Buddhism, mindfulness and wellbeing

Kerome

Kerome

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So all in all, it was an experience. There are a number of reasons that I didn't go back. This particular branch of buddhism I'm not sure about, parts of it felt a bit cultish. The idol worship didn't seem very buddhist to me. I think perhaps this type of buddhism is somewhat different from the norm? Unfortunately for me it's a long way to travel to the nearest non-kadampa buddhist centre so I have not had a chance to verify this for myself
This is part of what puts me off joining a sangha as well, that cultish aspect. You could try the style of Tich Nhat Hanh, he seems to have a good handle on the situation, if you're just after books. But if you're looking at what's available in your area you're at the mercy of whatever streams of Buddhism are available and active.

There are many different streams, and many of them have old and gnarly bits like deity worship. It's kind of sweet but funky. Ultimately I think a form of western Buddhism will arise which is cleaner and less bases on old traditions of the Far East.
 
Parayana

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The New Kadampa Tradition is considered a very cult like and money focused organisation in Buddhist circles. Personally I prefer my Theravada teacher he doesn't charge anything for instruction. As Kerome has mentioned TNH Community of Interbeing is a very reputable organisation.

If your interested in Tibetan Buddhism there are a couple of organisations that provide online instruction.

FPMT Online Learning Center

Tergar Learning Community

Both have a much better reputation than the NKT.
 
-Phoenix-

-Phoenix-

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This is part of what puts me off joining a sangha as well, that cultish aspect.
That's the problem I have. It's good to be part of a community of like-minded people, but for me organised religion has never appealed. I do have a full-time job and that feels like being part a community, despite the seemingly relentless office politics. But as you'd expect it lacks a spiritual side.

For the past 9-10 months I've made it a habit to set aside at least 20 minutes a day for silent meditation. I think this has had a lot of positive benefits.

You could try the style of Tich Nhat Hanh, he seems to have a good handle on the situation, if you're just after books.
I'm a fan of TNH, I read the Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh book sometime towards the end of last year. Was a good read.

I have read a good deal of books on spirituality in the past year or so. I looked up the Watkins Spiritual 100 list and decided to read books by some of the people on the list. The Art of Happiness, the Little Book of Wisdom and the Little Book of Buddhism by the Dalai Lama. The Power of Now and a New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, some of Jon Kabat Zinn's books, almost all of Adyashanti's books, Before I am by Mooji, Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, Be As You Are by Sri Ramana Maharshi to name a few.

Books are great, but I think they can only go so far. A teacher may be necessary, but unfortunately teachers of this kind of thing are in short supply where I live. So I feel a bit stuck at the moment.

Parayana, I did check the first link (FPMT) and registered but when I tried to enrol on one of the courses they wanted $20.00 for the enrolment code. I'm going to have to politely decline. :)
 
Parayana

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Rising Phoenix that's still cheaper than four classes at a local NKT centre. Why not check out Discovering Buddhism module 2 how to meditate that's free at the FPMT store and see what you think.
 
-Phoenix-

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Rising Phoenix that's still cheaper than four classes at a local NKT centre. Why not check out Discovering Buddhism module 2 how to meditate that's free at the FPMT store and see what you think.
Fair enough. I've enrolled on the course you've suggested. I will try and set aside some time this week to properly look at it.
 
-Phoenix-

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Okay... so I've made some progress on the FPMT course - module 2 - 'How to Meditate'.

First off, I watched the 26 minute video. I must admit I was not expecting Richard Gere to make an appearance and then proceed to talk about the true nature of reality! :)

Then I did the course over the last few days, working slowly through each of the six modules. Some of it was reinforcing what I've already learned but other parts were like the buddhist take on things so that was quite new. So I've completed all 6 sessions, the quizzes after each one and the final exam which I passed. Phew...

But there's more it seems. Now it wants me to do 6 different types of meditation three times, also do an intensive practice day and read 34 pages of additional materials + a book before I can be considered certificate worthy.

This is turning into a mammoth task.
 
*autumn*

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Okay... so I've made some progress on the FPMT course - module 2 - 'How to Meditate'.

First off, I watched the 26 minute video. I must admit I was not expecting Richard Gere to make an appearance and then proceed to talk about the true nature of reality! :)

Then I did the course over the last few days, working slowly through each of the six modules. Some of it was reinforcing what I've already learned but other parts were like the buddhist take on things so that was quite new. So I've completed all 6 sessions, the quizzes after each one and the final exam which I passed. Phew...

But there's more it seems. Now it wants me to do 6 different types of meditation three times, also do an intensive practice day and read 34 pages of additional materials + a book before I can be considered certificate worthy.

This is turning into a mammoth task.
Sounds very interesting :)
 
Kerome

Kerome

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"Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom."
- Rumi

A Zen master urged his students to practice diligently in order to transcend the world of birth and death.
A student asked him, "Sir, please tell us how to transcend the world of birth and death."
He said, "You have to look for the world of no birth and no death."
The student asked, "But where can we find the world of no birth and no death?"
"You look for it right in the world of birth and death."

"The Buddha Dharma is in the world,
Awakening is not apart from the world.
If you seek enlightenment apart from the world,
It is like seeking rabbit horns."
- Hui Neng
 
Kerome

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But there's more it seems. Now it wants me to do 6 different types of meditation three times, also do an intensive practice day and read 34 pages of additional materials + a book before I can be considered certificate worthy.

This is turning into a mammoth task.
It sounds like this process wants to turn you into a scholar of meditation, with books, papers and exams. It makes me wonder if this is the way to the living heart of meditation? Although as Autumn said, it might be interesting and enriching to learn others take on things, as long as you don't lose your own path.
 
Kerome

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I saw this and thought, it's a good thought in the introduction and well illustrated among the quotes. Often these days people who think themselves spiritual don't go very deeply into the subjects they are looking at, and we need a reminder to examine and think about things.

Many of history’s religious and philosophical figures are timeless, but are often mistakenly taken at face value. It’s easy to slap a quote on an image or a t-shirt and pass it around, but it takes deliberate thought to actually internalize the true meaning behind the words, and often these quick philosophical ‘bytes’ are passed over too quickly for this to happen.
It’s easy for us in this day and age to be “spiritual” by identity and pass it off well without ever truly living spiritually — without recognizing and benefitting from what we can learn from having a spiritual relationship with ourselves and this world. Because of that, it’s common to come across a great deal of logical spiritualists and fake ‘new-agey’ type personalities that don’t truly live the core of what these great teachers have shared.
So I wanted to share my own perspective on the true meaning behind some of these quotes.

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

To be in good health allows us to experience this world to its fullest, the way the body, mind, and soul were meant to experience it. It’s common to view wealth in a monetary sense, but having a state of peace within oneself is a much more powerful and useful tool than simple material wealth. Trusting in oneself and one’s path is an important part of our relationship with the self.

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

We create our own outcomes with many things. There are many interesting strands of research these days showing us how certain long-term emotions and traumas can have a huge impact on disease. Obviously this may not apply to the health of a newborn, but this wisdom is intended, it seems to me, to remind us to look at our long-term thoughts and actions in our lives and consider how they may be affecting our physical well-being.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

The moment is all we have. We can learn from our past and project goals onto our “future moment,” but to spend all our time in either is to miss out on what’s happening in front of us. This refers to the times we walk through the park thinking about what’s coming next or what happened before, without seeing or really experiencing the amazing beauty and nature around us in that moment.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

You can try to help someone else and you can wait forever for someone to come save you, but until a person decides to make a change themselves and commits to it, there’s little that can be done. Change must be desired before it can be effected. Throw both feet in and go for it. Otherwise you’re always going to spin your tires.

