Compassion Like the Rays of the Sun

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

One of the saddest things to see is an ordinary Buddhist student, having read many books, presuming to correct a Lineage Lama. The arrogance is extraordinary when we consider these Rinpoches who were in monastery since childhood, trained well by Lineage Masters, and have benefitted all sentient beings for so many lifetimes. American pridefulness is a disease among Buddhists here. One can surely not understand the teachings and question. One can surely disagree and say so respectfully. No true Lama has a problem with that. At monastery young Lamas are taught to debate as a way to truly internalize and absorb the teachings, so debate is an excellent learning tool. But there is a difference between such debate and insisting one is more correct than the Lama, which is a real downfall, and a sure way to lose the path.

When we have an argument with our root Guru we are fighting with our own true face. Our own awakening. Being ignorant most westerners think, with their ego and pride, along with a dash (or a bucket) of amazing self cherishing, that my concept is the right one because I said it! So ridiculous, to think that because we have heard Lamas and done some practice (and can pronounce those funny foreign words) we then become experts. It is sad and funny.

Any Lama will tell you one must first have good intention (hurt no one, help everyone) and give rise to Bodhicitta. Most westerners forget that. It is better to learn from a kind Saint than a rude, curmudgeon of a “scholar.” You will never taste the sweetness of Dharma from a mean spirited, ridged thinking person like that. No one needs more of that.

We do need, however, to learn kindness, tolerance, view, how to put the needs of other beings before one’s own, generosity, willingness to walk in another’s shoes to understand them better. Before every teaching or Puja we are asked to do as we do for all beings. We are asked to gather pure intention. And we are always told that giving rise to Bodhicitta is the method to awaken as it is the very display of our own Buddhahood, like the sun’s rays are of the sun. So, pride or no pride, arrogance or not – Bodhicitta or compassion must be accomplished in the beginning, at the end (especially with Dzogchen) and everywhere in between. This is, essentially, the path, and it does not need changing. Sure, the dress may change, the words may change, but the nectar of Bodhicitta never does, as it is our nature, always was and will be. Our face.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Why Do You Practice Dharma?

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Stabilizing the Mind”

If you’re only approaching Dharma by riding on the surface of your mind, you will not stick with it.  You shouldn’t practice Dharma because you like Dharma.  If you do that, there will be a day when you don’t like Dharma.  Dharma is not like listening to music: You like it, you listen to it; you don’t like it, you don’t listen to it.  It’s not that kind of thing.  You should follow the Dharma from a place of spaciousness in your mind, initially because the Buddha says so — and the Buddha is supremely enlightened — and then ultimately from your own knowing, from your own sense of your own nature, from the spaciousness in your mind, and with the dignity that is inherently yours as part of that mind.  From that place of stability, you should choose Dharma, and you should choose it for good reasons.

It is necessary to stabilize the mind so that you can even think about practicing Dharma.  It is important to be stable in your practice.  Being stable in your practice is a step that you need to take before you even commit to stabilizing your mind in your ordinary life.

Look at the mind and see how much stuff you make up all the time.  Why do you practice Dharma?  How much stuff have you made up about Dharma already?  One of you likes to talk about being an old yogi.  Another one of you likes to talk about caves.  You want to talk about the romanticism of practicing Dharma.  Your practice is not going to last if you approach Dharma in that way.  You have to approach Dharma in a solid way because you know that sentient beings are suffering, because you know that you are suffering, because you know that nothing you have tried to date has ended that suffering, and because you know that according to the Buddha’s teaching, there is an end to suffering, and that end is enlightenment. You should practice from a place of space in your mind where you’re not just following yourself down the garden path, making up all these crazy stories about Dharma in the same way that you make up everything about everything.

Come to love the Dharma for what it is, for what it can do, for the rich potential of it.  Love it because it is a practice that, if practiced sincerely, can awaken pure compassion in the mind.  Love it because awakening pure compassion in the mind can be the end of war and of famine and of all kinds of problems that we have on the earth that we haven’t been able to solve.  Love Dharma for the right reasons, from a stable place, not in the same way that you fall in and out of love with everything else.  And in order to do that you must approach Dharma and see and understand it from the place of having a stable mind, from a place of spaciousness.

You are not immune from falling out of love with Dharma until you achieve realization.  The potential is there.  The way to remove that potential is by practicing Dharma in a stable way and for stable reasons.  I don’t think that you’ve thought enough about why you practice.  You say, “Oh, it’s not my nature to do that.  I just become excited about things, and I go into them.  I’m spontaneous.  That’s my nature.”  No, that’s wrong.  It doesn’t work.  You can’t do it that way.  You have to think about it, even if you’ve never thought about anything else before.  You have to think, “Why Dharma?  Why me?  What does this mean?”  If you don’t consider all of these things, if you just do it because it feels right, believe me when I tell you, your feelings are so unstable that one day Dharma will feel wrong.

Please build this fortress carefully with careful consideration and careful thinking.  Even if it’s not your nature to think about anything, anytime, for any length of time, start now.  This is a good reason to start, and it’s very important.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology

Joy day, happy day!  The right approach, one that recognizes the circumstances someone is working with, can seal a deal.  An odd combination of sensitivity and power is the winning combination today. You need to be assertive in a way that recognizes the other side as the same as you.  Don’t do to anyone something you wouldn’t want done to yourself.  And yet….you must advance your position.  Do your best to be kind.  You’ll need to back up and re-do things from the past.  You will meet yourself, meet things you’ve done in the past, in the form of something that needs re-working.  If you messed up, be forthright, admit it promptly, and do better this time.  For the next couple of weeks, you’ll be re-configuring the past, which can feel frustrating.  Gloria Pitzer said “About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.” Hang in there.

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!

Traditional Bodhisattva Vow Ceremony

Traditional Bodhisattva Vow Ceremony

The King of Noble Prayers Aspiring to the Deeds of Excellent Conduct

Homage to the ever-youthful Arya Mañjushri!

Whoever dwells in the ten directions of this world, Jambhudvipa,

The Sugatas of the three times who are the lions among men,

To all of them without exception,

I bow down with devotion from my body, speech and mind.

By the strength of this prayer for excellent conduct,

And with a direct perception of all the Victorious Ones,

Wherever they dwell, with bodies as numberless as atomic particles,

I prostrate with reverence to each and every one of them.

Upon each atom there exists as many Buddhas as atoms are present,

With the Bodhisattvas seated in the middle of them all.

In this way the entire sphere of absolute reality, without exception,

Is imagined to be completely consumed by all the Victorious Ones.

Rendering praise to this inexhaustible ocean-like assembly,

With oceans of the sound of melodious voices,

The noble enlightened qualities of all the Conquerors are acknowledged.

I render praise to all the Sugatas.

Excellent garlands of magnificent flowers,

Instrumentation, potions and the best of parasols,

Splendid butter lamps and sacred incense,

All of this is offered to the Victors.

The finest of garments and superior perfumes,

And bundles of powders that equal Sumeru,

This magnificent array of the finest and best of them all

Is presented to and offered to all of those who are Victorious.

Whatever is offered is unsurpassed in vastness

And directed with utmost devotion for all the Buddhas,

As well as the strength and faith of this prayer for excellent conduct,

Paying homage to all the Buddhas, these offerings are made.

Overpowered by desire, anger and delusion,

With my body, my speech and similarly with my mind,

Whatever negativity that I have amassed

I confess individually and entirely.

All the Victoious Ones of the ten directions and their heirs,

The Solitary Realizers and those on the Path of Learning and No More Learning,

As well of the merit of each and every sentient being without exception,

I fully rejoice in all such accumulations.

All those who illuminate the world systems of the ten directions,

Who have attained Buddhahood and freedom from attachment through the stages of Enlightenment,

I implore all those Protectors

To turn the peerless wheel of the Dharma.

All those who intend to enter Nirvana

For the purpose of bringing benefit and bliss to all beings,

For as many aeons as there are particles of dust on earth,

With palms pressed together I beseech you to remain in the world.

By paying homage, making offerings, confession and

Rejoicing, requesting and beseeching,

Whatever virtue I have gained through these efforts,

I dedicate it all to the Enlightenment of all beings.

Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, all the Buddhas and

All the Bodhisattvas who dwell on the tenth bhumi,

All the great Vajra Master Spiritual Mentors,

Please turn your attention towards me.

REFUGE VOWS:

Until the heart of Enlightenment is realized,

I take Refuge in all the Buddhas.

In the Dharma and the Bodhisattvas,

As well as their assemblies, similarly I go for Refuge.

(Repeat refuge vows above 3X)

BODHISATTVA VOWS

Just as the Sugatas of the past

Have aroused the Awakened Mind Bodhicitta

And trained in the way of the Bodhisattvas

To gradually accomplish the stages of development,

Similarly for the benefit and purpose of beings,

By awakening the Bodhicitta

And training in the conduct of the Bodhisattvas,

I shall gradually develop the levels of training.

(Repeat Bodhicitta vows above 3X)

Today I have picked the fruit of this lifetime;

The meaning of this human existence is now realized.

Today I am reborn in the family of the Buddhas,

And have become an heir of the Enlightened Ones!

Now no matter what occurs hereafter,

My activities will be in conscientious accordance with the family,

And I shall never engage in conduct that could

Possibly sully this faultless family.

Like a blind man in a heap of refuse

Suddenly by chance finding a precious jewel,

Similarly, this occasion is such

That today I have given rise to the Awakened Mind.

Today before all of my objects of Refuge,

All beings and all those who have Gone Beyond,

I call to bear witness as the guests of this occasion,

Where all Devas, Titans and others join together to rejoice.

The precious Bodhicitta,

If unborn, may it arise,

If generated, may it never diminish,

And may it remain ever-increasing.

Never apart from the Bodhicitta,

Absorbed in the conduct of the Awakened Ones,

And being held fast by all the Buddhas,

May all demonic activities be fully abandoned.

May all the Bodhisattvas

Accomplish their altruistic intention to fulfill the needs of beings.

Whatever intention these Protectors may have,

May it occur for the purpose of those beings it is directed towards.

May all sentient beings know authentic bliss.

May all the lower realms be permanently emptied.

And may all the Bodhisattvas on whatever stage they remain

Fully accomplish all of their aspirations!

Astrology

A difficult adjustment has just been made, whew!  It was more than you expected, but it’s over.  This is an excellent day for communication of a personal or intuitive nature.  Your thinking is aligned with your emotions, and you can go forward with things that feel right.  A powerful, assertive energy is the overarching mode these days.  If you are part of the push, great.  If you are not, step aside so the sweep can happen.  These are new times.  Do your best to remain stable as you adjust your thinking to what is happening.  Life can change faster than the mind’s ability to process, and that is what we are seeing now. The Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” applies here. If you play your cards right, success is possible. This is a productive day and one where you have the ability to offer great kindness and compassion to others.  Do so.

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!

Embracing Change for a Better World

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

I wonder if it is the aspect between Jupiter opposite Saturn that is giving me the brain drain. I suspect it may be. It is a generational aspect, every 20 years. And it also seems there is a tug between old, crystallized ways and new, more radical ways.

I hope so. Maybe government and corporate people will show transparency for a change! I feel strongly that is the way to go. Old institutions and “old thinking” people definitely hold us in a zone, and feel entitled to do so. When I see something or someone who refuses to listen or change it boggles my mind and angers me too (sadly.) When new ideas and ways of thinking develop they should never be smashed down. And the new thinking folks should never be bullied or called names. We are free to speak and share ideas as new ideas are needed! The world has so many problems.

Bullies, tend to try to keep those around them unchanging, sheep-like and safely mum. So it turns out bullies are the weaker as their emotional lives are maintained by putting others down. That is weak. And cruel. Especially to those trying to learn, and formulate their own ideas. We must be encouraging, not suffocating new ideas by blowing them down. No one has the right to do that, corporations or governments as well. We have the right to evolve as thoughtful people. The world requires it. The times require it. The nuclear crisis in Japan is a prime example. To save face Japan will not tell us the truth, and we have the right to know. Similarly our own government, here in the USA, does the same. To what extent we may never know.

