Monday, September 27, 2010

Aftermath of chaos

August and September 2010 shall go down as the most turbulent 2 months in my work life. Although the light is visible now as we approach the end of the tunnel, what has been experienced shall serve as a reminder that the 3 poisons of desires, aversion and delusion will always creep up unnoticed. Previous experiences has brought back the dharma into this life, and fortunately the practice has served well during these tough times, as im able to continue to breathe freely in the midst of the chaos.

The price we have to pay for our endeavors may escalate beyond our control. The pain caused to people may also cause imprints that will take lifetimes to resolve. And after going through one big cycle, the temporary relief of our personal problems will only open the door to invite new ones to enter. It may well seems like we have benefited, but in reality is it really the case? The endless cycles of samsara beckons, unless we break free and come into realization of our true nature.

There is much sadness in this, yet balanced with a feeling of hope. These are but emotions that will pass, but only if we open our hearts.

Nature of life is impermanent, and things will go in the best way that befits the conditions present. If friendships are to be lost in this episode, let it go in the best possible way. In this heart the friendship lives on though, together with the memories of the good times as well as the bad. But this too shall pass, and there will be letting go, for that is the law of impermanence.

At this point, I wish my friends a happy life. One that is filled with blessings, compassion, peace and happiness. And to again share my favorite quote.

"IT’S POSSIBLE TO DO GOOD and equally possible to do harm, and so we’re stuck with the necessity of choice and consequence. And no choice can ever be encompassing and conclusive because the moment is a movement and requires continual adaptation and adjustment. We can faithfully adhere to a precept, and yet end up doing irreparable harm. We can never trace the ultimate consequence of our choices, but it’s safe to conclude that whatever we decide to do will be fraught with certain error and fall short of the best intent."

May we be happy always.

With metta.

25 Movies To Remind You What’s Important In Life

25 Movies To Remind You What’s Important In Life
Good List!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Letting go of Emotional Attachments

Taken from

Letting Go of Emotional Attachments

Tammy W: My biggest struggle is with overwhelming emotions and emotional attachments. I am a solo practitioner with no access to a dharma center in the US. I am also fairly new to Tibetan Buddhism so I am struggling with many aspects, but this seems to be the major one. What daily practices can I do to help with this?
Lama Surya Das: This is a huge question, and one of the most important issues we all face in life, whether or not we’re on the spiritual path. No simple answer will do, although too may are availible. Let go and let God? Let go, let be? Acceptance has it’s own transformative magic. See everything as like a dream, a fantasy, echos, mirages, like rainbows in the sky, as it says in Buddhism’s Diamond of Wisdom Sutra. Does this kinda pithy one-liner instruction do it for you, my friend?
First, I think it’s helpful to assess the situation— your precise situation, as you experience and understand it, as you seem to have already begun to do. That’s good! 
Then, honestly and conscientously introspect and observe the cost in terms of dissatisfaction and frustration, anxiety,  pain and suffering  of continuing to be overly entangled by the conflicting emotions and habitual, conditioned states of mind and moods of the heart— called klesha, in Buddhism, or obscuring defilements, which includes mosty if not all the jumbled up stuff of consciousness in connection with outer reality as well as your internal, subjective state. Buddhism talks about being wary of letting yourself contuinue to be blown about by the 8 worldly winds of pleasure and pain, loss and gain, fame and shame, praise and criticism. Through self-awareness and spiritual realization wisdom arises within, and we become masters rather than mere victims of circumstances and conditions. This is spiritual freedom and self-mastery, the realization of autonomy within interdependence.
You might benefit by trying to learn to meditate and practice contemplating these things without attachment and aversion, as they appear in and effect you/your consciousness: seeing as they are and observing them come and go, arise and fall, appear and disappear, along with all other things (phenomena and noumena) in this evanescent world. You could learn and practice on a daily basis the  mind clearing-and-calming concentrative serenity meditation (shamatha), or utilize the mantras, prayers and lojong (mind training and spiritual refinement) practices taught at every Tibetan center and in accessible and practical modern Dharma books. (These things, including centers and small sitting groups, are pretty ubiquitous today, so do check around. Also online.) Patience furthers, and effort is also called for on this journey of awakening.
“It is not outer things that entangle us, Naropa, but inner fixations and attachments which entangle us”, as an enlightened master of old once sang. Our inner kleshas— greed, hatred and delusion, pride and jealousy in the Buddhist formulation— must be dealt with, personally and first hand. Freedom and liberation of awakening is an inside job.
Submitted by Tammy W. via Facebook on September 21st.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Important things in life

Sometimes one gets so caught up in the 'daily affairs', the most important thing in this life tends to slip by. Read this beautiful story and be reminded of the transience of this precious life.

May all be happy.

The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget

“I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life…”
Taxi, Union Square, 2007 - Thomas Hawk
Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.
It was a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss.
What I didn’t realize was that it was also a ministry.
Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, and made me laugh and weep.
But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night. I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partyers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town.
When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.
But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation.
Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.
So I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute”, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knick-knacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
“It’s nothing”, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy”, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” I said.
“You have to make a living,” she answered.
“There are other passengers”.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware – beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.