1. The Metta Prayer

    Comment

    The Buddha gave a beautiful teaching on the development of lovingkindness called the Metta Sutta (also known as the Karaniya Metta Sutta). I’ve adapted the words of the sutta to formulate them as an aspiration that can be repeated in a prayer-like way.

    In order that I may be skilled in discerning what is good, in order that I may understand the path to peace,

    Let me be able, upright, and straightforward, of good speech, gentle, and free from pride;

    Let me be contented, easily satisfied, having few duties, living simply, of controlled senses, prudent, without pride and without attachment to nation, race, or other groups.

    Let me not do the slightest thing for which the wise might rebuke me. Instead let me think:

    May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.

    Whatever living beings there may be, whether moving or standing still, without exception, whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,

    Whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far,

    Born or unborn; may all beings be happy.

    Continue reading

  2. The Helpful Enemy

    Comment

    Transcribed talks by Ratnaghosa
    Talk three of six on patience or kshanti

    Patience is the most common translation of Kshanti and indeed people often think of Kshanti as patience. However the word Kshanti has many meanings and the Perfection of Kshanti (Kshanti-paramita) has many different aspects to it. One very important aspect of Kshanti is giving up any desire for revenge or retaliation. To give up any desire for revenge or retaliation means to forgive.

    According to the Oxford Universal Dictionary, forgiveness means, “to give up, cease to harbour resentment etc”.

    If we give up resentment against someone, then we no longer have the desire to retaliate or seek revenge. In short, we have forgiven them. This is the forgiveness aspect of Kshanti. It is not easy to forgive, especially if someone has really caused us harm intentionally.

    It is not even easy to forgive when we feel offended even though no offence was meant. To forgive is to let go of feeling hurt, to give up our grudges. To forgive means to extend goodwill to those that we feel are opposed to us, those who have offended us, those who have hurt us, those who don’t like us, even those we regard as enemies. Forgiveness is truly an act of self-transformation. Continue reading

  3. He wishes for nothing

    28

    Like a bird,
    He rises on the limitless air
    And flies an invisible course.
    He wishes for nothing.
    His food is knowledge.
    He lives upon emptiness.
    He has broken free.

    ~Buddha

  4. Because that is like that

    47

    The Buddha taught that this is like this, because that is like that.  You see?  Becasue you smile, I am happy. This is like this, therefore that is like that.  And that is like that because this is like that. This is called dependent co-arising. Suppose you and I are friends. (In fact, I hope we are friends.)  My well-being, my happiness depends very much on you, and your wellbeing, your happiness, depends upon me. I am responsible for you, and you are responsible for me. Anything I do wrong, you will suffer, and anything you do wrong, I have to suffer. Therefore, in order to take care of you, I have to take care of myself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

    Heart Shaped Rock Hole

  5. Criticism

    Comment

    Criticism is the act of pointing out the inadequacies or faults in a person or thing.

    While criticism is often perceived as negative it can actually have a crucial role in helping to distinguish truth from falsehood and right from wrong, particularly when assessing the different claims of religions. Given this dual quality, the Buddha said that while criticism is valid, it has to be done with circumspection.

    A man once said to the Buddha that some people criticise the wrong but do not praise the worthy, others praise the worthy without criticising the wrong, some criticise the wrong and praise the worthy and others refrain from either criticising the wrong or praising the worthy. He then said to the Buddha that he believed the person who refrained from both criticism and praise is the best of the four. The Buddha responded to these observations by saying:

    ‘I maintain that one who criticises that which deserves criticism and praises that which deserves praise, at the right time, saying what is factual and true, is the best. And why? Because their timing is admirable.’ (A.II,97).

    Two things are suggested here. Before we point out the shortcomings in something or someone, we must make sure we are acquainted with the facts and that our criticism is valid. Secondly, our criticism must be done at the right time – e.g.

    when it is more likely to stimulate positive change. Criticising other people is better done in private rather than in public, to their face rather than behind their back, when we ourselves are free from the fault we are criticising and when we can honestly say that our motive is a desire to help the person.

    Referring to constructive criticism, the Buddhist philosopher Nāgarjuna wrote in his Ratanavāli, ‘Rare are helpful speakers, rarer still are good listeners, but rarest of all are words that though unpleasant are helpful.’

     

    Source: http://www.buddhisma2z.com

     

  6. We are sometimes too sensitive toward minor things

    Comment

    So from the Buddhist viewpoint, in our daily life we are sometimes too sensitive toward minor things. At the same time, toward other major problems that can create long-term consequences, we are not so sensitive. Because of this, we find in the scriptures that ordinary people like ourselves are described as childlike or childish. In fact, the term ‘jhipa’ (Tib. ‘byis pa’), or childish, is used in different ways: sometimes it is used in terms of age, which is the conventional usage; sometimes it is used for ordinary sentient beings, as opposed to the Arya beings, the superior beings. Then sometimes it is used to described people who are concerned only with affairs of this life and have no interest or regard for the affairs of their future life, or life after death. So, the tendency of our childish nature is to take small things too seriously and get easily offended, whereas when we are confronted with situations which have long-term consequences, we tend to take things less seriously. ~Dalai Lama

     

  7. Ego and Desire

    Comment

    The feeling of a separate “I”, which we call ego-consciousness, is directly related to the strength of ignorance, greed, and hatred. The deepest meaning of ignorance is the believing in, identifying with and clinging to the ego, which as we have seen, is nothing but an illusive mental phenomenon. But because of this strong clinging to ego-consciousness, attachment/desire, anger/hatred arise and repeatedly gain strength.

    The ego needs activity in order to exist. Like and dislike, attachment, aversion, greed and hatred are the main overt activities of the ego. The more desire and aversion we have the more alive we feel, the more real and concrete the ego seems. In reality, the ego depends on desire, its life-blood is desire. The ego and desire are like the two sides of a coin — one cannot exist without the other. The ego is projected desire, and desire is projected ego. It is like pedalling a bicycle: if we go on pedalling, the bicycle goes on moving; but if we stop pedalling the bicycle will start slowing down and eventually collapse. The more we go on generating desire the ego seems very real. When desiring stops the ego then appears as an illusion.
    Source: www.maithri.com

  8. Cultivating emotions

    Comment

    girl071215

    The idea of cultivating emotions in meditation might strike some of us as being a bit odd: after all, don’t emotions “just happen”? It often seems like they well up inside of ourselves unbidden, and come and go like the weather.

    A lot of the language we use to talk about emotions suggests a lack of control. For example, we “fall” in love, or we are “overcome” with anger, or we feel “depressed” (who’s doing the depressing), or we feel “overburdened” with stress, or people “make” us annoyed.

    From a Buddhist point of view it is not the case that emotions “just happen”. Emotions are habits, and are actively created. It seems like they have a life of their own because we aren’t conscious of exactly how we create them. If we can bring more awareness into our emotional life then we can cultivate the emotions we want to experience (those that make us and others happy), and discourage the arising of those we don’t want (those that make us unhappy and generate conflict with others).

    Buddhist meditation encourages us to take responsibility for our emotional states.

    We cultivate emotions all the time. An example of how we unconsciously generate emotions is this: imagine you’re with a group of people, and you get to talking about all the things that are wrong with the world — hatred, war, intolerance, child-abuse, pollution etc. As the conversation goes on, and we get more and more involved, what happens? The chances are that we get angry, or depressed, or feel self-righteous. By focusing on things that anger or depress you (without creatively trying to see what you can actually do about these things), you cultivate these emotions.

    Imagine if you did that with things that encouraged a sense of love and well-being? That’s what the Metta Bhavana practice is about. It’s a meditation practice in which we consciously set up the conditions for the arising of positive emotion.

    Source: http://www.wildmind.org

     


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

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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

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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