Thursday, December 31, 2015

Why Doing Nothing is the Key to Happiness

Source: here

Attention and focus are hard to come by.  Starbucks built a $13 billion business because we need help paying attention.  Psychiatrists increasingly diagnose “adult attention deficit disorder” and prescribe Ritalin for grown-ups who can’t focus or pay attention.  But is coffee and prescription “speed” the answer to our modern distraction?

Distracted by email, iPhones, the ping of a new text message, bad news on television and the stresses of work, of relationships and family, it is easy to be overwhelmed, stressed and miss the extraordinary gift of being alive.  Our bodies’ break down under the onslaught of stress – insomnia, anxiety, depression, and all chronic disease is made worse by unremitting stress.

The Buddha was walking down the road shortly after he was enlightened and a traveler saw his remarkable energy.  He asked him if he was an angel, a wizard, a magician, or some kind of god.  “No”, the Buddha said, “I am awake”.

What matters most in life is the quality of our experience, the ability to be awake to what is real and true in our lives, for the difficult and the happy times, to be awake to each person we touch, to our own experience, to the moment we are in, to the simple, sweet, and alive gifts of a smile, a touch, a kind deed, the breeze on our skin, or a firefly flickering in the early summer night.

But that is harder than it sounds. Our monkey mind gets in the way. In order to pay attention we need to be quiet, to be practiced at stillness, to know the habits of our mind and be skilled at dancing with them, not to be controlled or dominated by them.  To witness the thoughts and feelings we have without having them overwhelm, dominate, and control our lives.

My way into medicine was through Buddhism.  I majored in Buddhist studies at Cornell.  As a young man in college I was deeply interested in the mind, in the nature of our consciousness, of the ways our thoughts and perceptions control our lives and how we can work with them in a juicy, helpful way that brings more love, kindness, compassion, and insight into every moment, rather than darkness, suffering, struggle and pain.

Pain is inevitable.  Loss is inevitable. Death, illness, war, and disaster have always been and will always be part of the human condition.  Yet within it, I wondered as a young man, was there a way to understand suffering in a different light, to break the cycle of suffering.

I realized there was a way to be more awake, to see things as they are, to notice life as it is and to savor it, to love it, to wake up with gratitude, lightness, and celebration for the magic of life.  It is always there and the trick is simply to notice.

But to notice requires a stillness of the mind. This is something not quite so easy to achieve for most of us.  Being awake takes practice.  Each of us can find our path to being awake.  Ancient traditions provide many avenues.

Belief in any particular religion or philosophy is not necessary, just a desire to show up and pay attention without judgment or criticism. To notice the ebb and flow of our breath and our thoughts without holding on to them, like waves washing over you on a summer day at the beach.

This is harder than it sounds, because it requires us to be patient with ourselves, to love ourselves, even all the ugly, petty, small thoughts.  It requires us to create calm within the chaos through non-judgmental awareness. Most of us have no clue how to do this.
When I was 20 years old, I spent 10 days in a silent meditation retreat sleeping, meditating, and eating.  That was it.  As the turbulent oceans of my young mind settled each day, I began to feel more awake, more alive and happier than I ever had before. The happiness was not connected to any external event or person, but to the simple joy of being able to notice beauty and brilliance in the people and in the nature that surrounded me.

Over my life I have come in and out of practicing stillness, but whenever I return to it, it feels like homeThere are a thousand ways to meditate – traditional mindfulness meditation is the simplest and most accessible, but any form can work – yoga, nature, dance, breathing, and prayer.

The point of mediation, of doing nothing, is not an end in itself but a way to calm the mind, to see the true nature of things, and reduce the impact of suffering while increasing love, kindness, wisdom, fearlessness, and sympathy.

From that stillness life becomes richer, your actions more clear, your words more direct and powerful, and your capacity to be fully engaged in life enhanced.  It is not a retreat from life, but a way to go fully into it and cultivate your own power and happiness.

The benefits of meditation have been well proven by science. Mediation reduces chronic pain, blood pressure, headaches, anxiety and depression.

It helps you lose weight, lowers cholesterol, increases sports performance, boosts immune function, relieves insomnia, increases serotonin, improves creativity, optimizes brain waves, helps in learning, focuses attention, increases productivity, enhances memory, and more.

But none of those reasons are the reasons I meditate or practice yoga (which for me is meditation in motion).  It is to be more awake to life, to myself, to cultivate loving kindness and compassion toward myself, others, and to the sordid human condition we find ourselves in.

The good news is that all you need is a few minutes and a place to sit and be quiet (you can do this anywhere).  Here is a simple instruction for mindfulness mediation you can try yourself.

Mindfulness Meditation
Instructions:
1.   Sit in a comfortable position. Try to sit in the same place each day. Avoid positions that you might fall asleep in.
a. The back is long and supports itself.
b. Shoulders are relaxed downward, the neck is long, and the chin is pointing neither up nor down.
c. The face is relaxed.
2.   Begin to breathe (preferably through the nostrils). Feel the belly rise, the ribs expand, and the slight movement in the collarbones and shoulders as the breath moves upward. Feel the exhalation.
3.   Focus on one aspect of the breath.
a. The movement of air in and out of the nostrils.
b. Or the lifting and falling of the belly.
4.   Watch that one aspect of the breath.
a. When the mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath and the aspect you have chosen to watch.
b. Do this as many times as you need to.
c. There is no such thing as a good or bad meditation. (Good and bad are judgments, events in the mind – just note them and go back to the breathing.)
5.   Start with 5–10 minutes and then increase the time until you can sit for 30 minutes.

Mark Hyman, MD
Originally published at DrHyman.com.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

8 characteristics of the Educated

Source: "Letter from Anton Chekhov To His Brother Nikolay."
Translated by Constance Garnett:
MOSCOW, 1886.

… You have often complained to me that people “don’t understand you”! Goethe and Newton did not complain of that…. Only Christ complained of it, but He was speaking of His doctrine and not of Himself…. People understand you perfectly well. And if you do not understand yourself, it is not their fault.
I assure you as a brother and as a friend I understand you and feel for you with all my heart. I know your good qualities as I know my five fingers; I value and deeply respect them. If you like, to prove that I understand you, I can enumerate those qualities. I think you are kind to the point of softness, magnanimous, unselfish, ready to share your last farthing; you have no envy nor hatred; you are simple-hearted, you pity men and beasts; you are trustful, without spite or guile, and do not remember evil…. You have a gift from above such as other people have not: you have talent. This talent places you above millions of men, for on earth only one out of two millions is an artist. Your talent sets you apart: if you were a toad or a tarantula, even then, people would respect you, for to talent all things are forgiven.
You have only one failing, and the falseness of your position, and your unhappiness and your catarrh of the bowels are all due to it. That is your utter lack of culture. Forgive me, please, but veritas magis amicitiae…. You see, life has its conditions. In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent. Talent has brought you into such a circle, you belong to it, but … you are drawn away from it, and you vacillate between cultured people and the lodgers vis-a-vis.
Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:
1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
3. They respect the property of others, and therefor pay their debts.
4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don’t lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people’s ears they more often keep silent than talk.
5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people’s hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say “I am misunderstood,” or “I have become second-rate,” because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
6. They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator’s Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles’ worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they want mens sana in corpore sano.
And so on. This is what cultured people are like. In order to be cultured and not to stand below the level of your surroundings it is not enough to have read “The Pickwick Papers” and learnt a monologue from “Faust.” …
What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.
You must drop your vanity, you are not a child … you will soon be thirty. It is time!
I expect you…. We all expect you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

An amazing story relating 9-11

From a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15, written following 9-11:

 

 On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain.

As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland.
He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland, to have it checked out.
We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM …. that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the
world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets.
Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.
We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.
We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.

Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.And they were true to their word.

Fortunately, we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel.

We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.
Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.
What we found out was incredible…..
Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.
Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.
ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the “guests.”

Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.

Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day.

During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips.

Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.

Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.

Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.
Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.
It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time.

Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.
And then a very unusual thing happened.

One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days.

He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.
He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

Pretty cool story, huh. It reminds us of how many helpful people there are in the world. The ones who aren't helpful just get a lot more press.

Carson Boyd.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LIVING WITH THE COBRA

Bodhinyāna

A Collection of Dhamma Talks by
The Venerable Ajahn Chah
(Phra Bodhinyāna Thera)

Translation from Thai into English
by
The Sangha, Bung Wai Forest Monastery, Thailand


LIVING WITH THE COBRA
(A brief talk given as final instruction to an elderly Englishwoman who spent two months under the guidance of Ajahn Chah at the end of 1978 and beginning of 1979.)
This short talk is for the benefit of a new disciple who will soon be returning to London. May it serve to help you understand the Teaching that you have studied here at Wat Pah Pong. Most simply, this is the practice to be free of suffering in the cycle of birth and death.
In order to do this practice, remember to regard all the various activities of mind, all those you like and all those you dislike, in the same way as you would regard a cobra. The cobra is an extremely poisonous snake, poisonous enough to cause death if it should bite us. And so, also, it is with our moods: the moods that we like are poisonous, the moods that we dislike are also poisonous. They prevent our minds from being free and hinder our understanding of the Truth as it was taught by the Buddha.
Thus it is necessary to try to maintain our mindfulness throughout the day and night. Whatever you may be doing, be it standing, sitting, lying down, speaking or whatever, you should do with mindfulness. When you are able to establish this mindfulness, you'll find that there will arise clear comprehension associated with it, and these two conditions will bring about wisdom. Thus mindfulness, clear comprehension and wisdom will work together, and you'll be like one who is awake both day and night.
These Teachings left us by the Buddha are not Teachings to be just listened to, or simply absorbed on an intellectual level. They are Teachings that through practice can be made to arise and known in our hearts. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we should have these Teachings. And what we mean by "to have these Teachings" or "to have the Truth", is that, whatever we do or say, we do and say with wisdom. When we think and contemplate, we do so with wisdom.
We say that one who has mindfulness and clear comprehension combined in this way with wisdom, is one who is close to the Buddha.
When you leave here, you should practise bringing everything back to your own mind. Look at your mind with this mindfulness and clear comprehension and develop this wisdom. With these three conditions there will arise a "letting go". You'll know the constant arising and passing away of all phenomena.
You should know that that which is arising and passing away is only the activity of mind. When something arises, it passes away and is followed by further arising and passing away.
In the Way of Dhamma we call this arising and passing away "birth and death"; and this is everything -- this is all there is! When suffering has arisen, it passes away, and, when it has passed away, suffering arises again [*]. There's just suffering arising and passing away. When you see this much, you'll be able to know constantly this arising and passing away; and, when your knowing is constant, you'll see that this is really all there is. Everything is just birth and death. It's not as if there is anything which carries on. There's just this arising and passing away as it is --that's all.
[*] Suffering in this context refers to the implicit unsatisfactoriness of all compounded existence as distinct from suffering as merely the opposite of happiness.
This kind of seeing will give rise to a tranquil feeling of dispassion towards the world. Such a feeling arises when we see that actually there is nothing worth wanting; there is only arising and passing away, a being born followed by a dying. This is when the mind arrives at "letting go", letting everything go according to its own nature. Things arise and pass away in our mind, and we know. When happiness arises, we know; when dissatisfaction arises, we know. And this "knowing happiness" means that we don't identify with it as being ours . And likewise with dissatisfaction and unhappiness, we don't identify with them as being ours . When we no longer identify with and cling to happiness and suffering, we are simply left with the natural way of things.
So we say that mental activity is like the deadly poisonous cobra. If we don't interfere with a cobra, it simply goes its own way. Even though it may be extremely poisonous, we are not affected by it; we don't go near it or take hold of it, and it doesn't bite us. The cobra does what is natural for a cobra to do. That's the way it is. If you are clever you'll leave it alone. And so you let be that which is good. You also let be that which is not good -- let it be according to its own nature. Let be your liking and your disliking, the same way as you don't interfere with the cobra.
So, one who is intelligent will have this kind of attitude towards the various moods that arise in the mind. When goodness arises, we let it be good, but we know also. We understand its nature. And, too, we let be the not-good, we let it be according to its nature. We don't take hold of it because we don't want anything. We don't want evil, neither do we want good. We want neither heaviness nor lightness, happiness nor suffering. When, in this way, our wanting is at an end, peace is firmly established.
When we have this kind of peace established in our minds, we can depend on it. This peace, we say, has arisen out of confusion. Confusion has ended. The Buddha called the attainment of final Enlightenment an "extinguishing", in the same way that fire is extinguished. We extinguish fire at the place at which it appears. Wherever it is hot, that's where we can make it cool. And so it is with Enlightenment. Nibb�na is found in Sams�ra [*]. Enlightenment and delusion (Sams�ra) exist in the same place, just as do hot and cold. It's hot where it was cold and cold where it was hot. When heat arises, the coolness disappears, and when there is coolness, there's no more heat. In this way Nibb�na and Sams�ra are the same.
[*] Sams�ra: lit. perpetual wandering, is a name by which is designated the sea of life ever restlessly heaving up and down, the symbol of this continuous process of ever again and again being born, growing old, suffering and dying.
We are told to put an end to Sams�ra, which means to stop the ever-turning cycle of confusion. This putting an end to confusion is extinguishing the fire. When external fire is extinguished there is coolness. When the internal fires of sensual craving, aversion and delusion are put out, then this is coolness also.
This is the nature of Enlightenment; it's the extinguishing of fire, the cooling of that which was hot. This is peace. This is the end of Sams�ra, the cycle of birth and death. When you arrive at Enlightenment, this is how it is. It's an ending of the ever-turning and ever-changing, an ending of greed, aversion and delusion in our minds. We talk about it in terms of happiness because this is how worldly people understand the ideal to be, but in reality it has gone beyond. It is beyond both happiness and suffering. It's perfect peace.
* * *
So as you go you should take this Teaching which I have given you and contemplate it carefully. Your stay here hasn't been easy and I have had little opportunity to give you instruction, but in this time you have been able to study the real meaning of our practice. May this practice lead you to happiness; may it help you grow in Truth. May you be freed from the suffering of birth and death.

