A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Dalai Lama’ Category

Fearfulness ~

New Studies

The  upshot of these studies really, is that we are not sure which comes first, the fear, or the conservatism. I remember when I became a Democrat, a buddy and I had taken off from Indiana, looking to build our lives in California, wrong timing, and a bunch of other factors brought us ultimately back to Indiana. But, in the aftermath of that adventure, my politics had changed. Now, when I look at the whole incident, the “adventure”, and it’s subsequent failure should have made me more fearful, i.e. more conservative.

But the major lesson this particular adventure had taught me, was to choose love first. Now, looking back, I fearcannot honestly say how that lesson came through, or even “stuck”, I just know that fear, which was the precursor to that adventure, did not work, and was not a path to travel. I guess I do know how that lesson “stuck”.

But, now comes the kicker, love and fear are opposites. You cannot choose to love and live in fear. It will not happen. Love, and by this I mean all manner of love, whether you are speaking of love of one person or love of all mankind cannot come out of fear, nor will it manifest as fear. To choose to Love, truly, in the sense of having compassion for oneself and all others will manifest itself in the positive; joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness, humility, and self-control. To be sure, I am not perfect in this, not by a long shot. But, I continue to learn.

I am often at odds with Paul the Apostle, who is the original writer of the above litany of the manifestations of love, but, like Paul, I have many fears, and those fears sometimes take a great deal of prayer, journey2self-examination, faith in the Master of the Universe, and time to conquer. It is both a very good thing that Paul’s letters were included in the New Testament, and a very bad thing that they are there. The good, of course, is that we can watch a very human individual, a murderer, no less, come to terms with his imperfections and find solace in the love of God. The very bad thing is that, if you do not read Paul’s letters as a journey toward love, you see them as a mandate on how humans are supposed to conduct themselves as believers. That will result in a horrible lack of growth, for his letters were not a manifest, but a record of a journey from human failing to learning to love at the highest level. In fact, the entire Bible is very much about such a journey, not for just one person, but for an entire nation.

That, indeed, is why, though the original laws written in the Torah were an excellent starting point, they were remiss in that they did not list a group of heinous crimes that we have, finally, grown enough to see as the wicked crimes they are, i.e. slavery, rape, and child harm. All three of those can be listed together as what one could call “power” crimes, in that their entire force is to hold power over others. It was not until the later prophets that one began to see that “compassion” was first, last, and always, the way to please God. Compassion will not manifest itself with slavery, rape, or harming children. It will, indeed, manifest itself in Dalai Lamakindness toward all other humans. Truly, we are a long way from manifesting this as a people. Some humans have arrived, and speak to us about this, for instance we see the Dalai Lama, leader of the Buddhist faith, speak often about the fact that compassion is a human need, not necessarily a religious tenet. He is right.

We humans, if we are going to grow from childhood to adulthood, must grow in compassion, living our lives in fear gets us “stuck” in childhood. We will continue to be militant, angry, suffering humans if we do not learn to manifest love from the first of our interactions, to the last of our lives. We need to learn as a people, to choose love first.

 

Murk ~

Murky-FoggyGod does not see into the murkiness of our souls. I have held this view for many years, and every horrible thing that happens, from school shootings to genocidal events confirms this for me. I have even had debates with my fellow believers on this subject as they insist that the “Almighty” can see whatever the Holy Presence looks at. But, therein lies the rub. We were given free will. If the Ancient One interferes with that, it is not free will. But that means that in this world in which we live and move and have our being, there will be horrible atrocities that are completely unexplainable if you believe that God has set the Holy Presence as some sort of GameMaster.  That isn’t how it works, obviously, or 26 people would not have died at Newtown, many of them children under the age of 7.

Do I believe God called these children home? Well, I believe that God opened his arms to receive them when they were sent home by a  madman. Is that the same thing? I don’t think so. I, personally, believe that the only way such an atrocity, such a heinous act, could have been prevented was to restrict and enforce that restriction of the sale of such guns. I know, I will be told by those who believe in gun freedom that the law breakers will get their hands on them anyway. Maybe. Murders with firearms, are down in many countries, the only countries ahead of us on this scale are war torn, at best. We need to admit that we are not first (I know, GASP!) and look at their laws and adapt such laws to our nation.

But, getting back to this thing about the murkiness of the soul, and God’s not looking into that murk. I believe the ancient laws of Moses were given so that we could know some of the causes of murkiness andopenbible find the way to be more pure of heart and mind. Now, do I believe that list was complete? No! Do I believe that list was correct? Well, for the most part, but there were things that needed much longer explanations, or just not mention them. Do I believe the Bible was inspired? Sort of. You see, to me, Moses may have had more visionary instruction than dictated instruction. That would lead to wordiness where succinctness would have sufficed, and succinctness where more verbiage would have helped. And, I believe that all inspiration comes through our very faulty filters, in which case, no matter how much God tries to tell us what we need to know, if we are not clear enough to see it, we won’t get the lesson. I don’t care how powerful you believe God is, and I personally believe God to be more powerful than anyone is capable of imagining. If you have not gone through a clearing process, you will not see or hear any instructions you are supposed to see and hear.

Dalai LamaIf, in fact, we were all clear enough to see and hear the best instructions from the High One, there would be a world of people like Buddha and Jesus. I don’t think we’re there yet. I think we are much more inclined to be like a sieve, where some of the holes are blocked, and some are clear, where we hear, we may, indeed, hear with great clarity, but where the holes are blocked, we don’t even see that there’s a problem. And, there’s another issue. Many times what we do hear is for us, not the congregation, and we think this light we’ve just been given must surely be shared. That has lead to some incredible confusion. The only “‘sharing” of light that we are to consistently do is to be compassionate toward each other, to forgive perceived wrongs, and to be responsible for our acts and words so as not to hurt others unnecessarily in our quest for higher living.

Morality ~

I find myself contemplating the Eightfold Path often, and wondering why it is that the faiths that believe in God very God should find it necessary to place commands for right living rather than principles. Buddha said all that was needed, by putting forth 8 well written principles to live by, rather than 100’s of laws that basically say the same thing, but get into the minutiae of how to shake hands on Sunday, if you will. I, personally, have not found ritual to be that helpful, other than in my times of meditation, when I am settling into “that” space, which is what I think it’s all about. Unfortunately, I also think that much of the ritual is intended to entrain one toward the thinking of the leaders rather than enlighten one about one’s own truth.

That being said, I do believe that each of the prophets and teachers was intent upon leading us closer to what was, to them, the desires of a Holy God. Look at Moses, he was nearly right on a lot of things, most of the mitzvot of the Hebrew faith leading his people toward compassion and forgiveness. You can’t ask much more of a leader, until you look at Buddha, who put all those laws into a set of principles that are timeless in nature. Then came Jesus, a rabbi, whose original words have been so coated with other men’s thinking that it is hard to sort through the teachings and come out on the other side truly enlightened. His goal, of course, was to make faith a more personal thing, while still retaining compassion and forgiveness as the center of all that he said and did. Add Mohamed into the mix, and you have compassion mixed with militarism. Eh, not my cuppa tea, but it calls to many.

However, there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding just how far we were to go with compassion. I am not saying they were wrong. I am saying they simply did not go far enough. None of them said war was wrong. None of them said anything about slavery that would make you recognize it as something deeply wrong. Child marriage was still allowed in all that, girls as young as 9 years old. Child labor still remained right up until the 19th century, as legal, and “under the table” it still exists. Rape didn’t even get a nod as the horror it truly is. So, we have a long way to grow in awareness of right and wrong. Pedophilia was never recognized as a sin, but sends shudders up and down my spine every time I think of a child being forced into adult sexual activity!

Many of those faiths and others not listed still consider homosexuality wrong on the whole, even though where it is addressed in both Old and New testament it was being held up as an example of wrong worship (not brought out so that you could see it that way, but when we dig that’s what it was about.) In fact, when you look at Sodom and Gomorrah, the entire question had more to do with people being taken, and harmed, against their will. That isn’t what homosexuality in this era is even about, so there is no connection to that from a modern view.

In fact, it looks to me to be that the Buddha had it closest to right when he said that all sexual contact needed to be consensual, and that one could not even consider it if the person with whom one had it was basically unable to give consent. To Buddha, that meant a child, a slave, a married person. The child because they were not old enough to resist, the slave because they were owned, the married person because they had made promises to another. Buddha thought it was best to remain celibate. but if celibacy was beyond you, at least make sure of the playing field.

In fact, if you are going to quote ancient teachers to me regarding what should and shouldn’t be allowed, quote Buddha. One must strip away most of what is extant in the New Testament in order to get to Jesus actual words, and one must consider that Moses didn’t even know that war, rape, and child molestation were wrong. And don’t quote Mohamed because, as long as it is woman’s fault that men cannot control themselves, (consider the Burka) then something else is going on. It looks to me as though our laws have moved into the realm of what is considered consensual, that’s a major plus. But otherwise, we need to reconsider and revamp our views of what is moral by law. In fact, I am beginning to like the Dalai Lama more and more. It’s time to take this out of the realm of religion altogether, and come to terms with what is compassionate, what is forgiving, and what is right.

Cute ~

Puppies and Kittens

As that one woman in your office can tell you (or if you are her, no need), cute pictures of snuggly, doe-eyed little critters touch a soft spot in us humans. Baby schema — the set of features that make young animals appealing, like big eyes and a head too big for the body — have been shown in experiments to capture people’s attention, make them smile and even induce caregiving to others. Oh sure, the boss may seem tough, but one look at a basket full of puppies and he’ll want to rub you right on your little belly.

A study published online this week by the journal PloS ONE suggests that viewing cute images not only makes people feel better, but improves performance in completing certain tasks.

Oh my! A study to explain why might show something that the wise ones have been saying for millenia. Genuine compassion is what is needed for this world to function better. Lol, I know that seems a bit simplistic, but it’s true. When we care, we are careful. Anything evoking that caring part of our personalities will function to bring us into a state of mind that will cross our “t”s and dot our “i”s with more precision. We can be as efficient in many ways as a surgical machine, but without compassion, we are just going about our tasks on automatic drive. That’s why we cannot find a way to make a computer surpass a good Doctor’s worth when it comes to patient care.

I love the very thought of this. It so completely shows that we are in need of compassion, even in the mundane tasks of the day. The more we care, the more careful we are, even when it comes to tying our shoes. I suspect that this was marketing research for anime that simply surprised those conducting the study regarding the deeper implications of it. But how magnificent is that? A simple market study about cuteness finds that we as humans are hardwired to function better when the caring part of our personalities is tapped! I dare say that you will find with deeper study that this is why those who can harm animals easily and without purpose are inclined to become serial criminals of a violent and harmful nature.

Compassion is teachable! It is important to begin the teaching in early childhood. If we do this, we will enhance our existence beyond our wildest imaginings, and find true happiness is something that can be unleashed here on Earth.

Blame and Shame ~

Just about the time I begin to think the human race has begun to mature as a whole, things start popping out in the news. The rape of children and women, the genocides of whites and blacks, by each other, and by groups where the color of the skin is the same, but the allegiance is to some religion or thought process that has poisoned the minds of the perpetrators toward those being ethnically “cleansed”. I am confused, sad, frustrated, I want to know what and why? Is the world so completely confused regarding love and hate? When an adult sexually penetrates a child, either male or female, this is not love, this is a power play. We need to clarify for all concerned that love will not choose to destroy the free will of another human being. You cannot tell a child or another human being that you love them and then overpower them with your own sexuality, that is wrong. Understand me, please! It is NOT love when the other party is not of an age to even make informed decisions regarding the actions of adults who are sexual with them. This “Man-boy” Love is NOT love. It is a glitch in your own personality if you think it is! This is not love.

On another vein, different crimes, a continent away, people are murdering other humans in the name of “Race” or “Ethnicity”. This is not in obedience to any “God”! This is human hatred, not to be disguised as love of one’s own race or group. Do not be confused, do not let others choose for you by poisoning your mind with rhetoric that this group or that group must be killed, when that is happening, it is not a love for one’s own “Group” . It is a hatred that is sparked toward another “Group” of humans, Don’t do it! This is not love.

I am going to presume that part of the problem is simply the lack of knowledge world-wide as to what Love really is! One of the best people to listen to at the current time regarding love of one’s fellow humans is HH the Dalai Lama. Tenzin Gyatso speaks fluently and well regarding what it is to love one’s fellow humans. He is not the first to try to teach this to us. The Buddha taught it, Jesus taught it. Even Paul, who has inadvertently caused such pain for those who choose alternative life-styles wrote well about what it is to love in First Corinthians chapter 13. Please, study the thoughts and words of wiser folk than I am regarding what it truly is to love.

