The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Discipline

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

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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.


The 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva

The 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva | Great Middle Way.

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July 12, 2013

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A.1: Though he sees that in all phenomena there is no coming and going, He strives solely for the sake of beings. To the sublime teacher inseparable from the Lord of Compassion, the Protector of Beings, I pay constant homage with respectful body, speech, and mind.

 

A.2: The perfect Buddhas —source of happiness and ultimate peace— exist through having accomplished the sacred Dharma, And that, in turn, depends on knowing how to practice it. I shall therefore explain the practice of the Bodhisattvas.

 

B.1: Now that I have this great ship, a precious human life, so hard to obtain, I must carry myself and others across the ocean of samsara. To that end, to listen, reflect, and meditate day and night, without distraction, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.2: In my native land waves of attachment to friends and kin surge, hatred for enemies rages like fire, the darkness of indifference, not caring what to adopt or avoid, thickens. To abandon my native land is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.3: When unfavorable places are abandoned, disturbing emotions gradually fade. When there are no distractions, positive activities naturally increase. As awareness becomes clearer, confidence in the Dharma grows. To rely on solitude is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.4: Close friends who have long been together will separate. Wealth and possessions gained with much effort will be left behind. Consciousness, a guest, will leave the lodge of the body. To give up the concerns of this life is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.5: In bad company, the three poisons grow stronger, study, contemplation, and cultivation decline, and loving-kindness and compassion vanish. To avoid unsuitable friends is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.6: Through reliance on a true spiritual friend, my faults will fade and good qualities will grow like a waxing moon. To consider him even more precious than my own body is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.7: Whom can worldly gods protect, themselves imprisoned in samsara? To take refuge in the Three Jewels, who never fail those they protect, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.8: The Buddha taught that the unendurable suffering of the lower realms is the fruit of unvirtuous actions. Therefore, to never act unvirtuously, even at the cost of my life, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

B.9: Like dew on grass, the delights of the three worlds by their very nature evaporate in an instant. To strive for the supreme level of liberation that never changes is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.10: If all the mothers who have loved me since beginningless time are suffering, what is the use of my own happiness? So, with the aim of liberating limitless sentient beings, to set my mind on enlightenment is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.11: All suffering, without exception, arises from desiring happiness for myself, while perfect enlightenment is born from the thought of benefiting others. Therefore, to really exchange my own happiness for the suffering of others is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.12: If someone driven by great desire seizes all my wealth, or induces others to do so, to dedicate to him my body, possessions, and past, present, and future merit is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.13: If, in return for not the slightest wrong of mine, someone were to cut off even my very head, through the power of compassion to take all his negative actions upon myself is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.14: Even if someone says all sorts of derogatory words about me and proclaims them throughout the universe, in return, out of loving-kindness, to extol that person’s qualities is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.15: Even if in the midst of a large gathering someone exposes my hidden faults with insulting language, to bow to him respectfully, regarding him as a spiritual friend, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.16: Even if one I’ve lovingly cared for like my own child regards me as an enemy, to love him even more, as a mother loves a sick child, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.17: Even if my peers or my inferiors, out of pride, do all they can to debase me, to respectfully consider them like my teachers on the crown of my head, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.18: Even when utterly destitute and constantly maligned by others, afflicted by terrible illness and prey to evil forces, to still draw upon myself the suffering and wrongdoing of all beings and not lose heart is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.19: Though I may be famous, and revered by many, and as rich as the god of wealth himself, to see that the riches and glory of the world are without essence, and to be free of arrogance, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.20: If I do not conquer my own hatred, the more I fight outer enemies, the more they will increase. Therefore, with the powers of loving-kindness and compassion, to tame my own mind is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.21: Sense pleasures and desirable things are like saltwater —the more I taste them, the more my thirst increases. To abandon promptly all objects which arouse attachment is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.22: All that appears is the work of my own mind; the nature of mind is primordially free from conceptual limitations. To recognize this nature and not to entertain concepts of subject and object is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.23: When encountering objects which please me, to view them like rainbows in summer, not ultimately real, however beautiful they appear, and to relinquish craving and attachment, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.24: The various forms of suffering are like the death of a dream child —by clinging to deluded perceptions as real I exhaust myself. Therefore, when encountering unfavorable circumstances, to view them as illusions is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.25: If those who wish for enlightenment must give away even their own bodies, how much more should it be true of material objects? Therefore, without expectation of result or reward, to give with generosity is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.26: If, lacking discipline, I cannot accomplish my own good, it is laughable to think of accomplishing the good of others. Therefore, to observe discipline without samsaric motives is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.27: For a Bodhisattva who desires the joys of virtue, all who harm him are like a precious treasure. Therefore, to cultivate patience toward all, without resentment, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.28: Merely for their own sake, even those who long for liberation make efforts like one whose hair is on fire. Seeing this, for the sake of all beings, constant effort, the source of excellent qualities, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.29: Knowing that through profound insight, thoroughly grounded in sustained calm, the disturbing emotions are completely conquered, to practice the concentration which utterly transcends the four formless states is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.30: In the absence of wisdom, perfect enlightenment cannot be attained through the other five perfections alone. Therefore, to cultivate wisdom combined with skillful means and free from the three concepts is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.31: If I do not examine my own defects, though outwardly a Dharma practitioner, I may act against the Dharma. Therefore, continuously to examine my own faults and give them up is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.32: If, impelled by negative emotions, I relate the faults of other Bodhisattvas, I will myself degenerate. Therefore, to not talk about the faults of anyone who has entered the path is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.33: Offerings and respect may bring discord and cause study, contemplation, and cultivation to decline. Therefore, to avoid attachment to friends and benefactors is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.34: Harsh words disturb the minds of others and spoil my own practice. Therefore, to give up coarse speech, which others find unpleasant, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.35: When emotions become habitual, they are hard to counteract with antidotes. Therefore, with mindfulness and vigilance, to crush attachment and other negative emotions the moment they arise is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.36: In short, wherever I am, whatever I do, to be continually mindful and vigilant, asking, “What is the state of my mind?” and accomplishing the good of others is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

B.37: Dedicating to enlightenment through wisdom purified of the three concepts all merit achieved by such endeavor, to remove the suffering of numberless beings, is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

 

C.1: Following the teachings of the holy beings, I have arranged the points taught in the sutras, tantras, and shastras as The Thirty-seven Practices of the Bodhisattva for the benefit of those who wish to train on the path.

 

C.2: Since my understanding is poor, and I have little education, this is no composition to delight the learned; but as it is based on the sutras and teachings of holy beings, it is genuinely the practice of the Bodhisattvas.

 

C.3: However, it is hard for someone unintelligent like me to fathom the great waves of the Bodhisattvas’ activities, so I beg the forgiveness of the holy ones for my contradictions, irrelevances, and other mistakes.

 

C.4: Through the merit arising from this and through the power of the sublime bodhichitta, relative and absolute, may all beings become like the Lord of Compassion, who is beyond the extremes of samsara and nirvana.

–Gyalse Ngulchu Tokme Zangpo (1297-1371)