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Everything posted by Dechen

  1. OK, it was then a misunderstanding. "Sure" as an answer in that context can be understood as "Sure, the brain and personality are the same".
  2. Buddhism is not alone in not equating the mind/personality with the brain. I think that even Werstern medicine and psychology do not equate the personality and the brain. Correlation does not mean equation, only possible mutual influences. And yes, I would also like to see proof of what you say.
  3. I don't understand how this refers to Pamo's post. Do you think that the brain and personality are the same thing? I don't think so ...
  4. According to the official statement on the website of H.H. the Dalailama, reporters quoted him out of context: http://www.dalailama.com/news.300.htm His actual words seem to be much milder.
  5. I might be wrong but this report sounds very similar to reports issued a few days ago and that according to the statement on the official website of His Holiness were in fact quoting the words of His Holiness out of context. Somehow I doubt that His Holiness would repeat almost word to word statements again. http://www.dalailama.com/news.300.htm
  6. Dechen

    New year bazaar

    I like the idea of the bazaar very much too and I would like to join the effort. Well, it also depends on the date when it will take place, but you can count me in. Concerning the finances of the Dharma Centre, unfortunately Slovenes tend to be miserly with their money in terms of donations. Charitable activities are not as well developed as elsewhere and the awareness about it is not very high. Everybody has good intentions, of course, but when it comes to giving, their good intentions disappear. I speak from experience from trying to collect aid for people in the war-affected areas of Yugoslavia. People don't like to part with their money for purposes that do not immediately concern them. They are more ready to donate clothes, but more because they want to get rid of the old stuff and it was absolutely necessary to check all donated clothes, because there was a lot of old rags that could no longer be used. But I could understand this more in other places and with other people, but not among Buddhists. I hope we wake up and keep the Ljubljana Dharma Centre going.
  7. The passage in question is more specifically related to tantric practitioners vs. arhats who haven't come in contact with Mahayana: "As it is mentioned in the teachings, if you compare someone who becomes an arhat in this life and someone who takes an initiation but is unable to practice the tantric root vows, the person who is unable to keep pure vows will reach enlightenment first. This person is unable to keep their vows and commits root downfalls and is born in the hell realms. However, before this being who became an arhat even enters the Mahayana path, the person who took the initiation but couldn't protect their vows will already be enlightened." (Lama Zopa Rinpoche, "Six Session Guru Yoga", p. 21.)
  8. Hvala za pismo! Draftsman, če pismo pošljemo po elektronski pošti, ga ne moremo podpisati, niti dopisati svojega imena. Malo nerodno, kajne?
  9. Tashi Delek! Since I know a bit about the problem of stray animals, I am in favour of castration/spaying of cats and dogs. The old conviction that it should all be left to nature is incorrect, because there is nothing "natural" about pets anymore. They have been created by humans and they are our responsibility. Moreover, they cannot survive on their own. We must prevent as much of their suffering as we can and one of the methods is castration/spaying. A cat can breed twice a year and each time can have as many as six kittens. Left on their own in the street, they are ran over by cars, they starve, are infested with parasites, abused by cruel humans, chased by dogs and they also suffer from a multitude of diseases, such as feline AIDS. Even this cold weather can shorten their lifespan: because of low temperatures, kittens get cold, their eyes get badly infected and can go blind because of that and if they do not receive veterinary attention, they can die. Those that survive continue to breed and give birth to more kittens. Animals that are already here should be helped as much as possible, but at the same time I think that they should be castrated/spayed to prevent the birth of more suffering animals. There are many people who have made it their calling to help these suffering beings. But it is true that most of us do not have the means/time/energy/knowledge/money to help. If a suffering animal comes our way, we should not ignore it (although, I admit, this is easier said than done). But we should also get informed so that we avoid causing damage while trying to help. For example, feeding stray animals that are not castrated/spayed only encourages their further multiplication and increases their suffering. Instead, if a group of stray animals lives nearby, we can have them castrated/spayed even for free, as there are certain months in the year when local animal shelters offer free castration/spaying of stray cats, for example. Castrated male cats can be immediately returned to the environment, whereas spayed female cats need to be somwehere warm and safe for a couple of days before they are returned. Catching them is a whole different manner, but it can be done with a lot of patience and skillful means. Not all animal shelters kill animals if they are not adopted during the period of one month since their arrival there. Each municipality has an asigned animal shelter, so animals found in its territory are accepted only in that shelter. It is good to get reliable information about the shelter in question in order to find out what will happen to the animal after one month. Mind you, many of the chain e-mails saying that this or that animal should be adopted or else it will be killed at the shelter or by its owner are spams. Particularly those e-mails showing pictures of cute puppies that will be killed by the owner if they are not adopted within a week. According to the law, it is prohibited to take the life of a healthy animal in Slovenia. So any such message is simply extortion. In such cases it is easy to check the veracity of these messages: call the phone number stated and check if the person who answers really has puppies to give away. It might save your friends a lot of spam trouble. I hope I helped make a few things clearer.
  10. Then it is clearly not suitable for him as his only diet. Better for him to eat other food than suffer permanent damage to his digestive system. Have a nice day!
  11. When changing your pet's diet you should be careful to do it very gradually. An animal's digestion system gets used to one type of food, so when the diet is changed abruptly, this often causes digestion problems. The diet should be changed gradually over the course of one week. First you add only a very small quantity of new food to the old one in the animal's feeding bowl. Gradually and very slowly you increase the quantity of new food and dicrease the quantity of old food. If any problems occur, you sould decrease the quantity of new food, wait for a few days and then start again. It might happen that the animal will not be able to digest new food. In that case it is better not to force it in order to avoid severe damage to the animal's digestion system. Billytiss, I suggest you go back to the start with the cat who has problems and try to change his diet gradually. If it does not work, I suggest you go to the old diet not to damage the cat's health. Good luck! Oh, I just noticed Draftsman's post! So the recommendation in my post actually goes to him...
  12. Tashi Delek! I agree with what has already been said about the abortion and indeed, it is a very sensitive matter. I particularly agree with what Dani has written from a personal perspective. What I would like to add that this proposal is part of a larger context of actually forcing Slovenes to have more children. Our right-wing government thinks that it is a duty of every citizen to have at least two children. I was even told that to my face a couple of years ago when I taught English to the members of the currently ruling party. What worries me is the shortsightedness of this approach. They do not search for reasons, they do not start at the beginning but at the end, dealing with consequences rather than causes. This way, they might only make the situation worse and in the case of the abortion trigger the emergence of black market abortionists and consequently many tragic deaths. Many people do not have children because of the poor living standard. There are others like me whose living standard is not that bad, but it is not secure enough and we spend most of our time working to pay our bills and there is no time left for the upbringing of the child. In our country there is no possibility for the mother to stay at home and take care of the family and the father earning enough money for the family to live decently. If that was the case I might consider having children, because I do not want state institutions to bring up my child, instilling dubious or no values in him or her. I do not want to be a stressed out mother yelling and shouting at children to be quiet because I had a rough day at work. If the government wants people to have more children, it should provide the right living conditions for them. If it continues in the present direction, it might increase the birth rate, but also the number of disfunctional families and youngsters in the streets. Somebody also mentioned that mothers should give their children up for adoption instead of going for abortion. I agree, but in practice, there are actually no adoptions of Slovene children taking place in Slovenia. Instead the state has established a system of foster homes that operate in return for payment from the social services. Although many of these foster parents work really hard, this is not a suitable solution for me. A child needs a proper home, he or she needs a mother and a father, whether biological or adoptive. Paradoxically, there are many childless couples who want to adopt children but they cannot do it in Slovenia. So they adopt children from abroad. Of course, any child regardless of his or her nationality needs a proper home. But I'm asking myself what the government tries to achieve with this strategy? Why it pretends that there are no children in need of a better home in Slovenia? Why so many children stay with unfit parents or get stuck in the foster home system when they could get a better home? One more thing, there are no operating orphanages in Slovenia. There was an attempt to establish one but the official social system prevented it. There is one more thing to consider concerning this. There are many immigrants coming to Slovenia, among them families with many children and educated individuals who have escaped political prosecution in their countries. Why the state does not make it possible for them to live a decent life in Slovenia, get a job, settle down? Must all children born in Slovenia really be Slovenes genetically speaking? Why is it my duty to give birth to two children when there are many others in need of help and citizenship? The policy of our government is really short-sighted. All the best,
  13. I just checked the link to the forum of the Slovene Roman Catholic Church and I am horrified! Its members ecplicitly encourage the killing of those of other faiths, not to mention their names and avatars. Very militant and not at all Christian. They claim that other religions are not entitled to equality, but in the name of this same equality and democracy they themselves are tolerated even when they encourage violence. By the way, nobody on that forum said anything about this call to killing as if it was something normal and acceptable. Well, when I see stuff like that, I am glad that my path is different.
  14. Another information that I just received recently is that apparently the Council of Christian Churches of Slovenia was formed with the purpose of focusing exclusively on Christian doctrine and of avoiding inter-religious dialogue and participation in the initiatives of the civil society. The members of this Council are the Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church.
  15. Yes, but this is not help, isn't it? Well, most of the time this pity manifests in the form of complaining about injustices, saying how somebody should do something, how the government or whoever is indifferent, how this is unbearable. I think that the fact that we can't stand the suffering of others can sometimes be a good motivator so that we go into action. But again, the motivation should be helping others not helping ourselves or removing our own suffering. I guess the border line between these two is very unclear and sometimes the initial "I can't stand this, somebody should do something" can transform into "what can I do to help you".
  16. What we are forgetting is the motivation. Is our motivation to improve the conditions of the other being (human or non-human) or something else? If our intentions are genuine concern for the wellbeing of the other, than how can it become an experiment? If our intentions are genuine, then we will try to do the best for the other, asking him or her (in case of humans) what he or she needs and take into consideration their refusal of our help. I agree that we must at least try, at least that is what I feel. So many times I see a situation where help is needed but I don't do anything. In fact, that is what I would call pity: feeling sorry for somebody, but not trying to help at all. It all remains a thought process. Whereas compassion is for me a step further, leading to action, even if it is just a simple question: What can I do to help you? I agree with what you say that there is a danger of "ego trip help", but I am convinced that by developing a genuine sense of compassion, along with wisdom, through spiritual practice is the right antidote for that.
  17. You certainly have a point there! Oh, and to add to my answer, which is only my opinion and may not be correct, I do not think we are fully responsible for the reactions of others. Of course, we must try to approach them in the right way according to the situation, but for example, if our help is refused, it is not our responsibility. It is a result of karma. What I think is our responsibility is to at least try to help, to nurture that attitude in our life. Have a wonderful day!
  18. For years I tried to help the one person in my life who was most closely and intimately connected with me, my mother. I invested time, money, effort, a great deal of emotions, patience, impatience ... in the "project". When after more than ten years there was no visible result, I finally thought about asking the right person, my teacher, how to help her, what to do. The answer I received was: "You can't help everybody. Some people don't want to be helped." I learnt that lesson in a very difficult situation and it was hard to swallow. Who would not want to help one's mother? But I admit that since I learnt it, my life became much more simple and our relationship improved. And yes, sometimes I even manage to help her with some "petty unimportant" thing that means a whole world to her, although it is irrelevant to me. Sometimes giving space can be the best help. But of course, until we are realised and have perfect wisdom, it is difficult to know what is truly needed. If somebody asks a question on the forum and it is not understandable to others, I think it is only legitimate to ask for further explanation. This has nothing to do with any vows, it's a logical consequence. Dani, if you did understand the question, why didn't you answer it earlier? There is no need to laugh at others who did not understand it. The way I understand the Bodhisattva vow in question is that we should not ignore questions that somebody puts to us and if we do not know the answer, we should say that we don't know. And if the question is not understandable, we should ask kindly to have it repeated in a more understandable form.
  19. Yes, in fact, I find it difficult to understand your question. Can you give an example or ask again in more simple way? Although I am probably not the best person to give advice anyway...
  20. Today at the press conference of the World Peace Summit at the Ljubljana town hall, Lama Shenphen Rinpoche was repeatedly referred to as His Holiness. I thought that this title was reserved for H.H. the Dalailama. How come that Rinpoche was called by this title? There was also some confusion regarding the organisation Rinpoche presented. It was stated that he represented an International Buddhist Union. This was said only once, but it was repeated several times that he was a representative of a Buddhist Union. Rinpoche corrected this mistake but there was still some confusion about it. Does this Buddhist Union exist? I think there is one such organisation in Slovenia, but as far as I know Rinpoche is not connected with it... Can you please explain why these things were stated?
  21. As a flatmate of that cute dog named Tara, I sincerely hope that her name will leave a deep imprint on her mind. I might add that two more cute dogs called Lhamo (Godess) and Pamo (Brave one, one of the 'nicknames of Arya Boddhisatva Tara) live with me... Rinpoche has often mentioned how good it is for animals to hear mantras. So in addition to an auspicious name, make sure your pets hear mantras. It might benefit them in their next rebirth! You can also read mor about dharma and animals in Lama Zopa's teachings at http://www.lamayeshe.com/lamazopa/animals.shtml
  22. It all depends on the motivation! But seriously, I believe that we can practice while running like with everything else. We can focus on running, as well as on walking, doing the dishes or some other action, although concentration might not be as complete as during walking meditation.
  23. I find walking meditation very "refreshing". For me it is much easier to focus on what I'm doing, like paying all my attention to walking or doing the dishes. As Rinpoche said, it is stress that makes us tired and when I focus my mind so that it doesn't wander around, I immediately feel almost physical relief... I can't really say which is better - mindfully walking or observing that I'm walking. I know what you mean, but the difference can be very subtle. Although mindfully walking might mean greater absorption than observing.
  24. If you reread my posts, you will find out that I didn't say that it is wrong to put up images of Buddha in public places but that I don't think it's right to exploit the image to make profit, just as it is prohibited to make profit with buddhist teachings. According to Dharma, it is not correct to mix Buddhist texts and images with other images and texts/songs that don't have anything to do with Dharma. The result is accumulation of bad karma by those who do it. Regardless of what you think, I believe it is true. I do not hate the people who do it and I don't intend to punish anybody. I just think what they do is not right. For me, the subject is closed. I don't intend to argue. I've already made my point. You are welcome to reread my posts. I've already pointed out the harmful aspects of the Buddha Bar concept and I stand behind what I wrote. You are most welcome to verify what has been said here against Buddhist teachings or ask a qualified teacher. My words are based on what my teacher has taught me about Buddha dharma. If I'm mistaken, he'll correct me, as he undoubtedly follows the forum. But in future, refrain from comparing anybody here or anywhere else with the little German man. It's not compassionate to do so...
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