The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Practice

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

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Practice until you see yourself in the cruelest person on Earth

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“Practice until you see yourself in the cruelest person on Earth, in the child starving, in the political prisoner. Continue until you recognize yourself in everyone in the supermarket, on the street corner, in a concentration camp, on a leaf, in a dewdrop. Meditate until you see yourself in a speck of dust in a distant galaxy. See and listen with the whole of your being.

If you are fully present, the rain of Dharma will water the deepest seeds in your consciousness, and tomorrow, while you are washing the dishes or looking at the blue sky, that seed will spring forth, and love and understanding will appear as a beautiful flower. “

~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~


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


Reacting with anger

When someone insults us, we usually dwell on it, asking ourselves, ‘Why did he say that to me?’ and on and on. It’s as if someone shoots an arrow at us, but it falls short. Focusing on the problem is like picking up the arrow and repeatedly stabbing ourselves with it, saying, ‘He hurt me so much. I can’t believe he did that.’ Instead, we can use the method of contemplation to think things through differently, to change our habit of reacting with anger. Imagine that someone insults you. Say to yourself, ‘This person makes me angry. But what is this anger?’ It is one of the poisons of the mind that creates negative karma, leading to intense suffering. Meeting anger with anger is like following a lunatic who jumps off a cliff. Do I have to go likewise? While it’s crazy for him to act the way he does, it’s even crazier for me to do the same.

– Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

quoted in the book “Portraits of Tibetan Buddhist Masters”

With thanks to Just Dharma Quotes


Signs of practice

Calm and self-control are signs of listening to the Dharma;
Few passions, signs of meditation;
Harmony with everyone is the sign of a practitioner;
Your mind at ease, the sign of accomplishment.

– Dudjom Rinpoche

from the book “Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom Rinpoche’s Heart Advice”
ISBN: 978-1559392242 – https://amzn.to/10AUTY9

Just Dharma Quotes

That is why we practice zazen

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Shikantaza is to practice or actualize emptiness. Although you can have a tentative understanding of it through your thinking, you should understand emptiness through your experience. You have an idea of emptiness and an idea of being, and you think that being and emptiness are opposites. But in Buddhism, both of these are ideas of being. The emptiness we mean is not like the idea you may have. You cannot reach a full understanding of emptiness with your thinking mind or with your feeling. That is why we practice zazen.

– Shunryu Suzuki

from the book “Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen”

Gems of Wisdom – Zen Tradition


Skillful means of a Buddha

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Just as the grammarian makes one study grammar,
A Buddha teaches according to the tolerance of his students;
Some he urges to refrain from sins, others to do good,
Some to rely on dualism, other on non-dualism;
And to some, he teaches the profound,
The terrifying, the practice of enlightenment,
Whose essence is emptiness that is compassion.

– Nagarjuna

quoted in the book “The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience”


Little by little

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After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that it is not possible to make rapid, extraordinary progress. Even though you try very hard, the progress you make is always little by little. It is not like going out in a shower in which you know when you get wet. In a fog, you do not know you are getting wet, but as you keep walking you get wet little by little. If your mind has ideas of progress, you may say, “Oh, this pace is terrible!” But actually it is not. When you get wet in a fog it is very difficult to dry yourself. So there is no need to worry about progress.

– Shunryu Suzuki

from the book “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”


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


Mountain Monks (10 min)

Mountain Monks

The Yamabushi in northern Japan practice a once forbidden ancient religion. While their tradition is at risk of disappearing, it offers a way for those seeking a different path in Japan‘s society.

Walking barefoot through rivers, meditating under waterfalls and spending the nights on mountaintops – that is the way of the Yamabushi. They walk into the forest to die and be born again.

Their teachings of Shugendō 修験道 were first established 1400 years ago and peaked in popularity during the 17th century when Yamabushi visited around 90 percent of all villages in northern Japan. The monks were said to have magical powers and served as advisors to samurai and warlords.

In the late 19th century, when Japan opened itself to the west and moved from a feudal state towards industrialization, their religion was forbidden. Only the monks of Yamagata prefecture in northern Japan practiced the tradition in secret. Their isolation near the three holy mountains of Dewa helped them to save their customs.

Today, their religion is not forbidden anymore, but there aren’t many left who practice it either. Some schools have opened their doors to allow women and foreigners. They offer private courses to help maintain their sacred places:
yamabushido.jp/

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(c) Fritz Schumann 2018
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