Monday, December 28, 2009

2 short Hanh quotes from Buddha Mind, Buddha Body

p. 99:

"Your family is also a sangha, a small sangha. Your family may have only two, three, four people, but you can very well transform it into a sangha. If you know the practice you can very well transform it into sangha. If you know the practice you can build beautiful Sanghas."

p. 100:

"Finding a community that you respect to practice with is crucial to your happiness."

p93:

"Please remember that you don't need to be rich to practice giving."

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thich Nhat Hanh quote

From p. 77 of Buddha Mind, Buddha Body:

"When mind consciousness operates alone it can be in concentration or in dispersion. Dispersion is when you allow yourself to be carried away by emotions. When we feel out of control of our lives, as if we don't have any sovereignty, that's mind consciousness in dispersion. You think and speak and do things that you cannot control. We don't want to be full of hate and anger and discrimination, but sometimes the habit energy feels so strong we don't know how to change it. There's no loving kindness, understanding, or compassion in your thinking, because you are less than your better self. Like the man who yelled at his child in the morning, you say things and do thing you wouldn't say or do if you were concentrated. You lose your sovereignty."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Vajrasatva Mantra Chanted

Family as a pure land

I can sometimes get trapped into thinking the family is an impediment to meditation, retreat, spending time with sangha, Dharma study. But nothing is so black and white as this. In what sense is the family a pure land?

My answer is that my children have helped me to see certain things, like that I have a bit of a temper and that I have more work to do. They have also taught me kindness and love. I think devoting yourself to the life of a child can be a challenge. I think that's why it's hard to be the child of someone famous: They're less inclined to do the slavery of parenting, they're too important, too busy, too powerful. One of my supervisors said of raising small children, that's it's wonderful but it's also boring. To subjugate yourself to such beings is self abnegating, and of course something useful in the spiritual life. My family life teaches me as many things as I'm open to. Sometimes I yearn for retreat, Dharma study, endless time with sangha. Family also helps me to clarify that that is what I want, because I notice I can't have it. Perhaps not the most important lesson in the world, but a lesson.

So this winter vacation, I'm going to look more towards, how is my family life a pure land, instead of feeling blocked in my other Dharma pursuits. I will work harder to love what is.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bante Quote

From page 428 of The Essential Sangharakshita:

"Buddhist meditation is a clearing of the decks for action, a transforming of unskillful and unexamined mental states into integrated and refined energy, for a purpose beyond self-absorption."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thich Nhat Hanh quote

From page 28 of Buddha Mind, Buddha Body:

"When you listen to a talk or read a book about the Dharma, it's not for the purpose of getting notions and ideas. In fact it's for releasing notions and ideas. You don't replace your old notions and ideas with new ones. The talk or the writing should be like the rain that can touch the seed of wisdom and freedom within you. That's why we have to learn how to listen. We listen or read not to receive more notions and concepts, but in order to get free from all notions and concepts. It's not important that you remember what was said, but that you are free."

Monday, December 07, 2009