Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, gave his
Those that follow
in the path of Siddhartha Gautama
are generally defined as
"While I stood there I saw
more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a
sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all
shapes as they must live together like one being."
- Black Elk
Now at that time a
certain priest had been killed by the bite
of a snake, and when they announced the
matter to The Blessed One, he said:
now, 0 priests, that
priest never suffused the four
families of the
snakes with his friendliness. For if, 0
priests, that priest had suffused the four
families of the
snakes with his friendliness, that priest, 0 priests, would not have been killed by the
bite of a snake. And what are the four
families of the
Virilpakkhas are a
family of snakes;
the Erapathas are a
family of snakes;
the Chabyaputtas are a
family of snakes;
the Kanhagotamakas are a
family of snakes.
Surely, now, 0
priest did not suffuse the four
families of the
snakes with his friendliness. For surely, 0
priests, if that
priest had suffused the four
families of the
snakes with his friendliness, that priest, 0
priests, would not have been killed by the
bite of a snake. I enjoin, 0 priests, that ye suffuse these four
families of the
snakes with your friendliness; and that ye
sing a song of defense for your
protection and safeguard. After this manner, 0 priests, shall ye
'Virilpakkhas, I love them all,
Erapathas, too, I love,
Chabyaputtas, I love them, too,
Creatures without feet have my
And likewise those that have two
And those that have four feet I love,
And those, too, that have many feet.
'May those without feet
harm me not,
And those with two feet cause
May those with four feet harm me
Nor those who many feet possess.
creatures all, all things that
beings of whatever
See nothing that will bode them ill!
naught of evil come to them!"
ear, 0 priests! The deathless has been gained, and I
will instruct you, and
teach you the
Doctrine. If you will do according to my
instructions, in no long
time, and in the present
life, you shall
learn for yourselves, and shall
live in the
possession of that highest
good to which the
holy life conducts, and for the sake of which youths of
so nobly retire from the household
life to the houseless one."
The Blessed One teach the Doctrine, let The
Happy One teach the
Doctrine. There are some
beings having but little
moral defilement, and through not hearing the
Doctrine they perish. Some will be found
to understand the
Doctrine and they will not
-from the CullaVagga, Buddhist sacred text
The three marks of
existence are also
known as the three basic
truths about the condition of
"If you suffer, it is not because things are
impermanent. It is because you believe
things are permanent. Aware of
impermanence you become positive, loving and
Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.
safe to enjoy what is around you and within you as long as you are
aware of its nature of
impermanence. When you are thirsty, there is nothing
wrong in enjoying a glass of water.
In fact, to truly enjoy it, you have to dwell in the present moment.
a flower dies, we don't cry. We know it is impermanent.
If we practice
awareness of the nature of
impermanence, we will suffer less
and enjoy life more.
If we know things are impermanent, we will cherish
them in the present moment. We know that
our loved ones are of an impermanent nature, so we do our best to make them
happy right now."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
The first mark of existence, impermanence, points to the fact
that everything, every
emotion, relationship, or situation,
everything that has a
beginning, also has an ending.
Typically, in our search for
happiness we do not live as if
impermanence were true.
attracted to something we tend to exaggerate qualities." - Dalai Lama
we examine much of our motivation we find that we are always
hold onto what we adore and get rid of
what we abhor.
If our situation
is basically acceptable to us we feel
secure and good.
feel betrayed by our
relationships or life itself when our situation changes in a way we
didn't want or expect it to.
We feel that circumstances are preventing us from
Every moment brings new
arising thoughts and
feelings and then they fall away.
The simple truth is that the only
certainty following gain is eventual loss.
The happiness or joy we
expect to experience in life cannot depend on holding onto gain
is to be a true and
True and sustained gain we need to find
take a step on the green
aware that we are made of
minerals, and water, that we are
a child of earth and sky,
linked to all other beings." - Thich Nhat Hanh
endured many terrible griefs
you're still under a veil -
because dying to
is the fundamental principle
and you haven't
adhered to it.
before this death is complete:
cannot reach the roof
before climbing up the whole ladder.
could you ever experience
boat's total shipwreck
before you've loaded it
with the final
This final weight's essential;
it's a star that summons
and it shipwrecks the
boat of error.
When your boat of self-centeredness
is finally broken
reality becomes like a
flooding a cloudless sky with light.
There is only this moment to
moment appearance of a
self caused by the struggle
happy by holding onto what we
adore and trying to prevent what we
We perpetuate our
emotional suffering by
believing that we are
a fixed entity who
needs to be saved, protected, and freed from emotional suffering.
Emotional suffering will persist as long as
we avoid at all costs
the fear that
is the heart of it - that we may not be
saved or protected and may suffer
Rather than experience the
fear directly, we attempt to dismantle
the fear by con-vincing
that the fear is unjustified - that we
will be saved, protected, and freed from emotional suffering.
People are terrified that they will be unable to
tolerate the reality that they
have so very little control over - the
social culture, nature and the course of events.
There are two stages of
"No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of
true understanding except
he be detached from all that is in heaven and
on earth. Not until thou consumest with the
flame of utter detachment those veils of idle
learning, that are current amongst men, canst thou behold the resplendent
morn of true knowledge." -
"The one to whom's
the mystery of love exists
no longer but is annihilated in love." -
Rumi The first stage of
egolessness is characterized by the
observer, signified by a sense of emotional
detachment from passing thoughts and
In the second stage
of egolessness the notion of observer
is dropped as well and there is no longer any effort to detach from the
our impotence in the face of
the awesome power of what is.
Here is where the quality of
being undone or "burned up" by the
fire emerges - the moment of
cultivate a practice of living based simply on direct and
that we can experience life "vividly" by direct immersion in the process of
We can tolerate a tremendous range of
emotion, and ultimately we must.
This understanding marks the
transition from using spiritual
knowledge as a remedy
or cure for emotional suffering to developing the
experience life as it is.
"The experience of
death and rebirth reallows the conscious connection with positive memories
of living life which reduces irrational drives and ambitions.
death and rebirth causes a shift of focus from the past and future to the
present moment thus enhancing élan vital and joi de vivre the
ability to enjoy and draw satisfaction from simple circumstances of life, such
as everyday activities, food,
love-making, nature, music while supporting the emergence of authentic
spirituality of a universal and mystical nature based on the deeply personal
experience of living life fully in the present." - adapted from Stanislav
is the structural conceptual construct of survival
techniques adhered to by the individual in pursuit of survival.
is necessary for survival. Without ego there is no will
to live. But ego does not have to descend to the level of
In the Animal Kingdom there is a pecking order.
Those that live on the higher levels of the Pecking Pyramid like to play King
of the Hill under the disguise of the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. Pecking
Pyramid Players suggest that we all join in the game of King of the Hill. What
the Pecking Pyramid Players play is not straight King of the Hill but a
highbred version that also incorporates Musical Chairs. As everything in Nature
moves in a Spiral you will note the Peon Pecking Players spiraling up the
Pecking Pyramid while you will note the Powerful Pecking Players fighting the
vanguard of Peon Pecking Players as they Spiral Up the face of the Pecking
Pyramid just like the Elves had to fight the Orcs storming Helm's Deep .
Typically it is the Peon Pecking Players that lose their footing and
find themselves slip sliding Down the Spiral . Once they have started their
descent the other Peon Pecking Players only too gladly use those that have been
higher Up the Hill as staircases . But this is not always true . Occasionally a
mindless zombie finds itself catapulted to the very tippy top of the Pecking
Pyramid - the point where the Evil All-Seeing-Eye is seated . Occasionally the
Supreme Deity that is seated at the very tippy top of the Pecking Pyramid is
found by the Powerful Pecking Players to no longer be properly serving them as
when, heaven forbid, the Supreme Leader no longer has the "proper" thinking
equipment but has succumbed into Zombiehood due to Cipro injections. This
completes the description of the
thought patterns are diametrically opposed to
Kingdom of Heaven
thought patterns !
is frightened and feels forced to believe in mental
constructs contrary to the ego's own survival then the ego must create
to counter the forces that want to subsume it. Psychological engineers in the
image of George Creel and Edward Bernays are good at replacing true needs with
manufactured subsuming needs that are in the best interests of the
Industrial Global International Cyborg
We age, we become sick, we die.
Feeling pain is unavoidable.
When we refuse to
emotional pain, we unwittingly screen
a large portion of the range of emotional experiences that occur in the process of
A person who is
alive and sensitive will feel
This is so, not only
because of the amount of unnecessary suffering produced by the
our social arrangements but because of the
reality of human
living sentient beings we are
aware of the gap between our
what can be achieved. In this
light we understand that
emotional pain is inevitable.
We have been
believe that the opposite of
feeling good is not feeling bad.
To keep ourselves from not
feeling bad we condition ourselves to
not feel at all.
The emotional pain we
experience in everyday
life, the open wound in our
hearts, is where
compassion is born.
Sanskrit it is called
Boddhicitta or awakened heart.
"There is a
magnet in your heart that will attract
true friends. That magnet is
unselfishness. When you learn to live for others, they will live for you." -
think about what real
silence is, we have to look at
it from two angles; the first is to see
silence through human eyes and
the second is to see silence
through Buddha's eyes or the universal eye. The
silence occurs when we have been
driven into a corner and simply cannot move an inch. This seems like a
situation of complete despair, but
this silence is quite different
from despair, because in the area of
conscious flame of human desire is still
burning. But real silence is the
state of human existence that passes
through this despair. How can we
silence? Without everyday
life it is impossible to
silence." - Katagiri
RoshiWhen we imagine what
awakening must be like we tend
to imagine a dramatically relieving
Sometimes this occurs
but more often what usually occurs is a humbling, a wearing down of the
When we acknowledge that we
are in emotional pain and
that we are whole, we become available to others
and are able to meet them compassionately.
Great emotional pain
creates great tenderness that leaves our
ego peeled raw and
reminds us to let go
of an attempt to control things which are
beyond our control.
emotional pain is not
punishment for being
It is an extremely potent
opportunity to have our
break open and burn with fire.
Finding that we can tolerate more emotional pain than we
we find a
previously unrealized depth and
breadth of being.
"When love beckons to you
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his
wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his
pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver
in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their
clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to
free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his Sacred Fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.
these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's Heart." -
four noble truths of
"Now this ... is the noble truth of the origin of
suffering: it is this craving which leads to
existence, accompanied by delight and
lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures,
craving for existence, craving for
"Now this ... is the noble truth of the cessation
of suffering: it is the remainderless fading
away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it,
freedom from it, nonreliance on it."
"Now this ... is the noble truth of the way leading
to the cessation of suffering: it is the
Noble Eightfold Path; that is, conscientious opinion, altruistic
intention, proper speech, correct
action, honest livelihood,
virtuous effort, laudable mindfulness, meritorious concentration."
Right understanding: Understanding that the Four Noble Truths are
noble and true.
Right thought: Determining and resolving to practice
Right speech: Avoiding slander, gossip, lying, and all
forms of untrue and abusive speech.
Right conduct: Adherence to
nonviolence (ahimsa), refraining from any form of theft or sexual impropriety.
Right livelihood: Not engaging in sustenance activity that forces you
to violate life.
Right mental attitude: Avoiding negative thoughts and
emotions, such as anger and jealousy.
Right mindfulness: Having a clear
sense of one's mental state and bodily health and feelings.
concentration: Using meditation to reach the highest level of
said: "I consider the positions of kings and rulers as that of dust motes. I
observe treasures of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles. I look upon
the finest silken robes as tattered rags. I see myriad worlds of the universe
as small seeds of fruit, and the greatest lake in India as a drop of oil on my
foot. I perceive the teachings of
the world to be the
discern the highest
conception of emancipation as a golden
brocade in a dream, and view the
holy path of the illuminated ones
as flowers appearing in one's eyes. I see meditation as a pillar of a mountain,
Nirvana as a nightmare of daytime. I look
upon the judgment of
right and wrong
as the serpentine dance of a dragon, and the
rise and fall of beliefs as but traces left by the four seasons."
many traditions within Mahāyāna Buddhism, on the way to becoming a
Buddha, a bodhisattva proceeds through
ten grounds or bhūmis. Below is the list of the ten bhūmis and their
descriptions according to the Avataṃsaka Sūtra and The Jewel
Ornament of Liberation, a treatise by Gampopa, an influential teacher of the
Tibetan Kagyu school.
Before a bodhisattva arrives at the first ground,
he or she first must travel the first two of the five paths:
the path of preparation
The ten grounds of the
bodhisattva then can be grouped into the next three paths
the path of insight
bhūmis 2-7 the path of
bhūmis 8-10 the path of no more learning
chapter of ten grounds in the Avataṃsaka Sūtra refers to 52 stages.
The 10 grounds are:
Great Joy: It is said that being close to
enlightenment and seeing the benefit for all sentient beings, one achieves
great joy, hence the name. In this bhūmi the bodhisattvas practice all
perfections (pāramitās), but especially emphasizing generosity
Stainless: In accomplishing the second bhūmi, the
bodhisattva is free from the stains of
immorality, therefore, this
bhūmi is named "stainless". The emphasized perfection is moral discipline
Luminous: The third bhūmi is named "luminous",
because, for a bodhisattva who accomplishes this bhūmi, the light of
Dharma is said to radiate for others from the bodhisattva. The emphasized
perfection is patience (kṣānti).
Radiant: This bhūmi is
called "radiant", because it is said to be like a radiating light that fully
burns that which opposes enlightenment. The emphasized perfection is vigor
Incorrigible: Bodhisattvas who attain this bhūmi
strive to help sentient beings attain maturity, and do not become emotionally
involved when such beings respond negatively, both of which are difficult to
do. The emphasized perfection is meditative concentration
Obviously Transcendent: By depending on the perfection of
wisdom, [the bodhisattva] does not abide in either saṃsāra or
nirvāṇa, so this state is "obviously transcendent". The emphasized
perfection is wisdom (prajñā).
Gone afar: Particular
emphasis is on the perfection of skillful means (upāya), to help
Immovable: The emphasized virtue is aspiration. This, the
"immovable" bhūmi, is the bhūmi at which
one becomes able
to choose his place of rebirth.
Discernment: self-focused material
grasping is transmuted into clear-sighted compassion.
Cloud of Dharma:
The emphasized virtue is the practice of primordial wisdom.
ten bhūmis, according to Mahāyāna Buddhism, one attains complete
enlightenment and becomes a Buddha.
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