Posts tagged religion

Believe in your own heart – Gautama Buddha

Do not believe anything
because it is said by an authority,
or if it is said to come from angels,
or from gods,
or from an inspired source.

Believe it only if you have explored it
in your own heart
and mind and body
and found it to be true.

Work out your own path,
through diligence.

~ Gautama Buddha

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(More) Messages from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Mcleod Ganj – 5th March 2015

Holed up in cosy cafe in Mcleod Ganj, decorated with prayer flags and embroideries of the Potala palace, monks slap tables and play with their mobile phones, the mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ is played quietly from a giant, flashing speaker.  I’m sipping a special teas, Tibetan in origin it has dried lychees, plums, goji berries and some unknown foreign fruits floating around in it.  More of a fruity soup than a tea really.  As the rain lashes down in the narrow streets and freshly snow capped peaks are cloaked by by a swirling silver mist, I am left a window from which to reflect on my times so far up here in the heart of the Tibetan community in exile.  An wonderfully homely and inspiring place.  Mcleod Ganj is a place that cannot help but capture and challenge your heart equally, when the reality of the situation here sinks in,  humanities light and dark sides are finely exhibited.  This is especially true when you hear individuals tales of suffering and incredible human feats of courage, grief and resilience.  Every Tibetan citizen here has seen their lives violently uprooted and have suffered great loss and torment.  

Being in Mcleod Ganj feels a long way away from India at large, it’s like being in the centre point of the most vital page of an ancient cultures history.  History seems to move slowly at  the moment, too slowly for some of the younger Tibetans, but the Dalai Lama stands firmly within the peaceful, middle way, the way of Guatama Buddha.  The only way form him and Tibet.  Their way.  

In Mcleod Ganj we witness a displaced and gloriously elaborate community re-establishing its culture, proudly maintaining its unique identity in a melting pot of craft, cooking, music, literature, art and worship; whilst attempting to face up to incredible and almost impossible circumstances.  Dealing with the Chinese Government, a real life David versus Goliath situation, with peace and re-conciliation as their only weapon.  An awesome feat, led by an awesome human being….

Today I watched the Dalai Lama teaching from the eight verses of mind control.  The discourse related directly to esoteric Tibetan teachings but His Holiness always kept (and keeps) things contemporary and relevant to the audience, mainly the Tibetan lay community.  The Dalai Lama embodies ancient Tibetan ritual, ceremony and scripture and yet remains focused on moving Tibet forward, assimilating Western practices and technology.  

Witnessing the veneration of H.H. by Tibetans is a deeply moving and humbling experience.  The Dalai Lama speaks like an empassioned father, amazingly forceful and yet tender at the same time, the audience is utterly rapt to his every word, you could hear a pin drop, if you could find an empty scrap of floor space to drop one.  The large courtyard is a sea of shaven heads, wide eyes, craned necks and the occasional cluster of hairy Western travelers, highly incongruous and yet warmly very welcomed.  A little FM radio was offered up by a friendly nun sitting on my foot and I was able to catch bits and pieces of the English translation.  The Dalai Lama is irrepressible, radiant and a wonderfully pleasant person.  Being in his presence brings a sense of peace and always a chuckle or two.  This goes for the Tibetan community at large, when they weep and angst fills their faces, it seems like the world is filled with the deepest woe, all hearts lie broken and bereft; but when they smile, its as if sunshine and joy were never ending.  Gladly, in Mcleod Ganj, you will mainly see Tibet’s lighting up the streets with the broadest grins and much hearty laughter.   

After yesterdays post, I started to read more of H.H.’s quotes  and couldn’t help but share more.  The Dalai Lama is 80 years old, but is still the worlds most outspoken advocate of peace, tolerance and compassion.  Our only options for a better world.  

Spending time in the presence of His Holiness and so many softly spoken and devote Tibetan Monks and Nuns emphasises the importance of not only kind words, but practice, discipline and action infused with good intention.  I am a great one for talking about peace and spirituality, but in practice; the actual daily experience of living, well lets just say that things can be a very different matter!

The Dalai Lama brings sometimes complex philosophy and metaphors into such simple and profound phrases.  He speaks to us from a universal space of love and a sense of deep rooted humanity.  He shares his own life experiences and subsequent revelations.  He claims to be a simple monk, but we all know that he is much, much more……  

The words we need for dramatic evolution and end to the travails of existence  and  harmonious new dawns are all below.  They are simple and yet profound.  The big challenge is can we put them into action?  Can we stick to them?  Do we really want to make the sacrifice, change, give it a try?  We are at a point in human history where something needs to give, we either destroy ourselves, our planet and everything that we share it with, or, we wake up to our current situation.  Ignorance rules.  Money and material gains do not bring peace or happiness of oneself or ones society.  Can we individually break down cultural, religious and all mind based delusions of separateness?  Can we realise true happiness?  Can we embrace our precious human life?  Can we see the light and potential that shines within us all?  The Dalai Lama would smile an indefatigable yes.  Then he’d concisely show you how…….Be loving, be fearless, be free.

 Long life H.H. the Dalai Lama!

 

You can find the official account of yesterdays ‘Long Life Ceremony’ here.

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Messages from His Holiness the Dalai Lama – 4th March 2015

I am travelling around India at the moment and had the luck and great pleasure of spending time at the Long Life Offering today for H.H. The Dalai Lama in Mcleod Ganj, the home of the Tibetan community and government in exile. Pictures and messages from the Dalai Lama are found everywhere here and I thought I’d share a few that I read whilst having a coffee and reflecting on the wonderful ceremony.

The peaceful and compassionate attitude that the Dalai Lama embodies gives us all hope for a brighter tomorrow.  If he can forgive the Chinese government for their atrocities in Tibet, then forgiveness must be an option for all of us (at all times). 

For more on my travels in India, have a look at the ‘The Jalebi Express’.

Free Tibet!

“If you think that you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”

“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them humanity cannot survive.”

“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.”

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way.”

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe.”

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.”

“I think that true religion is the kind heart.”

Today the Dalai Lama finished the ceremony with these words:

In short, may all the vast prayers of aspiration
The lord Avalokiteshvara made for the land of Tibet
In the presence of the Buddhas and their bodhisattva heirs,
Swiftly come to positive fruition here and now!

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Wild Monk

What heresy; the wild monk thought,
Could return the folk to the land of God
And turn the night sky into oceans of white light.

He would happily see the fruits of summer
Decay unpicked and neglected than for their sweetness
Be wasted within impurity.

In his cave in the mountains, too high up too be seen,
He could not gauge the depths of human thought,
The faltering nature of his dream.

His body bears the scars of isolated religion,
His eyes are blinded by heaven,
His tongue is tied by rhetoric and his mind is stained
With the blood of the one that could
Not be tamed.

…….the shadows around the fire seemed to never touch the flames
And guilt just burrows deeper with just one soul to be saved……

Still, the wild monk sits alone and stares into
The passing stream,
His vices whittling at his bones.

All unity is blinded by belief.

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“Real Love Begins….” Thich Nhat Hanh

“Real love begins when nothing is expected in return.”

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.”

“Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet……….Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis that the earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing to the future.”

“I have arrived, I am home.  My destination is in each step.”

“There is no path to peace, the path is peace.”

“Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.”

“When you look deeply into your anger, you will see that the person you call your enemy is also suffering. As soon as you see that, the capacity of accepting and having compassion for them is there.”

“I have arrived, I am home in the now.  I am solid.  I am free.  In the ultimate I dwell.  What a loving place to be.”

“Peace in oneself.  Peace in the world.”

 

~Thích Nhất Hạnh~

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Reflections on Grey Skies I & II

I
There are dark shadows
Lain over separation.
Between the gates of the field,
Reach out to chaos.
Lose mind to find fragments of truth
And a fragile tranquility
Projected within the slim pickings
And morsels
Of this movable feast.

Meaningless little crumbs
Are scattered all over the place.
The mind must act as a knife,
Sharp and present,
Able to cut through the nonsense
Felt and witnessed;
Right discernment the key to
Navigating through the oceans
Of potential suffering.

We have greatness with us.
Capabilities unfathomable,
Love supreme.
Look within to things that sparkle
With assured kindness, things that draw us in
To vistas of profound darkness
And rich seams of great strength;
Fields of baffling joy, untamed joy;
Where we may build our nest of twigs
And bones for a short stay;
A sheltered reprieve.

Beyond force and beyond fear;
Beyond thought, prayer, pity, wealth,
Song, gospel, beauty, word, instinct, intuition;
Beyond all emotions great and small;
There lies golden motions,
The infinite gesticulates towards our hearts
In signs and a manner unfamiliar,
Because we are square wooden pegs floating
On the cascading realms of tumult
And vibrancy. Change, the only constant.
Something of nothing
Which we have chosen to ignore.

We have turned our back on the essence of love,
The innocence of love; pretty and playful.
The sweet wisdom unknowable when tied
To fallacy and folly.
How do we spend our time?
Do we ‘spend’ it well?
In this realm of cause and effect,
What is our ‘cause’?

Make a peaceful fist and break the mould.
Stop to take in the fractured reflections of wisdom,
Seize the opportunity to emulate the stars
As they are the flickering, tender light
In aeons of perceived darkness.
We are the mighty conduit,
Emulating the awe that culminates in simple moments
Without immediate worth.
Become a reflection of something else;
Uncontrolled and pure.

II
The web of space and planets
Refracting in the prisms we create.
Potential joins the fractal nature of infinity;
Blessings shower momentarily
Like meteors sent from mythical realms
Of heavenly sensation;
Forces that destroy our flashing existence
To unearth a profound appreciation,
Precious sediment grows
At the base of each river.

You the dream maker! You darkness voyager! You epic consequence!
Surfing same tides.

Just one in the sacred breath
Rising like dawns mist
From the supreme universe.
All giants building bridges that spell delusion.
Why can’t we recline
For a time in the enchanted lands
Of the dream world?
Play the gods at their own game?
Find eden riddled with human virtue.

Words are weak
When held up to the sun,
Gathering tides burgeon
In invisible depths.
From the pit of our stomach
Emanates a worthy repose.

We are reaching into nothing,
For nothing.
Life’s greatest mysteries
Are cloaked by the ambiguity
Of greater questions.

Here, where all who have lived are saved,
Simple gestures rest in the peace
Of the water way;
Earth, wind and air.

No one leaf falls without consequence.

Know that and the tree of life is not wood and water,
But a cyclical dance of evolving love.

 


 

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The Taste Of Morning – Rumi

Times knife slides from the sheath,
As a fish from where it swims.

Being closer and closer is the desire
Of the body. Don’t wish for union!

There’s a closeness beyond that. Why
Would God want a second God? Fall in

Love in such a way that it frees you from
Any connectivity. Love is the soul’s

Light, the taste of morning, no me, no
‘we’, no claim to ‘being’. These words

Are the smoke the fire gives off as it
Absolves its defects, as eyes in silence,

Tears, face, love cannot be said.

Rumi

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