Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Living Journal – Fear, do you?

If you ask me do I live in fear? In some ways, yes, I do and what about you? Because we are human beings and our reactions and emotions are naturally responding through our body, speech and mind. We all have them. Some of us know without a doubt our fears, others, may have to dig deep inside to find them. If you are going to win any battle, you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tells the mind what to do.

In Buddhism, there are negative fears and positive fears and the cycle works like this: we react to depression by fearing, fleeing or fighting it. These reactions cause too much adrenaline to flow, and it is this adrenalin that causes many negative reactions and emotions symptoms. We are so desperate to get away from these symptoms that we fear, flee and fight even more, which in turn produces even more adrenaline, which prolongs symptoms and produces new, even more alarming ones, which we fear, flee, and fight, and the cycle continues.

What are the common fears for us?
Financial problems? 
Sickness? 
Old age? 
Death? 
Depression? 
Family problems?
Love and relationship problems? 
Loneliness?

We have always been struck down with the constant fears that make us unhappy and paralyze our will and as well, torturing us in every minute when we think about all these. We attempt to run away from these and we don’t even want to talk or face it. Who doesn’t right? 
Similarly, when someone gives up a bad habit, namely smoking because they are afraid of developing a deadly disease in their life, this is a positive fear because the danger is real and there are constructive steps they can take to avoid it.

We have many fears of terrorism , fear of death, fear of being separated from people we love, fear of losing control, fear of commitment, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of losing our job, the list is never-ending!

Many of our present fears are rooted in what Buddha identified as “delusions” distorted ways of looking at our self and the world around us. If we learn to control our mind, and reduce and eventually eradicate these delusions, the source of all our fear, positive and negative, is eradicated.
Positive Fear
However, right now we need the positive fear that arises from taking stock of our present situation so that we can resolve to do something about it. For instance, there is no point in an alcoholic being scared of dying of related diseases unless there is something that he or she can or will stop drinking.

It is true that we are exposed to danger and harm, we are vulnerable to aging, sickness, and eventually death, all due to our being trapped in samsara – the state of uncontrolled existence that is a reflection of our own uncontrolled minds. We are vulnerable to all the mental and physical pain that arises from an uncontrolled mind-such as the pains that come from the delusions of attachment, anger, and ignorance.

We can choose to live in denial of this and in that way give up what control we have, or we can choose to distinguish this susceptibility, distinguish that we are in danger, and then find a way to avert the danger by removing the actual causes of all fear.
The delusions and negative, unskillful actions motivated by those delusions. In this way we gain control, and if we are in control we have no cause for fear. All Buddha’s teachings are methods to overcome the delusions, the source of all fears.

A positive fear it serves to motivate constructive action to avoid a real helplessness situation. We only need fear as an impulsion until we have removed the causes of our vulnerability through finding spiritual, inner refuge and gradually training the mind.
There are fears of being deluded and harmful and non-deluded and positive. These can also be divided into fear to be anticipated and fear of the inevitable. The key to dealing with fear is to check which types of fear we have, and to transform our negative fears of what we can do nothing about into healthy, appropriate fears of what we can do something about.

We can then use these as the motivation to develop refuge and to overcome what is really dangerous, and even eventually to overcome what at present seems inevitable, such as sickness, old age, and death. Perhaps we are afraid of death. Again, though, as we are definitely going to die, that fear is not constructive and will lead to inappropriate responses such as denial or a sense of uselessness or meaninglessness in our life. 

However, although we have to die, we don’t have to die with an uncontrolled mind. It is therefore wise to transform our fear of dying into a fear of dying with an uncontrolled mind, the motivation that will ensure we prepare for a peaceful and controlled death.

Liberation from Fear

In other words, we cannot control whether things will go our way or not, but we can learn to control our own minds, our responses, and our own conduct, and in this way gradually find a genuine liberation from all fear. It is crucial that we recognize that it is this cycle that causes fears disturbing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sensations, and that by breaking that cycle, we can eventually be free of them.

As with all emotion, the practice of meditation can stabilize us enough in the midst of fear to help us see more clearly, and to distinguish a false threat from a genuine threat that needs to be acted upon. The type of fear meditation can have the most effect on is the fears that we continually generate in our own minds, the product of our rich imagination and our desire to control everything, rather than be tossed around in the risky and stormy world.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Nagarjuna's Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful owners.




Friday, March 18, 2016

Tsok offerings practice on the Guru Rinpoche and Dakini day.

Tsok offering practice
It is said that Guru Rinpoche, Padmasembhava birth took place on the tenth day of the waxing moon in the monkey month. As Guru Rinpoche was born within the lotus flower upon the waters of the lake in the land of Oddiyana.
Tibetan word of Tsok is tsok kyi khorlo which is literally means an accumulation or gathering. Tsok offering can be performed on the 10th day of Guru Rinpoche day and 25th day of Dakini day respectively of the Tibetan calendar. 
For example, it is said that Guru Rinpoche Himself will come and bless the Tsok practitioners, or that the place where tsok is performed will become exactly the same as the Oddiyana, the paradise of Guru Rinpoche.

All practices on the path to Buddha hood are methods for gathering the accumulations of merit and wisdom and for purifying our obscurations. These two processes of accumulation and purification go hand in hand; as we accumulate more merit and wisdom, our obscurations automatically diminish.
In Vajrayana features countless skilful and powerful methods which, if they are practiced in the proper way, can make the process of accumulation and purification incredibly swift and direct. One such method is the practice of Tsok, which is primarily a practice of offering. It is not just a practice of offering however; it is also a powerful method for purifying our Samaya.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Nagarjuna's Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful owners.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Living Journal – Taking refuge with faith

Ordinary Refuge
I am taking refuge to the Buddha - Namo Buddhaya
I am taking refuge to the Dharma - Namo Dharmaya
I am taking refuge to the Sangha - Namo Sanghaya

Inner refuge to the Three Roots 
I am taking refuge to the Guru   – Namo Guru Phat
I am taking refuge to the Yidam  - Namo Deva Phat
I am taking refuge to the Dakini - Namo Dakini Phat

The Three Roots Practices In Vajrayana Buddhism
The practice of the Garu, which is the root of all blessing
The practice of the Yidam, which is the root of accomplishment

The practice of the Dakini, which is the root of inspiration activity

Prayer of taking refuge in Tibetan language
Sangye choe dang tsok kyi chok nam la
Jang chup bar du dak ni kyap su chi
Dak gi jin sok gyi pay sonam kyi
Dro la phen chir sangye drup par shok
Until becoming enlightened, I take refuge
In the Buddha, the Dharma and the supreme assembly
May the merit by practicing generosity and the other perfections
May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Buddhist five Precepts
All Buddhists live by the Five Precepts which are as follows:-
1. Refraining from killing and harming living beings.
2. Refraining from stealing.

3. Refraining from sexual misconduct.
4. Refraining from lying.
5. Refraining from intoxicating.

The benefits of taking refuge
Taking Refuge in itself is a very important commitment and is the foundation of all practices. By taking refuge we are planting the seed of liberation within ourselves. We distance ourselves from the negative actions we have accumulated and develop more positive actions.
Becoming a Buddhist
Faith – Taking refuge a gateway to all teachings and practices, it is faith that opens the gateway to take refuge. Faith as the first step in taking refuge, for that reason, it is vital to develop a lasting and stable faith.

Unshakable faith – is the faith that is inspired us by thinking of the immense compassion of the Buddha and other great Gurus. Surely we might experience this kind of faith when visiting a holy sacred place, temple or monastery that containing many representations of the Buddha’s images and statues, or an encounter with a Lama that you felt connected with him instantly. 
I encountered twice experiences when I have first met with my Guru, I just can’t control myself and broke down in tears. Second encountered was when received His Holiness the 17th Karmapa blessing and empowerment personally in Bodhgaya, India.

Enthusiastic faith – is our eagerness to be free of the sufferings when we hear and attend teachings, to engage in positive actions and abandoned the negative actions from the Dharma.

Confident faith – is the faith in the Three Jewels or the Triple Gems that arises from the depth of our heart. It is the total trust in the Triple Gems. Guru Rinpoche says; The faith of total trust allows blessings to enter you. When the mind is free of doubts, whatever you wish for can be accomplished.
Faith is like a seed from which everything positive can grow. It faith is absent , it is as though that seed had been burnt. In the sutra say,-

In those who lack of faith,
Nothing positive will grow,
Just as from a burnt seed,
No green shoot will ever sprout. 

Faith is the most precious of all our resources. It brings an inexhaustible supply of virtues, like a treasure and it carries us along the gateway to liberation. Faith is the greatest wealth and treasure. 

If you have immense faith and devotion, the compassion and blessing you receive from your Guru and the triple Gems will be equally immense. If you have no faith and devotion, you will get absolutely nothing. If you have no faith, even meeting the Buddha Himself would be rather worthless.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Nagarjuna's Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful owners.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Living Journal – Taking refuge, the gateway to our liberation.

Taking refuge in the Three Jewels [The triple gems]
The Three Refuge is to remind ourselves to endorse a right living and social responsibility. It is our aim to become living embodiment of the Three Jewels.

The first Jewel, Buddha - One who is fully awake and wise, so we learn to direct ourselves to awakening, keeping a mindful attitude, being compassionate in our everyday life.

The second Jewel, Dharma - Is universal truth, teaching and discipline, we learn to direct ourselves toward what is true and right, and shape our life accordingly.

The third Jewel, Sangha - Is the community of followers and non-followers. We learn to live in peace and harmony with all beings and dedicate ourselves to extending our loving kindness to all.
Buddhist five Precepts
All Buddhists live by the Five Precepts which are as follows:-
  1. Refraining from killing and harming living beings.
  2. Refraining from stealing.
  3. Refraining from sexual misconduct.
  4. Refraining from lying.
  5. Refraining from intoxicating.
Prayer of taking refuge in Tibetan language
Sangye choe dang tsok kyi chok nam la

Jang chup bar du dak ni kyap su chi
Dak gi jin sok gyi pay sonam kyi
Dro la phen chir sangye drup par shok

Until becoming enlightened, I take refuge
In the Buddha, the Dharma and the supreme assembly

May the merit by practicing generosity and the other perfections

May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.


The Tibetan also sometimes uses this Sanskrit language of taking refuge :-
Namo Buddhaya 
Namo Dharmaya 

Namo Sanghaya
I take refuge to the Buddha 

I take refuge to the Dharma 
I take refuge to the Sangha
The benefits of taking refuge

Taking Refuge in itself is a very important commitment and is the foundation of all practices. By taking refuge we are planting the seed of liberation within ourselves. We distance ourselves from the negative actions we have accumulated and develop more positive actions.(Unless otherwise that we don't practice and we don't live by the Five Precepts,and our negative actions can not be changed). 

It is not something you should do in an informal way. In order to carry out a trust connected with anything in your life; you need some commitment. For that reason if you desire to take Buddhism as your path to an enlightenment journey and support your life on Buddha’s doctrine, then certainly you have to make a form of commitment.
The commitment is resembling a declaration to study, to learn an understanding of how lives are seen through the principles of Buddhism. The commitments are not meant to isolate ourselves absent from the society. Taking refuge is the opposite and it is about learning how we can lead a more functional and constructive life and how we can make possible to create a more positive society

We enter the path for both our own self progress and, at the same time, to learn how to assist others. Buddhists can make a world of difference and contribute to the creation of a global society that would preserve the environmental integrity of our universe.
The taking refuge and the Five Precepts had provided us a spiritual focus on ethics and morality. One must do best to maintain and uphold the Buddhist Five Precepts. Peace, love and happiness form the basis for the true meaning of human life. For that reason, in order to make our lives meaningful and enriching we must discover peace, love and happiness in our everyday lives. The purpose of human life is to realize that all beings are an interconnected and interrelated whole, and to enter the non-dual gate to our liberation. 

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the precious Buddha’s precious Dharma and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Nagarjuna's Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful owners.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Living Journal –The Tibetan Dorje And The Bell

His Holiness The 17th Karmapa, Karmapa Chenno, Karmapa Chenno
Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Bodhichitta is the practice of the awakened mind. As human beings, we are self-centered and we work hard to earn a living for ourselves. We even pray only for our own benefit. However, when we possess Bodhichitta, or awakened mind of an enlightened being and our mind and will constantly consider the welfare of others including our enemies, strangers and those dearest to us.
Why Bodhichitta is important to us? These beings, who we now perceive to be strangers or opponents, could be our parents in our previous live as we undergo rebirth many times according to Buddhism. Just as we worry and feel troubled for our loved ones, so we should extend our feeling toward the others as well. 

I know it may seem and sound wildly unreasonable, illogical, or inappropriate; it’s easy to say than doing, just hard to imagine to extending your love and feels for your opponents who once betray you?
Tough, it is it? But that’s not true. Each one was born and has a mother and a father; for that reason, by practicing Bodhichitta, our practice is directed to reduce the sufferings of others. Some are suffering from mental illness, or from personal anguish or from religious manipulation. 

In the midst of grief and anger for those who suffer, can we not spare some compassion for those who have missed out on the life filled with grace and hope that religions had called all of us to live? I want to be very clear: I am not supporting or seeking to humanize of terrorism and violence . I am also not arguing for legal consequences of those actions.

By practicing Bodhichitta, an ordinary merit becomes extraordinary. Just as a drop of water by itself will evaporate quickly while one in an ocean will never run dry. Besides Bodhichitta, we also need to have skillful means and wisdom. The joining of skillful means and wisdom is traditionally symbolized by the Buddha of Vajrasattva, the method aspect of purifications with skillful means and wisdom.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, you can see the Buddha of Vajrasattva His right hand is holding a dorje that  represents skillful means and left hand is holding a bell that represents wisdom. The bell and dorje which symbolized wisdom and skillful method. 

Using these hand implements in your practice symbolizes the union of skillful means and wisdom. Like using the two hands to produce a sound. Skillful means encompasses rightful methods, compassion and Bodhichitta. If we do not have the implements of skillful ways of compassion and Bodhichitta, it is like a house without a door.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the precious Buddha’s teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Nagarjuna's Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
I do not own or infringe any copyright of these pictures.
Pictures courtesy and credit to the rightful owners.