Astrology

Early today ideas and communications are paramount.  At a certain point, the game changes and emotions become the issue.  A hunch or intuition is extremely interesting and points toward a successful direction.  You’ll recognize it by the softness and easiness of things.  If something feels hard to do, back off, it’s not right. You’re tiptoe-ing through a delicate landscape today.  The urge to “go back” to a familiar time or place is very strong. Statistics show that 60% of all immigrants eventually go home.  Why?  For the same reason you now long to go back in time: familiarity, comfort, the known.  Percy Bysshe Shelley said “Fear not for the future, weep not for the past.”  If you pay attention to this moment, you will find a treasure.

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

Someone or something has left the environment.  It’s a time for departures.  Don’t pursue the person or situation, and if you are the one, don’t look back.  Leave quietly, accept this moment. How you behave now will determine what happens to you in the future.  If something disappoints you, accept it gracefully.  Home beckons, and home may be the most promising open door today.  Be careful that your words are diplomatic and pleasing.  Verbal aggressiveness is a danger: avoid sharp words yourself and you won’t have to listen to them later.  A significant communication is helpful, and an excellent idea is cooking in the background.  A surprising message comes from someone who cares for you.  Aoi Sozomi said “Even in the desolate wilderness, stars can still shine.”  Be a star for someone.

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!

Awareness of Suffering

Excerpt from a teaching on Compassion by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

If you’ve never practiced the Buddhadharma before, or if you’re interested in practicing, or if you have practiced some general meditation and you feel it’s time to move on to a path that is more stable or well known, then you’re in a perfect place for this teaching. You can start practicing one of the most important teachings of the Buddha right now. You can begin to cultivate the mind of compassion. How might you do this? First of all, you might look around and examine physical existence.

In America, we hide our suffering. We have very little knowledge of real suffering, and I think that’s one reason why it’s very difficult for Westerners to practice a pure and disciplined path. We think we understand suffering because we have experienced loneliness, or because when we were kids we had the measles, or because we have gone through marriages and divorces. Or maybe we’ve seen some sickness or poverty. For these reasons, we think we understand suffering, and we do to some extent. These are valid sufferings.

But there’s a funny thing about our culture that we must understand. We are actually hidden from the sufferings of our culture. When people are deformed, handicapped, mentally or terminally ill, they are taken away from the mainstream of society and they are hidden. Or if we are considered unpresentable to most people, we have plastic surgery or we have some kind of therapy that makes us like everyone else. In fact, if we examine the healing process in American medicine, part of that process is to become like other people.  We are made to look like other people.

In other countries around the world suffering is more evident, for many different reasons: those countries may not be as technologically advanced as our country, or their culture may be an older society in which suffering has become more the norm and it is not such a shock to see it. Or perhaps poverty is a factor.

I will describe how I felt when I first went to India. I couldn’t bear it. I don’t claim to be so compassionate; I too have to cultivate the idea of compassion every day. But I remember seeing people walking the streets with arms and legs missing, eaten up by leprosy. I saw mothers and fathers maim their children, not because they hated them or because they were cruel to them, but because that would give them a deformity they could use for begging. That would be the only way they could ensure their survival. There was no other way for them to get food. What do we do for our children? We might send ours to school. In the streets of India, they have to prepare them in a different way.

Suffering is a part of the fabric of the society in India, and it’s very evident. I remember walking down the street in Delhi. There was a young boy who must have been twelve; it was hard to tell, he was so small. He was lying on a rag, a tattered blanket, and he was dying. He was so thin that he looked like the pictures of starvation we see from Ethiopia. He was beyond thin. His bones were sticking out, his belly swollen, his tongue hanging out. And next to him were a few coins and a candy bar. Someone had thrown them down for him.

We don’t see that in our culture. We don’t understand it. We think that the things we’ve gone through – the divorces, not being able to pay the light bill, the heartbreak of psoriasis, the things we consider so awesome – are the real sufferings of the world. But they are not all the world has to endure.

Look at the animal realm. We know what our animals are like. They get fed everyday and they have it pretty good. But not all animals are like them. If we go to different countries, we see beasts of burden that are treated in horrible ways. We see animals that are denied their natural environment.

Humans and animals are only two life forms. According to the Buddha’s teachings, there are many different life forms, many of which are non-physical. How we appear, how we manifest, what form we take has to do with the qualities of our mind. If we are filled with hate, we are reborn in a hell realm. Why is that so hard to understand? When you are filled with hate now, even as a human being, aren’t you in your own private hell? Have you ever gone through a period where you were so filled with anger that everything you saw became ugly and you managed to distort it somehow? Each of us has lived in a private hell. Why is it so hard to believe that we are capable of living in or creating a situation like that? If your mind is capable of having a nightmare, then rebirth in a hell realm is a possibility.