I suspect that as long as we as humans retain the need to blame others, and put others to shame for their glitched thinking, we will find that it is impossible to love with the strength of the divine. This doesn’t mean that we allow the glitched thinkers to continue their actions, that is not compassion for their victims, it must be stopped. We must, however, learn to have compassion in how we treat those whose thinking is so completely glitched that they pursue a lifestyle of bringing harm to other humans. In fact, observers of lifetimes of cruelty are finding that those who willfully bring harm to other humans first showed cruelty to domestic and small wild animals. We must search out the reasons. Perhaps when small animals are being treated cruelly by a child, we need to look at the examples in their lives, is there an adult that is displaying cruelty toward them? This is not always the case, to be sure, but it often is.There is a strong truth in the saying that children learn by example.

We must look at the cause of the action, was it done to them, so they turn around and think it is right to do it to others? Is there a glitch in the person, can they feel love? This is not completely unknown as a precursor to cruelty toward animals and other humans, a person is born unable to feel love. This is not the same as Autism, where the person feels everything so strongly that they shut down their senses to protect themselves. This is a lack of response to human affection when all other responses are “normal”. These folks can still be taught to act in compassion toward others. It would be easier if they felt affection and good feelings from others, but it can be done. I feel very strongly that we must get away from the “blame and shame” game, if we are to find a way out of this morass as a society. Let us learn to Love. Let us learn to be compassionate toward all others, not just our closest associates.

Cause and Effect ~

The Teacher spoke of this in simple terms, “What you sow, that shall you also reap.” But the principle, Cause and Effect applies to everything, everywhere. In the Principles gleaned in working with Spirit several years ago, I learned the basics of that principle, but in the teachings of the Buddha on dependent origination, one learns that this is a profoundly important principle throughout all of nature. Yes, it is important to know that what we put out in the universe we will undoubtedly get back in our daily lives, but it is important, also, to realize that this principle is completely woven into the fabric of life.

This is where we learn that all is connected, everything here depends on everything else. The flower depends on the nutrients in the soil, the temperature of the air (the amount of sunshine available in the climate of the location the flower is growing), and the moisture available for it to grow. I have been watching a fascinating series of television programming called “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman”. I started watching it simply because I like his acting. But the program itself is wonderful. In one episode the tilt of the universe was discussed, as many of the galaxies are going in a particular direction, toward a “cold spot” in the fabric of the universe. The theory is that there is another universe touching ours at that spot, pulling the galaxies in that direction, a rather large and magnificent example of “cause and effect”. So it is that we can see that this principle is woven into the very smallest things observable as well as the largest.

Thus we must ask, how do we proceed in our own lives? As the Buddha, Y’shua, and Moshe all teach, we must live consciously every moment of our lives. It isn’t just what you say, it isn’t just what you do, it’s how you live, from the moment you awaken in the morning until you lay down to sleep at night. I am well aware that this world is torn and shredded by the cruelties that are brought by life, from the child molested by her father, to the seedy trafficker in human slavery. I will not pretend that all of this will go away in an instant if we learn to be compassionate, but eventually, all human life, and all that is around us will learn to be more sensitive to the needs of those around us if we can learn to turn the sorrows into opportunities to be gentle . We are, as human beings, inclined to return kindness for kindness, even in the midst of turmoil.

I cannot tell you that it will be easy. I wish I could. I have had problems all my life in my own path. I do hear voices, I do see things that “aren’t there”. Learning to be here, and be now with my fellow humans has been a monumental task. But, it can be learned. I learned early to concentrate on my lessons so thoroughly that the voices didn’t bother me. Even that would get me into trouble, as I then had so filtered out all that was around me that I wouldn’t hear my teachers or the other students until someone either yelled or touched me. This even affected my play time, as it was also more difficult to “connect” with my playmates in a meaningful fashion. I often ended up playing alone. But, I made it through, may be not in the best way, may be not in a way that others should follow. The thing that always helped was when another soul, no matter how simply done, or how profoundly done, would touch me with that gentle hand of compassion. It has been that compassion that has brought me through. I hope that you, too, can be kind to the ones that need it, it has most assuredly been there for me, and giving it back is all I know to do! It all boils down the the Dalai Lama’s simple phrase, “Be Kind”.

Love is God’s Language ~

It is so easy to forget, in this fast paced, urgent to get somewhere society, that the love of God is the most important gift we can give each other! We are so insistent on our views, to the point where the differences become more important than the similarities, that we forget there are entire generations of folks who do not understand that God is Love. Now, there are many passages in the Torah that show us God’s Love, however, the understanding, there is often that that love is conditional on obedience. It is not. God’s love is eternal. I have come to see the OT God as a crusty old Grandfather, you know the kind I am talking about. spouting fire and brimstone, always talking about obeying, but underneath all of that bluster is One who cares infinitely for each and every one of us.

Let’s look at that caring for a moment, the Israelites were taught to be kind to strangers, in a time when a traveling stranger could just as easily find his throat cut for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were taught to treat their women in a respectful manner, in a time when women were literally held as chattel. They were taught to be compassionate with their children in a time when it was common to sell one’s child into slavery, or worse, kill one’s child if one could not afford to feed them. The Israelites were taught that life was sacred, a gift from the Most High. They were even taught to slaughter their livestock in a humane manner that did not frighten the animal unduly.

We have made much progress since that day, and we have regressed sadly since that day. Women are freer than ever, but more vulnerable to rape attacks. Animals are kept in holding pens and slaughtered in a way that frightens the animal. When the animals are examined, they are injured and allowed to go about with those injuries untended. This is not good. Children are abused in ways that make the blood boil, yet, conversely, are allowed to grow into adults without discipline and with the idea that the universe owes them, not simply food, shelter and safety, but the latest Nintendo game, a big TV, and brand name clothes! And the negative language that one hears out of the mouths of children would have mortified our elders just a generation back!!! Are all of these things a result of deciding there is no God to which one must answer? I wonder. Yet, Buddhism, which does not hold that one needs to believe in God, would teach a path full of compassion and kindness toward all other beings on this planet.

So, what is lacking?  . . . . . . . .Love and discipline, in a balanced combination that would lead to a developed adult, one that treats his fellows with respect at the very least. We seem to have walked away from both in a fever to populate the planet without thought of the consequences for the planet, or the humans that inhabit it. One of the most interesting things the Teacher said was that you could even take their names in vein if you obeyed to command to love. Not very often quoted, but in Matthew 12:31-32, Y’shua is quoted as saying that we cannot be forgiven the sin against the Holy Spirit. In context, this would be because they said that Y’shua had an unclean spirit that helped him heal the sick and injured. But there is a deeper meaning here that gets forgotten.

Every teaching that Y’shua,  Buddha, and Moshe  taught about relationships between humans required kindness and compassion. These teachings come from the Holy Spirit, there is no doubt in my mind that sinning against the Holy Spirit is to operate in a manner that is less than kind to one’s fellow beings. The Teacher said you could blaspheme him and be forgiven. So the argument that calling his spirit unclean is the sin against the Holy Spirit  is a circular one that solves nothing. The Holy Spirit has taught love and compassion all over this planet, finding a way to place compassion at the heart of nearly every religion. So, to me, the sin against the Holy Spirit is to treat others unkindly, to lack compassion in your dealings with your fellow travelers. As the Dalai Lama has been quoted, the essence of religion is to be kind. Let us, therefore, love, as God is love, and his language and communication with us is love.

The Compassionate Path ~

It must be remembered that the first of the major religions to show us a path where compassion is the key to spiritual growth, is the Judaic Path of Moses to the Jews. That is often overlooked because of the several battles Jewish history shows were a part of that revelation. There are also commandments to kill transgressors outright for their sins. However, some of the things that are overlooked are of monumental importance. Though the Jews were settled in an area where there were enemies (and I do mean enemies, the folks around them wanted them out or dead or both) all around them, they were not instructed to kill or even bother those who were not bothering them in any way, very much a live and let live philosophy.

