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

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    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. Choosing Healthy Fruits and Vegetables

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    By Abigale MillerMedically reviewed by Cynthia Haines, MD

    Once you start to add fruits and vegetables to your healthy eating plan, you’ll want to keep eating them. Learn what to look for when choosing produce as part of a healthy diet.

    It probably doesn’t surprise you that most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. The American Dietary Guidelines suggest that each person eat four and a half cups, or nine servings, of fruits or vegetables each day. Many people find this difficult to manage, but with a little creativity and the right information, it’s as easy as (apple) pie!

    Healthy Eating: Why You Need Produce

    What can a diet rich in produce do for you? Besides being a delicious part of your meals, fruits and vegetables have amazing health benefits. People who eat a variety of fruits and vegetables generally have a lower incidence of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

    Fruits and vegetables offer a spectacular variety of flavor, texture, and nutrition that is just waiting to be taken advantage of. Here are some tips to help you maximize the health benefits of eating produce:

    Choose a produce rainbow. Richly colored fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients compared to paler ones. Jessica Begg, RD, of Flourish Wellness & Nutrition in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, suggests dark-colored spinach as a healthy alternative to pale iceberg lettuce. Brightly colored produce like tomatoes, carrots, pink grapefruit, mangoes, and guava are a good source of carotenoids, a form of vitamin A that may help prevent heart disease. Continue reading

  8. Cucumber nutrition facts

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    Ever wonder how to beat the scorching summer heat? Remember humble crunchy cucumber! This wonderful, low calorie vegetable indeed has more nutrients to offer than just water and electrolytes.

    The vegetable is one of the oldest cultivated crops and believed to be originating in the northern plains of India. The plant is a creeper (vine) just like other same cucurbita family members, for example gourds, squashes, melons, zucchini etc. Botanically, it belongs to the cucurbitaceous family; and is known scientifically as Cucumis sativus.

    Cucumber is easy to grow. Different varieties, varying in size, shape, and color, are cultivated all around the world. In general, the fruit features dark green skin, crispy moisture rich flesh, and small edible seeds concentrated at its center. Like other squash members, cucumbers are best-harvested young, tender and just short of reaching maturity, at a stage when they taste sweet and have unique flavor. If left alone, the fruit continues to grow in size, its skin become tough and turns yellow, and seeds become hard and inedible. Fresh cucumbers are available throughout the season and can be eaten raw as is or in vegetable salads or in the form of juice.

    Cucumis melo var. flexuosusArmenian cucumbers (Cucumis melo var. flexuosus) are long, crispy, and thin-ribbed, curved, and have light green color. Although they are grouped botanically in melons family they look and taste like cucumbers.
    Small size varieties such as gherkins, American dills and French-cornichons are very small in size and usually preferred in pickling.

    Health benefits of Cucumber

    • It is one of the very low calories vegetable; provides just 15 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation, and offers some protection against colon cancers by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
    • It is a very good source of potassium, an important intracellular electrolyte. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; helps reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering effects of sodium.
    • It contains unique anti-oxidants in good ratios such as ß-carotene and α-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
    • Cucumbers have mild diuretic property probably due to their high water and potassium content, which helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure.
    • They are surprisingly have high amount of vitamin K, provides about 17 µg of this vitamin per 100 g. Vitamin-K has been found to have potential role in bone strength by promoting osteotrophic (bone mass building) activity. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

    Source: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com


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