Have you ever been needy? Have you ever gone through a period in your life when you needed approval, or love, or some kind of nourishment so badly, that you were in a state of despair? When people did reach out to you, they couldn’t get through? Each of us, for at least one moment in our lives, has experienced this. Why then is it so hard to understand that these kinds of existences really do exist?

Having understood that this is logical, having examined your own mind truthfully – and truthfully is the key – and found the residue of these experiences in your mind, you can allow yourself to go more deeply into the recognition that the Buddha was right. There is suffering in cyclic existence.

We have to think also of our own suffering. We must think that even if we have a TV, a car, a house, and all of the things that we are taught to desire, there will be a point at which we cannot take them with us. There will be a point at which they will do us no good. That point, of course, is death. All of the efforts that we’ve gone through to get those things will have been wasted.

Long-time Dharma practitioners may think, “I really wish she’d get on with it. I know this.” I have to tell you, if you really knew the truth of suffering, there would not be one moment that you did not practice with the utmost compassion. There would not be one moment when you thought only of yourself and your needs, and of the temporary gratifications you think you must have. Yet you still have many of those moments.

Astrology

Mental activity is sharp today.  A razor like mindset can cut through information and find the most important points.  Use your mind today, not your emotions. Emotional thinking will betray you.  Do your best to separate yourself from your desires, and work with the things that make sense rationally. If emotions well up, recognize them, but continue with your job.  It’s as through two forces are attempting to gain control of your life.  One appeals to your heart and the other to your mind.  The mind holds the winning hand right now.  Beware of being pulled out of the present.  Charles Flandrau said ” the greatest gift is the realization that life does not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future.  It is good for one to appreciate that life is now…this day, this hour.” Be here now. A happy message is welcome.

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!

Setting Aside Judgment

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Your Treasure is Heart”

We view our own liberation as non-dual with the liberation of others: As I reach liberation, as I move closer to enlightenment, I am more and more able to be of benefit to others.  So I am interested in my own spiritual practice, interested in my own enlightenment for their sake, as well as for my sake. Of course, I am one of them.  My own liberation and the liberation of others become non-dual, and we begin to understand that we are truly and utterly inseparable in essence and in truth.

So we begin by walking with these simple and mindful meditations.  Now don’t get obsessive about it.  If you forget to do it for an hour a day, just like anything else, you just climb back on. Judgment is useless—you can toss it out.   What is needed, what you should cultivate, is the ability to view yourself honestly, without self-hatred.  Self-hatred has no place on this path.  Hatred of any kind has no place on this path.  So, too, that kind of ridiculous judgment. I would prefer that you do not judge me as a Bodhisattva, expecting me to look or act a certain way. I would prefer that you do not judge yourself as a budding Bodhisattva to look and act a certain way, and thereby condemn and end your potency on the path.  So don’t do it to me, and don’t do it to you.  You won’t catch me doing it to me or you.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology

A puzzling situation is present today where action is blocked from nearly every angle.  St. Theresa of Avila said “Let nothing disturb thee, let nothing affright thee.  All things are passing”.  An appeal to authority is denied and you’re not sure where to go.  Still, the open door comes through financial matters; investments, purchasing and business opportunities.  These are excellent.  You don’t much feel like conducting business, but if you do you won’t regret it.  Someone can come up with an outstanding idea.  Follow it, and it’s a winner.  Emotional issues are still pressing, but you are able to express yourself in such a way as to resolve things.  Go for a drive, call a friend, walk around.  Activity helps now, and 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

A domestic or emotional disturbance begins the day.  Someone’s authority has been challenged, or a long held belief is being questioned. At the same time, good will and camaraderie are present. Persistent questioning, a need to know the whole story, is opening minds to new vistas.  Household matters, family matters, must be tended to. A dual theme emerges today.  You can be pulled in two directions. The first is the significance of home and family. The second is the need to learn, to disseminate information and to get the facts.  Talk and nurture, talk and nurture, this is what happens today. “Like a beautiful flower, full of color, but without scent, are the fine but fruitless words of him who does not act accordingly,” says Buddhism.  Be sure that your actions match your words.

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

A surprise is in store today or early tomorrow.  Powerful figures meet a force that is strong and they can behave in a strange manner.  If something worrisome heads directly toward you, avert your gaze, look sideways, because a powerfully protective force is present.  Whew!  Help is here.  Financial arrangements can save the day, and you could win a wonderful prize.  Don’t take anything head on, “Don’t bring things to a painful point,” as Atisha said.  Let go, relax, step aside, and all is well. Don’t lead with your ego and it won’t get squashed. What to do?  Actively write, speak, and exercise.  Contact others, and share information.  Relaxation is possible in behind the scenes activities.  Chill.

