Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/22/2019

For the Sake of One Being

The thought struck me this morning that, if I were able to be of benefit to even one hell being in a future rebirth in hell, wouldn’t it be worth it? I went about looking for a similar sentiment and found it in the Guru Puja.

As it says in the Guru Puja:

Even if I must remain for an ocean of eons in the fiery hells of Avici 
For the sake of even just one sentient being,
I seek your blessings to complete the perfection of joyous effort,
To strive with compassion for supreme enlightenment and not be discouraged.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/20/2019

Seasons

Intoxicated with youth,

How long until you hide my weak and wrinkled skin in shame?

Fooled again by the coming of Spring,

How many seasons will I pass in ignorance?

When will I learn not to heed the sirens’ call and instead guard my meager gains?

There is naught but birth, aging and death to be found in this ever-turning wheel of samsara.

When will I develop the wisdom to put it all down and give up hope that there is happiness to be gained in the pursuit of pleasure?

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/19/2019

Happy Uposatha – Plutarch

“Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.”

― Plutarch

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/19/2019

Active Listening

I have read that the name Avalokiteshvara means “he who listens to the cries of the world.” I see root “loka” which means world (cognate of Latin locus) but don’t have much after that. But, my point isn’t etymological really. It’s too point to the fact that my practice had been severely limited with regard to something that sends fundamental: listening.

I have been brining and bearing it for so long that i didn’t even realize that I had decided that actually listening to those who cause me so much pain wasn’t worth the effort. But, in doing so, I was taking a not so subtle aversive stance.

What would it look like to actually listen to who someone who’s hurt me, not to change them or figure out how to better deal with them but because doing so is an act of charity? Fasting, cold showers and other quasi ascetic practices have nothing on the practice of active and patient listening. And, how can I pretend to be compassionate and actively working for the benefit of others when I am unwilling to listen to anything but my own thoughts?

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/18/2019

Payment for Peace

Accepting defeat. Swallowing insult. Humbling oneself. All of these are painful. All of these are forms of suffering. But, if we fight back, “stand up” for ourselves what do we earn? I’ve fight back, not punked out and beaten the hell out of other men. I’ve also had my nose bloodied, eye blacked and been thrown to the ground and stomped on. What was won? Hatred, resentment and misguided pride. Nothing of value. Nothing of worth.

It’s so much easier to have one’s nose broken than it is to break one’s pride but that is what this path calls for. I’m seeing ever more clearly what a danger i am to myself and others and how easily I can give in to anger.

May I learn to accept insult and defeat happily as payment for peace.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/17/2019

Sacrificing Ego

I was unpleasantly surprised by how strongly I reacted with aversion and hatred to the women standing fully in front of the subway car’s doors as my daughter and I tried to squeeze or way through. Immediately after I found myself silently fuming about how it was possible to be so rude and cu clueless. I even entertained a brief fantasy about somehow teaching people what is right.

I knew, almost simultaneously, just how wrong minded this all was but I wasn’t able to see clearly at that time. Now, with some space, I can see that my sense of pride and unhealthy ego that demands respect in the world is to blame. It feels emasculating to squeeze one’s way past but what’s the alternative? For me it is either sacrifice the pride and ego or give in to anger and resentment. There may very well be a better way but, until I am a much wiser and compassionate being, I prefer to take the defeat upon myself and give the victory to others.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/17/2019

Dana Nekkhamma Parami

If I’m truly serious them why have I not put it all in the line? I have the makings of ruin or reward in my agamic marriage so why not take the plunge into full brahmacariya? I had toyed with the idea that somehow things would or could return to something resembling normal at some later point but I realize that I’m waiting for a future that may never come. And, besides, what am I putting off and giving up in exchange?

Yes, I still have sexual urges but as my determination has increased I see that, in this life at least, there is no real possibility for it any longer. The one person who I chose to be my wife and the mother of my children wants nothing to do with me and it’s had become a marriage of convenience and necessity for herself and the kids. So, how would I rather spend my next sixteen years (presuming I don’t die or she doesn’t first)?

I can aver that I don’t want to spend it fantasizing about sex and attending solely to my own base pleasures. No, I refuse to waste another day of this life. May I offer this renunciation as a gift to all beings that I may become a better vessel to carry the Dhamma fourth in this and all future lives.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/15/2019

Twelve Aspirations

fuda

May all beings be free from the three types of suffering.

May all beings be free from affective obscurations.

May all beings be free from cognitive obscurations.

May all beings have temporal happiness.

May all beings have permanent happiness.

May all beings have the causes of happiness.

May I rejoice in the virtue of all beings.

May I rejoice in the happiness of all beings.

May I rejoice in the interdependence of all beings.

May I avoid all extremes of view and conduct.

May I avoid elation or dejection over the eight worldly concerns.

May I include all beings in my love, compassion, and  rejoicing.

Great Middle Way Blog

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/15/2019

Aspiration

Every day, when I look at my heart, I see just how impure it still is. Smeared with hatred, tainted with lust and submerged in ignorance I can’t help but wonder how I could ever be of benefit to beings, let alone to myself. I just read that, after his recent release from hospital, the Dalai Lama reaffirmed his commitment to be reborn wherever the need is greatest and the suffering most extreme. Such a noble and inspiring aspiration but, when I reflect on my situation, I can’t help but think that I would do more harm than good. And, yet, I have not given up. I just know that I need lifetimes more work on pañña, metta and karuna before I can make such an aspiration meaningful.

Until I gain a foothold in wisdom may I always be reborn in favorable training circumstances and ever pursue complete awakening to benefit numberless beings.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/14/2019

Five Ways

(2) The Buddha Teaches Five Ways

  “Monks, there are these five ways of removing resentment by which a monk should entirely remove resent-ment when it has arisen toward anyone. What five? (1) One should develop loving-kindness for the person one resents; in this way one should remove the resentment toward that person. (2) One should develop compassion for the person one resents; in this way one should re-move the resentment toward that person. (3) One should develop equanimity toward the person one resents; in this way one should remove the resentment toward that person. (4) One should disr[…]

Excerpt from: “The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon” by Bodhi.

I have been fighting with the kilesas all weekend and especially they of hatred. My wisdom faculty seems to be on the ebb and quite possibly on vacation but my live-in teacher is still here giving me unrelenting lessons. It helps to recall that it is my own kamma that brought me here and it is my responsibility not to create more akusala kamma but it is wearying at times. I shudder to think where this human works is going on the next hundred years and it’s a shame that my wife and I couldn’t have practiced the Dhamma together and made our lives a field of merit but it is what it is and there’s nothing to be done for it.

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The mud, the lotus and the pale golden blue.

Dirk Pieters

writer, buddhist, yogi / schrijver, boeddhist, yogi

لا إله إلا الله

The Knowledge is Provisions from Allah, May Allah guide us and strength our Iman & Taqwa. Ameen.