Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/13/2020

Nalagiri

Searching this morning for inspiration I found this beautiful image of Lord Buddha befriending the raging elephant Nalagiri with the strength of his mettā. Over the years my appreciation of Lord Buddha only grows. What a beautiful being and how fortunate we are to have known him through his teachings.

The Buddha reached forward with his right hand and laid it on the elephant’s brow. “Ambho, Nalagiri,” he said. “You are safe now, my friend.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/buddhas-brain.com/2011/02/08/nalagiri/amp/

Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/12/2020

Happy Uposatha – More Maitreya

The Venerable Ajahn Achalo and I have been exchanging images of Ariya Metteyya (Maitreya) as he resides in Tusita as an aide in visualization practices. The above is the latest he sent me. Wishing you all every good blessing!

Namo maitriye!

Mantra of Maitreya Buddha’s promise:
NAMO RATNA TRAYAYA NAMO BHAGAVATE
SHAKYAMUNIYE / TATHAGATAYA / ARHATE SAMYAKSAM
BUDDHAYA / TADYATHA / OM AJITE AJITE APARAJITE /
AJITAÑCHAYA HA RA HA RA MAITRI AVALOKITE KARA KARA
MAHA SAMAYA SIDDHI BHARA BHARA MAHA BODHI MANDA
BIJA SMARA SMARA AHSMA KAM SAMAYA BODHI BODHI
MAHA BODHI SVAHA

Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/11/2020

Aspiration to be Reborn with Metteyya

May I be reborn in the city of Tusita, the beautiful

dwelling-place of the gods at a time when Lord Metteyya has taken his penultimate birth.

May I listen to the preaching of Lord Metteyya and develop the paramis under him for a long time.

When this Great Being is born in the charming city of Ketumatī as the Buddha, may I be reborn with the three noble root-conditions in a Brahman family.

May I make offerings to that Great Sage of invaluable robes of the finest sort, alms, dwelling-places and medicines in abundance.

May I undertake the life of a bhikkhu in the dispensation and illumine that noble (institution), being the possessor of potency, mindful and well-versed in the Tipiṭaka.

May he predict (of me), “This one will be a Buddha in the future.”

And may I offer gifts to the Buddhas who will come one after the other and (receive sure prediction) from

them too.

May I fare on in repeated births, give food and other things that are desired like a wish-conferring tree.

May I fulfil all the perfections of morality, renunciation, wisdom, and so forth, and having attained the summit of the perfections, become an incomparable Buddha.

May I preach the sweet Doctrine which brings bliss to all beings, liberating the whole world

with its Devas from the bondage of repeated births.

May I guide them to the most excellent, tranquil Nibbāna.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/09/2020

Where’s the Bathroom

I have spent much of the last year focusing on the development of skills that are largely physical in nature. And, although I have learned a lot about myself and don’t regret this journey, I feel that it has been somewhat of a detour. Luckily, with Sifu Mizner’s approach to tai chi I think I have found an art that supports my practice.

May we all find our true refuge in this life.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/07/2020

What Am I Practicing?

For a little over a year I have been practicing Kenpo and Muay Thai and, as I am wont to do, I’ve gotten more and more attached to it. In addition, I have become increasingly attached to the way in which my body has begun to look as a result of the conditioning and exercise routine I have put myself under. And, it was only tonight that I realized that I had developed an unhealthy obsession with it. All of which brings me to my point: what am I practicing anyway?

I have to admit that I have gained a tremendous amount of satisfaction and learned a lot about determination and willpower through this journey but the martial arts of Kenpo and Muay Thai are fundamentally about harming others. In fact, this morning I had a twenty minute consultation on Skype with one of the head instructors of Sifu Adam Mizner’s HME school of taijichuan and it was incredibly valuable for helping me to get to the realization that blossed later in the day.

In short, the martial arts are about killing and harming and, as Paul (the instructor) said, they weren’t made to help their practitioners live longer or better lives. That conversation and the Dhamma desana that I listened to later by Sifu Adam have put me firmly on the path of training in the HME school as my main practice of the arts. Of course, I have made a commitment to follow through with my Kenpo training but I will do so without the added worry of needing to become more forceful and aggressive as to do so seems akusala.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/04/2020

Imperturbability

Posted by: Upāsaka | 08/01/2020

Be Like Socrates

Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/27/2020

Captive to Our Words

How many words do I wish I could unspeak? How many resolves made in haste or, worse, anger do I wish I could undo? For how long will I allow myself to remain captive to wrong speech and the kilesas that undergird it?

Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/24/2020

Forgive Us All

My anger screwed up yesterday big time. We were on our way out of town and my frustration with my wife’s criticism of my driving and micromanagent of the same cause me to jump out of the car at a stop light and walk around the block to cool off. This sparked a violent reaction from her and any truce or rapprochement we were enjoying has been smashed to pieces.

And, I only have myself to blame.

Here, in NH with the in-laws I now have a chance to practice kindness and indifference to the opinions of others. May I realize that opinions are inconstant and that we’re all held hostage by the kilesas.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/19/2020

Faithfulness

Anicca strikes again and it seems like I’m back in the householder saddle once more. There was an abrupt and pleasant change in my wife’s behavior and demeanor towards me and I honestly wonder if it had anything to do with the rather large offering I made to one of my favorite monks and partially dedicated to her (if memory serves although I may be confusing this dedication of merit with the food dana I did a few weeks ago). Regardless, here I am again, taking up the role of husband and father while these conditions last.

And, while they do, it only makes sense to execute them to the best of my ability and in accord with the precepts. Specifically, the third and fourth which cover sexual fidelity and truth telling. Although I feel that I have done pretty well on these fronts there’s always room for improvement and why not recommit when things look to be starting over again?

May I be ever faithful in my relationships. May I always speak the truth when asked and hold my tongue when speech would cause hurt and division.

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