The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Impermanence

Think about death and impermanence for a long time

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Think about death and impermanence for a long time.

Once you are certain that you are going to die, you will no longer find it hard to put aside harmful actions, nor difficult to do what is right.

After that, meditate for a long time on love and compassion.

Once love fills your heart you will no longer find it hard to act for the benefit of others.

Then meditate for a long time on emptiness, the natural state of all phenomena. Once you fully understand emptiness, you will no longer find it hard to dispel all your delusions.

~ Geshe Potowa

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Life exists only at this very moment

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“It has been said that the highest wisdom lies in detachment, or, in the words of Chung-Tzu, ‘The perfect man employs his mind as a mirror; it grasps nothing; it refuses nothing; it receives, but does not keep.’

Detachment means to have neither regrets for the past nor fears for the future; to let life take its course without attempting to interfere with its movement and change, neither trying to prolong the stay of something pleasant nor to hasten the departure of things unpleasant. To do this is to move in time with life, to be in perfect accord with its changing music, and this is called Enlightenment.

In short, it is to be detached from both the past and future and to live in the eternal Now. For in truth neither past nor future have any existence apart from this Now; by themselves they are illusions. Life exists only at this very moment…

You may believe yourself out of harmony with life and its eternal Now; but you cannot be, for you are life and exist Now—otherwise you would not be here. Hence the infinite Tao is something which you can neither escape by flight nor catch by pursuit; there is no coming toward it or going away from it; it is, and you are it. So become what you are.”

~Alan Watts~


Because it is impermanent

Therefore, the very impermanency of grass and tree, thicket and forest is the Buddha nature. The very impermanency of men and things, body and mind, is the Buddha nature. Nature and lands, mountains and rivers, are impermanent because they are the Buddha nature. Supreme and complete enlightenment, because it is impermanent, is the Buddha nature.

– Dogen Zenji


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Good news, bad news

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This life passes quickly

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This life passes as quickly as autumn clouds;
Family and friends are like passers-by in a market;
The demon of death approaches like twilight’s shadows;
What the future holds is like a translucent fish in cloudy waters;
Life’s experiences are like last night’s dreams;
The pleasures of the senses, like an imaginary party.
Meaningless activities are like waves
lapping on the surface of the water.

– Padmasambhava


It is not impermanence that makes us suffer

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Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice


This is an old truth

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If there is beauty, there must be ugliness;
If there is right, there must be wrong.
Wisdom and ignorance are complementary,
And illusion and enlightenment cannot be separated.
This is an old truth, don’t think it was discovered recently.
“I want this, I want that”
Is nothing but foolishness.
I’ll tell you a secret –
All things are impermanent!

– Ryokan

from the book “One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan”

Gems of Wisdom – Zen Tradition


The Beginning

greatmiddleway.wordpress.com
Sept 4, 2018

Image result for seeing an elephantOur experience of phenomena is insubstantial, impermanent, and dependent.

The nature of perception is insubstantial.  When you see an elephant, there is no physical elephant in your mind; there is a mental image of the elephant.  That image is insubstantial; it is made of light; it is a thought.

All our perceptions are thoughts, whether they are visual or tactile or of any other kind.   Smell happens in the mind; sound happens in the mind.  If it does not happen in the mind, we do not experience it.

Impermanence does not need much explanation.  Even when we try to hold on to a perception, it quickly disappears, degrades, changes, like our memories.  Even as things are happening, they keep changing.  There is no fixed perception.

Our experience of phenomena is also dependent on multiple causes and conditions: our tendencies, previous experiences, conceptual biases, emotional states, sensory capacity, and external conditions.

Understanding this is the beginning of wisdom.


Embracing the groundlessness of our situation

It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom — freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human.

– Pema Chödron

from the book “Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change”


No View is Right View, by Ajahn Sumedho

No View is Right View, by Ajahn Sumedho

buddhismnow.com

July 20, 2018

Water-moon Avalokiteshvara © Metropolitan Museum of ArtWe can have this sense of non-discrimination; we can allow everything to be what it is at this moment, like the Bodhisattva listening to the sounds of the universe. You can have this attitude of letting go, of relaxing, of non-attachment, of nothing to do, of nothing to attain, of nothing to become. And yet you can be alert, awake, attentive, receptive. We can be aware of external things — the sounds or the temperature, what passes in front of our eyes, odours, sensations — at the same time being aware of what is happening inside — maybe our reaction to that fire alarm or whatever it was that went off a few moments ago. Maybe you think that the traffic passing outside is too noisy. Being aware of reactions to conditions gives us this huge space to be aware, both of the way things impinge on our body and mind, and our emotional reactions to them — liking, disliking, wanting, not wanting, approving, disapproving. Our position now is being this awareness itself, rather than trying to control the situation according to what we like, just allowing everything to be the way it is, being this knowing, this infinity, this pure conscious, non-personal reality.
I am pointing to, say, infinity or that which is immeasurable, and I feel this is very important. So much vipassana (insight) that is taught is a kind of obsession around impermanence. People that are doing vipassana courses are told to contemplate impermanence (anicca) which is good instruction, certainly, but (this is just my impression, anyway) they are so busy noting impermanence, they don’t notice the very noting itself, the awareness itself. It’s like following instruction to notice that all conditions are impermanent. You get the idea, and then you think thoughts are impermanent, sounds are impermanent, body obviously, seasons, times of day and night, subtle movements — it gets into subtleties of just emotional states or subtle feelings in the body, energetic experiences — but it is that which is aware, this awareness itself, which is the path. It’s as simple as that! Awareness, mindfulness, is the gate or door to the deathless, and the deathless has no boundary, it is infinite, it isn’t subject to birth and death like conditions are.

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