Our culture finds this question of losing very difficult. It’s very good about getting. Our consumer culture, especially nowadays, is all about getting, getting, getting. We throw away those things which were fashionable yesterday but are no longer fashionable today to get something new. We don’t have that attitude, though, toward our own bodies or the bodies of others. We don’t think that we too need to be recycled from time to time, but we do. It’s ironical that in our society everybody talks very openly about sex, which in other societies is a big taboo. But in our society, the big taboo is death.
– Tenzin Palmo
from the book “Into The Heart Of Life”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking and there is nothing you will not be able to know.
Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.
Do not remain in the dualistic state; avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.
When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.”
Hsin Hsin Ming 信心銘 – Faith in Mind
~ John Muir ~
Wisdom is the clear seeing of the impermanent, conditioned nature of all phenomena, knowing that whatever arises has the nature to cease. When we see this impermanence deeply, we no longer cling; and when we no longer cling, we come to the end of suffering.
By Justin Brown
Published here on Aug 11, 2019
We often hear about the power of gratitude for creating a more positive and happy mental state. But did you know that gratitude literally transforms your brain?
According to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, regularly expressing gratitude literally changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier.
When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive, and less resistant. And gratitude is the most effective practice for stimulating feelings of happiness.
In this article we’ll share some of the research demonstrating that gratitude makes you happier, followed by some practical steps you can take to positively transform the molecular structure of the brain.
Studies of gratitude making you happier
In one study of gratitude, conducted by Robert A. Emmons at the University of California at Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, randomly assigned participants were given one of three tasks. The participants kept a journal each week, with one group describing things they were grateful for, another describing what’s hassling them and the other keeping track of neutral events. After ten weeks, the participants in the gratitude group felt 25 percent better than the other groups, and had exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.
In a later study by Emmons with a similar set up, participants completing gratitude exercises each day offered other people in their lives more emotional support than those in other groups.
Another study on gratitude was conducted with adults suffering from congenital and adult-onset neuromuscular disorders (NMDs), with the majority of people having post-polio syndrome (PPS). Compared to those not jotting down what they’re grateful for every night, participants that did express gratitude felt more refreshed each day upon wakening. They also felt more connected with others than did participants in the group not expressing gratitude.
A fourth study didn’t require a gratitude journal, but looked at the amount of gratitude people showed in their daily lives. In this study, a group of Chinese researchers found that higher levels of gratitude were associated with better sleep, and also with lower levels of anxiety and depression.
Better sleep, with less anxiety and depression. Some compelling reasons to express gratitude more regularly.
Three simple steps to becoming more grateful
If you’ve only got time to say one prayer today, make it the simple words of “thank you.”
This is worth keeping in mind as you go about figuring out your daily practices and routines.
Here are three practical steps you can take to infusing routines of gratitude into your life.
1) Keep a daily journal of three things you are thankful for. This works well first thing in the morning, or just before you go to bed.
2) Make it a practice to tell a spouse, partner or friend something you appreciate about them every day.
3) Look in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth, and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself.
Our life is not preordained. We can change and control the direction of our life regardless of our past or present circumstances. But recognizing that we will die energizes our aspiration to create good karma. Everything is impermanent, and death comes without warning. Understanding karma makes our life meaningful right now. Each moment provides an opportunity to turn toward awakening, and we are more likely to take advantage of each moment once we accept that these moments are limited. If we believe in reincarnation, then the aspiration to create good karma becomes magnified because we want to create the very best conditions for our rebirth, and right now offers the best opportunity. Behavior that leads away from unhappiness and from harming ourselves and others will help alleviate difficult circumstances in our future lives.
– Mingyur Rinpoche
from the book “Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism”
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes
“When things fall apart… is the time when the natural warmth of tenderness, the warmth of empathy and kindness, are just waiting to be uncovered, just waiting to be embraced. This is our chance to come out of our self-protecting bubble and to realize that we are never alone. This is our chance to understand that wherever we go, everyone, we meet is essentially just like us. Our own suffering, if we turn toward it, can open us to a loving relationship with the world.”
~ Pema Chödrön
The bedrock of the Buddha’s first teachings
Some people think karma is fate. “It must be my karma,” they sigh, resigning themselves to some calamity. But karma doesn’t have to be bad. It can be good. And we make our own karma. Every thought, feeling, and deed sows a habitual karmic seed in our mind that ripens into a corresponding positive, negative, or neutral experience. Anger and jealousy manifest as painful, unhappy experiences. Selfless, joyful thoughts and feelings flower into wondrous, fulfilling experiences.
So we don’t have to resign ourselves to “our karma.” We control our karma. Every moment is a new juncture, a chance to improve our way of thinking and thus our circumstances. This principle of interdependent causation is the bedrock of the Buddha’s first teachings, the four noble truths.
– Tulku Thondup Rinpoche
With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes