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Michael John Smith

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About Michael John Smith

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  1. Thank you Pamo Here is someone else with the same thought: Mahler Zain - Open Your Eyes, Heart and Mind - Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqWxlbm9-7M
  2. The mind of the pretty girl and the mind of the tiny mosquito is as vast as space. When I sleep the pretty girl sleeps and the tiny mosquito sleeps. When I meditate, we all meditate.
  3. Can we please discuss the business and lifestyle notions of thrift and efficiency with respect to the Buddhist practice of generosity? Can ideas about saving time and money somehow run contrary to the perfection of giving? Also can we really create wealth other than through the practice of generosity?
  4. The Buddha advises we adopt the following methods of working with emotions: Reflection on impermanence and the unpleasant aspect of a person or thing counteracts attachment. Cultivating patience and love opposes anger. Cultivating wisdom demolishes ignorance. Reflecting that all we know and have comes from others eliminates pride. Rejoicing prevents jealousy. Following the breath diminishes doubt. Contemplating our precious human life dispels depression. Meditating on compassion counteracts low self-esteem. We should neither suppress an emotion or follow through on it but attend to it by recognizing it as it arises in our mind and applying the appropriate antidote but know that whatever happens the emotion will not last long in our minds if we do not grasp it and give it too much importance.
  5. The greatest generosity is non-attachment. The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind. The greatest patience is humility. The greatest effort is not concerned with results. The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go. The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances. - Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master) I think if we look closely at the six perfections here we can see that goodness, or a peaceful mind, follows from generosity, or non-attachment and patience, or humility, comes from goodness, or a peaceful mind - and so on. All six perfections are linked - one following hard on the heels of the other and starting the cycle again with greater intensity once we have gained some wisdom or insight. Please share your thoughts.
  6. Is not fear just attachment to a wrongly perceived self - a self, which is frightened of what somebody will think of them or what will happen to them? The realization that there is no death or birth such as a cloud not dying when it rains but still able to be seen in the rain - transformed not dead or born - is in a sense renouncing fear and with it attachment to a false idea of an inherent self - it is in a sense transcending a view of the world and knowing directly or attaining wisdom.
  7. What do we mean in Mahayana Buddhism by ignorance?
  8. Since our present is dependent on past causes we can say our karma is linked to the extent that we share the same present - this moment of reality, not just our own perception of it but how it really is.
  9. Patience is I think to really be in this moment without thinking about what might be coming up or analyzing what came before. This involves a letting go of our thoughts, which are otherwise often in the past or future, grabbing after this or that, dissatisfied with this or that, dreaming about changing this or that. When we are in the here or now, patient in accepting the here and now and what we really have, we can begin to see the interconnections between ourselves and others because we are no longer forcing anything. We are also really accepting the idea of impermanence without trying to change the way things change by clinging onto our thoughts, emotions or even possessions.
  10. Karma is intersubjective and that the course of each and every stream of consciousness (changing individual) is profoundly influenced by its relation with other consciousness streams." ~ From Twenty Verses of Acharya Vasubhandu.
  11. I have come to certain conclusions about the compassionate wish for enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings – bodhicitta – the Mahayana motivation. I think realizing each of the six perfections – generosity, morality or ethics, patience, enthusiastic perseverance, concentration or meditation and wisdom – is motivated by the four immeasurables – love (to wish that sentient beings possess both the causes and the results of happiness), compassion (to wish that sentient beings be free from the causes and effects of suffering), joy (to wish that sentient beings never be apart from happiness) and equanimity (to wish that sentient beings be free from attachment and aversion). This means we generate generosity and give away our possessions, body and merit because of our love and compassion for our fellow human beings and our emphatic joy for their happiness and wish that they be free from attachment and aversion. Likewise we are moral and keep the precepts for the same reason – the same thing motivates us – love, compassion, joy and equanimity. This motivation is also behind our realization of patience, enthusiastic perseverance, meditative practice and indeed the wisdom, which underlies all the perfections. Of course in reality we possess all of the six perfections and all of the four immeasurables – they are the wisdom and compassion aspects of our Buddha –nature – perhaps we can call one the reality and the other the means but in practice this is not important. Because they represent the two aspects of the Buddha’s mind, we can surely try to put each and all together into our daily practice.
  12. I suppose patience is something we naturally have but it gets disturbed as soon as we get irritated by something and we grasp at this and it becomes anger - and how does this relate to the idea of accepting impermanence - I believe it is because we get irritated or impatient with the idea of impermanence because we want quick relief or because we really want things to stay the same, which are two extremes showing us we have not really accepted the idea of impermanence yet - and then because we suffer, we get angry and impatient and this just fuels our ignorance and lack of acceptance of impermanence.
  13. I think the antidote to laziness is to meditate on impermanence or more specifically, death. This is because this precious life is too short to waste by not practicing. But is this enough? I mean unless we are patient we are in danger of wanting to be enlightened in a single day or at most a week or two - this is surely just another kind of laziness, to rush around all over the place. How do we balance impermanence with patience?
  14. Of course this is true because the six perfections are an expression of the four immeasurables and the other way around. When we have love (to wish that sentient beings possess both the causes and the results of happiness), compassion (to wish that sentient beings be free from the causes and effects of suffering), joy (to wish that sentient beings never be apart from happiness) and equanimity (to wish that sentient beings be free from attachment and aversion),we already have the six perfections of generosity, morality, patience, energy, perseverance, meditation and wisdom. To practice one set is to practice the other - they are two aspects of bodhicitta. So when we give away our possessions, body and merit with perfect morality, patience, perseverance, meditation and wisdom present we are expressing our love, compassion. joy and equanimity to all sentient beings - bodhicitta is present and we possess the perfectly compassionate and wise mind of the Buddha. So, starting with a meditation on the meaning of love, we can reach some kind of understanding of the meaning of bodhicitta, or the wish for enlightenment for all sentient beings.
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