commentary. Therefore one needs a qualified Guru.

Fortunately, through compassion, certain Buddhas have made themselves more accessible in these times. One is Buddha Amitaba.

Amitaba vowed that anyone speaking His Mantra or even hearing it, He would liberate at death, thus accomplishing Dharma in one life.

Practicing Amitaba, then, is swift and extraordinary, can be done without wang or lung if the strong vow is made to seek these out asap.

As quickly as possible these tweets will be arranged usefully with an image of Amitaba for practice. Now, settle onto your cushion.

Allow the mind to simply relax and clear. Practice makes perfect, you will improve in time. The body is relaxed but the spine straight,

The legs should be crossed Indian style or Lotus style, but comfortable.

THE PRACTICE

Instantly in the space in front-above arises Buddha Amitaba.

He is red in color, one face, 2 hands resting in His lap, palms up w/knuckles touching. This mudra symbolizes meditative equipoise.

He is holding a begging bowl and wearing robes of ordination, seated in Lotus Posture. He is surrounded with His retinue of Sublime ones.

As we are awed by His splendor we take refuge with body, speech, and mind.

Buddha Amitaba I take refuge in you in this and every life”  repeat 3 x

Then, thinking kindly of all sentient beings, recite:

For the sake of beings I give rise to the Bodhicitta so all may benefit” repeat 3 x

If you have a PURE Lama, consider that while the appearance is Amitaba, the essence is identical to one’s Root Guru. If not, get one.

Then hold the mala and recite Mantra, counting with beads. One full Mala is 108 reps.

The mantra; OM AMI DEWA HRI is repeated 108 times.

While reciting, one concentrates on compassion as motivation, the extraordinary qualities of Amitaba, the yearning for Liberation in one life.

So the mind should be filled with pure Devotion and wholesome yearning, and Kindness toward all beings, every one, animals, ALL.

After at least one full Mala of Mantra, recite:

I prostrate to Amitaba Buddha!”

May I be reborn in the pure realm of great bliss

Then Amitaba and his entourage dissolve into light, and pour into top of one’s head (crown). And mixes like milk and water with one’s mind.

“And may all sentient beings without exception be placed in that very state.”

That’s a VERY short condensed method, taken from Nam Cho.

The best thing to do is make a commitment to do this practice every day. It is in the commitment and the doing that benefits,

Along with the very sacred Mantra and the blessing it holds. Therein lays benefit and accomplishment. Samaya.

Some links you may find helpful:

How To Use a Mala

A List of Palyul Centers Around the World

Follow ahkonlhamo on Twitter

Astrology

12/29/09  Tuesday

You’re still lovelorn but you are witty and engaging as well. Writing and communication skills are excellent in an Edgar Allen Poe sort of way.  Spend time writing about the gains and losses of the past year.  Strive to understand the events of this year and when you have done so, burn or shred the paper.  Understand that the past is gone, and let go of a temptation to hold on to that which is gone.  Grieve your losses if necessary, but be sure to give yourself credit for your successes.  This is a more profound “end of the year” time than usual. Use it well. You may need to wrap something up that you left incomplete. As you release the past you are clearing the decks for the future.

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!

The Importance of Following an Accomplished Teacher

His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche
His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

The lucky one is (s)he who has spiritual discrimination. A clear sign that one has made progress on the path. There’s so much empty jargon.  Many people pass around their learned and personal wisdom, which indeed, is precious and to be respected. It’s progress!  Spiritual discrimination is seeing the difference between that communal sharing and an accomplished and qualified Guru to follow.  The entire spiritual community is strong, and growing, yearning, expressing, sharing, and loving! Hurray! Yet we must find a true Master.

I see the Lamas of Palyul, for instance. Taught and trained, profound and accomplished Lineage Masters, only here to enlighten us. These great Lamas live and die to liberate sentient beings from the sufferings of Samsara, return life after life for that alone.  That is something different from the great ocean of seekers, thinkers, poets, philosophers that we meet online and in life.

In Vajrayana we hear: “Why cross the ocean of suffering in a ship captained by one who has not yet themselves made the journey?”  Or “Why invest in a belief that has not produced even one fully Enlightened Buddha?”  Or “why travel a path not yet even one century old, and one cannot see the result?” If a man creates his own path, should YOU follow?  If we do not know the value of their path, not having seen the result, why go there? Why cross in a ship untested? Maybe it is flawed!  So we are advised to practice method and follow Lineage tested and proven over centuries and traceable lifetimes.

I read a claim by a man that he had changed Yoga to make a way to get enlightened immediately. The man looked middle age. Big ego. It is so much better to share one’s insights freely, love each other, learn from each other, but discriminate on path and guru. Or else we just have a bunch of well meaning sweeties walking around in spiritual circles, blind leading blind. It is kinda silly, especially when there are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas taking rebirth consciously, solely for the sake of all beings. That’s cosmic Love!

Not just talking heads, yada yada. A Guru must provide method to attain, or what good are they? You can’t talk your way to Liberation!  Sweet, loving, syrupy, flattering words are wonderful to see and taste. But are not the food of the Sublime Awakening!

If a “teacher” butters you up with flattery, pretty words, crazy promises, or says their blessing ALONE will Liberate-RUN! They are politicians!  They flatter and cajole for their own egocentric reasons. You will yourself receive no benefit at all. Except for a swollen puffed up ego.

The path of results, of Liberation requires daily effort, practice, mindfulness, and compassion, constantly developing! A living path!  A true path, like Vajrayana requires that you CHANGE. Utterly, completely- as we are awakening to Buddhahood. Old ways are abandoned. That old ego’s gotta go to make real progress! It ain’t for sissies. If one has been spiritual for 20 years and remains the same, there is no benefit.

Are you willing to change? Learn something new? Take a giant step that may -WILL rock your world? That is the student I value most.  We cannot remain the same, in our comfort zone, no new intake, same old spiritual mumblings and hope to attain Buddhahood.

If you were my own sweet babe in my arms, I would not teach you different. There is a lot to buy and sell, but nourishment is RARE!  Your true nature is the fundamental ground, Primordial Luminosity. You are Buddha! Do not throw yourself away! Awaken! AWAKEN to your Nature!  Lord Buddha said as He left this world: “I have given you METHOD! Now work out your own Liberation!” And that is exactly how it is.

Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and His Holiness Penor Rinpoche
Gyaltrul Rinpoche, Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo and His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

Astrology

12/28/09  Monday

Obsessive love that seems doomed is extremely appealing today.  An old love could reappear and disappoint you again.  Tragedy seems glamorous.  This is a perfect day to write a sad story, to probate an estate or to watch vampire movies.  You could work on something for hours and then lose it or the dog may eat it.  Your partner won’t like your choice of clothes, friends or work.    Still, friends and groups are a source of inspiration and fun.  Avoid romance unless you enjoy rejection.  Listen to sad songs, watch sad movies, remember all your sorrows.  Wallow in ennui and melancholy.  Wait for the phone call that never comes.  If you’re lucky, you’ll just feel that nothing exciting ever happens to you.  Tomorrow is another 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

12/27/09  Sunday

Peace!  You feel lazy, happy and stable.  Spend the day eating food you really like.  Donate money to a worthy cause and your feelings of happiness increase.  Your mind is engaged in an interesting process.  You will spend the next three weeks going back over and refining projects and decisions.  It’s difficult to engage in new, forward activity.  Be wary of anything brand new that arises.  It will “come to nothing.’  If you have  planned and prepared to do something, go ahead and do it.  But watch out for something that arises suddenly.  Wait. Stall. In a few weeks’ time the idea will lose allure. Try not to make any major purchases: a house, a car, anything mechanical.  Don’t sign contracts, don’t buy things you expect to work. You could get a lemon.

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!

Discernment and the Spiritual Friend

Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo at KPC Maryland
Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo at KPC Maryland

From a series of tweets:

So many Spiritual teachers today are deeply invested in being a teacher solely out of ego, are only giving and loving when adored.

How sad, like the blind leading the blind over a cliff. If a teacher puts someone down because the person will not follow- watch out.

There you have a demon in disguise, and locked into defending their own ego. What has such a teacher to offer? Nothing. Ego.

Yet we see this all the time. If a teacher has doubts about those that do not automatically fall under their spell they R as dust.

In fact, if a teacher is not completely impartial, where is their realization? Should I have less loving concern for one who will not follow?

That kind of teacher can be bought and paid for and are of absolutely no use. They sell Dharma for power + approval, are addicts themselves.

Wisdom and compassion cannot be bought, faked, created, rented, copied. Only when ego is destroyed is there progress.

Wisdom and compassion are naturally occurring when ego is pacified. Ego is a contrivance, and must be dismantled brick by brick.

Therefore if a teacher is flattering and pumping your ego up, they are buying it, and you. Like a slave you are sold into bondage.

As the ego is puffed up larger and larger, neurosis, fear, hatred greed and ignorance rise up and overcome.  Spirit sickens, dies.

If some “teacher” is buying you with praise and flattery, it will certainly be taken back when you do not agree completely.

Likewise, if a teacher will reflect bad qualities back so they may be purified, is willing to go toe to toe, can then still LOVE,

You can comfortably and with confidence call that one GURU. If they have credentials and compassion, you are truly home.

If you were my own babe at breast, I would not tell you differently, and would always offer the milk of Bodhicitta!

Astrology

12/26/09  Saturday

You may feel frustrated early today, as though your authority is not being respected.  Emotional volatility or touchiness is in the air. Venting your feelings gets you nowhere and communications seem difficult.  But if you keep your long-term goals in mind you can come up with ideas that are exciting, inventive and successful.  You will enjoy interactions with older people.  Call or visit your parents or grandparents!  Any work or job you do today will be fun and have a pleasant result. Beautify things. Women, children and families enjoy each other as the day progresses.

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

12/25/09  Friday

Merry Christmas!  You could learn a secret today or become privy to a long held memory that someone decides to confide to you. Your sense of who you are could be transformed as a result of something you learn. A sense of “death and rebirth” is present.  Think of the mythical phoenix, the bird that is engulfed in flames and arises from the ashes as a rejuvenated being.  This sense of transformation can be yours today.  As something seems to end, be aware that the rebirth is coming soon and be at peace.  Out with the old and in with the new!

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!