Friday, August 31, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Buddha gets a biopic!

According to the New York Times arts section today:

Buddha Gets a Biopic

Born into a princely family in the sixth century B.C. in Kapilavastu on the border between present-day India and Nepal, Gautama Buddha abandoned luxury for spiritual enlightenment. Now the life of this man, who founded Buddhism, will be the subject of a film, Agence France-Press reported. Based on research by the Sri Lankan scholar Nimal D’Silva and others, the film will be shot in India and Sri Lanka by Shyam Benegal, an Indian director, for release in 2009. It is a venture of the Light of Asia Foundation, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Beyond Dream Entertainment, based in India. “The message of the movie gives answers to global crises of conflict and environmental problems,” said Navin Gooneratne, chairman of the foundation.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sangharakshita's autograph

Sangharakshita's autograph
Originally uploaded by sravacitta
Vajramati went to the convention in England and he brought me back a book that's not even out yet, signed by the author!

I feel very excited about the autograph. Sangharakshita is the founder and kalyana mitra to many of my friends who are order members. Or their KM's kalyana mitra. He's the heart and founder of the F/WBO and it's incarnations in different countries and different languages.

It means a lot to me that Vajramati brought that back for me. He and Vidhuma are going to be my Kalyana mitras. Vajramati is my private preceptor. I hope to have a ceremony at the next GFR retreat in September at Aryaloka with Vajramati and Vidhuma.

Happy Birthday Alyssa

Happy Birthday Alyssa
Originally uploaded by sravacitta
And happy birthday Urgen Sangharakshita! I wish Alyssa and Bante many more.

Pirate Alyssa

Pirate Alyssa
Originally uploaded by sravacitta

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My other blog

I've artificially seperated my life into spiritual, fathering and mental health, for blog purposes. My fathering blog includes this fetching picture of me and Andrew, my youngest son. My mental health blog is more notes on what I've read about mental health in the newspapers, magazine, and other on line resources. It's my least written or commented on blog.

If you don't know, you can always click on the link "view my complete profile." That shows all 3 blogs. I often use that to navagate between the blogs.

I think Buddhism informs my parenting and work as a psychotherapist. But as I say, they're artificially separated.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Originally uploaded by sravacitta
The NYC sangha says goodbye to James, who returns to London and his home sangha of the LBC. We had a lovely 2 month visit from him and it was nice to have another male mitra around in August. I wish you a safe journey home, we're going to miss you when you leave.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ten precepts

Ten Precepts
1. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from killing of living beings.

2. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from taking the non-given.

3. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from sexual misconduct.

4. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from false speech.

5. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from harsh speech.

6. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from frivolous speech.

7. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from slanderous speech.

8. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from covetousness.

9. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from hatred.

10. I undertake the item of training which consists in abstention from false views.

Positive Precepts

1. With deeds of loving-kindness I purify my body.

2. With open-handed generosity I purify my body.

3. With simplicity, stillness and contentment, I purify my body.

4. With truthful communication I purify my speech.

5. With words kindly and gracious I purify my speech

6. With utterances helpful, I purify my speech.

7. With utterances harmonious, I purify my speech.

8. Abandoning covetousness for tranquility I purify my mind.

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

10. Transforming ignorance into wisdom I purify my mind.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bottled Water

The times has an article in the fashion section about how using bottled water is going out of fashion because of ecological ideas. I never thought about it that way, that ideas can become fashion in a positive sense. Anyway, long ago, I worried about what happens to the bottle when you drink the water you could get from the tap. NYC, so far as I know, has pretty good water. I think making the least negative ecological impact is important. I think living in a major city is by far the most ecological thing you can do. After that it's fine tuning. Using mass transit is another. I have to admit I'm guilty of using a car. How much garbage you create, how much energy you use are important questions. I think it's part of the uncovering your eyes process in Buddhism that you become aware of all these complicated issues. It is annoying, but being more and more awake is not an easy project. I think Buddhism provides the support for that process in sangha, in the dharma, and in spiritual friendships.

On a side note, I have some spiritual discussion on parenting on my parenting blog.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lama Yeshe Quotes

Think in this way, “During the rest of my life, it is my responsibility to grow in mindfulness and happiness. Each day I will expand kindness I already have. When I wake up each morning, I will open my wisdom-eye and see more and more deeply into the inner universal reality. I will try to be as mindful as possible. I will take responsibility for my life and dedicate it to others by growing strong in loving kindness and wisdom. I will serve others as much as possible.” (p. 41-42)

These days we have no shortage of intellectual information, but I truly believe there is a shortage of fertilization. We collect so much information, but we do very little with it. This is why we have so little success in our spiritual practice. (p. 30)

Try to be reasonable in the way you grow, and don’t ever think it is too late. It’s never too late. Even if you are going to die tomorrow, keep yourself straight and clear and be a happy human being today. If you keep your situation happy day by day, you will eventually reach the greatest happiness of enlightenment. (p. 41)

In the West, desire seems to refer to sense gratification. However, in the Buddhist view, desire is not a craving of the senses but the mental concepts and projections that we build up on an object, thereby bring us problems. (p. 87)

If you know the nature of desire, you can really control your mind because you are able to question and to understand your own view of desire’s object. Otherwise, you cannot see the mind’s trick. With it’s constant “I feel, I want,” desire plays tricks on you, lea you to a constant restlessness that can mess up your life. (p. 87)

Even though it is sometimes said that something is nonexistent because it is like an illusion, a dream, or a reflection in a mirror, this is not philosophically correct. It is speaking loosely to say, “This phenomenon does not exist because it is an illusion. It is just one of my projections.” In fact, the reverse is true. The phenomenon exists precisely because it exists as an illusion, which is independent. A reflection in a mirror is also interdependent; it exists because of the mirror. (p. 90-1)

All quotes taken from The Bliss of Inner Fire by Lama Yeshe. See also Or go straight to a recording of him talking: