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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”
And has evolved.
Posting when I can. Replying to comments when I can.
Om Mani Padme Hum ~
Just yesterday I was thinking of how to help the ever changing world…i.e.more famines…more riots…more violence for violence’s sake.
I thought…What can I do? (not in order)
1. Feed the sentient beings as I can, locally.
2. Pray and do mantra practice
4. Smile to all even if they do not smile in return.
5. Drive mindfully and safely
6. Look people in the eyes and see them for them
7. Volunteer at the Local Food Bank
8. Travel the Middle Path
9. Speak only those words that should be spoken
10. Repeat and add more.
I know this is a simple and incomplete list. And we all do these things with out referring to the list. But sometimes it helps to write down what we can do to help ourselves and all sentient beings. It removes anger (frustration)…apathy due to being overwhelmed…it highlights the ripple effect (what we do, feel, not do, not feel..ripples throughout the worlds)
When the Buddha taught, he didn’t say that we were bad people or that there was some sin that we had committed—original or otherwise—that made us more ignorant than clear, more harsh than gentle, more closed than open. He taught that there is a kind of innocent misunderstanding that we all share, something that can be turned around, corrected, and seen through, as if we were in a dark room and someone showed us where the light switch was. It isn’t a sin that we are in a dark room. It’s just an innocent situation, but how fortunate that someone shows us where the light switch is. It brightens up our life considerably. We can start to read books, to see one another’s faces, to discover the colors of the walls, to enjoy the little animals that creep in and out of the room. ~ Pema Chodron
from The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron
Buddha and Mara are figurative ways of portraying a fundamental opposition within human natures. While “Buddha” stands for a capacity for awareness, openness, and freedom, “Mara” represents a capacity for confusion, closure, and restriction. To live with the devil is to live with the perpetual conflict between one’s Buddha-nature and one’s Mara-nature. When Buddha-nature prevails, fixations ease and the world brightens, revealing itself as empty, contingent, and fluid.
-Stephen Batchelor, “Living With The Devil”
( I recently bought, ‘Living With the Devil’ by Stephen Batchelor. I have not put the book in my ‘To Be Read’ (TBR) stack yet. Soon though, soon! ~ Debra )