Monday, April 30, 2012

Nothing To Be Done for Such People

Worthy admonitions cannot fail to inspire us, but what matters is changing ourselves. 

Reverent advice cannot fail to encourage us, but what matters is acting on it. 

Encouraged without acting, inspired without changing -- there’s nothing to be done for such people.

~ Confucius, Analects 9:24

Monday, April 23, 2012

Four Essentials of Practice

Refuge and Awakening
Recognize that suffering arises. Form the intention to discover and renounce the causes of suffering. Cultivate the intention to wake up and generate good for all beings, actually practice doing that. Appreciating the difficulty of doing so, respect and rely upon those who have shown the way.

Awareness: Shamatha ~ Vipashyana
Ground your body in the here and now. Rely on the chair or floor or ground supporting you. Rest attention in the sensations and movements of breathing. Ride the breath a while. Open awareness to the whole experience of bodyheartmind, here in this place. See sensations and perceptions arise and dissolve. See feelings of like, dislike, and indifference arise and dissolve. See thoughts, images, emotions, and memories come and go. See the space between thoughts and feelings. Rest in just recognizing.

Caring and Relating: The Four Immeasurables
Consider others -- friends, strangers, and enemies -- and notice how you feel about them. Recognize that everyone wants to be happy, wants to be free of suffering. No matter how you feel about them, cultivate the wish that they have happiness and the causes of happiness. Cultivate the wish that they be free of suffering and its causes. Share their suffering and celebrate their successes and happinesses.

Sharing the Benefits
Appreciate the effort you are making. Recognize the benefits of your practice. Dedicate the benefits to others -- to all others. Actually share them, in real life.

an awareness of impermanence 
a heart of compassion 
a foundation of faith
~ Sangye Nyeton, Jamgon Kongtrul, Ken McLeod

Friday, April 20, 2012


"Wisdom wears an indigo jacket. She takes long walks in the purple hills at twilight, pausing to meditate at an old temple near the crossroads. She was sick as a child so she learned to be alone with herself at an early age.

Wisdom has a quiet mind. She likes to think about the edges where things spill into each other and become their opposites. She knows how to look at things inside and out. Sometimes her eyes go out to the thing she is looking at, and sometimes the thing she is looking at enters through her eyes. Questions of time, depth, and balance interest her. She is not looking for answers."

~ from The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler