No Righteous Anger

“When somebody is doing actions you don’t like, the spiritual solution is to do what you can to stop them, but you do it in such a way that you do not reject the person. You reject the action, but not the person. That is a big one. You reject the action, but not the person….
I can disagree with a political leader’s actions. I can legislate. I can do civil disobedience if I think what he supports is wrong. I can disagree with actions that are not compassionate. But I want to keep my heart open. If I don’t, I am part of the problem, not part of the solution. And that’s just not interesting enough. That’s what the inner work is—to become part of the solution.
So going around being angry at everything and everybody is a cheap pie. It really is. You don’t have to act out of anger in order to oppose something. You can act to oppose something because it creates suffering. You can become an instrument of that which relieves suffering, but you don’t have to get angry about it.
Social action does not have to be pumped up by righteous indignation or anger. That’s working with the dark forces. That’s working with fear. You can work with love. You can oppose somebody out of love. You can do social action out of love. And that’s the way you win the whole war, not just the battle.”
~Ram Dass.

Let Go

“Let go of what has passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t try to make anything happen.

Relax, right now, and rest.”
~Tilopa

Worried?

“I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.’

That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Bitterness

An aging master grew tired of his apprentice’s complaints. One morning, he sent him to get some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master told him to mix a handful of salt in a glass of water and then drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” said the apprentice.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man. At this the master sat beside this serious young man, and explained softly,
“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

~And we enlarge our “sense of things” by bodhichitta, our sincere wish to be enlightened for the sake of other beings. The more our heart opens to compassion for all beings, the less we taste the salt of suffering. The salt is then used to make the sips of samsara more palatable, and eventually, the glass of salty water tastes like a delicious margarita! ~Dharma Grandmother as posted by Amrita on FB

Communication

Understanding is crucial in all human communication. When faced with people who are inflexible in their views, that is the time for you to be at your most flexible and accommodating, and to bring all your wisdom and compassion to bear.

~17th Karmapa, from the website, Just Dharmakitties Quotes

The Buddha was not Fat

The little fat statues that Americans call Buddha are not “The Buddha”. The Buddha people are referring to is usually the Primordial Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha lived in Nepal during the 6th to 4th century B.C..

This was the person who left us the teachings known as the Dharma, and more commonly make up the Buddhist philosophy. The word “Buddha” means “enlightened one”, and there have been many Buddhas all through time.

The Buddha was born in a village called Lumbini, in Nepal, as a prince. Siddhartha’s father was the King of a tribe called the Shakyas. Growing up, Siddhartha was fit and played in the games.

When Siddhartha left the palace, he became an Ascetic and ate only a grain of rice a day. He became so thin his bones could be seen clearly through his skin. After his enlightenment he abandoned the practice of being an Ascetic and primarily taught and lived ‘the middle way’ including eating enough to satisfy hunger, but no more.

Buddha advocated a middle way in your approach to life, part of this is to eat until you are no longer hungry – not until you are full. Combining this with a vegetarian diet and a lifestyle which involved walking about giving his discussions or sermons, it is likely that he was fit and slender not fat.

The little statues we see are of a Chinese monk named Hotei, who was probably another Buddha, known for his kindness and generosity to children. Hotai’s name in Chinese is Budai, and the fat Buddha, or “Laughing Chinaman” statues in many Chinese restaurants adds to the confusion.

Compassion Eyes

eyes-2The Eyes of Buddha, “wisdom eyes”.  The small dot between the eyes represents the third eye, a symbol of spiritual awakening and the all-seeing wisdom of Buddha, the squiggle between the eyes is the Sanskrit numeral one and symbolizes the unity of all things.

The Four Noble Truths

Noble Truth #1: The Noble Truth of Suffering
Noble Truth #2: The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering
Noble Truth #3: The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering
Noble Truth #4: The Noble Truth of the Way Leading to the Cessation of Suffering.

FINDING A PIECE OF THE TRUTH

One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him.

Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, “A piece of truth.” “Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?” his attendant asked. “No,” Mara replied. “Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it.”

From 108 Treasures for the Heart: A Guide for Daily Living by Benny Liow

Kisagotami

“Kisagotami was married to a banker’s son of considerable wealth. As a young wife, Kisagotami was mistreated by her in-laws, as new brides who moved into their husbands’ home sometimes were. When she gave birth to a son, she finally received an honorable place among her husband’s relatives. But her child died while still a toddler, and Kisagotami, who had never seen death before, went mad.

In her state of insanity, Kisagotami took up the dead child and carried him on her hip from house to house, begging for medicine. One kind old man directed her to the Buddha. The Buddha said, ‘Go and bring a white mustard seed from a house where no one has died.’

Hearing his words, she immediately rushed off in the innocent faith that if she brought a white mustard seed to this enlightened sage, it would be the medicine that could miraculously bring her child back to life. Kisagotami went from house to house, at each house asking, and at each house learning that there too, someone had died.

The truth struck home. Her sanity returned. ‘Little son,’ she said. ‘I thought that death had happened to you alone; but it is not to you alone. It is common to all people.’ Then, still holding the body of her child in her arms, she carried him gently to the forest and left him there.”