No, I am not a rabid conspiracy nut. But I see something is very wrong with this picture. We should have full disclosure, especially about those things which affect our health and our thinking. I hope this Jupiter (expanding) and Saturn (crystalizing, unchanging) duke it out (it is us of course) and we come up with new ways. Respect, tolerance, compassion, spiritual depth, open mindedness, these ways that lead us forward and do not support secretiveness and bullying, harmful domination of others, etc; may these things, having had their day, allow the rest of us to have ours!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology

3/29/2011      Tuesday

Consensus!  Agreement!  A deal is negotiated, at last!  It’s a good day to put yourself in the public eye and to speak of things that offer encouragement to others. If someone has been shamed or defeated, give that person time to make amends or depart in peace. Don’t kick any one who is down. An old matter is successfully wrapped up, and long awaited news can come.  A new leader can suddenly appear, not someone you might have thought of.  If the person is optimistic, broad minded and able to relate to almost everyone, it’s a go!  On a different front, matters of health and creativity are in the final stages of completion.  Move quickly to wrap up outstanding issues. Finish creative projects as soon as you can, time is running out here.  A change is coming, and things not finished will remain unfinished if you don’t act immediately. Al Batt said, “It is easy to sit up and take notice.  What is difficult is getting up and taking action.”  Well?

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

3/28/2011      Monday

This is an excellent day to build a group consensus for action.  And action is still the name of the game.  Men and women get along famously, and friends from afar let you know they are on your side.  You almost can’t fail, if you keep your eye on your goal and remember that two sides must be satisfied for success.  The power of the old regime, the old guard, in any situation, is declining.   The new way of thinking, the upstart, is gaining power.  The question arises:  if the old goes, what replaces it?  Today is a combination of forward action and decision-making.  Everyone’s wishes need to be taken into consideration.  Those who have worked hardest have the greatest say.  No calling the shots if you haven’t done the work!  If you find yourself in an isolated position, if nobody agrees with you, consider that you may not be in tune with the times.  Change.  Make your deal while the other side is in a good mood, before they lose patience.  Beauty is still beautiful.  It’s good to take small breaks and enjoy whatever inspires you.

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!

Prayer Works:Pray for Japan and the Earth

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Asking all people to have faith in prayer and not feel hopeless. If everything, every effort in Japan is hopeless, even then prayer works!

Please don’t forget that, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, in their great compassion hear our cries. All faiths, call upon your faith and help. Each of us has our own beliefs. Doesn’t matter. Call on your faith to see us through. We all need each other to do the right thing for the earth.

Blessings and love to my brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers in Japan. Pray for Japan. Pray for the earth, for Libya. We are one people.

https://www.tibetanbuddhistaltar.org/2010/06/21-homages-to-tara-pdf-download/

https://www.tibetanbuddhistaltar.org/2009/12/the-seven-line-prayer/

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved


Today is the Day to Renew Prayers for Japan, the Earth and Humankind

From a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Today is the day to renew our commitment to pray for Japan, for the earth, for human kind. I feel the Japan nuclear situation is growing more dangerous every day, that Tepco and Japanese government are trying to save face by not admitting how bad it is, and how little they know about getting it to stop. When the reactors are cracked and leaking, it is catastrophic. So I ask my students and followers to pray, to go to the stupas and pray, recite mantra, etc. We must all, every faith, park the dogma and join in prayer round the globe as one family.

Prayer is amazingly powerful especially when many people pray together with pure intention to heal others, and the planet. And we may find ourselves relying exclusively on prayer as nothing else seems to be working. I beg Japan to reveal the exact situation so we the people can know what to do and what not to do. It is our right to know, as I’ve said – and who knows? We may actually figure something out for ourselves! I think of Dr. Michio Kaku, who feels the only thing to do is bury it all with concrete, gravel, antidotal chemicals, sand, more concrete as was done with Chernobyl. They cannot save the reactors- they are only poison now.

Jetsunma recommended the following prayers for Japan and for the earth:

https://www.tibetanbuddhistaltar.org/2011/01/21-homages-to-tara/

https://www.tibetanbuddhistaltar.org/amitaba/

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved