The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Discipline

Building inner strength

You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself. Loving-kindness does not mean making sure you’re feeling good all the time – trying to set up your life so that you’re comfortable every moment. Rather, it means setting up your life so that you have time for meditation and self-reflection, for kindhearted, compassionate self-honesty. In this way, you become more attuned to seeing when you’re biting the hook, when you’re getting caught in the undertow of emotions, when you’re grasping and when you’re letting go. This is the way you become a true friend to yourself just as you are, with both your laziness and your bravery. There is no step more important than this.

– Pema Chödron

from the book “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


Methods to tame your own mind

All the teachings of the victorious ones, all the different kinds of teachings given by the Buddha – if we condense them into one point, it is that they are the methods to tame your own mind. They bring peace to a mind that is not peaceful. They clear away the confusion, or bewilderment, in your own mind.

– Khenpo Tsultrim Rinpoche

from the book “Creation and Completion: Essential Points of Tantric Meditation”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


On a disciplined mind

“Whether our action is wholesome or unwholesome depends on whether that action or deed arises from a disciplined or undisciplined state of mind. It is felt that a disciplined mind leads to happiness and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering, and in fact it is said that bringing about discipline within one’s mind is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.”
 Dalai Lama

You will have great difficulty practicing Zen if you regret leaving behind worldly study and pride

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 You will have great difficulty practicing Zen if you regret leaving behind worldly study and pride or if you are attached to some special talent. So, you should return to being a blank page.

If you can pay the price of a very restrictive practice, you will get great freedom.

In the old days there used to be people who would suddenly forget about life and death with just one word from a Zen teacher. Also, there were many people who got enlightenment after three or seven days of practice. However, people these days have very little patience and practice Zen as a sideline. Because of this, people who have practiced for even twenty or thirty years still have not attained Buddhism’s great meaning.

When you eat rice yourself, you feel full. If you don’t practice Zen yourself, even the Buddha and eminent teachers cannot help you.

If you want to practice Zen, first win the battle of the six senses.

– The Teachings of Zen Master Man Gong, p.12

 

Training the Mind

The quintessence of the path is to have the wisdom that realizes egolessness. Until we have this wisdom, we have not understood the essence of the Buddha’s teaching.

In order to achieve this wisdom, first we have to make our mind malleable, workable—in the sense of being in control of our own mind. As Shantideva said, if you want to walk comfortably, there are two possible solutions. Either you can try to cover the whole ground with leather—but that would be very difficult—or you can achieve the same effect by simply wearing a pair of shoes. In the same way, it would be difficult to train and tame every single emotion that we have, or to change the world according to our desires. In fact the basis of all experience is the mind, and that’s why Buddhists stress the importance of training the mind in order to make it workable and flexible.

Yet a flexible mind is not enough. We have to understand the nature of the mind. This is very difficult to do, precisely because it involves the wisdom of realizing egolessness. We have been in samsara from beginningless time. Our habitual patterns are very strong. We are completely deluded. For this reason, it is very, very difficult for this wisdom to appear.

So what is to be done? There is only one way to obtain this wisdom—by accumulating merit. How should we accumulate this merit? According to the general vehicle of Buddhism, the method of accumulating merit is by having renunciation mind, by contemplating impermanence, by refraining from all the causes and conditions that will strengthen the ego, by engaging in all the causes and conditions that will strengthen our wisdom, by refraining from harming other beings, and so on. In the mahayana school, the merit is accumulated by having compassion for sentient beings.

To cut a long story short, if you want enlightenment you need wisdom. If you want wisdom, you must have merit. And to have merit, according to mahayana, you must have compassion and bodhichitta, the wish to establish beings in the state of freedom.

– Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

source: https://buff.ly/2tnfZ3c

Just Dharma Quotes

Tame and Guarded

Source: Tame and Guarded | Great Middle Way

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13680798_625299310978500_1594114340302952890_nWonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.

Let the discerning person guard the mind, so difficult to detect and extremely subtle, seizing whatever it desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udanavarga


Spiritual discipline

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If you meditate earnestly, pure in mind and kind in deeds, leading a disciplined life in harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. If you meditate earnestly, through spiritual disciplines you can make an island that no flood can overcome.
– Dhammapada vs.24, 25

Firm

Source: Firm | Great Middle Way 

July 16, 2017

17098530_1478190362212713_7275640649870220390_nJust as a storm throws down a weak tree, so does temptation overpower those who live for pleasure, are uncontrolled in their senses, immoderate in eating, indolent, and dissipated.

Just as a storm cannot prevail against a rocky mountain, so temptation can never overpower those who contemplate impurity, are controlled in their senses, moderate in eating, and filled with certainty and earnest effort.

—Buddha Shakyamuni, Udanavarga


Powers

Source: Powers | Great Middle Way

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com

June 17, 2017

15826751_1409042935794123_4054181798682203805_nWhen 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.

—Buddha Shakyamuni


True Freedom

Source: True Freedom | Great Middle ay

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June 13, 2017

10296602_1124842834201255_9218801737194112640_n“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.