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Monday, January 30, 2012

“You have the strength to go forward. Believe in yourself. Don’t succumb to low self-esteem or passivity. You will become a Buddha.”

~Never-Disparaging Bodhisattva~

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Selfless & Deserving

By Pamela J. Wells
Published: January 29, 2012

There is your true nature and there is your false self (your ego). When I say selfless, I mean egoless. Your true nature is interconnected to everyone and everything. It is absent the ego, absent the identification with the body-mind, which creates an illusory appearance of a separate self. When I say deserving, I mean deserving a great life that you create. It does not mean demanding others give you what you deserve. It has nothing to do with anything external to you. You create a great life, which can only be achieved when you remove all of the obstacles that you have put before you, that hide your true nature of joy and peace, which has no feelings of lack.

It is possible to be both selfless and deserving. How can you be selfless and deserving at the same time? Being selfless is about listening and giving unconditionally, not thinking, “What’s in it for me?”

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved

Creative Commons License 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thiên Thủ Quan Âm (Thousand Hand Guan Yin)

Guanyin or Kwanyin, the Goddess of Mercy.

~ China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe, "Thousand-hand Guan Yin" Guan Yin is a Chinese goddess.Feeling music through speakers and guided by hand gestures, a troupe of deaf dancers in Beijing take steps to champion the rights of disabled people across the world ~

" Being deaf and mute, these disabled female performers endure pain and suffering in vigorous training, simply to deliver a message of love to mankind. "

Guanyin or Kwanyin (aka), the Goddess of Mercy also known by Westerners as the Chinese Goddess of love and compassion has long occupied a unique place not only in Buddhism, but also in Chinese culture. The Chinese word "Guanyin is an abbreviation of "Guan shi yin" which denotes" seeing the voice of the world if rendered literally. Such a deity can be called as the deity who looks in every direction or the "Regarder of the cries of suffering beings".

According to legend, Guanyin, the youngest daughter of a king, defied her father when he sought a husband for her. The angry king sent her away to a monastery with instructions that she should be compelled to obey. This only strengthened her resolve. So the king set fire to the monastery and ordered her execution when she was caught sitting erect reciting sutras. As she was about to be beheaded, the sword broke into two and a tiger from nowhere carried her away to a forest.

One day from afar she saw the king was sick and not responding to treatment, so she severed her arms and eyes to sacrifice them for him. The grieved king besought heaven and earth to make his daughter whole again. Soon, Guanyin had arms and eyes by the thousand, and bowing before her father, she urged him to practise good deeds to which the king readily agreed.

Pema Chödrön - Why I Became a Buddhist

Ego = Pain + Suffering

By Pamela J. Wells

Our identity with our self and our judgment of others keeps us asleep, unconscious. It keeps us from being at peace with ourselves and others. Ego is the primary cause of pain and suffering in families, communities, countries, and the world.

The Ego Is An Illusion, but the Problem Herein Lies, When We Believe That We Are The Ego.

The Ego is your false self. You have to wake-up from that self. To be at total peace with the world and everyone around you, including yourself, you have to wake up from your identity. In order to do that, you have to lose yourself—lose your false self. Forget about yourself. Forget about your illusory separateness from everyone around you, even the people with whom you do not like or even feel hate for. Your ego, your thoughts about who you think you are, creates separation between you and everyone else. Your ego only causes pain and suffering.

Ego Is Not Attractive

Many times, people like it when they are told that they have a big ego. They think that it validates their worthiness, their superiority over others, that it makes them important, makes them stand out from others. It does make them stand out from others. They stand out from others, but not in a good way. They are alone and empty inside, craving attention, but they cannot find it. Yet it continues to be a vicious cycle of repeated delusional thoughts and behavior that can never be filled up with anything. It is like a gaping hole inside of you that makes you feel like you are invisible, insignificant, and worthless, so in order to attempt to fill that hole, one has to build himself or herself up, so that he or she will not feel invisible; however, others are turned off by that ego and end up shutting down when around that person or they choose to not have anything to do with that person anymore. 

Ego is likened to a pair of eyes that can only see our physical differences from others, our differences in our appearance, the way we look, and our differences in what we have, material objects. Ego identifies individuals and groups of individuals through labels that it creates based upon those differences, as well through labels used to describe the “status” of an individual or group in a society. The ego begins to separate, dissect, and categorize individuals and groups of individuals based upon faulty and false ideas and perceptions. Ego is not attractive. It is a negative energy that pushes people away and causes the person with the ego to feel feelings of loneliness and separation.

Copyright © 2012 Pamela J. Wells. All Rights Reserved
Image licensed under Bigstockphoto.com

Creative Commons License 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wayne Dyer Introduces Immaculée Ilibagiza Who Tells Her Story

Immaculée Ilibagiza was born in Rwanda and studied Electronic and Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Rwanda. Her life transformed dramatically in 1994 during the Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God.

Dr. Wayne Dyer Wishes Fulfilled | Preview | PBS

Best-selling author, spiritual teacher and internationally renowned lecturer Dr. Wayne Dyer introduces the Five Wishes Fulfilled Foundations and outlines a program for mastering the tools necessary for living a profoundly satisfying life.

Airing March 2012 on most PBS stations (check your local listings at http://pbs.org/tvschedules). Support your local PBS station now -- you make it possible for your PBS station to offer amazing performances and the opportunity to discover something new every day, whether on TV or online. To donate to your local PBS station, visit http://www.pbs.org/support

Worry & Fear: Let It Go

By Pamela J. Wells
Published: January 25, 2012

Constantly worrying about problems or other people sabotages, not only your peace and joy, but it sabotages the peace and joy of those who are around you, especially the person with whom you are worrying about. It creates overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress.

Worrying about problems does not change the problem, it changes you. It causes unnecessary stress, mentally, emotionally, and physically—creating fertile ground for psychological and physical ailments, such as anxiety, depression, and disease. When you are constantly worried about someone, you are not only creating unnecessary stress for yourself, but you are creating unnecessary stress for the person with whom you are worrying about. You want them to be happy, but you sabotage their happiness through your worry and fear, such as the fear that something bad might happen to them; whether it be your kids or other loved ones.

You Have To Let It Go.
Let Go of Fear & Let Go of Worry.

When you are struggling with a problem, but you do not know how to handle it or what to do or if you should do anything, continuing to think about it will not bring the solution. The mind creates blocks. You have to silence your mind and become still. When you let go, surrender to it completely. You will be overcome with feelings of peace and contentment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oprah and Eckhart Tolle - The False Power of Ego

During the premiere episode of Oprah's Lifeclass, Oprah opened up about one of her biggest regrets: wheeling out a wagon filled with fat after losing weight. During the live webcast that followed the show, Oprah was joined by author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle to discuss the false power of ego with viewers and members of the studio audience. Watch the complete conversation now.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/The-Complete-Webcast-of-Oprahs-Lifeclass-with-Eckhart-Tolle-Video#ixzz1kXI9gCBS

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Blog - Pamela J. Wells

 Visit my new blog where I write and share articles on 
spirituality and conscious awareness, and how to transcend the 
mind and live from one's true nature of peace and joy.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Silence and Stillness

Excerpt from Stillness Speaks book by Eckhart Tolle

Stillness is your essential nature. What is stillness? The inner space or awareness in which the words on this page are being perceived and become thoughts. Without that awareness, there would be no perception, no thoughts, no world.

You are that awareness, disguised as a person.

When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form. The equivalent of external noise is the inner noise of thinking. The equivalent of external silence is inner stillness.

Whenever there is some silence around you — listen to it. That means just notice it. Pay attention to it. Listening to silence awakens the dimension of stillness within yourself, because it is only through stillness that you can be aware of silence. See that in the moment of noticing the silence around you, you are not thinking. You are aware, but not thinking. When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning.

Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness. When you look at a tree and perceive its stillness, you become still yourself. You connect with it at a very deep level. You feel a oneness with whatever you perceive in and through stillness. Feeling the oneness of yourself with all things is true love.

Silence is helpful, but you don’t need it in order to find stillness. Even when there is noise, you can be aware of the stillness underneath the noise, of the space in which the noise arises. That is the inner space of pure awareness, consciousness itself. You can become aware of awareness as the background to all your sense perceptions, all your thinking. Becoming aware of awareness is the arising of inner stillness. Any disturbing noise can be as helpful as silence. How? By dropping your inner resistance to the noise, by allowing it to be as it is, this acceptance also takes you into that realm of inner peace that is stillness.

Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is — no matter what form it takes — you are still, you are at peace. Pay attention to the gap — the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap between the in-breath and out-breath. When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of "something" becomes — just awareness. The formless dimension of pure consciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.

True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found. Is stillness just the absence of noise and content? No, it is intelligence itself — the underlying consciousness out of which every form is born. And how could that be separate from who you are? The form that you think you are came out of that and is being sustained by it. It is the essence of all galaxies and blades of grass; of all flowers, trees, birds, and all other forms. Stillness is the only thing in this world that has no form. But then, it is not really a thing, and it is not of this world.

When you look at a tree or a human being in stillness, who is looking? Something deeper than the person. Consciousness is looking at its creation. In the Bible, it says that God created the world and saw that it was good. That is what you see when you look from stillness without thought.

Do you need more knowledge? Is more information going to save the world, or faster computers, more scientific or intellectual analysis? Is it not wisdom that humanity needs most at this time? But what is wisdom and where is it to be found? Wisdom comes with the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.

Excerpted from Stillness Speaks  by Eckhart Tolle

Image: Buddhist Monk - Abbot of Watkungtaphao - in Phu Soidao National park Waterfall, Thailand, Uttaradit Province – Photo by Tevaprapas at Foter.com

Taking Refuge by Tara Brach

This class explores the three classic gateways to true refuge - Buddha (awareness); Dharma (path, truth of reality) and Sangha (spiritual friends, loving relatedness). It includes reflections and a ceremony that supports us in remembering the pathway home.

Tara Brach is a leading western teacher of Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She has practiced and taught meditation for over 35 years, with an emphasis on vipassana (mindfulness or insight) meditation. Tara is the senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington. A clinical psychologist, Tara is the author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha and the upcoming book, True Refuge-Three Gateways to a Fearless Heart (Bantam, February 2013).

Tara is nationally known for her skill in weaving western psychological wisdom with a range of meditative practices. Her approach emphasizes compassion for oneself and others, mindful presence and the direct realization and embodiment of natural awareness.

Tara's Website

Tara Brach: Perception of Separation

Tara Brach shares a key Buddhist insight reflected in modern biology: that our sense of self, like a cell's surface, helps us survive by regulating what's inside and outside. When a cell -- or your self -- overreacts, that's when problems can arise.

Conscious Freedom ~ Adyashanti (Video)

It is not our idea of ourselves that wakes up -- it is the dormant consciousness within that awakens to itself. Adyashanti invites us to see what drives our struggle to awaken and recognize the conscious freedom that is already here as the true nature of everything.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Discovering the True Nature of Your Anger

At the moment you become angry, you tend to believe that your misery has been created by another person. You blame him or her for all your suffering. But by looking deeply, you may realize that the seed of anger in you is the main cause of your suffering. Many other people, confronted with the same situation, would not get angry like you. They hear the same words, they see the same situation, and yet they are able to stay calm and not be carried away. Why do you get angry so easily? You may get angry very easily because your seed of anger is too strong. And because you have not practiced the methods for taking good care of your anger, the seed has been watered too often in the past.

All of us have a seed of anger in the depth of our consciousness. But in some of us, that seed of anger is bigger than our other seeds-like love or compassion. The seed of anger may be bigger because we have not practiced in the past. When we begin to cultivate the energy of mindfulness, the first insight we have is that the main cause of our suffering, of our misery, is not the other person it is the seed of anger in us. Then we will stop blaming the other person for causing all our suffering. We realize she or he is only a secondary cause.

~by Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, January 16, 2012


Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, I am determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory or ideology, even Buddhist ones. Buddhist teachings are guiding means to help me learn to look deeply and to develop my understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill or die for.

Taken from: The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing

The Order of Interbeing was founded by and continues to be inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk.

Ram Dass Interviews Thich Nhat Hanh (Videos)

Thich Nhat Hanh's key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live in the present moment instead of in the past and in the future. Dwelling in the present moment is, according to Nhat Hanh, the only way to truly develop peace, both in one's self and in the world.

One of the best known and most respected Zen masters in the world today, poet, and peace and human rights activist, Thich Nhat Hanh (called Thây by his students) has led an extraordinary life. Born in central Vietnam in 1926 he joined the monkshood at the age of sixteen. The Vietnam War confronted the monasteries with the question of whether to adhere to the contemplative life and remain meditating in the monasteries, or to help the villagers suffering under bombings and other devastation of the war. Nhat Hanh was one of those who chose to do both, helping to found the "engaged Buddhism" movement. His life has since been dedicated to the work of inner transformation for the benefit of individuals and society.

In Saigon in the early 60s, Thich Nhat Hanh founded the School of Youth Social Service, a grass-roots relief organization that rebuilt bombed villages, set up schools and medical centers, resettled homeless families, and organized agricultural cooperatives. Rallying some 10,000 student volunteers, the SYSS based its work on the Buddhist principles of non-violence and compassionate action. Despite government denunciation of his activity, Nhat Hanh also founded a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and an influential peace activist magazine in Vietnam.

After visiting the U.S. and Europe in 1966 on a peace mission, he was banned from returning to Vietnam in 1966. On subsequent travels to the U.S., he made the case for peace to federal and Pentagon officials including Robert McNamara. He may have changed the course of U.S. history when he persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to oppose the Vietnam War publicly, and so helped to galvanize the peace movement. The following year, King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Subsequently, Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

In 1982 he founded Plum Village, a Buddhist community in exile in France, where he continues his work to alleviate suffering of refugees, boat people, political prisoners, and hungry families in Vietnam and throughout the Third World. He has also received recognition for his work with Vietnam veterans, meditation retreats, and his prolific writings on meditation, mindfulness, and peace. He has published some 85 titles of accessible poems, prose, and prayers, with more than 40 in English, including the best selling Call Me by My True Names, Peace Is Every Step, Being Peace, Touching Peace, Living Buddha Living Christ, Teachings on Love, The Path of Emancipation, and Anger. In September 2001, just a few days after the suicide terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he addressed the issues of non-violence and forgiveness in a memorable speech at Riverside Church in New York City. In September of 2003 he addressed members of the US Congress, leading them through a two-day retreat.

Thich Nhat Hanh continues to live in Plum Village in the meditation community he founded, where he teaches, writes, and gardens; and he leads retreats worldwide on "the art of mindful living."

Source: Plum Village

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Life Of The Buddha [Full BBC Documentary- HQ]

This documentary covers the life of Siddhartha Gautama, a young prince from India who went out to find the reason for "Dukkha" [problems] of human life. He later found the reason of Dukkha and teached a way to live life. He was later known as the Buddha, the founder of "Buddhism".

Do not believe in something because you are told to.
Do not believe in something because a holy person said it.
Do not believe in something because you read it from a book.
Follow and practice the teaching without prejudice.
If it brings happiness to you and others and does not
encourage self harm or harm to others then follow it.

Ask A Monk: Envy and Competition

"Envy / competitiveness. Unhealthy states, but alas common. Remedy suggestions?"

Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu's YouTube Channel:

“To reach truth is not to accumulate knowledge, but to awaken to the heart of reality.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~

If You Cannot Accept Change, Then You Welcome Suffering.

~ Pamela J. Wells ~

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pride & Ego

Pride and ego are the same thing. Pride creates separation, yet it is eaten up like a box of cheerio's. We say we want peace, but we actively create separation from others. We are blind to our own delusional thinking and choose to ignorantly follow leaders of separation, like wooden puppets, marching to insanity's drum.

If we can't see beyond our own delusional beliefs and thoughts and acknowledge how our choices and actions create a chain reaction of separation, destruction, pain and suffering, then we choose to sleep while awake, which will ultimately lead to the destruction of all life on this planet.

~by Pamela J. Wells

Waking Up In The Morning ~ Plum Village

Waking up this morning 
I smile knowing there are 
24 brand new hours before me. 

I vow to live fully 
in each moment, and 
look at beings 
with eyes of compassion.

Source: Plum Village


The Four Noble Truths is the first teaching that Buddha gave after his awakening. It builds the foundation of all Buddhist teachings and defines their purpose: the cessation of suffering.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

True Meaning of Success - Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche (Video)

The Secret of True Success
~by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Although we’re intelligent people in a technologically sophisticated world, we’re often confused about the meaning of success, because we are caught in the cycle of thinking that outside factors will bring us what we want. We’re in a very materialistic society. Our mind is trained to naturally adhere itself to everything and anything. It wants things to be a certain way. So we mistakenly associate worldly activity with negative emotion: success comes from using ambition and greed to make things go our way. Our first thought in the morning is often some variation of “What about me? Will I get what I want today?” And when the world gives us what we want, we call it a good life, a good day, success.

In Shambhala, what we call a good life and a good day is something different. True success is having a fulfilled, meaningful, and permanently happy mind. To achieve this kind of success, we have to continually point ourselves in the right direction. If we want to be successful, we need to learn what our own mind is and how it works, no matter what beliefs we hold. Without the ability to rule our thoughts, we are seduced or abducted by every whim that walks through the door. Being trapped by negative emotions and perpetuating them is not success—it is ignorance. The magnet of “What about me?” dulls our mind and draws away windhorse—the ability to bring about true success.

We are taught at such a young age to fight for everything, and to hold on to what we get. The time of death is painful because everything we fought for is taken away. We’re left with anxiety, suffering, and not knowing. The Buddha said we need to look beyond this: What can be gained that we can truly have? True success is beyond our conventional level of expectation. It requires a slightly different approach to life, one in which we’re letting go a little bit.

We have to learn to think beyond our immediate satisfaction.

In meditation, we train the mind to wake up. First we train it to focus on what is happening in the moment, underneath our habitual self-absorption. The mindfulness and awareness we learn offer the revolutionary opportunity to observe the movement of the mind without being swept into it. In following the breath we soon see that thoughts are mere vibrations of the mind, not our personal identity. In relaxing our grip on “me,” we’re laying the foundation for a shift in attitude that has the power to change our lives. For a short time each day, we are cultivating peace rather than anger and jealousy.

That feeling of peace lays the ground for seeing clearly where we are: Our life is precious, and it will end. The power of karma is as inescapable a force as gravity. Continually making decisions in the name of “me” keeps us on the wheel of suffering, the opposite of success. We also begin to realize our inherent noble qualities, such as love and compassion. What is happening with others? Just like us, they want happiness. Like us, they do not want to suffer.

When we contemplate these qualities in formal meditation, compassion and love may feel overwhelming. We’ve been doing “What about me?” practice for so long that opening up is scary. But as we visualize our mother, our child, or someone else we love, we start to feel a little bit of caring. We want that person to be happy, and to know the good mind that brings happiness. That feeling is considered to be the source of a limitless love that we all have. We stabilize it, enlarge it, and practice taking it off the cushion and into our day. Eventually we might be able to say, “May that driver in front of me enjoy happiness and the root of happiness,” instead of honking our car horn.

Wishing others happiness at school or in the office may bring up jealousy, agitation, and other emotions. Although the point of thinking of others is not to heighten our own negativity, seeing how we hang on to “me” can deepen our feeling for what others are experiencing. Everyone suffers in the same way for the same reason: we’re all thinking of “me” because we mistakenly believe that it will bring success and happiness. As we generate compassion, we can keep this in mind, but not with a sense of one-upmanship, as in, “I see you doing it, too.” Genuine compassion is not demeaning to others. There’s an element of letting go.

Specifically wishing happiness for people we don’t like can make them easier to deal with. If we have a list of ten people we are angry with, as we work our way through the list, we will find it becoming easier to forgive. We can use the strength of mind we’ve built through practice to let go of negative elements instead of being used by them. We begin to see the transparent quality of our grudges.

We may feel compassion in just the heart or mind, but this practice is transforming our whole body, putting us in tune with the nature of things. The nature is selflessness. When we solidify thoughts, feelings, memories, projections, assumptions, and opinions into a solid “self,” we butt our head against reality. This tension creates discursiveness, which inflames the emotions, which leads to suffering. When we respond to situations with compassion, wisdom arises and cuts through the habitual pattern of selfhood. Our infatuation with “me” becomes a little less compelling.

Helping others will bring us the success we want, because extending ourselves to others increases our life-force energy—lungta (Tib.), windhorse. You see the image of windhorse printed on the prayer flags that flutter in the breeze all over Tibet. It is the ability to bring about long life, good health, success, and happiness. When we have windhorse, we are able to accomplish what we want without many obstacles.

On its back, windhorse carries a wish-fulfilling jewel. This jewel represents the ability to extend love and compassion. Love means that we want others to experience happiness. Compassion means that we wish for them not to suffer. If we extend ourselves to others with this attitude, our life will be successful in both a spiritual and a worldly way. Learning to balance the worldly with the spiritual has nothing to do with vocation, and everything to do with intention.

Some may consider the Shambhala approach unrealistic. But in fact it is the most expedient, smooth, and practical way to run one’s business and one’s life. Our ability to relax into the bigger mind of compassion creates space. It gives us the ability to see the magic in the world, because we are no longer blind with self-interest. Conversely, the environment becomes infiltrated by our strength, and we begin to attract what we need—even on a material level—to extend ourselves further. An economy based upon compassion does not self-destruct. Because it binds with love, it is stable and long lasting and brings benefit to all.

Considering others is the basis of success, spiritual or worldly. This is the secret that we don’t learn in school.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Aging As A Spiritual Practice: Book Review

Lewis Richmond’s new book, Aging As A Spiritual Practice, illuminates the aging process and how, as we age, we can approach it from a spiritual perspective, where the meaning of life and the purpose of life changes to a more deep and profound connection to life that embraces and accepts all—coming from a place of gratitude, instead of lack and loss of youth, new windows of opportunity appear in the third stage of life. With gratitude and openness, aging can be a wonderful experience, full of possibilities.  

Richmond, who had survived cancer, suddenly came face-to-face with his own near-fatal illness after being in a coma for two weeks from an unexpected illness, which left him with brain damage that took him several years to recover from. These life challenging experiences, plus watching his own aging, and being a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher enabled him to approach the aging process from a spiritual perspective, where he designed an inner spiritual guide to aging that incorporates mind, body, and spirit—a holistic approach to aging.  

The fear of aging, loss of identity, and death can take its toll on us, but only if we let it. We can begin to create a new second half of life that is full of wonder, possibilities and purpose. Changing the way that you look at the aging process and the way you live it determines your experience of it. It should be a joyful time of celebration. Aging As A Spiritual Practice opens the door to the possibilities and gives you the insight into living a full, purposeful life, while at the same time aging spiritually.

—Pamela J. Wells, Freelance Writer (selflessbeing.com)

Book Available on Amazon: Aging as a Spiritual Practice

Lewis Richmond's Website 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Interbeing – Thich Nhat Hanh

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.

If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.

From The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra

Image: Gold Fields by Larisa Koshkina at publicdomainpictures.net


~Thich Nhat Hanh Interview

Melvin McLeod: We human beings say that above all else we want love. We want to give love; we want to be loved. We know that love is the medicine that cures all ills. But how do we find love in our heart, because often we can’t?

Thich Nhat Hanh: Love is the capacity to take care, to protect, to nourish. If you are not capable of generating that kind of energy toward yourself—if you are not capable of taking care of yourself, of nourishing yourself, of protecting yourself—it is very difficult to take care of another person. In the Buddhist teaching, it’s clear that to love oneself is the foundation of the love of other people. Love is a practice. Love is truly a practice.

Melvin McLeod: Why don’t we love ourselves?

Thich Nhat Hanh: We may have a habit within ourselves of looking for happiness elsewhere than in the here and the now. We may lack the capacity to realize that happiness is possible in the here and now, that we already have enough conditions to be happy right now. The habit energy is to believe that happiness is not possible now, and that we have to run to the future in order to get some more conditions for happiness. That prevents us from being established in the present moment, from getting in touch with the wonders of life that are available in the here and now. That is why happiness is not possible.

To go home to the present moment, to take care of oneself, to get in touch with the wonders of life that are really available—that is already love. Love is to be kind to yourself, to be compassionate to yourself, to generate images of joy, and to look at everyone with eyes of equanimity and nondiscrimination.

That is something to be cultivated. Non-self can be achieved. It can be touched slowly. The truth can be cultivated. When you discover something, in the beginning you discover only part of it. If you continue, you have a chance to discover more. And finally you discover the whole thing. When you love, if your love is true, you begin to see that the other person is a part of you and you are a part of her or him. In that realization there is already non-self. If you think that your happiness is different from their happiness, you have not seen anything of non-self, and happiness cannot be obtained.

So as you progress on the path of insight into non-self, the happiness brought to you by love will increase. When people love each other, the distinction, the limits, the frontier between them begins to dissolve, and they become one with the person they love. There’s no longer any jealousy or anger, because if they are angry at the other person, they are angry at themselves. That is why non-self is not a theory, a doctrine, or an ideology, but a realization that can bring about a lot of happiness.


What is emptiness? What is non-self? 
Thich Nhat Hanh explains the meaning 
of this word in this classic dhamma talk.