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

A delightful message or trip is yours for the taking.  Go for it.  Spend time communing with friends and those who are supportive of your aspirations.  You’re moving toward a decision that is driven by home and emotional considerations.  You may bow out of something you’d committed to.  Don’t close the door entirely; you may return when the sentimental issue is resolved.  Two areas of life are especially promising today.  First, financial matters are favorable. Plans for the future will turn out well, so spend time planning.  Next, energetic action or exercise is extremely helpful.  Your mind and body respond to a good workout, and afterwards you are renewed and see the world with different eyes.  Plus you’re less vulnerable to the emotional volatility that’s in the air.  Christopher Morley said “It’s a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hour-glass, to let the particles run the other way.” That could happen today.

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!

Mindfulness and Compassion: A Meditation on Bodhicitta in Everyday Life

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Your Treasure is Heart”

There are many different ways that one can actually engage and begin to train the mind as a Bodhisattva.  Actually, as a Bodhisattva the goal is to make every aspect of one’s life a vehicle for the benefit for others.  So, what would that look like?  Well, what about the ordinary things that you do?  Westerners have all these different elements in their lives, divided into sections, pigeon holes.  There’s the holy part, and there’s the ordinary part. There’s your regular personality and the way you are to your husband, wife,  kids, in-laws, and all those people that know you better than anybody.  There’s another part of your life where you’re out on the street, and people get to see you with your street-face on.  And then there’s the personal part.  You go to the bathroom and all those kinds of things. There’s the intellectual part,  the part that goes to the movies, and the part that exercises.  There are all these different parts, and because we’re so deluded, none of them seems to have much relationship to each other.  It’s like we’re juggling cats all the time.

One of the things that you have to do as a Bodhisattva is to make your entire life a basket, a vehicle for this compassion.  But how do you do that?  Well, there are these walking mindfulness meditations that you can do that are extremely beneficial.  If you find yourself moving into a depression or some sort of negative mood, if you really try to practice some sort of absorption with them, they’ll pull you right out of it, It’s very simple.  You don’t have to sit down and do the “holy” thing.  You don’t even have to put on your dharma clothes, pick up your pretty beads, or wear your particular medallions showing that you’re cool. You don’t have to do any of that.  All you have to do is, oh, I don’t know, let’s say, eat lunch.  As you’re eating lunch, you would pick up a spoonful of the food and you would say a quiet, loving prayer, a heart-felt wish, “As I take this nourishment into my body, may all sentient beings be nourished by the light and power of Bodhichitta.  As I take this drink into my body, may all sentient beings be watered and nurtured by the nectar of dharma.”  As you walk through the door, “May the suffering of all sentient beings be ended by the virtue of my walking through this door. May they be led through the door of liberation.”  It’s a constant mindfulness meditation.  As I walk down the street, “May all sentient beings walk down the path to liberation.”  In the car while looking at a map trying to find these crazy Washington streets and where they go, “By the virtue of this activity, may all sentient beings receive the proper guidance and direction by which they can accomplish dharma and be free.”

So you have a choice with everything that you engage in.  You can be looking at the map and cussing like a trooper, hating the way D.C. is laid out with those weird tunnels, or you can be utilizing the opportunity. You’re going to be looking at the map and finding your street anyway.  So instead of getting into a bad mood, perhaps you could use that as an opportunity to understand that all sentient beings are directionless and hungry for direction.  A small prayer at that moment that all sentient beings be guided on the path to liberation is appropriate and beneficial. It organizes your mind and thought. Mindfulness becomes so profound and so clarified that almost anything that you’re doing at that time is better, happier.  It takes on more meaning.  The mind is more clear, less filled with the kinds of hyper-emotions that make us crazy and confused.

Turn everything into that kind of meditation, that kind of consideration for the well-being of others.  Everything. “As I ascend the staircase, may all sentient beings ascend into the true meaning of dharma.”  You’re free to make up your own prayer concerning the welfare of sentient beings.  It doesn’t have to be my prayer.  Make up your own.  If you constantly walk around like that, you’ll find that you are changing in some subtle way that you can’t understand. You have less bad moods, less depression, less frequent overwhelming concern with your ego to the point where you are busy doing nothing but manipulating everything and everybody around you in order that they will get it right for you, which is pretty much how we live.  That kind of thing begins to change and you’re less concerned with manipulating everything and everyone around you in order to get what you want. You spend less time accomplishing the great mantra of “gimme gimme gimme iwant iwant iwant hung phat!” And you are more concerned with the welfare of others.  Something inside of you begins to change.  Remember, our habitual tendency is so strongly biased toward ego cherishing that we really have to spend a lot of time putting something in the pile of concern for others in order to bring the mind back into some kind of balance.  This kind of meditation really brings about that kind of balance, and your habit begins to change.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved