Astrology

A decision has been made that reflects reality.  Now it’s time to go out and celebrate!  Have fun.  Look good.  But don’t reveal secrets.  Children are jumpy and hard to please right now.  They would like to be recognized as important people in their own right.  Words of praise will de-fuse problems; use them and be sincere.  Men are especially motivated and strong now, as are authority figures.  Do your best to appreciate what they are trying to accomplish and be grateful for their efforts.
Theodore Hesburgh said “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”   Respect those who are leading you now.

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

An agreement with a higher up puts you at odds with somebody else.  What to do?  Today is a day for secrets.  Everybody doesn’t need to know everything. Plan in private, and reveal details later when the times are different.  Someone can be approached privately who won’t see you openly, and this works out well unless you start talking about it.  Again, privacy is the watchword for the day.  An old love returns or is remembered, and a nostalgic emotional tone is present.  You may hear sad news. A relationship is tested when someone gets serious and makes demands for permanence.  If the partnership is a good one, take the next step and commit.  If you can’t do that, walk away.  This is a “make it or break it” time for relationships.  Step back and evaluate yours.  A Bacci candy wrapper says “Many people live happily without knowing it.”  If you’re happy, admit it and do the right thing by your partner.

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 Trap of Delusion

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Nowadays so many people describe themselves as Buddhist but aren’t, as they do not practice what the Buddha taught. And don’t understand. I hear it is like that with other religions, philosophies, as well. It is easy to use the words, and much more difficult walking the talk.

It seems to me that if you have an enemy you fight with, then in truth, you have already lost the war. That is because the “enemy” is actually within; the real problem is our own poisons. Hatred, pride, greed, ignorance, jealousy, doubt, these are the true enemies, the real cause for all wars. I dare say that if we all conquered our “inner demons” our outer troubles would be defeated also, as what we perceive “outwardly” is our own consciousness, our own mind stream. Cause and effect, karma. We literally are trapped in a bubble of our own delusions.

Yet, people call themselves Buddhist with no attempt to pacify their own hurtful and negative tendencies. Some deny rebirth saying Buddha never taught it. Some feel that even though in Buddhism the path is considered “life after life,” Enlightenment can happen instantly, with no causing factors. Nothing happens instantly with no cause!

One guy I read sits under a tree every day, thinking he is Buddha. Yet if anyone disagrees with his words he is rude and hateful. And the rant begins. There is seemingly no understanding that compassion and kindness have anything to do with practicing Dharma. I enjoy watching this kind of thing as a “case study,” wondering how a person could fall down so far. And how it can happen that Buddhism is so misunderstood by people who call themselves great practitioners, scholars, etc and never look in the mirror to see what is really going on. These are the prisoners of their own, self-made war.

The prison is samsaric delusion. Even in a jail cell a person can be free. If the situation is such, change the mind to dissolve the bars that harm us all! Altruism is the way, charity, love, ethics and a genuine caring for the welfare of all beings equally. The inner jail always falls before the “outer” jail ever does!

OM MANI PEDME HUNG

OM AH MI DEWA HRI

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology

Five planets in the sign of diplomacy and indecision create a situation where everyone is going around saying “After you, no after you!”  Compliment everyone you see, spruce up your desk or living area and go to the stylist.  If looking good solved problems, everything would be solved today.  But alas, this is not the case.  Getting all your friends to agree with you still doesn’t persuade your adversary that you are right.  Don’t approach people saying “We think that you should…..”  Don’t gang up on anyone, and if you are ganged up on, smile and take your leave.  Keep an eye out for a governmental body or authority figure with the ability to stop you in your tracks. Beware of those with power and the willingness to use it against you.  Don’t be so distracted that you fail to notice a more ominous force in the environment. The Shoshone say “You must always be careful with something that is greater than you are.” No danger if you stay alert, but do pay attention.

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

If you are looking in a single direction for help today, consider another source.  Authority figures either can’t or else won’t help you, but someone else will. This person is strong, confident and assertive.  Does that describe you?  If so, start something!  An opportunity is here!  Indecision and doubt are potential obstacles today.  Debate the facts and build consensus, but if you find yourself debating them a second or third time, beware.  You’re wasting time and energy. Beryl Pfizer said “You have to be careful about being too careful.”  Gaining a partner is your best bet today, but keep the door open for the loner.  An uncertain agreement is holding up, and someone you weren’t sure of is proving to be a dependable ally. Things are sort of nice, if you think about it.

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!

Statement of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, on the Issue of His Reincarnation

The following is a statement posted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, reprinted here with permission. To see the original statement click: http://dalailama.com/messages/tibet/reincarnation-statement
24  September 2011

Introduction

My fellow Tibetans, both in and outside Tibet, all those who follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and everyone who has a connection to Tibet and Tibetans: due to the foresight of our ancient kings, ministers and scholar-adepts, the complete teaching of the Buddha, comprising the scriptural and experiential teachings of the Three Vehicles and the Four Sets of Tantra and their related subjects and disciplines flourished widely in the Land of Snow. Tibet has served as a source of Buddhist and related cultural traditions for the world. In particular, it has contributed significantly to the happiness of countless beings in Asia, including those in China, Tibet and Mongolia.

In the course of upholding the Buddhist tradition in Tibet, we evolved a unique Tibetan tradition of recognizing the reincarnations of scholar-adepts that has been of immense help to both the Dharma and sentient beings, particularly to the monastic community.

Since the omniscient Gedun Gyatso was recognized and confirmed as the reincarnation of Gedun Drub in the fifteenth century and the Gaden Phodrang Labrang (the Dalai Lama’s institution) was established, successive reincarnations have been recognized. The third in the line, Sonam Gyatso, was given the title of the Dalai Lama. The Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, established the Gaden Phodrang Government in 1642, becoming the spiritual and political head of Tibet. For more than 600 years since Gedun Drub, a series of unmistaken reincarnations has been recognised in the lineage of the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lamas have functioned as both the political and spiritual leaders of Tibet for 369 years since 1642. I have now voluntarily brought this to an end, proud and satisfied that we can pursue the kind of democratic system of government flourishing elsewhere in the world. In fact, as far back as 1969, I made clear that concerned people should decide whether the Dalai Lama’s reincarnations should continue in the future. However, in the absence of clear guidelines, should the concerned public express a strong wish for the Dalai Lamas to continue, there is an obvious risk of vested political interests misusing the reincarnation system to fulfil their own political agenda. Therefore, while I remain physically and mentally fit, it seems important to me that we draw up clear guidelines to recognise the next Dalai Lama, so that there is no room for doubt or deception. For these guidelines to be fully comprehensible, it is essential to understand the system of Tulku recognition and the basic concepts behind it. Therefore, I shall briefly explain them below.

Past and future lives

In order to accept reincarnation or the reality of Tulkus, we need to accept the existence of past and future lives. Sentient beings come to this present life from their previous lives and take rebirth again after death. This kind of continuous rebirth is accepted by all the ancient Indian spiritual traditions and schools of philosophy, except the Charvakas, who were a materialist movement. Some modern thinkers deny past and future lives on the premise that we cannot see them. Others do not draw such clear cut conclusions on this basis.

Although many religious traditions accept rebirth, they differ in their views of what it is that is reborn, how it is reborn, and how it passes through the transitional period between two lives. Some religious traditions accept the prospect of future life, but reject the idea of past lives.

Generally, Buddhists believe that there is no beginning to birth and that once we achieve liberation from the cycle of existence by overcoming our karma and destructive emotions, we will not be reborn under the sway of these conditions. Therefore, Buddhists believe that there is an end to being reborn as a result of karma and destructive emotions, but most Buddhist philosophical schools do not accept that the mind-stream comes to an end. To reject past and future rebirth would contradict the Buddhist concept of the ground, path and result, which must be explained on the basis of the disciplined or undisciplined mind. If we accept this argument, logically, we would also have to accept that the world and its inhabitants come about without causes and conditions. Therefore, as long as you are a Buddhist, it is necessary to accept past and future rebirth.

For those who remember their past lives, rebirth is a clear experience. However, most ordinary beings forget their past lives as they go through the process of death, intermediate state and rebirth. As past and future rebirths are slightly obscure to them, we need to use evidence-based logic to prove past and future rebirths to them.

There are many different logical arguments given in the words of the Buddha and subsequent commentaries to prove the existence of past and future lives. In brief, they come down to four points: the logic that things are preceded by things of a similar type, the logic that things are preceded by a substantial cause, the logic that the mind has gained familiarity with things in the past, and the logic of having gained experience of things in the past.

Ultimately all these arguments are based on the idea that the nature of the mind, its clarity and awareness, must have clarity and awareness as its substantial cause. It cannot have any other entity such as an inanimate object as its substantial cause. This is self-evident. Through logical analysis we infer that a new stream of clarity and awareness cannot come about without causes or from unrelated causes. While we observe that mind cannot be produced in a laboratory, we also infer that nothing can eliminate the continuity of subtle clarity and awareness.

As far as I know, no modern psychologist, physicist, or neuroscientist has been able to observe or predict the production of mind either from matter or without cause.

There are people who can remember their immediate past life or even many past lives, as well as being able to recognise places and relatives from those lives. This is not just something that happened in the past. Even today there are many people in the East and West, who can recall incidents and experiences from their past lives. Denying this is not an honest and impartial way of doing research, because it runs counter to this evidence. The Tibetan system of recognising reincarnations is an authentic mode of investigation based on people’s recollection of their past lives.

How rebirth takes place

There are two ways in which someone can take rebirth after death: rebirth under the sway of karma and destructive emotions and rebirth through the power of compassion and prayer. Regarding the first, due to ignorance negative and positive karma are created and their imprints remain on the consciousness. These are reactivated through craving and grasping, propelling us into the next life. We then take rebirth involuntarily in higher or lower realms. This is the way ordinary beings circle incessantly through existence like the turning of a wheel. Even under such circumstances ordinary beings can engage diligently with a positive aspiration in virtuous practices in their day-to-day lives. They familiarise themselves with virtue that at the time of death can be reactivated providing the means for them to take rebirth in a higher realm of existence. On the other hand, superior Bodhisattvas, who have attained the path of seeing, are not reborn through the force of their karma and destructive emotions, but due to the power of their compassion for sentient beings and based on their prayers to benefit others. They are able to choose their place and time of birth as well as their future parents. Such a rebirth, which is solely for the benefit of others, is rebirth through the force of compassion and prayer.

The meaning of Tulku

It seems the Tibetan custom of applying the epithet ‘Tulku’ (Buddha’s Emanation Body) to recognized reincarnations began when devotees used it as an honorary title, but it has since become a common expression. In general, the term Tulku refers to a particular aspect of the Buddha, one of the three or four described in the Sutra Vehicle. According to this explanation of these aspects of the Buddha, a person who is totally bound by destructive emotions and karma has the potential to achieve the Truth Body (Dharmakaya), comprising the Wisdom Truth Body and Nature Truth Body. The former refers to the enlightened mind of a Buddha, which sees everything directly and precisely, as it is, in an instant. It has been cleared of all destructive emotions, as well as their imprints, through the accumulation of merit and wisdom over a long period of time. The latter, the Nature Truth Body, refers to the empty nature of that all-knowing enlightened mind. These two together are aspects of the Buddhas for themselves. However, as they are not directly accessible to others, but only amongst the Buddhas themselves, it is imperative that the Buddhas manifest in physical forms that are accessible to sentient beings in order to help them. Hence, the ultimate physical aspect of a Buddha is the Body of Complete Enjoyment (Sambhogakaya), which is accessible to superior Bodhisattvas, and has five definite qualifications such as residing in the Akanishta Heaven. And from the Body of Complete Enjoyment are manifested the myriad Emanation Bodies or Tulkus (Nirmanakaya), of the Buddhas, which appear as gods or humans and are accessible even to ordinary beings. These two physical aspects of the Buddha are termed Form Bodies, which are meant for others.

The Emanation Body is three-fold: a) the Supreme Emanation Body like Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical Buddha, who manifested the twelve deeds of a Buddha such as being born in the place he chose and so forth; b) the Artistic Emanation Body which serves others by appearing as craftsmen, artists and so on; and c) the Incarnate Emanation Body, according to which Buddhas appear in various forms such as human beings, deities, rivers, bridges, medicinal plants, and trees to help sentient beings. Of these three types of Emanation Body, the reincarnations of spiritual masters recognized and known as ‘Tulkus’ in Tibet come under the third category. Among these Tulkus there may be many who are truly qualified Incarnate Emanation Bodies of the Buddhas, but this does not necessarily apply to all of them. Amongst the Tulkus of Tibet there may be those who are reincarnations of superior Bodhisattvas, Bodhisattvas on the paths of accumulation and preparation, as well as masters who are evidently yet to enter these Bodhisattva paths. Therefore, the title of Tulku is given to reincarnate Lamas either on the grounds of their resembling enlightened beings or through their connection to certain qualities of enlightened beings.

As Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo said:

“Reincarnation is what happens when someone takes rebirth after the predecessor’s passing away; emanation is when manifestations take place without the source’s passing away.”

Recognition of Reincarnations

The practice of recognizing who is who by identifying someone’s previous life occurred even when Shakyamuni Buddha himself was alive. Many accounts are found in the four Agama Sections of the Vinaya Pitaka, the Jataka Stories, the Sutra of the Wise and Foolish, the Sutra of One Hundred Karmas and so on, in which the Tathagata revealed the workings of karma, recounting innumerable stories about how the effects of certain karmas created in a past life are experienced by a person in his or her present life. Also, in the life stories of Indian masters, who lived after the Buddha, many reveal their previous places of birth. There are many such stories, but the system of recognizing and numbering their reincarnations did not occur in India.

The system of recognizing reincarnations in Tibet

Past and future lives were asserted in the indigenous Tibetan Bon tradition before the arrival of Buddhism. And since the spread of Buddhism in Tibet, virtually all Tibetans have believed in past and future lives. Investigating the reincarnations of many spiritual masters who upheld the Dharma, as well as the custom of praying devotedly to them, flourished everywhere in Tibet. Many authentic scriptures, indigenous Tibetan books such as the Mani Kabum and the Fivefold Kathang Teachings and others like the The Books of Kadam Disciples and the Jewel Garland: Responses to Queries, which were recounted by the glorious, incomparable Indian master Dipankara Atisha in the 11th century in Tibet, tell stories of the reincarnations of Arya Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion. However, the present tradition of formally recognizing the reincarnations of masters first began in the early 13th century with the recognition of Karmapa Pagshi as the reincarnation of Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa by his disciples in accordance with his prediction. Since then, there have been seventeen Karmapa incarnations over more than nine hundred years. Similarly, since the recognition of Kunga Sangmo as the reincarnation of Khandro Choekyi Dronme in the 15th century there have been more than ten incarnations of Samding Dorje Phagmo. So, among the Tulkus recognized in Tibet there are monastics and lay tantric practitioners, male and female. This system of recognizing the reincarnations gradually spread to other Tibetan Buddhist traditions, and Bon, in Tibet. Today, there are recognized Tulkus in all the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Sakya, Geluk, Kagyu and Nyingma, as well as Jonang and Bodong, who serve the Dharma. It is also evident that amongst these Tulkus some are a disgrace.

The omniscient Gedun Drub, who was a direct disciple of Je Tsongkhapa, founded Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Tsang and took care of his students. He passed away in 1474 at the age of 84. Although initially no efforts were made to identify his reincarnation, people were obliged to recognize a child named Sangye Chophel, who had been born in Tanak, Tsang (1476), because of what he had to say about his amazing and flawless recollections of his past life. Since then, a tradition began of searching for and recognizing the successive reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas by the Gaden Phodrang Labrang and later the Gaden Phodrang Government.

The ways of recognizing reincarnations

After the system of recognizing Tulkus came into being, various procedures for going about it began to develop and grow. Among these some of the most important involve the predecessor’s predictive letter and other instructions and indications that might occur; the reincarnation’s reliably recounting his previous life and speaking about it; identifying possessions belonging to the predecessor and recognizing people who had been close to him. Apart from these, additional methods include asking reliable spiritual masters for their divination as well as seeking the predictions of mundane oracles, who appear through mediums in trance, and observing the visions that manifest in sacred lakes of protectors like Lhamoi Latso, a sacred lake south of Lhasa.

When there happens to be more than one prospective candidate for recognition as a Tulku, and it becomes difficult to decide, there is a practice of making the final decision by divination employing the dough-ball method (zen tak) before a sacred image while calling upon the power of truth.

Emanation before the passing away of the predecessor (ma-dhey tulku)

Usually a reincarnation has to be someone’s taking rebirth as a human being after previously passing away. Ordinary sentient beings generally cannot manifest an emanation before death (ma-dhey tulku), but superior Bodhisattvas, who can manifest themselves in hundreds or thousands of bodies simultaneously, can manifest an emanation before death. Within the Tibetan system of recognizing Tulkus there are emanations who belong to the same mind-stream as the predecessor, emanations who are connected to others through the power of karma and prayers, and emanations who come as a result of blessings and appointment.

The main purpose of the appearance of a reincarnation is to continue the predecessor’s unfinished work to serve Dharma and beings. In the case of a Lama who is an ordinary being, instead of having a reincarnation belonging to the same mind-stream, someone else with connections to that Lama through pure karma and prayers may be recognized as his or her emanation. Alternatively it is possible for the Lama to appoint a successor who is either his disciple or someone young who is to be recognized as his emanation. Since these options are possible in the case of an ordinary being, an emanation before death that is not of the same mind-stream is feasible. In some cases one high Lama may have several reincarnations simultaneously, such as incarnations of body, speech and mind and so on. In recent times, there have been well-known emanations before death such as Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje and Chogye Trichen Ngawang Khyenrab.

Using the Golden Urn

As the degenerate age gets worse, and as more reincarnations of high Lamas are being recognized, some of them for political motives, increasing numbers have been recognized through inappropriate and questionable means, as a result of which huge damage has been done to the Dharma.

During the conflict between Tibet and the Gurkhas (1791-93) the Tibetan Government had to call on Manchu military support. Consequently the Gurkha military was expelled from Tibet, but afterwards Manchu officials made a 29-point proposal on the pretext of making the Tibetan Government’s administration more efficient. This proposal included the suggestion of picking lots from a Golden Urn to decide on the recognition of the reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas, Panchen Lamas and Hutuktus, a Mongolian title given to high Lamas. Therefore, this procedure was followed in the case of recognizing some reincarnations of the Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and other high Lamas. The ritual to be followed was written by the Eighth Dalai Lama Jampel Gyatso.  Even after such a system had been introduced, this procedure was dispensed with for the Ninth, Thirteenth and myself, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.

Even in the case of the Tenth Dalai Lama, the authentic reincarnation had already been found and in reality this procedure was not followed, but in order to humour the Manchus it was merely announced that this procedure had been observed.

The Golden Urn system was actually used only in the cases of the Eleventh and Twelfth Dalai Lamas. However, the Twelfth Dalai Lama had already been recognized before the procedure was employed. Therefore, there has only been one occasion when a Dalai Lama was recognized by using this method. Likewise, among the reincarnations of the Panchen Lama, apart from the Eighth and the Ninth, there have been no instances of this method being employed. This system was imposed by the Manchus, but Tibetans had no faith in it because it lacked any spiritual quality. However, if it were to be used honestly, it seems that we could consider it as similar to the manner of divination employing the dough-ball method (zen tak).

In 1880, during the recognition of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Twelfth, traces of the Priest-Patron relationship between Tibet and the Manchus still existed. He was recognized as the unmistaken reincarnation by the Eighth Panchen Lama, the predictions of the Nechung and Samye oracles and by observing visions that appeared in Lhamoi Latso, therefore the Golden Urn procedure was not followed. This can be clearly understood from the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s final testament of the Water-Monkey Year (1933) in which he states:

“As you all know, I was selected not in the customary way of picking lots from the golden urn, but my selection was foretold and divined. In accordance with these divinations and prophecies I was recognized as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and enthroned.”

When I was recognized as the Fourteenth incarnation of the Dalai Lama in 1939, the Priest-Patron relationship between Tibet and China had already come to an end. Therefore, there was no question of any need to confirm the reincarnation by employing the Golden Urn. It is well-known that the then Regent of Tibet and the Tibetan National Assembly had followed the procedure for recognizing the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation taking account of the predictions of high Lamas, oracles and the visions seen in Lhamoi Latso; the Chinese had no involvement in it whatever. Nevertheless, some concerned officials of the Guomintang later cunningly spread lies in the newspapers claiming that they had agreed to forego the use of the Golden Urn and that Wu Chung-tsin presided over my enthronement, and so on. This lie  was exposed by Ngabo Ngawang Jigme, the Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, who the People’s Republic of China considered to be a most progressive person, at the Second Session of the Fifth People’s Congress of the Tibet Autonomous Region (31st July 1989). This is clear, when, at the end of his speech, in which he gave a detailed explanation of events and presented documentary evidence, he demanded:

“What need is there for the Communist Party to follow suit and continue the lies of the Guomintang?”

Deceptive strategy and false hopes

In the recent past, there have been cases of irresponsible managers of wealthy Lama-estates who indulged in improper methods to recognize reincarnations, which have undermined the Dharma, the monastic community and our society. Moreover, since the Manchu era Chinese political authorities repeatedly engaged in various deceitful means using Buddhism, Buddhist masters and Tulkus as tools to fulfil their political ends as they involved themselves in Tibetan and Mongolian affairs. Today, the authoritarian rulers of the People’s Republic of China, who as communists reject religion, but still involve themselves in religious affairs, have imposed a so-called re-education campaign and declared the so-called Order No. Five, concerning the control and recognition of reincarnations, which came into force on 1st September 2007. This is outrageous and disgraceful. The enforcement of various inappropriate methods for recognizing reincarnations to eradicate our unique Tibetan cultural traditions is doing damage that will be difficult to repair.

Moreover, they say they are waiting for my death and will recognize a Fifteenth Dalai Lama of their choice. It is clear from their recent rules and regulations and subsequent declarations that they have a detailed strategy to deceive Tibetans, followers of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and the world community. Therefore, as I have a responsibility to protect the Dharma and sentient beings and counter such detrimental schemes, I make the following declaration.

The next incarnation of the Dalai Lama

As I mentioned earlier, reincarnation is a phenomenon which should take place either through the voluntary choice of the concerned person or at least on the strength of his or her karma, merit and prayers. Therefore, the person who reincarnates has sole legitimate authority over where and how he or she takes rebirth and how that reincarnation is to be recognized. It is a reality that no one else can force the person concerned, or manipulate him or her. It is particularly inappropriate for Chinese communists, who explicitly reject even the idea of past and future lives, let alone the concept of reincarnate Tulkus, to meddle in the system of reincarnation and especially the reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas. Such brazen meddling contradicts their own political ideology and reveals their double standards. Should this situation continue in the future, it will be impossible for Tibetans and those who follow the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to acknowledge or accept it.

When I am about ninety I will consult the high Lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public, and other concerned people who follow Tibetan Buddhism, and re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not. On that basis we will take a decision. If it is decided that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should continue and there is a need for the Fifteenth Dalai Lama to be recognized, responsibility for doing so will primarily rest on the concerned officers of the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Trust. They should consult the various heads of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and the reliable oath-bound Dharma Protectors who are linked inseparably to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. They should seek advice and direction from these concerned beings and carry out the procedures of search and recognition in accordance with past tradition. I shall leave clear written instructions about this. Bear in mind that, apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China.

The Dalai Lama
Dharamsala

(Translated from the Tibetan)

Renunciation – A Feast of Opportunities

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

In order to know the Precious Teacher, you must become a renunciate. This is not a sacrifice, however. You should not sadly enumerate the things you have to give up. Think of it as a privilege, because the very things you renounce are the ones that are killing you. You are only saving yourself. Taking vows (either as a lay practitioner or as a monk or nun) should be understood as a feast of opportunities. Look at the things that renunciates give up: hatred, greed, ignorance, self-absorption, blind faith in the five senses, a love of impermanent things. You are being asked to give up poison. Understand, once and for all, that there is no old God on a throne, forcing you to do something you dislike and grading you at every turn. Instead, you are weaning yourself from the things that have betrayed you. You are making contact with your true nature.

Discipline yourself to come to terms with your life. Take responsibility. Try to deepen. Take sincere refuge in the one unfailing source, and renounce that which keeps us wandering in samsara. The realization of your own nature—the awareness of true mind, the precious Root Guru, Guru Rinpoche will be born. At that point, the teachings that come to you will be the very voice of the Dharmakaya, the very voice of the Root Teacher.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Cultivating a Sense of Humor

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

Did a dog bite you? Did food poison you? Did a gun face your face? Did you suffer? Do you suffer the suffering of suffering? Did you burn? Did you freeze? Did you starve for love? Did the FBI or the police or the mighty wolf blow your house down? Got a cold? Welcome to the glorious gift of duality.

Samsara- we are here together only relying on our own karma. Suffering of suffering, because we cannot let go. No use to complain, I found. Better to go on strong, find your way. Why feel sorry for yourself? He who learns to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused! Haha!

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved

Astrology

Move forward with confidence for an opportunity is at hand.  It’s most important to be prepared and to be at your best in all you do today.  Your general demeanor can get you “in the door” in an important situation.  After that, impress others with your knowledge of the subject.  Relationships, charm, tact and diplomacy are highlighted now. Pay special attention to coalition building.  One holdout seems to be spoiling things for the others, but consider that this person is leading the way with ideas.  Don’t exclude anyone today, and try not to make others conform to your views.  Abraham Lincoln said “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”  Love is grand.

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!

Indestructible Compassion: Awakened Bodhicitta

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

This is the 23rd Anniversary of my Enthronement in the Palyul Lineage. My students celebrate this day, but me? Not so much.

Tulkus take rebirth for the sake of all beings. Not to play video games or ice skate! Ha! Most Tulkus come back with a mission. Pre-ordained, and ready for a life much different than most people would choose. When His Holiness Penor Rinpoche enthroned me, His Eminence Gyaltrul Rinpoche said to me: “Now you are in jail!” So true. As Palyul Lineage Holder, I have responsibilities that I would not have if not enthroned. I must propagate Dharma and protect Palyul from harm, which I have worked extremely hard to do. From corruption, from villains, con men, thieves, and have done my best at every fork and twist in the road. So I see this day as a marking of this life’s effort.

If there is merit, there will be more effort, and more lives of service. It is all that matters to me. Service. And when have we needed it more than we do now? Mother Earth is sick, crazy people and ideas abound, the older, experienced Bodhisattvas are passing, and Kaliyuga is upon us. So we must be prepared to keep on for the sake of those still revolving in samsara. The sick, hungry, those filled with rage, the deluded. The abused, the poor, and the jealous and ignorant. Each one is a Buddha, having the seed of Buddhahood. But most are asleep, locked in the dream that reflects their mind and their karma. It is for them I will return. May I be the last to cross to that state beyond, so I may be the one to see the end of all suffering. Everything is impermanent. I pray that all suffering is too.

From my deepest heart I dedicate all virtue in the three times, past, present and future, to that end. May all who are sick be healed. May all the poor, hungry, abused dysfunctional, homeless, unloved, without exception be healed. May all find the path of Dharma and love. May we end war, and give rise to ethics and peace.  Whatever merit I have ever gathered, and all I and my students have ever done, as well, be dedicated to the liberation and salvation of all!

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo.  All rights reserved