Source: To Punish The Guilty | Great Middle Way
June 11, 2017
I want —I need— to assign blame. I reduce actions to labels. I opt for simple answers. I take sides. I demonize the other. I want to punish the guilty, I want justice. I am right; they are wrong. Why can´t everyone else see what is clearly self-evident?
It is more complicated than that, and yet also more simple. By assigning blame here or there, I externalize responsibility. I avoid looking at what I and all sentient beings share: the wrong views of separation and supremacy, my innate self-grasping and self-cherishing, my delusion.
Yes, my perception of reality is self-evident to me; it is evident to this self. It is my perception.
“Perception is burning. Ideas are burning. Consciousness is burning. Contact is burning. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on perception —experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain— that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of attachment, the fire of aversion, the fire of indifference.” —Buddha Shakyamuni, Adittapariyaya Sutta, SN 35.28
The fires of attachment, aversion, and indifference are the three killers. To fan these flames further can only increase our suffering. To extinguish these fires is the only solution.
“He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,”
—in those who harbor such thoughts, hatred will never cease.
“He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,”
—in those who do not harbor such thoughts, hatred will cease.
For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time:
hatred ceases by love, this is the law everlasting.
—Buddha Shakyamuni, Dhammapada
Source: A Buddhist Monk Shows “Unheard Of” Brain Activity During Meditation · The Mind Unleashed
Aug 7, 2013
“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” ―Voltaire
The first part of this article was written by: Rachel Nuwer, SmithsonianMag.com
Matthieu Ricard, a 66-year old Tibetan monk and geneticist, produces brain gamma waves—linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory—never before reported in neuroscience, leading researchers to conclude that Ricard is the world’s happiest man. The secret to his success in achieving bliss? Meditation, he claims.
“Meditating is like lifting weights or exercising for the mind”, Ricard told the Daily News. “Anyone can be happy by simply training their brain”, he says.
To quantify just how happy Ricard is, neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin attached 256 sensors to the monk’s skull. When he meditated on compassion, the researchers were shocked to see that Ricard’s brian produces a level of gamma waves off the charts. He also demonstrated excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, meaning he has an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity, the researchers say.
During the same study, the neuroscientists also peeked into the minds of other monks. They found that long-term practitioners—those who have engaged in more than 50,000 rounds of meditation—showed significant changes in their brain function, although that those with only three weeks of 20-minute meditation per day also demonstrated some change.
To spread the word on achieving happiness and enlightenment, Ricard authored Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill. Proceeds from the book go towards over 100 humanitarian projects.
“Try sincerely to check, to investigate,” he explained to the Daily News. “That’s what Buddhism has been trying to unravel — the mechanism of happiness and suffering. It is a science of the mind.”
In the video below, David Lynch explains Consciousness, Creativity and benefits of Transcendental Meditation (TM)
One of the greatest American filmmakers, television director, visual artist and musician is David Lynch. Lynch is an advocate of the use of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in bringing peace to the world. His passion to help students learn the TM techniques has launched the David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and Peace.
In this video, David Lynch answers a couple of questions on his understanding of how TM can affect creativity and overall learning and expansion of the human mind.
Source: Meditate! | Great Middle Way
June 19, 2017
The perfect teaching of the Buddha is not accomplished through mere study.
Dharma without meditation is like dying of thirst while being helplessly carried away by a great river.
Dharma without meditation is like supplying many beings with food and drink, and starving oneself to death.
Dharma without meditation is like dying of a stomach ailment while possessing all the specific remedies.
Dharma without meditation is like counting huge numbers of jewels in treasure stores, without obtaining even one for oneself.
Dharma without meditation is like being born in the court of a royal palace, surrounded by pleasures, without getting any food or drink.
Dharma without meditation is like being a blind artist who paints a picture in the middle of a crowded market, unable to see it oneself.
Dharma without meditation is like being a boatman who takes many people safely across a big lake in which one drowns.
Dharma without meditation is like announcing at a crossroads all the most wonderful things without obtaining any for oneself.
―Flower Arrayed Tree Sutra
Source: Powers | Great Middle Way
June 17, 2017
When a practitioner thoroughly trains and fully develops
Faith, which leads to stilling, which leads to enlightenment;
Effort, which leads to peace, which leads to awakening;
Mindfulness, which leads to harmony, which leads to safety;
Concentration, which leads to rest, which leads to cessation of suffering; and
Wisdom, which leads to ease, which leads to bliss,
Then he becomes well equipped with the five powers.
Source: Neuroscience Learns What Buddhism Has Known For Ages: There is No Constant Self – Ideapod blog
June 17, 2017
Evan Thomson, a researcher from the University of British Colombia, has confirmed that the Buddhist teaching of a constantly changing self is accurate.
According to Buddhists, change is the only constant in the universe, which means that there is no such thing as a stable self.
Neuroscience also says that the brain and body is said to be constantly in action or progressively flowing, which proves that there isn’t any stable self.
Evan Thompson, a philosophy of mind professor at the University of British Columbia, says “And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There’s nothing that corresponds to the sense that there’s an unchanging self.”
Neuroplasticity, a concept coined by neuroscientists, states that our brain is malleable and able to change. This means you can change your brain in many aspects, opening up your possibilities for growth.
This concept can be incredibly liberating. Why? Because you’re not defined by your thoughts or your idea of who you are. The possibilities to change yourself are endless.
It also goes against the common thought in western society that we need to “find ourselves”. Instead, life is about change and growth. Buddha puts it best:
“Nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to change. Being is always becoming.”
Buddhist Monks have long said that the universe and ourselves are constantly changing. By training our mind, they say we can elevate our awareness and control.
This is also why they talk about the practice of non-attachment. If we attach ourselves to something, we are desiring for it to be stable, which directly goes against the forces of the universe.
Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron says:
“Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.”
What about consciousness?
Neuroscience has long been baffled by consciousness. They can’t explain why or how it exists.
Buddhists however define consciousness into three different areas:
consciousness is conditioned by mental fabrications (saṅkhāra);
consciousness and the mind-body (nāmarūpa) are interdependent; and,
consciousness acts as a “life force” by which there is a continuity across rebirths
As Neuroscience advances, perhaps Buddhism will be proven right in regards to consciousnesses.
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Source: True Freedom | Great Middle ay
June 13, 2017
“I didn’t want to think it.” “I didn’t mean to say it.” “I didn’t intend to do it.” How many times have we said these or similar words to ourselves or others?
When we entertain unwelcome thoughts, utter words that should remain unspoken, or do what should be left undone, we have allowed our wrong views and afflicted emotions to drag us into committing unskillful acts.
When we act (in thought, word, or deed) impelled by attachment, aversion, or indifference, we are living by karma. We are slaves to physical, emotional, and mental tendencies that are, in turn, the product of our previous acts. We are indentured to the past. We are not actors, but re-actors, constantly forced by external circumstances to conduct ourselves in ways we may come to regret.
Some are of the opinion that making Vows restricts or negates freedom. However, the ‘freedom’ to be bound by desire, to be led here and there by the dictates of body and mind, is not freedom at all. It is abject submission to mere mood, habit, and circumstance.
The Bodhisattvas, on the way to enlightenment, refuse to succumb to the winds of karma. Bodhisattvas are guided by Vows: the intentional adoption of guidelines that align us with the Dharma and advance our spiritual cultivation.
To live by Vow —to decide for ourselves what thoughts we will entertain, what words we will speak, and what deeds we will perform— that is true freedom.