Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my friends and followers! I hope all celebrations are delightful and safe. At the end of the yearly cycle I like to quietly think of what there is to accomplish this upcoming year. What to change, what to accept on a personal level. I also consider what is to be done in my vocation, our Temple, how to benefit sentient beings. And then I make aspirational and wishing prayers. Light a butter lamp.

One of the first efforts on the path of Vajrayana Buddhism is to make aspirational prayers. This deepens resolve, and sets the tone for the rest of one’s experience. Wishing prayers can be made up by oneself, and there are many in our tradition. These prayers should have goals. The goals are always altruistic in tone, such as a wishing prayer for the health of a sick person, or for world peace.

This begins the focus on Bodhicitta and on ordinary human kindness. Like an object being sent to the moon, where the settings of the launch determine where the landing occurs. These aspirational prayers are seeds, a focus aid, a determination, a choice we must make well, before we proceed. They help determine our result.

An extension of these beginning prayers is the combination of aspiration and mindfulness. Such as: as I walk thru this door, may all sentient beings enter the Door to Liberation. And: as I eat this food may all beings be nourished by the nectar of Dharma. As I give this clothing to the poor may all beings in every life have warmth and clothing. As I wash my clothes may all beings be purified by the precious intention of Vajrasattva and be free. As I study may all be able to perfectly learn Dharma, free of obstacles. As I go to work, may the labor I do be a blessing for all those W/O a way to feed their family. As I walk this road may all beings be blessed with strong legs and arms. As I progress on the path may all beings progress as well. So I hope you get the idea.

What is valuable is training in mindfulness and the habit of altruism and kindness. Many of us are unaware of surroundings most of the time, are not mindful. We do not notice if we go through a door or drive somewhere or have supper. What is the taste? What roads were traveled? Mindfulness is the method by which we achieve self-honesty, by which we learn to perceive deeply… and to attain the gift of kindness. We give rise to the Bodhicitta because we, finally, begin to understand the condition and fault of Samsara and the suffering of all beings. Therefore we learn to recognize the need for ordinary human kindness, and the ultimate need for all sentient beings to be liberated and free of cyclic existence. To be Liberated from pain and suffering in all forms. And ultimately to enter into the awareness and awakening of the precious goal, Buddhahood!

Happy New year to all! Let’s make THIS YEAR the one that MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

OM BENZAR SATO HUNG!

OM MANI PEDME HUNG!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Jetsunma’s Collection of Tweachings for 2010

Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo frequently uses Twitter to teach Dharma.  We call these “tweachings.”  The following is a collection of Jetsunma’s tweachings for 2010.  Click on the title to access each post.

Happy New Year!

We Can Do It!

The Swiftest Path

We Are the Ones

Cultivating Awareness

Can You Change?

How Will You Live Your Life?

Why Do People Lie?

How Does One Learn to Forgive?

Roar of the Dakini

Unwind Obsessive Behavior

You Can Start a War… Can You Stop It?

Accomplishment on the Path

Empowering the Feminine

Longing for His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

Lineage and Transmission

Warrior of Compassion

Turning Away from Samsara

The Four Thoughts

Sincerity on the Path

Thanksgiving Message

Feeling Down?  Advice for the Path

Don’t Remain Trapped by Habitual Tendency

Letting Go of Ego

Guru – Condensed Essence of the Path

Advice from the Heart

Pearls of Wisdom

The Key to Happiness is Merit!

Navigating Kaliyuga

Dharma in the West

Cultivating Virtue, Pacifying Poisons

Lead Your Mind to a Pristine Point

Preparing for Death

Loving Kindness and Adversity

What Seeds Are You Planting?

Step by Step in Vajrayana

How Far Will You Go?

The Nonvirtue of Lying

Understanding Our Root Guru

Advice for the Courageous Practitioner

Peace for the Holidays?

Black Hole or Bardo?

The Freedom to Practice Dharma

Can a Woman Give Empowerment?

Unending Vow

What Are We?

Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand

What is Real?

Awake to Truth

Faults of Cyclic Existence

Love Like the Sun

Understanding AH

An Introduction to Mantra Recitation

Aspirational Bodhicitta

Courageous Compassion

Ethical Responsibility of a Teacher

Mother Earth

Keeping Love Alive

Liars and Beartraps

Twitter’s Full Potential

In a Nutshell

Three Root Poisons

How to Handle a Crisis

Speaking of Love

Our Nature is Love

Calling to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

Letting Go of Hate

Worthy of Respect

The Power of Choice

Rebirth of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

Remembering His Holiness Kyabje Penor Rinpoche

Homage to His Holiness Penor Rinpoche

Give Rise to the Bodhicitta

Walking the Talk

Method

Advice for the Path

Using Twitter to Bring Love and Stop Hate

Feeding Wildlife in the Winter

Using Twitter as a Bonfire of Loving Kindness

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Astrology

12/31/2010     Friday

Happy day!  Good fortune day!  Heaven seems to be smiling on you today.  Take advantage of this good time.  Love is in the air, and emotional energies are in sync.  Beware of a tendency to indulge in escapist behavior.  It’s New Year’s Eve, after all.  Make your resolutions for the New Year.  During this powerful time, what you determine for yourself is likely to come true.  As you look forward, be sure to pay attention to what is right in front of you. Marie Ramee said “Could we see when and where we are to meet again, we would be more tender when we bid our friends good-bye.”   This New Year will bring many changes.

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!

We Can Do It!

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

It is called neurotic obsession if for even one day one cannot cease rolling something around in the mind or gossiping/talking about it endlessly. It simply is not normal behavior. It defies reason that grown human beings would feel so impotent and empty that they obsess about a strong person.

If I were afflicted with an obsession like that I would most certainly turn the lens of judgment on myself. As a Buddhist we are taught to examine our own minds critically and with honesty. And that to constantly harp on and on putting down others is fundamentally unsound.

To follow someone by watching everything they do and then judge every single move is madness! And to gossip endlessly like hags over a fence is ridiculous to watch. To watch the hagglers turn around and boast at the depth of their practice is just stunning. It seems like insanity!

If their Practice were that deep they simply would not be afflicted with such profound obsession. At first I thought, as I studied this phenomenon, I felt it was based on hatred, and I still feel it is a factor. As time passes, I can feel it is much more complicated than that, and that the judgment and gossip is a sign that their lives are empty of other more normal qualities and abilities. I fear they are lonely, frightened, emotionally arrested people, quite pitiful. They seem to be powerless in their minds and in their lives. I feel the fixation is a way to deal with the sadness and fear, to fill up the great big hole they feel. So it starts as hate, then devolves to fixation, then one sees the neurotic obsession clearly. Is it obsessive/compulsive disorder? I don’t know, not a psychiatrist. And one would have to see their lives and speak with them for the whole story.

However, even a lay person can see that level of sickness and it is frightening. A person that fixated can be dangerous to their victim. There are no healthy judgment calls. They can ruin a person’s life for their own sick reasons. And if not treated can become violent and abusive. Obsessed people may indeed be capable of murder and other heinous crimes if not treated. They seek to be powerful by trying to dominate and control. They want their victim to feel pain and suffering and are prepared to deliver it to them. Most murders of women are by men they know and who fixate on them. So one can see how serious this issue is.

There is no quick or instant fix. Extensive therapy and medications are needed. And prayer and compassion as the afflicted are in pain. Obsession is an indication that there is a poverty of spirit, visible in their lives. And the fear they are too impotent to manage getting ahead. They see their victim as someone who has what they should have, an attitude of entitlement. They fear they cannot measure up. They fear the accomplishment and success of the victim as it shows up their own failures. They constantly compare themselves and their lives with the victim, and find themselves lacking.

It is ridiculous to compare oneself with others. Some will be greater, some will be lesser. It is on the relative level, but that is the level on which this game is played. What good does gossip, jealousy and hate do anyone? What part does this have with Buddhism? None whatsoever. If one wants to do nothing but gossip all day every day, fine by me. But please do not drag Dharma through the mud. Do your old hag gossip thing if you must but stop hurting others. This is wrong Dharma. No excuse for this hurtful behavior. Get the psychiatric help needed. Don’t be afraid to face your own demons, not others. You have work to do. For instance, try some Bodhicitta.

As for the victims, take yourself out of the picture. Turn your back and walk away. Pray for the tormentor, but from a great distance. Understand that this violation of your mind and spirit is not your doing. You do not deserve it. It is a sickness and it is not yours. See the obsessed from a psychological distance that you yourself build. See the sickness is not your burden to carry. The only way you can be hurt is if you buy into sickness as a world view – if you accept the harm done. If you have right view and intention, you can remain proud and strong. You are not the criminal here. So I say again walk away and never look back. You are greater than your tormentors. Heal yourself, build an inner wall to keep the harm out and walk on. You must have something special to be an “object”. Rock on! Do your thing. Savor your strength. Love yourself. See your life as a banquet. Sit down and feast. Let the violators eat the crumbs from your plate. They do not have plates of their own, and that is why they want to take you down. Don’t let them. This is your feast. Enjoy!

But pray for those looking for crumbs under your table. They are tragic lives, have compassion. And kick butt in your life. No one can do it for you and nobody can do it like you can. Stand strong in DHARMA! Only you can be you. ONLY YOU!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Cut the Spell

Lyrics by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Well we can try to see through all the madness

We can try to know what must be done

We can try to move unbound with habits

We can try to see the changes come

See the way without confusion

Sound the tone of pure display

Start the song of sweet compassion

Feel the love this very day

Why when it’s so like a circle

Must we go ‘round?

Why when it’s so filled with suffering

Must we go down?

And here are the Jewels, so precious

That we have found, yeah

And why in this time of auspiciousness

Should we be bound?

We can cut the spell

That heavy, heavy dream-like spell

Clear our minds with living light

That will take us through this night

Try to make it through this endless, long, dark night

Well, we will cut the spell of this commotion

We will break away from ego’s weight

And we will open up with pure devotion

And we will pass on through the Buddha’s gate

Clean it up with strength and power

Pass on through, don’t hesitate

Here it is, the final hour

I have come to liberate

And why when our hearts fill with longing

Do we still cry?

Waiting for the nectar and nourishment

We keep our pride

Holding our anger and jealousy

These things we hide

Sweet sound of freedom within us

Unveil our eyes

We can cut the spell

That heavy, heavy dream-like spell

Clear our minds with living light

That will take us through this night

Try to make it through this endless, long, dark night

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Astrology

12/30/2010     Thursday

It’s a brand new day!  The roadblock lifted and you can move forward again.  Energy, enthusiasm, vibrancy and happiness characterize this day.  Go to work, you’ll be productive.  Stay home, and you’ll enjoy yourself.  You almost can’t fail today, unless, of course, you try to push something that won’t budge.  Don’t go overboard and try the impossible.  Nevertheless, the hold up has been resolved.  A long awaited decision is made.  Something is resolved in your favor.  This may not be a workday for everyone, but if it is for you, your work is excellent.  Game ON!

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 Swiftest Path

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Mind as Guru happens after one practices well with Guru Yoga according to Vajrayana Buddhism. Guru yoga is the most powerful method of all. We are taught it is the fastest method to realization of all. The Guru Yoga is practiced at every level. It is a large part of Ngundro, and real accomplishment of Dzog Chen depends on it. In these times of degeneration it is without exception the best way. One mixes mind with that of the Guru like milk mixed with water until they are inseparable. Not the personality, that is just relativity, not important, but the accomplishment, the lineage of pure transmission, the true face of a Nirmanakaya appearance; Buddhahood.

Without this peerless training and practice there is little hope in these dark times of worthless opinions and pride. To rely on one’s own limited mind without first practicing Guru Yoga is useless as the mind has not been ripened. An unripe mind is deeply opinionated and ego-centric. Hard like rock and worthless, in that it has no capacity to perceive with any depth. All is mental acrobatics and superficiality. Therefore one sounds, even trying (from the ego, natch) to sound deep it is just spiritual bologna. The meat is mixed with crud from the floor and stuff one cannot spell or name. To think the mind is Guru before it is deepened and ripened is dead wrong.

We consider our Tulkus to be Nirmanakaya Buddhas, therefore not “of”, or trapped in samsara. Like entering a room full of smokers, the Tulku may smell like a smoker, but the taint is gossamer thin. The actual smoker has the poison throughout their winds, channels and fluids. So we look to these Nirmanakaya forms as that which did not arise from samsara. They are an extraordinary display of all the Buddhas and their retinues. The personality is irrelevant. It is the direct line to the realization of the Guru we look for.

Many claim enlightenment, even saying they are the Guru. But when we examine the results, their lives, their accomplishment, their capacity, their deeds we can see this is not so. You see, the seed of samsara only produces more samsara. Whereas the seed of the awakened mind arising from the primordial ground of being will result in Buddhahood.

Sadly there is no free lunch here. One has to work the path to see the result. Like exercise, it doesn’t help to think about it. One has to practice and build until real muscle is seen. That muscle, in this case, is the accomplishments of one’s life. Not just selfish concern but true benefit for all beings. Have you fed them? Clothed them? Liberated minds? Have you done anything beyond the personal realm? So we’ve raised a couple of kids, cook dinner every night, all that. Good for you, but all mammals do that. It is the extraordinary accomplishments that make the difference. Many boast about their accomplishment; I say, show me. There is plenty of wheat and chaff in samsara; can you make gold? Can you make a lasting footprint of Bodhicitta that will benefit beings in the time to come? OK, well, I guess that’s my job then. I accept!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology

12/29/2010   Wednesday

Frustration!  Holdups, hang-ups. If you try to push through a blockage, it only gets worse.  However, if you accept that you must wait, you can relax and enjoy yourself.  Watch a movie, read, or play games.  It’s a wait, wait, wait sort of day, especially if you’re trying to get something done.  Today is your last chance to rework an issue from the past.  You’re tired of this, but give it your best shot.  William D. Tammeus said, “You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.”  Just go ahead and wave back today as the same thing goes round and round.  It will change tomorrow.

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!

We Are the Ones

It seems, these days, that the world is divided up in slices, like a pie. There are those who build, create, heal, teach, add and love. Then there are those who break it down, destroy, hate, blow their egos up, hurt others, lie and bring harm. Of course, there are also those who are themselves victims, hurt, alone, afraid, undone and suffering.

This has for me been a time of truly awakening to the suffering of the world. I had always believed in the underlying good in humans. I still do, but more in the sense that all beings are themselves the seed of Buddha. In the last three years of my life I have seen more hate, more meanness, more corruption then I ever did growing up, and that was bad!

This is to me heartbreaking. Those who love and care are terribly outnumbered. Those who would beat up the whole world for fun are too many. I cannot understand hating for entertainment. Is it too much to ask for that haters leave us to our own choices? Many of us choose a path that involves morality and ethical behavior. To the hate side, that is not cool. To the caring side there is no love without ethics and morals.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaches the value of dialogue. I agree – to a point. When we dialogue and are only greeted with rage and rant there is nothing to work with. The two sides have very different goals. The haters love confusion, delusion, harm, chaos, destruction. The caring ones want a good result; plenty for all, loving kindness, a bright and giving society – basically to make this world a better, more loving place by having been here. Since we cannot take anything with us but our own karma, we give it all for the sake of all beings. The ignorant do not understand – a huge funeral, crypt, whatever, to inflate ego does no good at all. It is our deeds that speak the loudest.

I have this idea, for instance, of offering my body to feed polar bears, since we have nearly destroyed them. My Lineage will likely not allow. But it is my dream to have my body fed to a mother sow and her cubs. It may save their lives. Who cares if the ego is treasured? It is nothing, and healing hunger is something. I had a dream that I would be allowed to do that. I was so happy to do it.

Who are you, then? A caring one? A hating one? A victim? A BEAR??? This is one lonely planet we must all share, like that pie. What is your goal? What do you hope to accomplish?

My profound wish is to nurture and benefit this world and all sentient beings. I want to die on my feet trying. I want to hold the world in my arms. May I feed the hungry, clothe the poor, save the animals from suffering, and teach the young and the lost. And when I die, may I bring life again by offering my body. Can you understand that? Why waste anything when there is so much NEED? Why play ego games when there is so much at stake? Give it all. You have nothing to lose. Make a difference. Be a mensch. Grow up and love like everything depended on you. Because it DOES.

Indeed, we are the ones we have been waiting for, as our President says. There is no one else. Be kind while you can. It has always been up to you, to us – all. Choose. Then walk your talk.

OM MANI PEDME HUNG!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Advice for the Path

HH Penor Rinpoche & HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche
HH Penor Rinpoche & HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche

The very best way to announce that you are an ordinary deluded sentient being is to claim yourself to be Enlightened.

The best way to announce you are needy with an ego to match is to insist that you are enlightened.

The very best way to let everyone know you are truly a fool is to shout out everywhere that you are enlightened.

The very best way to warn everyone you are an egomaniac and dangerous is to claim enlightenment and that you can “give” it to others.

The #1 way to announce your ignorance of spiritual matters is to be hateful and vengeful.

The very best way to let everyone know you are not acquainted with compassion is to gossip and slander.

The best way to express good qualities and show your stuff is to shut your pie-hole and benefit beings. Make the world better.

The best way to live a decent wholesome life is to get off your butt and actually do it!

The best way to offer spiritual leadership is to walk your talk and know it isn’t about you.

The best way to bring beings to the Path is to practice it, accomplish it, be it in every area of your life.

If you meet someone who proclaims himself to be accomplished and enlightened, the best thing to do is let him be.

If you meet a teacher who makes no claim for themselves, but allows others to speak; and their life and works are sublime- call them Guru!

If that teacher promises hard work, change, method, empowerment, a lineage of purity to depend on- follow to the ends of the earth!

If you are on the path and are practicing daily and well under the guidance of a qualified Guru, please rejoice! Be happy!  Each day new and better causes and conditions will appear to enhance your progress.

If you walk the Path of Dharma guided by a pure Guru you have already attained the nectar of this human rebirth.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved