We are an outpost of Nyorai’s Pure Land. We, the misfits, fit here. We are trying to live a life that is genuine — a life free from spin — while recognising that we are just ordinary, unenlightened beings.
"The point is not to want to benefit anyone or make them happy. There is no audience involved, no 'me' and 'them.' It is a matter of an open gift, complete generosity without the relative notions of giving and receiving. That is the basic openness of compassion: opening without demand. Simply be what you are, be the master of the situation. If you will just 'be' then life flows around and through you."
~ Chogyam Trungpa ~ Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
Please be careful in the future to pay attention. Karma can be very subtle and tricky. We might think something is no big deal, but it may turn out to have serious consequences, so pay good attention to the karmic process. This is what every practitioner needs to pay attention to — even those with the highest realization.
In working with physical ailments or problems on the physical level, you can develop cheerfulness and joy, in spite of your sickness. You need joy, because dealing with sickness is difficult. But even if you are sick, you do not have to feel that you are completely trapped. There are gaps, moments in which you can cheer yourself up and celebrate the existence of life.
~ From “Maintaining the Samaya Vow” in "The Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness, Volume Three of The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma" by Chögyam Trungpa
The nembutsu of the fundamental vow can and should be truly independent, for it requires no external supports. By "external supports" I mean reliance upon one's human intelligence, moral conduct, the heart that seeks the path, compassion, or anything else. None of these is an auxiliary to nembutsu, which stands alone.
Good people should seek salvation in the recitation of "Namu Amida Butsu" just as they are. And bad people should seek salvation in "Namu Amida Butsu" just as they are. Whether they are bad or good, let people just recite "Namu Amida Butsu" as they were the day they were born. Such a person need not depend on any other means. Even so, every one who tries to rectify his evil ways, and do good deeds, acts in accord with the Buddha's wishes.
If a person's mind is not set on going for birth, or if he believes himself to be disqualified for this reason or that, then his birth in the pure land is not assured.
The Dalai Lama reflects on praise and blame in his commentary on lines from Longchen Rabjam's Finding Comfort and Ease in Meditation on the Great Perfection.
See the equality of praise and blame,
approval and disapproval, good
and bad reputation,
For they are just like illusions or
dreams and have no true existence.
THIS VERSE REFERS to the Eight Worldly Concerns: wanting to be praised and not wanting to be criticized, wanting happiness and not wanting suffering, wanting gain and not wanting loss, and wanting fame and approval and not wanting rejection and disgrace. We all experience these, don't we?
Nine years ago Thich Nhat Hanh was asked, “You will be 80 this year. Do you plan to retire as a spiritual teacher at any point?”
This is the answer he gave:
In Buddhism we see that teaching is done not only by talking, but also by living your own life. Your life is the teaching, is the message. And since I continue to sit, to walk, to eat, to interact with the Sangha and people, I continue to teach, even if I have already encouraged my senior students to begin to replace me in giving Dharma talks. In the last two years, I have asked Dharma teachers, not only in the monastic circle but also in the lay circle, to come up and give Dharma talks. Many of them have given wonderful Dharma talks. Some Dharma talks have been better than mine. I see myself in my continuation, and I will not retire. I’ll continue to teach, if not by Dharma talks then in my way of sitting, eating, smiling, and interacting with the Sangha. I like to be with the Sangha. Even if I don’t give a Dharma talk, I like to join walking meditation, sitting meditation, eating in mindfulness and so on. So don’t worry. When people are exposed to the practice, they are inspired. You don’t need to talk in order to teach. You need to live your life mindfully and deeply. Thank you.
When children are spoiled we do them a great disservice because they are not being allowed to earn and learn.
Parents are moved by instinct to love, nurture, and provide for their
offspring. Because our children are so much a part of us, we want to see
them blissfully happy. Also, our own desire to be liked, materialist
pressures, and a fervent wish that our children have everything we
lacked as youngsters can prompt us to spoil them.
I'm a Minister with Amida Shu, a Pureland Buddhist Order. Now semi-retired, I teach on-line and hold Pureland Buddhist sangha gatherings in Perth, Scotland. This site is mainly Buddhist in content. I share the teachings of the Head of our Order, Dharmavidya David Brazier