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Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Song of Life" by Libera

There's a whisper in the dark
As a new life comes to be

Then a song begins to form
As it finds the harmony
With a chorus of sound
Of the world all around
Now it blends in the tune
Joining the endless song of life

We shall never be alone
As we link our hearts in one
Joining voices from above
All in the miracle of life
Through the ages we will grow
Only time will ever know
As our voices magnify
All in the miracle of life.

Love plays along in our lives yet to come
As we join the song of life

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.

~ Deepak Chopra ~

Ideas Are Not Truth

One has to be aware of this total process, of how ideas come into being, how action springs from ideas, and how ideas control action and therefore limit action, depending on sensation. It doesn’t matter whose ideas they are, whether from the left or from the extreme right. So long as we cling to ideas, we are in a state in which there can be no experiencing at all. Then we are merely living in the field of time—in the past, which gives further sensation, or in the future, which is another form of sensation. It is only when the mind is free from idea that there can be experiencing.

Ideas are not truth; and truth is something that must be experienced directly, from moment to moment. It is not an experience which you want—which is then merely sensation. Only when one can go beyond the bundle of ideas—which is the “me”, which is the mind, which has a partial or complete continuity—only when one can go beyond that, when thought is completely silent, is there a state of experiencing. Then one shall know what truth is.

~by Jiddu Krishnamurti from his book “The First And Last Freedom”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Free Awareness - Inescapable Seeing (Video)

~ Bentinho Massaro ~

*Note - Intentional silence at the beginning of video

http://www.free-awareness.com - There is a natural Seeing happening right now, that is free from you doing it. It's inescapably the case. Every experience confirms this seeing to be the source of the experience. Commit to recognizing this natural Seeing, and the human experience will benefit tremendously.

Sign up for a powerful and entirely free newsletter which will introduce you to Freedom Directly:

Cultivating Joy

~by Thich Nhat Hanh

If you want to garden, you have to bend down and touch the soil. Gardening is a practice, not an idea. To practice the Four Noble Truths, you yourself have to touch deeply the things that bring you peace and joy. When you do, you realize that walking on the earth is a miracle, washing the dishes is a miracle, and practicing with a community of friends is a miracle. The greatest miracle is to be alive.

We can put an end to our suffering just by realizing that our suffering is not worth suffering for! How many people kill themselves because of rage or despair? In that moment, they do not see the vast happiness that is available. Mindfulness puts an end to such a limited perspective. The Buddha faced his own suffering directly and discovered the path of liberation. Don’t run away from things that are unpleasant in order to embrace things that are pleasant. Put your hands in the earth. Face the difficulties and grow new happiness.

One student told me, “When I go to parties, people seem to be enjoying themselves. But when I look beneath the surface, I see so much anxiety and suffering there.” At first, your joy is limited, especially the kind of joy that is just covering up suffering. Embrace your suffering, smile to it, and discover the source of happiness that is right there within it.

Buddha’s and bodhisattvas suffer, too. The difference between them and us is that they know how to transform their suffering into joy and compassion. Like good organic gardeners, they do not discriminate in favor of the flowers or against the garbage. They know how to transform garbage into flowers. Don’t throw away suffering. Touch your suffering. Face it directly, and your joy will become deeper. You know that suffering and joy are both impermanent. Learn the art of cultivating joy.

Ego Is Nothing To Be Proud Of. It Only Turns People Off.

~Pamela J. Wells~

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tibetan Flute - Nawang Kechog - Daily Prayer And Practice Of The Dalai Lama

Nawang Khechog (also known as Nawang Khechong) is a Tibetan flute player and composer.

Nawang was born in Tibet, but following the Chinese invasion of 1949/1950, his family moved to India, where Nawang studied meditation and Buddhist philosophy. He spent eleven years as a monk, including four years as a hermit meditating in the Himalayan foothills under the guidance of the Dalai Lama.

A self-taught musician, Nawang's expression springs from his emotions and his life experience traveling the world as a Tibetan nomad. In 1986, he emigrated to Australia, where he first performed, and his recordings achieved bestseller status. Nawang is best known for his collaborations with Kitaro, including performances on Kitaro's Grammy-nominated Enchanted Evening and Mandala albums. He has received international acclaim for his live performances with Philip Glass, Paul Winter, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Natalie Merchant, R. Carlos Nakai, and Baba Olatunji.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Inspired Heart: Book Review

Like a patchwork quilt, each story and each connection in Jerry’s life is a patch, a snapshot in time, of his life journey of self-discovery, deep within and beyond the surface level of appearances, which normally reveal only a reflection of what the eye can see. No longer satisfied with this surface level of identity, Jerry decided to embrace what he refers to as “the mystery” of life, the essence of life, beyond illusion. He needed to let go of all forms of identity; this included what he and others identified him as—an artist, a reflection of his passion.

