Part One: The Preliminaries ~ headings 1 – 3

Portrait of Atisha

Image via Wikipedia Atisha /!\

Heading 1

“To trace a river back to its source, you need to go right back to the snow line. so too must you trace a Dharma back to the Buddha, our Teacher.”  pg 27 of “Liberation..”

It is always wise to know where your information comes from…validating information allows faith to grow. And we need faith…for our practice to flourish. Practice without faith is wasted.

Heading 2

Here we learn of Atisha‘s family background…why he is an entirely reliable source for lamrim (graded teachings). We have now traced the river back to Atisha.

Heading 3

There are many wondrous signs marking Atisha as being more than a mundane Prince. Please read for yourself.

Yet today….these two sections jumped out at me…

“It is hard for us even to give up the things in our pokey little rooms, let alone the power of a price. Contrast this with great Atisha , who gave up his royal position, treating it like spittle left in the dust,…”

Also, this…”Atisha had already become a great scholar and a adept. As we have said, when only eighteen months old he had without any prompting spoken words that proved he was already conversant with bodhichitta. And yet he willingly underwent these hardships [to reach Indonesia], which must convince us that nothing is more fundamental in the Mahayana then precious bodhichitta.”

I cannot say it better…”nothing is more fundamental in the Mahayana then precious bodhichitta”.  Bodhichitta is the reason your practice flourishes. Bodhichitta is the reason your eyes open to new understandings. Bodhichitta.

Letting go of Gossip

English: Ven. Thubten Chodron

Image via Wikipedia

When talking about others is motivated by thoughts of ill will, jealousy, or attachment, conversations turn into gossip. These thoughts may seem to be subconscious, but if we pay close attention to our mind we’ll be able to catch them in the act. Many of these are thoughts that we don’t want to acknowledge to ourselves, let alone to others, but my experience is that when I become courageous enough to notice and admit them, I’m on my way to letting them go.

~ Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, “The Truth About Gossip”

Part One: The Preliminaries (Preparing to read and study lamrim)

Many people might wonder…. ‘Why do we need preliminaries? This is just reading, right?’

My case for preliminaries is this: What we take in to our studies will determine what we get out. Think about this. If we bring a calm and open mind….we will have room for peace and for instruction. When our minds are ‘full’ then what can enter? Full of everyday trivial, full of the busyness of our lives, full of scattered emotions. If the glass is filled with water even one drop will cause it to overflow.

Take time before you read and study to ‘ practice breathing meditation for a few minutes in order to empty your mind of distracting thoughts, and bring your mind to a neutral state.’

Dedication:

Due to all my own merits of the three times

And the merits of all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas and sentient beings,

May the altruistic wish to achieve enlightenment be generated in my mind

And in the mind of all sentient beings without delay for even a second,

And may that which has been generated be increased.

It is our motivation…

HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche at Sakya Ward St Ce...

Image via Wikipedia

‎”It is our motivation that direct our acts, just as an irrigation channel makes water flow where it is wanted. If our acts are constantly inspired by the desire to relieve others from suffering, in the end this desire will be fulfilled. But if we ignore this a great deal and instead limit ourselves to achieving a long, comfortable and prosperous life, we may well get it -but certainly nothing more.”

– Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche