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Buddhism, mindfulness and wellbeing

oneday

oneday

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Hey, just noticed that this thread has had over 20,000 visits! That's a lot.

I've posted this elsewhere... but anyway, I enjoyed reading about and writing this as the day dawned this morning...

Today is Bodhi Day



In some Buddhist traditions, including Zen Buddhism, December 8th is celebrated as Bodhi Day. Bodhi is usually translated as “enlightenment” or “awakening”. This day honours the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama, who became known to his followers as the Buddha, the “Awakened One”.

According to tradition, after collapsing and nearly dying, Siddhartha had recently turned away from years of punishing ascetic practices such as extreme fasting (restricting his food intake to around one leaf or nut per day), severe neglect of his physical health, and self-mortification. He had begun to reconsider his spiritual path.

After rebuilding his physical strength, Siddhartha resolved to sit under a Pepal tree (a kind of fig) – now known as the Bodhi tree, in what is now Bodh Gaya, India – and simply meditate until he had experienced liberation.

Stories vary on what happened. In some traditions, while meditating Siddhartha was harassed and tempted by the god Mara ("Destroyer" in Sanskrit), the demon of illusion, who, for instance, sent his armies against him. But their arrows turned harmlessly into flowers. Mara’s daughters were sent to seduce him, but Siddhartha would not be distracted from his task. Other traditions simply state that he entered deeper and deeper states of meditation, confronting the nature of suffering and the self.

All traditions agree that as the morning star rose in the sky in the early morning, the third watch of the night, Siddhartha finally found the answers he sought, became Enlightened, experienced Nirvana, liberation.

According to tradition, at the time of his awakening, the Buddha experienced insight into the existence of suffering, the causes of suffering in cravings and illusion, that suffering can cease, and the way to end suffering. These are known as the ‘Four Noble Truths’ and are at the heart of Buddhist teaching. Further, he is said to have discovered that the way to end suffering is by following the ‘Eightfold Path’, which concerns: wisdom (right view and right intention); ethical conduct (right speech, right actions, and right livelihood); and mental discipline (right effort, right mindfulness, right meditation or concentration).

Happy Bodhi Day!

For a discussion of the Noble Eightfold Path and cognitive psychology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eightfold_Path#The_noble_eightfold_path_and_cognitive_psychology
 
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oneday

oneday

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I came across this poem yesterday and thought of this thread...



A blade of grass

You ask for a poem.
I offer you a blade of grass.
You say it is not good enough.
You ask for a poem.

I say this blade of grass will do.
It has dressed itself in frost,
It is more immediate
Than any image of my making.

You say it is not a poem,
It is a blade of grass and grass
Is not quite good enough.
I offer you a blade of grass.

You are indignant.
You say it is too easy to offer grass.
It is absurd.
Anyone can offer a blade of grass.

You ask for a poem.
And so I write you a tragedy about
How a blade of grass
Becomes more and more difficult to offer,

And about how as you grow older
A blade of grass
Becomes more difficult to accept.

Brian Patten
 
J

Jericho

Guest
We live in illusion and the appearance of things.

There is a reality.

We are that reality.

When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything.

That is all.

Came across this quote from Kalu Rinpoche today and wanted to share, it blew me away with its simplicity and beauty.
 
J

Jericho

Guest
Today,

I saw,

That,

I could not,

Lay claim,

To my bones,

Anymore,

Than I could,

Lay claim,

To the trees of the forest,

And through this,

I learned,

That my bones were the trees of the forest,

And I began to see clearly,

The path to freedom.

This was my revelation of the day, just thought I'd share.
 
oneday

oneday

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Messages
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The River of Life - William Blake

The question of the meaning of life is, as the Buddha taught, not edifying. One must immerse oneself in the river of life and let the question drift away.

Irvin D. Yalom, American existential psychotherapist and author.
 
J

Jericho

Guest

The River of Life - William Blake

The question of the meaning of life is, as the Buddha taught, not edifying. One must immerse oneself in the river of life and let the question drift away.

Irvin D. Yalom, American existential psychotherapist and author.

@oneday.......... _/|\_ :) That was the nearest I could get to a pair of hands.
 
J

Jericho

Guest
“It’s hard to know whether to laugh or to cry at the human predicament. Here we are with so much wisdom and tenderness, and – without even knowing it— we cover it over to protect ourselves from insecurity. Although we have the potential to experience the freedom of a butterfly, we mysteriously prefer the small and fearful cocoon of ego.”

Pema Chodron
 
J

Jericho

Guest
“A wave in the sea, seen in one way, seems to have a distinct identity, an end and a beginning, a birth and a death. Seen in another way, the wave doesn’t really exist, but is just the behavior of water, “empty” of any separate identity, but “full” of water. So when you really think about the wave, you come to realize that it is something that has been made temporarily possible by wind and water, and is dependent on a set of constantly changing circumstances. You also realize that every wave is related to every other wave.”

~Sogyal Rinpoche
 
J

Jericho

Guest
In the Buddhist teachings the symbol for compassion, as I have already said, is one moon shining in the sky while its image is reflected in one hundred bowls of water. The moon does not demand, “If you open to me, I will do you a favor and shine on you.” The moon just shines. The point is not to want to benefit anyone or make them happy. There is no audience involved, no “me” and “them.” It is a matter of an open gift, complete generosity without the relative notions of giving and receiving. That is the basic openness of compassion: opening without demand. Simply be what you are. Be the master of the situation. If you will just “be,” then life flows around and through you. This will lead you into working and communicating with someone, which of course demands tremendous warmth and openness. - Chogyam Trungpa, 1974
 
oneday

oneday

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Messages
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Location
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Hi Jericho - sorry you've gone 'guest' status, I miss hearing from you. Wishing you well.

I keep meaning to come back to this thread and post something meaningful... though there's plenty on the previous pages.

I was reminded of this poem by Derek Walcott that's been posted before on this thread, cos it's his birthday today...


Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
Fixating on or trying to go toward “the Light” — as in the throes of unchecked spiritual ambition — only further endarkens us, estranging us from that in us which is subterranean, wounded, misshapen, wretched, or otherwise unwanted. What we won’t dance with, what we refuse intimacy with, what we’re so ambitious to shed, is precisely the dance-partner we need — or at least need to approach — drawing forth from us the very aversion, tension, and pain that’s crying out for illumination and love.

~ Robert Augustus Masters
 
oneday

oneday

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Thanks for the above, Apo - I like it. The 'mindfulness' approach/practice that inspires me is all about that befriending our experience in the round, including, or most particularly, the painful and unwanted parts.

I like that idea that we can bring "illumination and love" to our aversion, tension and pain - that that’s what they are crying out for.

I've been reading a book called 'Feeding Your Demons' by Tsultrim Allione which fits well with this idea, and gives very practical ways to listen to your 'demons' (e.g. anger, fear, envy, whatever), hear what they really need (e.g. recognition, care, love or whatever), and give them, feed them, more of this.
 
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oneday

oneday

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Joined
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Location
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I liked this from a blog that I found when I Googled 'Love Your Demons' - it's by a Rebecca Lovejoy (http://muse.rebeccalovejoy.com/41973532):



"Most people spend at least some time running from their demons – those difficult and sometimes unbearable thoughts, memories, and emotions that call to them from the depths of their darkness.

Loving your demons requires calling back the shadow aspects of yourself – shame, guilt, rage, grief and feelings of unworthiness – to become integrated and take residence in your heart.

Self-love, acceptance and total forgiveness allow this integration to take place.

We try to avoid our demons by pushing them away, using defense mechanisms like denial, compartmentalisation, repression or dissociation (separating your body experience from your mind or emotions.)

For many, there comes a time when fending off the unbearable stops working.

As Carl Jung wrote, "what you resist, persists." Unintegrated painful experience can echo through your life as sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression or other problems.

Making a conscious choice to face your demons takes the courage to explore and feel what you have been avoiding.

When you invite your demons to show themselves–through therapy, meditation, or other practices–you begin the process of integrating the unbearable into conscious awareness.

Learning to accept and love everything about yourself is at the heart of your transformational journey.

Here are some suggestions for learning to love your demons:

1. Make a conscious choice to open your eyes, ears, and heart to what lies deep within. Get interested in all aspects of your experience.

2. Work with practices that help you develop steady, loving self-observation. Tell your judgement it's time to retire.

3. Self-acceptance, self-love, and self-care should be at the core of your practice.

4. Compassion and forgiveness allow your heart to fully integrate all of who you are. You may find a specific practice helpful, such as this forgiveness meditation by Jack Kornfield.

Facing and loving the shadow aspects of yourself will be a difficult, but rewarding, journey. You will discover things about yourself you never knew and come to love yourself in ways you never thought possible.

You will eventually find a heartfelt stillness inside that will hold you steady no matter what is going on.

The ability to be fully, calmly present with what is, frees you from suffering.

When it is time, be willing to let go of what no longer works, and nourish your heart and soul with gentleness, kindness, and compassion.

Love your demons, transform your life!

Be Well"
 
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