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

Everyone has their own perception of a situation or what might have been said. This does not mean that perception is universally true; rather, it is simply true for them in their current state. Don’t take other people’s perceptions of certain situations as ultimate truth, and in the same way, don’t take to heart what they think or believe about you. With yourself, understand that you too have your own perceptions, and allow yourself to be open to what others think and feel just as you would hope others would do for you.

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

Like many things which continue to reveal themselves in our world, the truth cannot be hidden forever. It will eventually come out. This is one of the most exciting parts about what I do here with CE.

“It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one’s own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one’s own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice.”

Be humble and be open to seeing your own “faults” in the same way you are open to seeing them in others. It takes true strength, honesty, and love to be open to your own flaws and to tackle the challenge of moving beyond them.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

Our health is so crucial to living well, and contributes to everything we do in this experience we call life. It’s interesting to view the sheer disconnect in our society between our emotions, spirituality, and overall health. The more disconnected we are, the more unhealthy we are. The greater connection we gain to ourselves and our health, the more in balance all other areas of our lives become.

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

What you think has a big impact on your overall state of being. This has been proven time and time again and I believe is becoming a pretty mainstream idea these days.

“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

Take control of your own life, destiny, and growth. Don’t wait for others or seek their approval; recognize that your life is in your own hands. We have a tendency to put things off all the time, hoping it may magically come or that one day we will get to it. Only you can make it happen. Get moving.

11 Quotes From Buddha That Will Ease Your Soul | Dinos Mark
 
Parayana

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A Cup of Tea
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
 
Kerome

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Happy Vesak!

It is the day on which the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha are celebrated. It's on slightly different days in places around the world, but we are in roughly the right ballpark :)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesak

Here are ten Buddhist quotes to celebrate with...

1) There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
2) You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
3) Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
4) No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
5) We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
6) Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.
7) Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.
8) Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
9) The mind is everything. What you think you become.
10) To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.
 
Kerome

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Ikkyu, the Zen master, was very clever even as a boy. His teacher had a precious teacup, a rare antique. Ikkyu happened to break this cup and was greatly perplexed. Hearing the footsteps of his teacher, he held the pieces of the cup behind him. When the master appeared, Ikkyu asked: “Why do people have to die?”

“This is natural,” explained the older man. “Everything has to die and has just so long to live.”

Ikkyu, producing the shattered cup, added: “It was time for your cup to die.”

Ikky& - Wikipedia
 
Kerome

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The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game. On this particular evening, the teacher invited one of his brightest students to join him – a boy so intelligent that he became troubled by the contradictions in Buddhist doctrine.

“You must understand,” said the teacher, “that words are only guideposts. Never let the words or symbols get in the way of truth. Here, I’ll show you.”

With that the teacher called his happy dog.

“Fetch me the moon,” he said to his dog and pointed to the full moon.

“Where is my dog looking?” asked the teacher of the bright pupil.

“He’s looking at your finger.”

“Exactly. Don’t be like my dog. Don’t confuse the pointing finger with the thing that is being pointed at. All our Buddhist words are only guideposts. Every man fights his way through other men’s words to find his own truth.”
 
shaky

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The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game. On this particular evening, the teacher invited one of his brightest students to join him – a boy so intelligent that he became troubled by the contradictions in Buddhist doctrine.

“You must understand,” said the teacher, “that words are only guideposts. Never let the words or symbols get in the way of truth. Here, I’ll show you.”

With that the teacher called his happy dog.

“Fetch me the moon,” he said to his dog and pointed to the full moon.

“Where is my dog looking?” asked the teacher of the bright pupil.

“He’s looking at your finger.”

“Exactly. Don’t be like my dog. Don’t confuse the pointing finger with the thing that is being pointed at. All our Buddhist words are only guideposts. Every man fights his way through other men’s words to find his own truth.”
I really like this
Thanks Kerome

Do you know where it is from?
 
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