Friday, October 30, 2020

Ten precepts combined negative and positive.

1. Abstention from killing of living beings. With deeds of loving-kindness I purify my body.

2. Abstention from taking the non-given. With open-handed generosity I purify my body.

3. Abstention from sexual misconduct. With simplicity, stillness and contentment, I purify my body.

4. Abstention from false speech. With truthful communication I purify my speech.

5. Abstention from harsh speech. With words kindly and gracious I purify my speech

6. Abstention from frivolous speech. With utterances helpful, I purify my speech.

7. Abstention from slanderous speech. With utterances harmonious, I purify my speech.

8. Abstention from covetousness. Abandoning covetousness for tranquility I purify my mind.

9. Abstention from hatred. Changing hatred into compassion, I purify my mind.

10. Abstention from false views. Transforming ignorance into wisdom I purify my mind.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Wheel of Life

I have a similar poster of the Tibetan Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra). Sometimes I just stand and look at it for a while. I consider staring at this and my Avalokita tanka as a practice. Staring at great religious art. I realized when I searched my site for a post on this subject, I didn't get anything.

For me the most important part is the 12 nidanas. Inside that are the 6 realms. Inside that are the cock, the crow and the snake: ignorance, attachment and aversion.


Rice Seedling Sutra

12 Links (Wikipedia)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Skandhas and Nidanas

I've forgotten my desire to be mindful of the 5 skandhas. I was reading the Nidanasanyutta in the Samyutta Nikaya, and it occured to me that I could do a 12 Nidana meditation, and then it occured to me that I needed a good base of a 5 skandhas meditation. Combining wouldn't be good because there would be some overlap with vedena, sankara and vinnana, but the others were composed of other larger or smaller categories. Rupa (form) in the skandhas in added on name in "name and form. Contact could be perception but they are different pali words. Anyway, I'll do one, and then the other. 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Gandharan Buddhist Texts

"More than twenty years have passed since twenty-eight fragile birch bark scrolls, now known to be the oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts in the world, came to light."

Read the article in Lion's Roar by Richard Salomon

"The discovery of previously unknown texts also offers a hint of how much of the Buddhist literature that once existed has not come down to us."

If you've got $50-$100 for the 6 books on Amazon in the USA, you must have made good merit. 

It looks like an academic area when you look at all the primitive stuff that includes grafiti. 

"On one hand, one can safely ignore the new material without missing anything essential to the theory or practice of Buddhism. On the other hand, Buddhists may wish to dip a toe—or even plunge headfirst—into these previously uncharted waters."


Gandharan Buddhist Texts (Wikipedia)

Gandhara art (Britannica)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020



I lost a high school friend and I'm wanting to explore grief. Many people I know have grief of the early loss of a love one as a big stamp on their psyche. I have a lot of friends who have worked with grief through volunteering at a hospice, to leading grief groups.

The forward is encouraging, it talks about normalizing grief, not pretending there is some magical way of transcending it that you aren't trying hard enough to get. It accepts the diversity of grief reactions. 

This book is published during the Covid pandemic, and acknowledges the loss of the pandemic. They mention the river of woe.

The Day of the Dead is coming up, a hispanic tradition of remembering those who have passed. I suppose every day is of the dead, as I think about people who are gone.

It's hard not to see my life as a series of loss. I remember when I lost this person who was important to me. 

A Rumi book I read that suggested the great loss is also an indicator of what was great and important. 

I have lost a lot of Buddhist friends. The authors of this book are Buddhist meditators. 

I am grateful this little book came into my life.

Links to YouTube and author

Disenfranchised or Invisible Grief of a Mentally Ill Child:

Friday, October 16, 2020

Mala practice

I was stuck in a waiting room and among the things I did to pass the time, I did 10 times around my mala. That's 1080 mantras. I was wondering what is the most auspicious number of times to go around my mala, and I found this article that thinks 3, multiples of 3, 13 are auspicious. Of course 108 is the number of beads on a mala so that's also auspicious. 

My mala is precious to me because my beloved Anandi gave it to me. She had it specially made. I was thinking that when I die, I want one of my children to have it. I've done so many "om mani padme hum" on it. 

Many times in modern existence, we are left standing there with nothing to do. So take your mala and do some mantras. "Om mani padme hum" means the "jewel in the lotus" which is about the Buddha. He is the jewel, among the three jewels. And lotus are a symbol of the Buddha and enlightenment. The flower grows up out of the mud. In the mud we find the challenges that help us to grow.

I like Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion that has many manifestations in all the cultures. I love the way it travels through the world,  and comes out as Kanon in Japan. Because I am selfish, I strive to be compassionate to others. When I got bored, I worked to visualize her in white, with nine faces looking in all directions with Amitabha on the top, the red bodhisattva of love. She has many arms to do what is needed. Doing what is needed is quite a skill. My 4 year old daughter can be kind and thoughtful, but sometimes her kindness clangs with what is needed. I happens with everyone. Getting in tune, attuned, with people is not easy. There is some trial and error. And with all helping of others there is the question of idiot compassion, and fostering dependency instead of independence. So the striving is for smart compassion that really helps.

I love Avalokita because it's who wrote the Heart Sutra. I think of the balance between wisdom and compassion. Avalokita is naturally paired with Manjushri. Avalokita is white like Vairocana

My friend Srisara talked about using a mala while on the subway.

I need to read the Kāraṇḍavyūha Sūtra, which can be read here. There is also chapter 24 in the Lotus Sutra.

I have not been empowered to do the Avalokita sadhana, but I do it anyway a little with the mantra. I'm not sure if I can visualize in my brain, but I can think visually of sorts. I also like the real Buddha, the example here on earth. 

Spiritual Materialism

I wrote asking what the positive American Dharma will be, but there's also a negative version. Spiritual materialism. Maybe that's the demon we must pin to the wall

Unfortunately it was Chogyam Trungpa, the charismatic, abusive and alcoholic founder of Shambhala, who came up with that idea. 

The Buddhist star system, has people flocking this way and that to touch the robes of famous spiritual teachers. 

Buddhism has become big money in America. And where there's big money, there's people seeking power and not love.