1. An outline of the Metta Bhavana

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    In the Metta Bhavana practice we’re cultivating love, or friendliness, or lovingkindness.

    Eventually we want to become like an emotional bonfire: a steady blaze of emotional warmth that will embrace any sentient being that we become aware of. This is an attainable goal for every human being. All it takes is time and some persistent effort.

    The practice is in five stages. We cultivate Metta for:
    • Ourselves
    • A good friend
    • A “neutral” person — someone we don’t have any strong feelings for
    • A “difficult” person — someone we have conflicts with or feelings of ill will towards
    • All sentient beings (ambitious, huh!)

    You may notice that there’s a progression in the stages. It’s easiest for us to cultivate lovingkindness for ourselves and for our friends. It’s a bit more difficult to do this for people we don’t know well. And it really goes against the grain to cultivate lovingkindness for someone we’re in conflict with. Lastly, we cultivate lovingkindness for everyone in the world: i.e. all friends, people we don’t know, and people we’re in conflict with — plus ourselves of course.

    We’ll learn these stages one at a time. We suggest that you practice one stage for a while before moving on to the others.

    Source: http://www.wildmind.org

     

  2. The 8 Healthiest Fruits You Should Be Eating

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    By Emily Chau, Ladies’ Home Journal

    Turns out an apple a day (and an orange, kiwi, and banana) can keep the doctor away. Your healthy bowl of fruit should look like this.

    Keep the Doctor Away
    Blueberries, oranges, bananas, apples, kiwis, grapes, strawberries, and papayas — take your pick and take a bite, because these fruits are superfoods for your health.

     

    Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which help fight cancer and prevent macular degeneration. Like cranberries, they contain compounds that can protect against urinary tract infections.

    Oranges: A single orange gives you almost a full day’s vitamin C, plus potassium.
    The opaque membrane around each wedge has hesperidin, which may lower cholesterol.Even the scent is calming, according to research.

    Apples: Eat the skin for a high dose of fiber — both soluble (the type that helps lower cholesterol) and insoluble (it keeps you regular). In addition to meeting 15 percent of your daily fiber needs, an apple is crammed with antioxidants

    .

    Bananas: High in potassium and low in sodium, bananas help lower your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Bonus: Protease inhibitors that can prevent stomach ulcers.

    Kiwis: Ounce for ounce, kiwis contain more than twice as much vitamin C as oranges,
    plus they may lower the risk of cataracts and could even protect DNA from damage.

    Red & Purple Grapes: Red wine isn’t the only source of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that could help fight heart disease. You get nearly as much resveratrol in a cup of dark-colored grapes as you do in a five-ounce glass of merlot.

    Strawberries: A daily handful helps control type 2 diabetes and stave off heart disease and inflammation. Strawberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants.

    Papayas: These contain papain, a substance that helps improve your digestion.
    Papayas also provide a lot of vitamin C and are a good source of folate.

    Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal, May 2009.

  3. Introduction to loving kindness meditation

    Comment

    The Metta Bhavana is a meditation for developing lovingkindness.

    “Bhavana” means “cultivation” or “development,” and “Metta” is a word that means “love,” “friendliness,” or “lovingkindness.” So this is a meditation practice where we actively cultivate some very positive emotional states towards others, as well as to ourselves.

    This meditation practice helps us to bring more harmony into our relationships with others, so that we experience less conflicts, resolve existing difficulties, and deepen our connections with people we already get on with.

    This meditation helps us to overcome anger, resentment, and hurt.

    It helps us to empathize more, and to be more considerate, kind, and forgiving. We can also learn to appreciate others more, concentrating more on their positive qualities and less on their faults. We learn to be more patient.

    In this meditation practice, we also cultivate Metta towards ourselves, so that we experience less internal conflict, and learn to appreciate ourselves more.

    Source: http://www.wildmind.org

  4. Wisdom and Compassion: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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    The Master views the parts with compassion, because he understands the whole.
    (Tao Te Ching, Chapter 39)

    THE ESSENCE
    Wisdom and compassion are the essence of an enlightened life.

    Wisdom and compassion are inextricably linked. They are two sides of the same coin. They are a unit. Separating them is an artificial, intellectual act.

    When compassion is taken out of the equation, wisdom turns into worthless platitudes, which easily become destructive. Without compassion, wisdom degenerates into an escapist entanglement in concepts, theories and dogmas.

    Wisdom is more than just cleverness plus compassion. It differs in quality to a point where it may seem to have little to do with cleverness. Sometimes, the actions of wise people seem to go against common sense. In fact, wise people often act in ways which are considered foolish by clever people.

    The greatest love seems indifferent, the greatest wisdom seems childish.
    (Tao Te Ching, Chapter 41)

    They would, for example, sacrifice their own interests for the sake of others, or accept defeat, sometimes even their own destruction, when they had every chance of winning or escaping. They would refuse to speak in their own defense when it seems expedient to do so, or they would speak up when it means putting themselves in jeopardy. Often, wise people would ignore what seem like clever strategies, and choose suffering instead. Continue reading

  5. Buddhist Perspective on Time and Space

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    A dharma talk from the Hsi Lai Temple

    Dear Venerables and Dharma Friends,

    I am very grateful for the guidance of the Buddha which enables us to have such an outstanding cause and condition to listen to the Dharma in this time and space. Today, the topic that I will discuss is “the Buddhist perspective on time and space.”

    Time travels from the past to the present; it spans the past, present, and future. Likewise, space covers hundreds and thousands of realms; it spreads across all ten directions. For most living beings, time and space are just like the act of breathing: we breathe every moment yet are not conscious of this action. Depending on our individual make-up, we all have different understandings about time and space. For example, certain insects live for a day and are contented; humans live to seventy and are still not satisfied. We all confine ourselves to our own limited slice of time and space. From the Buddhist perspective of samsara, the cycles of rebirth, the life span of all sentient beings is limitless. Not only is space without bounds, time is also endless and cannot be measured. If we penetrate the ultimate truth of time and space, we can be liberated from the space defined by the four directions of north, east, south, and west and emerge from the time cocoon of seconds, minutes, days, and months. We then will be in the dimension of total freedom, and we will be able to experience what is described in the saying, “Clear cool water everywhere; Prajna flowers every moment.”

    I will now discuss the Buddhist perspective on time and space in four points.

    I. The Time and Space for All Living Beings

    The term “all living beings” includes not only human beings but also encompasses beings in the other five realms of existence: celestial beings, asuras, animals, hungry ghosts, and beings in the hell realm. What is the time and space for all living beings within the six realms of existence?

    We will first talk about time. Continue reading

  6. 5 Ways Magnesium Heals Your Body & Mind

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    July 24, 2012 Source: FitLife.tv

    When my clients first come to me to transform their body, often times they are spending hundreds of dollars a month on useless supplements, protein shakes and potions that they are not even absorbing because of digestion issues.

    Due to million dollar marketing budgets and misleading information many of these useless supplements could be forcing the body fat to cling to you like a bacon sweater!

    Many times the Alpha Reset will provide you with needed vitamins and minerals without having to take supplements.

    There are 22 different minerals that are important in human nutrition. Minerals and vitamins function as components of body enzymes, often needed for proper composition of bone, blood, and maintenance of normal cell function.

    In plants, most minerals are complexed with organic molecules which means that you get better mineral absorption when you consume fruits and vegetables.

    One of the most powerful but often times overlooked mineral is magnesium. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. You’ll be surprised at the benefits magnesium provides.

    Below is a chart of the recommended dietary allowance for magnesium for adults and children according to National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.

    5 Benefits of Magnesium:

    1. Magnesium may reverse osteoporosis

    Multiple research studies conducted have suggested that calcium supplemented with magnesium improves bone mineral density. Magnesium deficiency alters calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate calcium, resulting in osteoporosis. Intake of recommended levels of magnesium is important because it averts osteoporosis.

    2. Magnesium prevents cardiovascular diseases

    One of the most important benefits of magnesium is that it is associated with lowering the risk of coronary heart diseases. Dietary surveys have suggested that sufficient magnesium intake may reduce the chance of having a stroke. Magnesium deficiency increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which increases the risk of complications after a heart attack. Therefore, consuming recommended amounts of magnesium dietary supplements may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

    3. Magnesium regulates high blood pressure (Hypertension)

    Magnesium plays a key role in regulating blood pressure naturally. Magnesium supplements and a diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are good sources of potassium and magnesium, are consistently associated with lowering blood pressure.

    4. Magnesium treats diabetes

    Studies show that individuals with a magnesium deficiency have a risk of developing type-2 diabetes and severe diabetic retinopathy. Magnesium aids in carbohydrate metabolism and influences the release and activity of insulin, thereby controlling blood glucose levels. It has been proven that for every 100 milligrams of increase in magnesium daily intake, there was a 15 percent decrease in the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

    5. Magnesium treats migraines, insomnia, and depression

    The numerous magnesium health benefits also include the treatment of migraines, insomnia, and symptoms of depression. Magnesium is also known to cure severe forms of psychiatric dysfunctions including panic attacks, stress, anxiety, and undue agitations. Magnesium supplements considerably reduce the severity of such attacks and may also help in reducing the rate of recurrence.

  7. Global economy

    Comment

    I find that because of modern technological evolution and our global economy, and as a result of the great increase in population, our world has greatly changed: it has become much smaller. However, our perceptions have not evolved at the same pace; we continue to cling to old national demarcations and the old feelings of ‘us’ and ‘them’.

    War seems to be part of the history of humanity.

    As we look at the situation of our planet in the past, countries, regions and even villages were economically independent of one another. Under those circumstances, the destruction of our enemy might have been a victory for us. There was a a relevance to violence and war. However, today we are so interdependent that the concept of war has become out dated.

    When we face problems or disagreements today, we have to arrive at solutions through dialogue. Dialogue is the only appropriate method. One-sided victory is no longer relevant.

    We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep in mind the interests of others. We cannot destroy our neighbors! We cannot ignore their interests! Doing so would ultimately cause us to suffer. I therefore think that the concept of violence is now unsuitable. Nonviolence is the appropriate method. ~Dalai Lama

  8. Monster white sturgeon weighing 1,100 pounds caught in Canada

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    Angler Michael Snell, front, with wife Margaret and guide Dean Werk pose with the mammoth sturgeon.

    By: David Strege

    A monster white sturgeon weighing an estimated 1,100 pounds and measuring 12 feet, 4 inches was caught and released on the Fraser River, a British Columbia waterway famous for its big sturgeon…just not this big.

    Catches of white sturgeon averaging 30 to 100 pounds are typical on the Fraser, even an occasional 250-pounder, but nothing as massive as this sturgeon, believed to be the biggest freshwater fish ever caught on rod and reel in North America…and possibly the oldest.

    “I’ve been a professional guide on the Fraser for 25 years and I’ve never seen a sturgeon this big,” said Dean Werk, owner/guide of Great River Fishing Adventures.

    “We have helped to collectively tag more than 47,000 white sturgeon since 1995, and scanned in excess of 90,000 tagged sturgeon that have been caught and released. This tells us this dinosaur fish hasn’t been caught in at least 18 years if ever at all. I’d bet she’s over 100 years old.” Continue reading


Live & Die for Buddhism

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Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

Problems we face today

jendhamuni pink scarfnature

Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

Major Differences in Buddhism

Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

My Reflection

This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

A Handful of Leaves

Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more