I’ve seen many who are down on themselves a great deal. Saddened at their apparent inability to affect real change in their lives, and finding themselves to be completely inadequate.

"Poor little old me." They say, heads hung low, a persistent frown on their face. "What can I do? I can’t really change the world."

But what they fail to realize is a simple truth. They CAN change the world. They ARE the world.

I’ve seen many who are down on themselves a great deal. Saddened at their apparent inability to affect real change in their lives, and finding themselves to be completely inadequate.

"Poor little old me." They say, heads hung low, a persistent frown on their face. "What can I do? I can’t really change the world."

But what they fail to realize is a simple truth. They CAN change the world. They ARE the world.

Zen people love Buddha so tremendously that they can even play jokes upon him. It is out of great love; they are not afraid.
Osho (via lazyyogi)
Alan Watts on Buddhism and Christianity

Ven. Thubten Chodron speaks to a group of college students and people from the local community about kindness and forgiveness, towards both others and oneself. This talk was given on 10/10/11 at North Idaho College.

If you have comments or suggestions about the presentation, quality, accessibility, etc. of these video teachings, please share them with us by e-mailing office.sravasti@gmail.com

Physicality

Ruined StatueWhen our bodies are ugly and others torment us
By mocking our flaws, never showing aspect
This is the wheel of sharp weapons returning
Full circle upon us from wrongs we have done.
Till now we have made images lacking in beauty,
By venting our anger we have made ugly scenes;
Hereafter let’s print books and make pleasing statues,
And not be short-tempered but be of good cheer.


- (38) from The Wheel of Sharp Weapons by Dharmarakshita

Wisdom

ManjushriAnd what is the training in heightened discernment? There is the case where a monk, through the ending of the mental fermentations, enters and remains in the fermentation-free awareness-release and discernment-release, having known and made them manifest for himself right in the here and now. This is called the training in heightened discernment.


- Gautama Buddha

Wisdom in Sanskrit is Prajna. We may look at wisdom as the direct realization of some greater truths. And so, as light pierces the darkness, so wisdom pierces what we call Asrava or “mental intoxicants”, fermented poisons for the mind, that which keeps us bound up in Samsara. Thus, it is the antidote to self-inflicted foolishness, and a cure for intellectual blindness.

In wisdom, we see all things for what they truly are. The realizations of impermanence, suffering, and no-self, the three marks of existence, are laid before us so that we may bare witness to the reality of everything.

The bodhisattva Manjushri is depicted with a flaming sword in his right hand. This sword represents wisdom. Wisdom in that respect is as steel. As a steel blade’s edge may cut through things, so the Manjushri’s sword of wisdom cuts through the false concept of independent existence and the reality of Sunyata (emptiness) shows through. By the sword, Manjushri defeats the Skandha, and the concept of “self” or “I” is killed. Then, in the wisdom that Manjushri divinely embodies, we discover the codependent relationship of all things, a complete and total Oneness, and we arise above the world in transcendent wisdom.

lazyyogi:

Follow the dharma and the dharma will follow you.

lazyyogi:

Follow the dharma and the dharma will follow you.

Kindness

Kindness

"My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." - 14th Dalai Lama

Transience

Dead TreeWhen forty winters shall besiege thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery so gazed on now,
Will be a totter’d weed of small worth held

- Sonnet III of Shakespeare’s Sonnets

__________________________________

Impermanence is a concept in various Eastern religions, and in Buddhism is one of the “three marks of existence”, or trilaksana in Sanskrit (the other two marks being suffering or dukkha and non-self or anatta).

This differs from the false sense of tangible objects having a static, concrete nature. The sense that although things may change or break down, they are essentially the same thing, at least for periods of time. However, the understanding of impermanence allows us to see past what is essentially an illusion: That all things are in a constant, unstoppable state of change.

Take the river, in which water flows accordingly to its contour. The water continues to flow, never stopping, never even pausing for a brief second. That which you see in the river is not the same as you saw it one second ago. It is always moving, always in a state of flux.

Impermanence is very important when contemplating the nature of things. Impermanence is the nature of all things. Humans, animals, plants, rocks, mountains, oceans, are all in a state of transience. This is vital, because when we see that things change, we can thereby appreciate what is here, for when it is gone, it is here no longer.

Two of Gautama Buddha’s Four Noble Truths indicate that realizing impermanence is a part of the antidote to trishna, which is the Sanskrit word meaning “thirst” or “desire,” thereby becoming also an antidote to dukkha (which is “suffering”). By clinging onto things or people, we place unnatural expectations upon them. They will not always be there, nor will they always be the same thing or person you thought they would always be. They are subject to change. When they are gone, despite our hopes and wishes, we suffer. By understanding this, one learns to stop clinging and simply let go.

And so, to appreciate what one has now, will allow one to transcend worldly notions of pain or pleasure, sadness or joy. Seeking pleasure is not the answer to pain, as it will only bring pain in the end. Instead of having unhealthy expectations, we will become free from this trap. We will not seek pleasure for the sake of alleviating pain, nor will we seek happiness in warding off sadness. We will know that living completely now, in the present, will allow us to rise above both pain and pleasure. We will be grateful for what we have, and will expect nothing more.

First

SaplingComing together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success." - Henry Ford

Hello there. Since this is my first blog, and first post on my first blog, I guess I’ll introduce myself. My name is Jamie Lauks. I’m a twenty-four year old who has, for the past ten years or so, heavily involved himself in learning about many things. I’ve had a thirst for knowledge and truth for many years, and only recently have I come to describe myself as Buddhist.

I’ve read, written, discussed, and listened to others speak of a variety of topics that have highly interested me, particularly philosophy, religion, and science.

I started this blog in hopes that perhaps I would learn more from others, speak to others, hold conversation.

So, as they say in the Olympics, “Let the games begin.”