Thursday, May 14, 2015



Pg.11) The scriptures state that the Dharma, or spirituality, does not depend primarily on some kind of physical expression, like attire or deportment, nor on some verbal expression, such as recitation and chanting, but is experienced, first and foremost, on the basis of the mind. They say that, rather than emphasizing some outward expression, the Dharma consists principally of special methods for analyzing and watching the mind so as to transform it.

It is true that the methods given in the Buddhist teachings do not focus predominantly on external acts such as reciting prayers and mantras, or on physical acts such as prostrations, and the like. Rather, the teachings are put into practice by means of your mind. This makes the process a little more difficult. Another scripture says, "For this reason, the tradition of the Buddha is a subtle one." Why? you might ask. Because it is always possible for people to behave outwardly like spiritual practioners, while at the same time harboring negative thoughts unworthy of a real practioner.

Similarly, it is possible for people to recite mantras and prayers continuously, while their minds are simultaneously polluted by all kinds of destructive thoughts.

However, if we are practicing something positive in our mind - say we are cultivating faith or compassion, for example - at the same time as that positive quality is generated in our mind, it is quite impossible for us to give rise to a harmful state of mind. By the same token, where there is a negative state of mind, a positive one cannot exist. So the important point here is that everything is accomplished on the basis of our mind.

What is required to transform the mind?

Pg. 20) Yet for all this to come about, we need to make an effort. We cannot expect our minds to change by simply sitting back and waiting for it to happen.

If we take stock of the negative elements in our minds, they can be summarized as three - desire, aversion and ignorance - the so-called three poisons or pollutants. For a long time, our minds have been habituated and inured to these poisons, which are now deeply ingrained.

To make this kind of effort to transform our mind, we need perseverance and diligence. And before we can develop diligence, we need to have an eager, inspired sense of willpower, so that we say to ourselves, "This is something I must accomplish." Otherwise, it will be very difficult for transformation to happen easily or occur at random.

If transforming the mind requires effort, effort demands interest and involvement; for that sense of involvement to be strong enough, you have to be motivated from the depths of your heart. If you do not have this drive yourself, it is extremely difficult for something external or someone else to force you to transform your mind. In fact, if they tried, it might make things even worse. - by the 14th Dalai Lama


In his book "Divine Romance" Paramahansa Yogananda wrote: "No matter how you have been empowered in negative thinking and negative behavior, those wrong habits cannot enslave you forever. Constantly seek God instead of indulging in negative thoughts and actions, and you will find peace of mind and happiness in your life. Sometime you will have to rid yourself of evil. Why not how?

No one else can save you. You are your own savior as soon as you realize, "I am Light itself. Darkness was never meant for me; it can never cover the light of my soul."

The Bhagavad Gita teaches that he who thinks negatively and beholds evil in the world is the enemy of the Self, and the Self acts as his enemy. And he who beholds only goodness is a friend to his Self, and the Self acts as his friend. If you are your own enemy, picking up evil from everywhere, your true self will be your enemy.

So in this world seek only that which is good, do that which is good. Constantly seek God instead of indulging in negative thoughts and actions, and you will find peace of mind and happiness in your life.

By seeking out evil, by being negative and affirming to yourself negative thoughts, you see this world as a forest of fear. By seeking goodness, being good, and affirming good, you see this world as a garden of beauty."

Coping with a loved one's death: sending loving thoughts to them

Send your thoughts of love and goodwill to your loved ones as often as you feel inclined to do so, but at least once a year. Mentally tell them, "We will meet again sometime and continue to develop our divine love and friendship with one another." If you send them your loving thoughts continuously now, someday you will surely meet them again.

Instead of weeping and feeling a sense of loss after the death of those who are dear to you, always send them your love. By doing so you can help the progress of their souls, and they can help you. Never drag them down by unreasonable feelings of  selfish attachment and sorrow. Just say to them "I love you."

Ordinary souls remain in the astral realm for a karmically predetermined time, and then reincarnate on earth. But what if the souls of some that you love are reborn on earth? As you go on sending them your love, they will feel your thoughts. When they are asleep - that is, when their conscious mind is asleep and the subconscious is awake - they will receive your love.

In time, these souls will be aware of the vibrations you are sending them, and they will remember and understand.

Furthermore, you will surely be attracted to one another again, and will feel the closeness of your previous relationship. - from the book "Divine Romance" by Paramahansa Yogananda


In his book  "The Challenge of Enlightenment" Ryuho Okawa wrote: "There are many  Buddhist sutras on the philosophy of Tathagata-garbha, which are considered to be a kind of positive thinking. Modern postivie thinking has its origins in Mahayana Buddhism. The idea of Tathagata - garbha leads logically to positive thinking, but Tathagata nature is not something that can be achieved simply.

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