The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Attachment

All perceptions are similar to a dream

At present we perceive samsara as something we have to reject and nirvana as something we have to attain. Now while this is correct according to relative truth, according to absolute truth the nature of the afflictive emotions and actions that we are supposed to reject is nothing other than emptiness. When we realize the Dharmakaya, which is free from true existence, we will know that all perceptions are similar to a dream or an illusion and we will no longer crave these phenomena. As it is said, ‘While there is attachment, there is no view.’ And the absence of attachment is the supreme view.

– Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


No overnight change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desire and attachment won’t change overnight, but desire becomes less ordinary as we redirect our worldly yearning toward the aspiration to become enlightened for the benefit of others. At the same time, we don’t abandon the ordinary objects of our desires – relationships, wealth, fame – but our attachment to them lessens as we contemplate their impermanence. Not rejecting them, rejoicing in our fortune when they arise, yet recognizing that they won’t last, we begin to build qualities of spiritual maturity. As our attachment slowly decreases, harmful actions that would normally result from attachment are reduced. We create less negative karma, more fortunate karma, and the mind’s positive qualities gradually increase.

– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

from the book “Gates to Buddhist Practice: Essential Teachings of a Tibetan Master”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


No trace

The enlightened mind is like a bird in flight that leaves no trace of its path. People will say, “A bird just flew by.” In their mind, there is a trace of the bird’s path. This is attachment. For the enlightened practitioner, that moment is already gone—the bird has left no trace of its flight. Like the bird, from moment to moment the enlightened practitioner’s actions do not leave any trace.

– Sheng Yen

from the book “The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


It is not impermanence that makes us suffer

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Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice


Never really content

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 The Buddha compared attachment to drinking salt water from an ocean. The more we drink, the thirstier we get. Likewise, when our mind is conditioned by attachment, however much we have, we never really experience contentment.


– Mingyur Rinpoche

from the book “The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness”

Just Dharma Quotes


One of the greatest gifts we can offer people

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“One of the greatest gifts we can offer people is to embody nonattachment and nonfear. This is a true teaching, more precious than money or material resources. Many of us are very afraid, and this fear distorts our lives and makes us unhappy. We cling to objects and to people like a drowning person clings to a floating log. Practicing to realize nondiscrimination, to see the interconnectedness and impermanence of all things, and to share this wisdom with others, we are giving the gift of nonfear.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh


No coming, no going

No coming, no going,
No after, no before
I hold you close
I release you to be free
I am in you
And you are in me ..

– Thich N. Hanh –


Once you stop clinging and let things be

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“Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free. You’ll transform everything… And you’ll be at peace wherever you are.” ~Bodhidharma

 

“Once you stop clinging and let things be, you’ll be free. You’ll transform everything… And you’ll be at peace wherever you are.” ~Bodhidharma

Four

Source: Four | Great Middle Way

July 8, 2017

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Whatever is gathered will disperse;

whatever rises will fall;

whatever comes together will separate;

whatever is born is subject to death.


Attachment to Enduring Entities

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Zen Buddhism Life


The greatest effort

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The greatest effort is not concerned with results. The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.

~ Atisha ~


Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge

 “Do not think that the knowledge you presently possess is changeless, absolute truth. Avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. Learn and practice non-attachment from your views in order to be open to receive other’s viewpoints. Truth is found in life and not merely in conceptual knowledge. Be ready to learn throughout your entire life and to observe reality in yourself and in the world at all times.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

 


The Difference

Source: The Difference | Great Middle Way

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com

13227047_10207892683547891_5413001315463682774_nIf we want to be loved,

we are looking for a support system.

If we want to love,

we are looking for spiritual growth.

—Ayya Khema

 

 

 


The Four Qualities of Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh | Creative by Nature

Source: The Four Qualities of Love, by Thich Nhat Hanh | Creative by Nature

creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com

Feb 28, 2015

“The teachings on love given by the Buddha are clear, scientific, and applicable… Love, compassion, joy, and equanimity are the very nature of an enlightened person. They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Buddha TNH

The following is a description of the Buddha’s teachings on the four qualities of love, from the first chapter of Teachings on Love, written by Thich Nhat Hanh…

“Happiness is only possible with true love. True love has the power to heal and transform the situation around us and bring a deep meaning to our lives. There are people who understand the nature of true love and how to generate and nurture it. The teachings on love given by the Buddha are clear, scientific, and applicable. Every one of us can benefit from these teachings.

During the lifetime of the Buddha, those of the Brahmanic faith prayed that after death they would go to Heaven to dwell eternally with Brahma, the universal God. One day a Brahman man asked the Buddha, “What can I do to be sure that I will be with Brahma after I die?” and the Buddha replied, “As Brahma is the source of Love, to dwell with him you must practice the Brahmaviharas—love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.”

A vihara is an abode or a dwelling place. Love in Sanskrit is maitri; in Pali it is metta. Compassion is karuna in both languages. Joy is mudita. Equanimity is upeksha in Sanskrit and upekkha in Pali. The Brahmaviharas are the four elements of true love. They are called “immeasurable,” because if you practice them, they will grow in you every day until they embrace the whole world. You will become happier, and everyone around you will become happier, also.

The Buddha respected people’s desire to practice their own faith, so he answered the Brahman’s question in a way that encouraged him to do so. If you enjoy sitting meditation, practice sitting meditation. If you enjoy walking meditation, practice walking meditation. But preserve your Jewish, Christian, or Muslim roots. That is the way to continue the Buddha’s spirit. If you are cut off from your roots, you cannot be happy.

If we learn ways to practice love, compassion, joy, and equanimity, we will know how to heal the illnesses of anger, sorrow, insecurity, sadness, hatred, loneliness, and unhealthy attachments… Love, compassion, joy, and equanimity are the very nature of an enlightened person. They are the four aspects of true love within ourselves and within everyone and everything.

LOVE (Maitri/Metta)

The first aspect of true love is maitri (metta, in Pali), the intention and capacity to offer joy and happiness. To develop that capacity, we have to practice looking and listening deeply so that we know what to do and what not to do to make others happy. If you offer your beloved something she does not need, that is not maitri. You have to see her real situation or what you offer might bring her unhappiness.

Without understanding, your love is not true love. You must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs, aspirations, and suffering of the one you love. We all need love. Love brings us joy and well-being. It is as natural as the air. We are loved by the air; we need fresh air to be happy and well. We are loved by trees. We need trees to be healthy. In order to be loved, we have to love, which means we have to understand. For our love to continue, we have to take the appropriate action or non-action to protect the air, the trees, and our beloved.

Maitri can be translated as “love” or “loving kindness.” Some Buddhist teachers prefer “loving kindness,” as they find the word “love” too dangerous. But I prefer the word “love.” Words sometimes get sick and we have to heal them. We have been using the word “love” to mean appetite or desire, as in “I love hamburgers.” We have to use language more carefully. “Love” is a beautiful word; we have to restore its meaning. The word “maitri” has roots in the word mitra which means friend. In Buddhism, the primary meaning of love is friendship.

We all have the seeds of love in us. We can develop this wonderful source of energy, nurturing the unconditional love that does not expect anything in return. When we understand someone deeply, even someone who has done us harm, we cannot resist loving him or her. Shakyamuni Buddha declared that the Buddha of the next eon will be named “Maitreya, the Buddha of Love.”

COMPASSION (Karuna)

The second aspect of true love is karuna, the intention and capacity to relieve and transform suffering and lighten sorrows. Karuna is usually translated as “compassion,” but that is not exactly correct. “Compassion” is composed of com (“together with”) and passion (“to suffer”). But we do not need to suffer to remove suffering from another person. Doctors, for instance, can relieve their patients’ suffering without experiencing the same disease in themselves. If we suffer too much, we may be crushed and unable to help. Still, until we find a better word, let us use “compassion” to translate karuna.

To develop compassion in ourselves, we need to practice mindful breathing, deep listening, and deep looking. The Lotus Sutra describes Avalokiteshvara as the bodhisattva who practices “looking with the eyes of compassion and listening deeply to the cries of the world.” Compassion contains deep concern. You know the other person is suffering, so you sit close to her. You look and listen deeply to her to be able to touch her pain. You are in deep communication, deep communion with her, and that alone brings some relief.

One compassionate word, action, or thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring him joy. One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, or open the door to liberation. One action can save a person’s life or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity. One thought can do the same, because thoughts always lead to words and actions. With compassion in our heart, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle.

When I was a novice, I could not understand why, if the world is filled with suffering, the Buddha has such a beautiful smile. Why isn’t he disturbed by all the suffering? Later I discovered that the Buddha has enough understanding, calm, and strength; that is why the suffering does not overwhelm him. He is able to smile to suffering because he knows how to take care of it and to help transform it. We need to be aware of the suffering, but retain our clarity, calmness, and strength so we can help transform the situation. The ocean of tears cannot drown us if karuna is there. That is why the Buddha’s smile is possible.

JOY (Mudita)

The third element of true love is mudita, joy. True love always brings joy to ourselves and to the one we love. If our love does not bring joy to both of us, it is not true love. Commentators explain that happiness relates to both body and mind, whereas joy relates primarily to mind.

This example is often given: Someone traveling in the desert sees a stream of cool water and experiences joy. On drinking the water, he experiences happiness. Ditthadhamma sukhavihari means “dwelling happily in the present moment.” We don’t rush to the future; we know that everything is here in the present moment.

Many small things can bring us tremendous joy, such as the awareness that we have eyes in good condition. We just have to open our eyes and we can see the blue sky, the violet flowers, the children, the trees, and so many other kinds of forms and colors. Dwelling in mindfulness, we can touch these wondrous and refreshing things, and our mind of joy arises naturally. Joy contains happiness and happiness contains joy.

Some commentators have said that mudita means “sympathetic joy” or “altruistic joy,” the happiness we feel when others are happy. But that is too limited. It discriminates between self and others. A deeper definition of mudita is a joy that is filled with peace and contentment. We rejoice when we see others happy, but we rejoice in our own wellbeing as well. How can we feel joy for another person when we do not feel joy for ourselves? Joy is for everyone.

EQUANIMITY (Upeksha)

The fourth element of true love is upeksha, which means equanimity, nonattachment, nondiscrimination, even- mindedness, or letting go. Upa means “over,” and iksha means “to look.” You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other. If your love has attachment, discrimination, prejudice, or clinging in it, it is not true love.

People who do not understand Buddhism sometimes think upeksha means indifference, but true equanimity is neither cold nor indifferent. If you have more than one child, they are all your children. Upeksha does not mean that you don’t love. You love in a way that all your children receive your love, without discrimination.

Upeksha has the mark called samatajñana, “the wisdom of equality,” the ability to see everyone as equal, not discriminating between ourselves and others. In a, conflict, even though we are deeply concerned, we remain impartial, able to love and to understand both sides. We shed all discrimination and prejudice, and remove all boundaries between ourselves and others.

As long as we see ourselves as the one who loves and the other as the one who is loved, as long as we value ourselves more than others or see ourselves as different from others, we do not have true equanimity. We have to put ourselves “into the other person’s skin” and become one with him if we want to understand and truly love him. When that happens, there is no “self’ and no “other.”

Without upeksha, your love may become possessive. A summer breeze can be very refreshing; but if we try to put it in a tin can so we can have it entirely for ourselves, the breeze will die. Our beloved is the same. He is like a cloud, a breeze, a flower. If you imprison him in a tin can, he will die. Yet many people do just that. They rob their loved one of his liberty, until he can no longer be himself. They live to satisfy themselves and use their loved one to help them fulfill that. That is not loving; it is destroying.

You say you love him, but if you do not understand his aspirations, his needs, his difficulties, he is in a prison called love. True love allows you to preserve your freedom and the freedom of your beloved. That is upeksha.

For love to be true love, it must contain compassion, joy, and equanimity. For compassion to be true compassion, it has to have love, joy, and equanimity in it. True joy has to contain love, compassion, and equanimity. And true equanimity has to have love, compassion, and joy in it.

This is the interbeing nature of the Four Immeasurable Minds. When the Buddha told the Brahman man to practice the Four Immeasurable Minds, he was offering all of us a very important teaching. But we must look deeply and practice them for ourselves to bring these four aspects of love into our own lives and into the lives of those we love.”

~From Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh~

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Related video:

Thich Nhat Hanh answers the question “What is true love?”

and

jesus buddha way of heart

Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh


Considerations

Source: Considerations | Great Middle Way

by

Aug 6, 2016

13509098_1615944405385790_6303529755129242450_nWhenever we act, we must consider our motivation, our means, and the probable results.

Unwholesome acts are motivated by attachment, aversion, or indifference, use careless means, and have harmful results.

Wholesome acts are motivated by kindness and compassion, employ skillful means, and have beneficial results.


Not letting go

Source: Tao & Zen


To destroy the ego

To destroy the ego One must first find it.

Wu Hsin

 


Love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable

“When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Tao & Zen Community Forum


Let go

~ Zen proverb Sumi-e by Patricia Ines

Source: Zen, Tao, Chan


Abysmal Conceit

Source: Abysmal Conceit | Great Middle Way

12507320_992047840865189_7418650224597169250_nBlissful is solitude for one who is content, learned, and established in the Dharma.

Blissful is kindness towards all beings, without exception.

Blissful is full freedom from sensual urges.

And yet, the supreme bliss

is the elimination of this abysmal conceit of ‘me’ and ‘mine’.

—Buddha Shakyamuni


Let It Go

072-documentary-photoAll persons have different levels of capacity, maturity, training, skill, and experience.  In addition, we have particular family backgrounds, cultures, personalities, idiosyncrasies, tendencies, dominant afflicted emotions, communication styles, and many other characteristics. In short, the combinations and permutations of our karmic formations are truly beyond calculation.

Given all these permutations, the potential for unsuitability between two particular persons is very high. It should come as no surprise, then, that any one relationship between any two persons is fraught with the potential for misunderstandings, conflict, and plain incompatibility. It is indeed the extremely rare relationship that actually ‘works’, so we should not be surprised in the least when most do not. Those are the odds.

When a relationship increases stress or suffering, whether its nature is personal or professional, there is no sense in prolonging it. It is best to move on and release it, without resentment and recrimination. It just does not work.

We just wish all beings happiness and the causes of happiness, and go on our way. It may sound a bit too simple, but that is the way it must be —the only way it can be.

It takes much energy to continue to attempt to figure out ‘why’ or ‘how’ there is conflict between two persons. The ‘why’ is too complex: multiple causes and conditions. The ‘how’ is equally convoluted: incalculable karmic accumulations. And it truly makes no difference. Even if we were able to figure it all out, how would it make things different? Things are just the way they are.

If you are carrying a very heavy burden, what is easier: to set it down, or to continue to haul it around?

 


Freedom

6a011571ff676d970b01910413477f970When we allow other persons to determine our course of action, we are not free.

If we let the behavior of others dictate our conduct, we become willing victims of their moods and actions.

Freedom is the commitment to consistently do what is right, in accordance with our highest view.

If, despite our reasoned conclusion that universal loving kindness and radical compassion are beneficial, we react to others with anger and animosity, we have surrendered our freedom.

To be truly free, we must live our lives according to our own principles, and not as slaves to external circumstances.

Source: Freedom | Great Middle Way


Monday lesson

Source: Meditation Masters


Letting go is the lesson

Source: Tao & Zen