“You’ve probably heard the rumor that ‘Life is suffering’ is Buddhism’s first principle, the Buddha’s first noble truth. It’s a rumor with good credentials, spread by well-respected academics and Dharma teachers alike, but a rumor nonetheless.
“The truth about the noble truths is far more interesting. The Buddha taught four truths — not one — about life: 1. There is suffering. 2. There is a cause for suffering. 3. There is an end of suffering. 4. There is a path of practice that puts an end to suffering.
“These truths, taken as a whole, are far from pessimistic. They’re a practical, problem-solving approach — the way a doctor approaches an illness, or a mechanic a faulty engine. You identify a problem and look for its cause. You then put an end to the problem by eliminating the cause.”
via Rob Brezsny
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Ready to see snow fly instead of ash and roof tiles. My heart aches for all of us.
Friends, don’t let your friends believe in conspiracy theories. This here real world needs fixing, and how.
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A little light vacation reading. Alan explains Mahayana, the greater vehicle. “In short, to become a Buddha it is only necessary to have the faith that one is a Buddha already.”
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“In meditation we discover our inherent restlessness. Sometimes we get up and leave. Sometimes we sit there but our bodies wiggle and squirm and our minds go far away. This can be so uncomfortable that we feel it’s impossible to stay. Yet this feeling can teach us not just about ourselves but also about what it is to be human. All of us derive security and comfort from the imaginary world of memories and fantasies and plans. We really don’t want to stay with the nakedness of our present experience. It goes against the grain to stay present. There are the times when only gentleness and a sense of humor can give us the strength to settle down.
The pith instruction is, Stay… stay… just stay. Learning to stay with ourselves in meditation is like training a dog. If we train a dog by beating it, we’ll end up with an obedient but very inflexible and rather terrified dog. The dog may obey when we say “Stay!” “Come!” “Roll over!” and “Sit up!” but he will also be neurotic and confused. By contrast, training with kindness results in someone who is flexible and confident, who doesn’t become upset when situations are unpredictable and insecure.
So whenever we wander off, we gently encourage ourselves to “stay” and settle down. Are we experiencing restlessness? Stay! Discursive mind? Stay! Are fear and loathing out of control? Stay! Aching knees and throbbing back? Stay! What’s for lunch? Stay! What am I doing here? Stay! I can’t stand this another minute! Stay! That is how to cultivate steadfastness.“
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