Along the way, he met some incredible people, with whom each had a story to tell. Jerry unconditionally accepted them, regardless of what difficulties they were going through at the time. With that often quiet stillness and presence that he allowed, uncontaminated by the mind, he was able to be in that space openly and freely, which allowed others to share in that space openly and freely, without fear of judgment or ridicule. The usual illusory walls of separation found in most human connections crumbled and disappeared into thin air when the people he met and encountered for the first time felt that unconditional presence and love.

In being there for them, he was also able to be there for himself, unconditionally. Regardless of what difficulties arose for him along the way, he found that each one worked itself out. The mystery and his intuition carried him forward. Regardless of which direction it took him, he went with the flow of life, with complete acceptance of every experience, every moment, and every outcome.

He awakened to the true essence of life, which has no identity, no labels, just pure awareness. Free from attachments, now he is able to create art, unconditionally, without expectations, without judgment, without attachments to it or to the outcome. He is now able to go beyond appearances and dive deep into the unknown, into the mystery of life, which is now reflected in his artwork.

-Pamela J. Wells, Freelance Writer, www.selflessbeing.com

Jerry's Website: In the Hands of Alchemy

Jerry Wennstrom Pacifica Graduate Institute Lecture
In this video Jerry shares his unusual personal story, insights and photographs of the large body of art that he created throughout his lifetime. It is an intimate and in-depth guided tour of the creative journey and psychological process of an artist. Jerry articulates his quest, not just for creative inspiration but also for that "quantum leap" that sets one on the path of an inspired life. Paradoxically most of the paintings shown here were destroyed by the artist in 1979 and as stated in the video transformed into a more complete and whole way of Being. The sculptures presented here are only part of the entirely new body of art that has emerged.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Egoic Suicide

~by Pamela J. Wells

The ego is holding the rope and giving you a choice, either me (the ego, the imagined false self) or your physical body. Either way, it is a death; but the egoic mind trained and programmed like a computer, has delusional thoughts of worthlessness and the need for acceptance, which is based upon false delusional societal norms.

From the individual to the collective, our sick egoic state of consciousness poisons the air that we breathe. With each breath we take, we mentally and verbally, shoot double-edged swords out of our mouths, penetrating us and those with whom we intend them for.

We act as if suffering is our birthright and we will defend it with all our might if and until we hit rock bottom, and when we hit rock bottom, we either awaken and allow the ego to die by seeing our own delusionally ego created thoughts (initially, formulated in the mind and then made visible through physical, material constructs); or, we allow the ego to kill us, first mentally and emotionally, and then, ultimately, by killing our body by way of our own hands.

Awaken, consciously, and let the ego (the false self) die, or continue to sleep while awake, unconsciously, and let the ego live. Awaken or suffer, it is your choice. Awaken and fully live your live, or remain asleep and continue to suffer. It is your choice, not societies. You are in control. You always have been in control. You just didn’t know it.

Copyright © 2011 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Instead of Attachment

Great message and great sense of humor:)

Ajahn Brahm talks about enjoying our possessions like family, relationships and identity without being attached to them. Attachment comes from fear and enjoyment comes from letting go of fear.

Friday, December 2, 2011

From Seed to Bloom

~By Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Bodhichitta, the seed of enlightenment, grows where it’s cultivated. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche explains six traditional contemplations for developing awakened heart.

The Sanskrit term bodhichitta means “mind of enlightenment,” “seed of enlightenment,” or “awakened heart.” Fundamentally, bodhichitta is the aspiration for others to be happy, to be free from suffering. Absolute bodhichitta is the realization of emptiness, which happens fully at the first bhumi, the path of seeing. Relative or conventional bodhichitta is more immediate. Relative bodhichitta has two aspects: aspiration and entering. Aspiration is positioning ourselves to do something. Before we do something, there’s a thought process involved: we contemplate it. In aspiration, we contemplate all sentient beings having been our mothers, we vow to repay their kindness, and so on. Such thoughts are the heart of contemplative meditation.

We begin by doing sitting meditation until we experience some peace. Out of that we conjure up an intention: “Today I will try to be kind to others.” Then we actually enter, engage in the practice.

Traditionally, we are offered six quintessential instructions on how to generate bodhichitta, all rooted in the ground of equanimity. The point of first cultivating an attitude of equanimity is to open up our view. We tend to have fixed ideas of friends and enemies, and based on that view, we see the world through the lens of good and bad: sharks are bad and bunny rabbits are good; democracy is great and communism is bad.

Equanimity is a spacious, vast, and even state of mind; it does not take sides. It’s not about being untouched by the world, but letting go of fixed ideas. How else are we to develop compassion and loving-kindness for everyone and everything? Equanimity levels the playing field—we are not excluding anyone from our practice. It’s like dealing with two fighting children. Since we’re more experienced with all kinds of trials and tribulations, we know that what they’re arguing about is not really important. We enter with an unbiased view, which is equanimity.

Most of the time we’re trying to figure out a problem based on our attachment. We all believe that if it were not for that one particular person who really irritates us, we’d already be compassionate and understanding. If only that one person weren’t in our way! But she has our number and calls it a lot. Generating bodhichitta helps us deal with problems involving helping others. There are six ways in which we can cultivate this attitude.

The first way is to consider that all sentient beings have been our mothers. Basically, it is our mother who gives us unconditional love. She nurtures and supports us and takes care of us when we are weak. Traditionally, it is said that genuine courage is like that of a mother protecting her child from danger. Regarding all sentient beings as having been our mothers means that at some point, everyone has shown us love and care. The Buddha said that we have all experienced endless lifetimes. If we take this to be true, then every being we encounter has been our mother, father, brother, sister, enemy, friend—everything. If we don’t believe in life after death or rebirth, we can understand this in the context of our present life. From the moment we were born, we’ve had friends who have become our enemies. We’ve been in good situations that have turned bad. We’ve been in bad ones that have turned good. The point of this first instruction is to help support our equanimity by reducing our attachment to relative notions of good and bad.

The second way to generate bodhichitta is to think of the kindness of others. We can contemplate what others have done for us in great and small ways. If all sentient beings have been our mothers, they have, of course, all been kind to us at some point. Even that person who’s got our number has done something good for us—maybe just by passing the salt. Contemplating the kindness of others helps us see the positive aspects of any situation. These are often hard to see—sometimes we just want to stick with our negativity—but this instruction begins to loosen us up. With the budding view of bodhichitta, we begin to look at life and see what is good, even in a bad or chaotic situation. Trying to see things in a more positive light by thinking of the kindness of others churns up our mind and lets the bodhichitta come out.

The third instruction on generating bodhichitta is to repay the kindness of others. This is almost like taking a vow. If we have the view that those who have helped us includes everyone—that even animals have cared for us in some previous lifetime—every encounter becomes an opportunity for us to practice repaying their kindness. This contemplation is part of the aspect of the Mahayana school of Buddhism called the “great activity.” It’s called “great” because this attitude is so vast that it’s difficult to imagine. If we had this attitude even for a moment, we’d begin to see that everyone we meet has helped us, directly or indirectly, and we would want to repay his or her kindness. By taking this attitude in working with others, we could experience our lives in a completely different way.

The fourth way to generate bodhichitta is to develop loving-kindness by contemplating the delightful qualities of others. If we care for someone, we naturally find something delightful in him; that’s what draws us in. In the middle of a meadow, if we saw a mound of dirt with a single flower growing out of it, we would still be able to see the beauty of the flower. We wouldn’t think, “The flowers are beautiful except for that one, because it grew from that pile of dirt.”

So rather than contemplating the shortcomings of others, we see their good qualities and generate loving-kindness towards them. Loving-kindness is associated with wanting others to enjoy happiness. What generally hinders our wanting other people to be happy are heavy emotions such as anger, jealousy, and pride, which obscure our mind. Developing kindness towards others takes the energy out of this emotional confusion.

The next instruction is to generate bodhichitta by contemplating compassion, which is the desire that everyone be free from suffering. Compassion does not mean taking pity on others or having sympathy: “Oh, you poor thing!” Compassion is empathy based on understanding what suffering is. Not only do we see the suffering of others, but we also feel it directly. If we love and care for others, we do not want them to have a hard time. Seeing the suffering of someone who’s very close to us heightens our sense of compassion. We think, “This could happen to me.”

The final instruction on how to generate bodhichitta is to commit ourselves without question to following these instructions. Even though in post-meditation we may not be able to do the bodhichitta practice continuously, we keep our determination strong. We will be kind and compassionate and we will take delight in all beings, with the knowledge that they have helped us. Even if we are the only person in the entire world practicing in this way, we will not stop doing it. Such an adamantine commitment gives us the steadfastness and conviction of the Buddha sitting underneath the Bodhi tree.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is spiritual director of Shambhala, an international network of meditation and retreat centers. He is the author of Turning Your Mind into an Ally and Ruling Your World.

From Seed to Bloom, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Shambhala Sun, January 2007.

Source: Shambhala Sun

Arousing Bodhicitta

It means an individual who has taken love and compassion
into their heart in a strong way, where they have, in a sense,
dedicated their life to trying to help others.

~Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

"Change the World, Start with Myself.”

 This idea is called Bodhicitta: 
The wish to become an omniscient Buddha so I can be of  perfect help for others.

"Even when you can't speak, your heart will remember what your mind has forgotten!"

~ Lauren Benfield ~

What is the self? ~Peter Russell (Video)

In an interview with the creators of "Leap!" the movie, Peter Russell 
answers the question: "What is this 'I' or 'Self" we always refer to?"