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Showing posts from April 12, 2009

Power of Hope – H is Highest Outcome

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Part 1 of a series. Hope is kind of a dishwater word; it has an air of desperation about it and is only a hair away from worry. It does not sound like it is going to have a very good outcome, but there are other states of mind added to it in order to make it hope. However, as Buddhists, we want to lift our ability to hope into the power of hope, in the form of a dynamic, proactive state of creativity.

In order to remember and use the technique I have created, we can remember the word hope in a new way. H, O, P, and E in four points are: H represents highest outcome, O is for overcoming obstacles, P is perseverance, and E is for enthusiasm. These are the four important aspects to proactive, dynamic hope that will give you abilities to use hope in ways that will have profound results. H means highest outcome. There is a saying, “We hope for the best.” However, in yogic method, this is a call to arise in a directed and focused energetic that supports the best outcome instead o…

How to be Happier Today!

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Part 5 in a series. In the small town of Sebastopol in northern California, there is a little farmer's market each Sunday. Next to the market is a small town square with a beautiful fountain and sometimes music and dancers. One Sunday I was there sitting on a bench observing people and enjoying. Soon, several little girls about three or four years old arrived with their nanny; each child dressed in a fairy ballerina costume. Their costumes of different colors had little wings and were a bit torn and worn out. Perhaps a couple of them wore their costume every day, just for fun. One of the little girls, in her little tattered fairy costume, decided to get into the fountain. Climbing in, she marched around in a circle in the fountain, laughing and splashing as much water as she could! Soon the other girls joined her in the fountain. It looked like so much fun. My pleasure in seeing children laughing and marching, marching around in the fountain really made me feel happy! May…

Happy to Sing and Leap for Joy!

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Part 4 of a series The darkness of obstacles clumps energy together gathering like a dirty snowball and clouds you. That is why the delusions are called obscurations because they obscure the lightness of your natural being. The unhappy mind has a darkness to it, a sickly darkness. To reduce the obscuration of anger begins to clear twisted energy held like a tight fist inside. As it clears, the clarity of natural mind begins to shine. This is not yet enlightened mind; this is a correct human mind and its energy life. The natural state of that mind is happiness.

As this darkness begins to lighten, the mental states associated with the stress caused by the density also dissipates and we feel encouraged by that. By feeling better, we want to reduce the dysfunctions even more. At a certain level of clarity by reducing clenched energy further, we see that old strategies were not as good as we thought. Actually, you already knew that anger was not as good a strategy as you thought it…

Happiness and the Feel Good Feeling

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Part 3 of a series If past and future lives exist, then the learning that comes from the changes and decisions we have made in previous times would influence our choices right now, isn't that so? However, if past and future lives do not exist, then it is even more important that we make careful choices based on experiences in this life as well as observations of others' mistakes. If past and future lives do not exist, then the careful choices that we make by analyzing others' successes and failures, as well as our own should be made as quickly as possible, so we can enjoy this one life we have!

On the other hand, again, if past and future lives do exist, then how extremely valuable it would be to finally gain understanding of the nature of how you exist and halt the suffering of deep confusion that has driven you to harm yourself and others. This harm from confusion needs to end or it will go on lifetime after lifetime in useless activities and useless pursuits of il…

Hunting Down Happiness

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Part 2 In truth, being happy does not depend upon having successes or having our needs met in the way we want them to be met. Sometimes people do get the thing they want, but not done in the manner they wanted it to be done, so then it becomes unhappiness. Getting a raise happiness, getting a new car happiness, or getting the final tin soldier in your antique collection set happiness, are not the criteria of happiness. It is so interesting that this is still such an integral part of everyday philosophy because these ideas do not exist in the scriptures or even in the teachings of Christianity as happiness. However, it is like a teeter-totter. Over here, you have reasonable values regarding happiness and suffering by the great minds and philosophers from the Buddha to Socrates to Wittgenstein. Over here, you have a five hundred pound gorilla demanding that you obey society norms by seeking happiness through accepted common values.

Our perceptions of what is and what is not happ…

Buddhism and the Unhappy Mind

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I have observed something magical, which happens when people are thinking about their children and their safety. They pray, visualize or demand that nothing bad and no unhappiness will ever come to make their precious child suffer. Your mother never, ever intended to bear children so that they would experience the least amount of unhappiness, isn't that so? If your mothers and fathers wishes were obeyed by the universe, you would have never suffered what you have already endured. In that perfect world, where mothers rule, she would tell you, "Oh, my children, you just be happy," and you would have instantly obeyed your mother's wishes perfectly.

In fact, your mother must have been right because happiness is the natural state of the mind. Therefore, unhappiness must be the unnatural state of the mind, unnatural meaning unbalanced, and not poised, out of equilibrium, and bulging with an agenda weighing down the mind.

This unbalanced state of the unhappy mind is a…

Baseball and Being with the Dying

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The real cause of anxiety, sorrow, and grief surrounding end of life is because people are not prepared. They are not prepared to pass away themselves, nor are they prepared to have anyone else pass away.
It is illogical but usual to think that although living beings are born into this world, those near and dear to us will not pass away. We hope that in the future, in a more evolved society than we live in now, people will be more prepared. Having few regrets, as the time comes near to their own passing, they will go joyfully into the next stage of their development. Perhaps in that future society, their transition will be one of joyful celebration of that persons life and without sorrow, well wishers will arrive to thank their dear friend and say goodbye.
In our Tibetan system, we already have a preliminary version of this more evolved attitude. Surrounding the dying person, family and friends, are cautioned not to disturb or to cling to the person who is in transition. The one wh…