Sacred West

Buddhism and Modern Life

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Entries Filed Under 'Dharmic'

Story Told Backwards

October 9th, 2009 · No Comments

I wonder indeed what it must feel like to have one’s actions be as fine as a sesame seed and one’s mind be as vast as the sky.

I contemplated this very thing last Sunday, but the comparison came to me accidentally, backwards from experience so to speak. I was trying to experience a certain freedom of mind, and yet at the same time to be very physically present in the shrine room, with floors and people and light through the windows – in other words, not just caught in a concept of freedom, not just lost in focus, if I can say it that way.

This was what showed me how Guru Rinpoche’s revered statement applies. One is more here than ever before, and one’s mind is empty. And the practice of this is possible.

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We Are All Born to Help Each Other

July 3rd, 2009 · No Comments

Lama Surya Das during this busy summer of mine sent another gem that I want to share.

This great encouragement is from His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa:

On this small planet, in the daily dreams of our life, beneficial deeds are always recommended, simply because we are all born to help each other.

By sharing our love with different expressions and through the practice of generosity, morality and understanding, we will then be fulfilling our purpose of being members of the human race.

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The End Of Struggle

April 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Lama Surya Das, in a recent Words of Wisdom email that he sends out weekly, told of the following teaching given by Venerable Ajahn Chah:

“Try to do everything with a mind that lets go.
If you let go a little you will have a little peace.
If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.
If you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom.
Your struggles with the world will have come to an end.”

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One Mind Only: Huang Po

February 24th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Many people are afraid to empty their minds lest they may plunge into the Void. They do not know that their own Mind is the void.

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Taking the Breath As You Find It

August 18th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I think many of us when we start mindfulness meditation with a focus on the breath have some initial work to do just finding the breath, sorting it out from the waterfall of thoughts in our minds.

Dharma practitioner Chodpa, after some time with a more formless meditation and now practicing Shamatha again with focus on the breath, has the opposite problem. He can find the breath okay, but it doesn’t seem to be anything.

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The Karmapa Comes To New York

May 20th, 2008 · No Comments

His Holiness the Seventeenth Karmapa, the leader of the Kagyu lineage, is in America as this is written.

Acharya Eric Speigel, of the Shambhala lineage – and once a teacher of mine in Austin for a weekend class on death and dying – sent us a lovely and touching account of the Karmapa’s landing and teachings in New York.

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never born never dies

December 14th, 2007 · 2 Comments

A friend sent this over:

There is only one thing, from the very beginning,
infinitely bright and mysterious by nature.

It was never born, and it never dies. It cannot be
described or given a name.

What is this “one thing”?

An eminent teacher wrote,
Even before the ancient Buddhas were born,
One thing was already perfectly complete.
Even Shakyamuni Buddha could not understand it.
How could he transmit it to Mahakashyapa?

There is one “thing” that is never born, and never
dies. For this reason it cannot be named in any way,
or expressed, or depicted.

The Sixth Patriarch of Zen once addressed the assembly
thus: “I have something that has no name and no form.
Do any of you see it?”

Zen Master Shen-hui immediately replied, “It is the
essence of all Buddhas, and also my buddha nature.”

Due to this answer, Shen-hui cannot be considered a
legitimate heir and descendant of the Sixth Patriarch.

- Zen Master So Sahn (1520-1604)

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Sogyal Rinpoche

November 15th, 2007 · No Comments

All beings, everywhere, suffer; let your heart go out to them all in
spontaneous and immeasurable compassion.
-Sogyal Rinpoche

And who is Sogyal Rinpoche? Read on, and watch this clip on meditation…

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When the Pain Gets Small Enough We Call It Happiness

August 20th, 2007 · 1 Comment

“The Buddha said, ‘Understand suffering.’ That is the first Noble Truth. Many of us mistake pain for pleasure – the pleasure we now have is actually the very cause of the pain that we are going to get sooner or later. Another Buddhist way of explaining this is to say that when a big pain becomes smaller, we call it pleasure. That’s what we call happiness.”

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Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

August 20th, 2007 · 4 Comments

This is the beginning of a page about Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, a most remarkable being. The more I read his teachings, the more he takes hold. I like this man, and recommend his teachings to you.

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