Further, a study of the commands to kill transgressors reveals that it was an attempt to purify the ranks from within, as most of those commands were aimed at those that had been taught the commandments, but chose to ignore them. In fact, if you examine the laws of Leviticus closely, you discover that the blood shed from animals was only for unintentional sin (and even that wasn’t necessary if you were among the poor); that, for intentional sin, the requirements were repentance and restitution to the one against whom the crime was committed.(Leviticus 5:2-13) In fact, the mitzvot regarding the treatment of neighbors and strangers alike were in all likelihood, the most compassionate set of commands put down by a lawmaker anywhere before then. Now, I am an egalitarian, so do not believe in putting women in a subservient role to men. At the same time, I do recognize that the Jewish treatment of women was far better than the surrounding cultures at the time of Moses.

Historically from the rabbi Y’shua we learn that love is the principle behind the mitzvot. But the “how to” of compassion, the path to learning to live in compassion is best learned from the Buddhist’s teachings. From Thich Naht Hanh comes a wonderful set of teachings on distancing oneself from the angry feelings that well up inside us. From the current Dalai Lama, a prolific writer, we have gained, as you saw a sample in the last post, a wonderful means of learning to live in compassion. His books are wonderful, and there are many to choose from. From each of these great teachers, Moses, who gave us a full list of what constituted compassionate behavior toward one’s fellow man, from Y’shua, the principles behind those examples, from Buddha, the very essential means of ridding ourselves of anger and learning compassionate behaviors at all levels of life.

In spite of, or because of, the very breadth of our upside down world, we have before us the means of becoming the generation that learned to be compassionate, with or without religion as our mainstay. What a marvelous time to be alive!

Emptiness

It has been written by the Dalai Lama that Christians cannot use Buddhist meditations, for their meditations are upon God, and the Buddhist meditation is on the Emptiness. And, perhaps, technically he is right, for I may no longer count as a classical Christian. I do not believe Y’shua to have been God incarnate. I have studied the Tanakh in some part, and find that I cannot go against the teachings of Moshe and Avrahim, who told us that God would never come as a man, and that God would never ask for a human sacrifice. I have meditated on the emptiness, meditating on the need to be rid in my soul of the greed, anger, hatred, and lust that trouble our hearts so.

Yet, I find that with this meditation, I am more truly a follower of God, believing that compassion and genuine love from my very depths have more room in a heart that is no longer filled with the rage that is so common when we hate, or are greedy or angry. I have seen my cup as a crystal clear glass filled  in my youth with mud. That mud was the anger I held, the need for revenge, or worse, the need to hurt others in that anger. As it is, there are still troubled spots in my heart, most especially when I see new injustices and injuries occurring daily in our world, that has more despair to give than hope. I am not as clear as I want to be, but I am much clearer than when I was young. I still use the meditation on emptiness when I find myself getting muddy with those disturbing emotions.

St. John is my favorite writer in the New Testament, I find his work to be more timeless than other works there. Some of his words are the very thing that brought me to the understanding that those of other faiths are not necessarily my enemy, nor are those that practice the faith called Christianity necessarily my friends. in his First epistle, chapter 4, verses 7 & 8 are the words I live by. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God,he who loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love.”  By those words, I accept all who walk in compassion, knowing them as children of my God, even if they do not speak of God as I know The One in my heart.

Further, let me say that with the luminosity that is gained in meditating on the emptiness of the disturbing emotions, and in the temporal things this earth has to offer, one exposes the light within that is at the very core of all who live. It is this light by which we are seen of God.

The Parasol ~

The Parasol

A parasol is not an umbrella. An umbrella protects from the rain, while a parasol protects from the sun. The parasol also symbolically protects against “the heat of defilements.” Another way to look at it is that the parasol represents the sky and the handle represents a mountain that holds up the sky, or possibly the axis that holds up the whole world. The proximity of the person under the parasol to the “axis of the world” represents the importance of the person.

Still another way of looking at it is that the dome of the parasol represents wisdom, and the hanging part symbolized compassion. The parasol as a whole represents the fusion of both.

Guess who is usually shown sitting under a parasol? Two points if you guessed “The Buddha.” However, other important figures, such as the Dalai Lama and others are entitled to parasols as well.

parasolI have chuckled at the Traveler’s Insurance ads, as they use this concept quite effectively to show the protection of carrying their insurance. The concept revolves around the idea that a life lived in kindness is, in and of itself, a protection from much adversity. When you live mindful of the needs of others, and attempt at all times to be gentle and compassionate, life is easier for all concerned. In fact, this goes back to the idea that life on this plane of existence is full of suffering and sorrow, and it is among the Eight commendations by the Buddha on doing your part as an individual to relieve that suffering.

Though, in a world as paranoid as the 21st Century in the United States, this is not always the case, being kind will usually “oil” the squeaks and moans of the wheel of life as it turns. The Dalai Lama has even commented on the fact that if you are consistently kind,you will usually have few actual enemies. I have found it a point of extreme sadness that this teaching, which Y’shua repeatedly iterated, seems to have been skipped in the practice of modern fundamental Christianity. If you are busy mindfully conducting yourself in a manner that aims to sow compassion and gentleness, you learn to speak even harsh truths in a manner that will bring about thoughtful living, rather than condemnation.

Most people do not wish to be unkind, in fact, when you get to the source of unkindness, it is usually pain of some form or another. Physical pain that burrows into a person’s ability to think and respond clearly, or emotional pain that is just as wicked in it’s injuries to the soul, leading to a need to always be on the defensive with others. It is only when one attempts to be mindful at all times, even when one suffers from these pains, that an easement is found in any given situation.stickers_thumbnail

Imagine what the world would be like if each of us did our best, every day, to be fair in our dealings with people and in the things we do!”

I found this website in my search for a “Golden ruler” to point out the wording of Y’shua’s teachings. What a lovely reminder for each of us to live the Golden Path as taught by Y’shua. I love this, and find it a healthy comment that perhaps more who follow Y’shua are finding that his path was the most important part of his ministry. I have long considered his teachings a path toward the light, and it has been a heart breaker when I have found preachers and teachers of his path teaching others things like, “You don’t have to forgive in order to be forgiven,” {See the Lord’s Prayer}, You only have to be kind and honest to those who are members of your own faith or congregation, EEEEEEEK! Why would you teach that? Even those who have no faith in any sort of Spiritual path are kind and honest their own!

P.S. I will soon be back to posting regularly, I have been occupied with a visit from loving friends from back home, and along with our electrical problems {now fixed} have been busy catching up, thank you for your patience.

Su

Meekness ~

1raspberryThis is another one of those fruits that Paul listed that doesn’t get a whole lot of attention. To my notion, first of all, this is not necessarily the willingness to stand still and be whipped, though that has been known to happen, it is by no means all that this concept entails. When I look at those who insist that they know G-d better than their brother, I look for a couple of things.

One of them is that a person filled with the love of the Holy Spirit will seldom insist they know G-d better than you, for there are only a few souls privy to the workings of your inner being, and they seldom have that kind of pride. The next thing I look at is whether they show the marks of having learned from the Holy Spirit. This will include Compassion, of course, but it will also include a sense of Joy, a strong peacefulness, and a willingness to learn from all other humans, and from all of their environs.

That doesn’t mean that I expect to see the kind of compassion shown by one as developed as HH Tenzin Gyatso, but it does mean I expect to see the buds of each of these holy fruits the_dalai_lamalargebeginning to appear, or that this person is in that stage of winnowing when Spirit first gets hold of us and starts clearing out the gunk we have a tendency to accrue in our lives. All of these things are included in the concept of teachability.

This is not something that is forced upon us from the outside of our souls, this is a working of Spirit deep within us that is, for lack of a better way to express it, a softening of our hearts. As we grow in the Spirit of Holy Love, we find we develop better ears, eyes, touch and taste, yes I know, you are going, WHAT?

But, most of the time, the Holy Spirit does not teach even those of us who do hear voices through that one capacity.  Much of the time, we are taught by hearing what others have to say; by the leaf that scuds across the road in front of us; and by the sharpening of our senses so that we begin to undedoveyrstand that though life doesn’t always make sense from our lowly point of view, life is always communicating with us if we are willing to take the time to pay attention. This talent for learning is something that seems to come with the touch of the Holy One.

This is why there are those who follow a path of discipline, such as one finds in Buddhism, which brings about this teachability, and there are those on other paths toward the Light that find that the teacher within is bringing about the lessons, sometimes all at once, and sometimes gently, one at a time. Each of us learning at the pace our own Spirit chooses from within, aka the touch of Spirit.

Balance re: attachment, detachment ~

marefoalI do sometimes wish that the English language were more diverse. There are times like this when one word does not fit all. Attachment can mean anything from an area where a plug connects with its socket to the relationship between a mother and her young.  Detachment of a type is an important concept in Buddhism, and also a sign of sever emotional dysfunction in a child. Gads! What a world! I may get quite verbose on this one, as it’s a tough nut to crack.

First, be aware that detachment in Buddhism is a type of disentanglement when one is so embroiled and enmeshed in the lives of others that the attachment causes  severe discomfort for both parties, where neither party knows a gentle way to ease out of the situation. It is not intended to dissolve one’s compassionate interaction with other humans, or even other beings. Quite to the contrary, it is intended to teach that the truest form of compassion will always be there to help, but will never interfere if the person has already bgmade up their mind the direction in which they intend to go. When that person is injured as a result, there is no recrimination, simply help with getting back on one’s feet. It is not an easy way to live or see the world. There are so many times when pure temptation would have us say “I told you that would happen.”

Only when it becomes apparent that even with the hard knocks the person hasn’t learned are we to take a further step back, even then, no recrimination, simply not allowing their need to learn the hard way to devolve us out of the path we are supposed to be walking. The concept being that once you have done everything you can, and are praying about those areas where you cannot reach out and make a difference, (the prayer that some one somewhere can.) BTW, the serenity prayer helps with that (Neibuhr), you can move on to learn the next step of your path. One of the things that attracted me to Buddhism was that there are those, (called bhodisatvas) who chose to stay on this plane to help those of us who lag behind. They reincarnate not because they must or stay in a low position on the wheel of life, but because they have “made it” and are here to show the rest of us the path of kindness that will bring us all home.

the_dalai_lamalargeRemember, Buddhism is a personal path of study and learning about mastery of self  and about personal attitudes, it is not a religion, it does not address in any way if there is a G-d in the heavens, it is about you taking responsibility for your actions and learning to live a better way. You are free to believe in God, it does not interfere with being a Buddhist also, you may be a Taoist, (pantheistic belief in compassionate living, a Christian, a belief in g-dman that “saved” you; a Jew, a monotheistic belief in compassionate living, or any other belief system you choose. It is easiest if you choose a belief system where compassion is a chief cornerstone, so that you have no conflicts between your path and basic Buddhism.

It is the need to live in balance, called the Middle Way by the Buddha, that finds itself addressed in living a “detached” life that holds neither attachment to things or people so tightly that they cannot breathe, nor detachment from things or people so lightly that one forgets to be kind to all other beings. Finding that balance is not easy, but it is possible. HH Tenzin Gyatso, the dalai lama,  is a wonderful example. I bow to his teaching and mastery.

The Truth?

Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.

I think it is perhaps this quote from Einstein that sent me on my most searching journey regarding my faith. I was part of a church that isn’t quite as extreme as what most people think of as fundamentalism, but was close enough to make me cringe now. The pastor was fond of getting all excited and ranting about how we needed to protect the “TRUTH!”. I was a practicing nurse, and part of the reason that bothered me was simply that the truth was what you counted on surviving after all the fluff of a situation had settled out.

The thought of the truth needing defending was foreign to what I did to make a living. At one time I approached my pastor about this, and his suggestion was that perhaps I was in the wrong line of work. Yup, nursing, essentially obeying the teaching from the parable about the Samaritan. I decided maybe I was in the wrong church. I began to do some solid searching, and began to wonder just how much of what I was taught in Sunday school was objective truth.

The search took me into the Nag Hammadi library and I began to feel that maybe I had been deceived along with the rest of Christianity. It was when I read Huston Smith’s “World Religions” that I began to realize that perhaps the best spiritual path of all was to simply be compassionate, seek out objective truth, and live as quiet a life as I could. Sort of makes me a Buddhist Christian, since I still very much follow those teachings of  Y’shua’s that are matched in Buddhism and I still believe that Y’shua was an actual teacher whose words got messed with to fit the politics of the time, (Wow, do you think that could happen today? Heh!)

I absolutely adore the sweet natured man who is now the Dalai Lama, and have read three of his books from the Tibetan Library. I find a refreshing air of truth in holding to a faith where it is not necessary to believe in a God, only believe that you must become a better person. Y’shua was recorded to have said it was unimportant to believe in him, so long as you obeyed his teachings. The message then is the same, be compassionate. Wow! Obey God, and seek true personal happiness, what a concept!

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