Source here

Sunday, May 3, 2015

25 Quotes From Buddha That Will Change Your Life

1) “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”

2) “The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

3) “A jug fills drop by drop.”

4) “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

5) “To understand everything is to forgive everything”

6) “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

7) “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”

8) “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

9) “In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”

10) “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

11) “Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”

12) “Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.”

13) “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”

14) “It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see once own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one’s own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice.”

15) “I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.”

16) “The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

17) “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”

18) “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

19) “Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

20) “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

 

21) “You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself”

22) “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

23) “To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others”

24)  “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

25) “Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”

Let’s keep these words alive.

Source here

1) “However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”

2) “The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

3) “A jug fills drop by drop.”

4) “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

5) “To understand everything is to forgive everything”

6) “Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

7) “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”

8) “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

9) “In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”

10) “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

- See more at: http://www.spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com/25-quotes-from-buddha-that-will-change-your-life/#sthash.wq25RYZD.dpuf

Saturday, May 2, 2015

8 Buddha Quotes That Will Put Your Heart At Ease

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”
“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
 “In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” “There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”

“It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see once own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one’s own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice.”

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

Source here




Sunday, April 26, 2015

12 Results of bad deeds

One day, Buddha disclosed to his bhikkus the 12 results of bad deeds he had done in his previous births for which he had to suffer in this birth. According to ‘Pubba Kamma Pilothika apadaana’ they are as follows:
1. The accusations the Buddha got for frequenting the female ascetic Sundaree’s temple. ( In a previous birth, Buddha had accused the Pase Buddha named Sarangu.)
2. The scandal because of Chinchimaanawika who impersonated herself as a pregnant woman(This is due to calling the disciple Nanada of the Buddha Sabbahingu, an epicure, in one of Buddha’s births.)
3. The accusation, that Buddha raped and killed the female ascetic Sundaree and buried her body near a flower altar was widely talked about for seven days. After seven days, the truth came out. (This happened because of scolding Saint Bheema in one of his previous births.)
4. Bikkhu Devdath pushed a huge rock on the Buddha. (This is because in a previous birth, Buddha killed his own brother with greed for wealth by pushing him down a mountain and plunging a huge rock after him.)
5. Bikkhu Devdath tried to kill Buddha by hiring archers.( This is because in a previous birth, as a child, Buddha had thrown a stone at a Pase Buddha.)
6. Intoxicated elephant named Nalagiri was sent to kill Buddha. (This is because in a previous birth, Buddha as a mahout, led his elephant towards a Pase Buddha who was walking nearby with the intention of killing him.)
7. Bhikku Devdath, pushed a huge rock from the immense ‘Gijjakuta’ on Buddha,who was walking at the foot of it. Because of Buddha’s power, another big rock sprang up and stopped it. But, in the process, a small piece of rock hit Buddha’s toe and injured it. The Doctor had to split the toe and remove the bad blood. (This is because in a previous birth, Buddha had ordered a man to be killed, as king Pruthuvishwara.)
8. Buddha suffered from a constant headache.( This is because in a previous birth, Buddha born into the fishing clan, laughed happily when he saw the large amount of fish his kin had captured.)
9. Buddha, who had disciples, followers and contributors in all three worlds had to survive on barley since he didn’t get a grain of rice during his 12th ‘Vas’ season.( This is because in a previous birth, Buddha had accused Buddha named ‘Pussa’ for eating tasteful rice asking him to eat barley instead.)
10. Buddha suffered from a constant spinal problem.(This is because in a previous birth, as a wrestling giant, Buddha had broken the spine of his opponent.)
11. Buddha suffered from acute diarrhea.( This is because in a previous birth, as a doctor, Buddha had cured a noble; when he didn’t get his fee, Buddha had given the noble an aperient which caused the noble to purge blood. The noble got scared and paid him; in return, Buddha cured him again.
12.Prince Siddhartha had to suffer immensely for six years before attaining Nirvana.( This is because in a previous birth, As the layman Jothipala, had talked against Kashyapa Buddha with a Brahmin named Ghatikara.)

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