Category: Buddhism

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A Message Lost


Christianity teaches love. Islam teaches love. Judaism teaches love. Buddhism teaches love. Most major religions teach love, but they are hijacked by those in power who only want more power.

They call themselves priests. They call themselves imams. They call themselves rabis. Not all, but many want power. They want power over your wallet and over your mind. They enrich themselves and rather than guiding their flock towards peace, they guide them towards war against their own brothers and sisters.

No matter how much we want to blame religion or someone else, they are not the enemy. It is ourselves for allowing our fears and others to guide us. God guides us all, but if we shut Him out through fear, hate, anger or jealousy, then we allow those voices and those influences to take root. We are and have become our own worse enemy.

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Simply Me


I am not Hindu. I am not Buddhist. I am not Christian. I am not Jewish. I am not Muslim.

That is not to say I do not believe in God, or whatever name you shall attach to that which has no name but is called by many names.

I claim no flag as my own. I live under no one roof. I am beholden to no one’s truth, but that which sits firmly in my own heart. That is not to say that I am separate, but that I go from day to day depending on my struggles and that I only know what I feel. And what I feel may change daily depending on my struggles.

That is not to say that I do not believe in anything, but that my faith is challenged every day. Some days I know myself as though 1000 years have passed, and other days I know myself as I know a stranger.

I do not always know why I am. I only know that I am here. And as I write this there seems not to be a purpose but simply to be me.

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Diverging from Buddhism, Self-Immolation


Quang DucSelf-immolation is a misunderstanding of the tenets of life. Love thyself. Love all others. Do no harm. When we do harm, even to ourselves for a perceived cause that we support, we lose sight of love. We may try to convince ourselves that by sacrificing oneself for a cause greater than ourselves we are in fact shining a light on the injustice, but we are in fact distracting from that which is without condition.

Love does not require all others to believe for it to exist. Love and truths that surpass the boundaries of the mind do not need capitulation or agreement from all sides in order to continue. Whether it is self-immolation through burning oneself or whether it is a person who decides to blow oneself up, the act does nothing but to place a light squarely on oneself. It is the ego, which seeks to be known that receives attention.

Love cannot be forced. Understanding also cannot be forced. When one decides to love without condition, understanding comes not far behind. The struggle is always internal, for in a hurricane, a sand storm or on a clear day, all that we try to suppress comes boiling up. When we can accept ourselves and when we can accept others, we will find understanding.

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Meditate on This


Shiva's third eyeTwo eyes to the front, and one to the totality of all that exists. Visions can be beautiful or downright terrifying, but without context, there is no inspiration. The mind is fed, and the soul is hungry to learn. Seeking bliss in meditation is a wonderful exercise, but to bring that bliss to others outside of meditation is a true gift. Some may say, bring meditation to the masses, but a quieted mind and an open heart will say, bring that joyful love to others outside of meditation and into the waking life. Bring the inside to the outside and allow them to be One. Do not get lost in images. Do not get lost in colors. Do not get lost in tones. Life is more than a vibration. Life is more than perceived levels. Everything is a sgn, with open eyes or closed, with an active mind or a quieted one, everything is a sign.

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Waves of Transformation


Great Wave off of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai
Great Wave off of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai

Life is full of waves of transformation. Full of peaks and valleys, we are constantly trying to catch ourselves. But if we could just realize that we are those waves, that we are those peaks and we are those valleys, we could learn to appreciate life as it comes to us. In each moment, we are evolving and have a chance to become ourselves. Like the universe, we are constantly unfolding and expanding. We become more aware of ourselves and the happenings around us. Just when we think we have a grasp of ourselves and an understanding of how we fit into this existence, life happens and again, we are transformed. Just as the universe expands and contracts in an endless cycle of creation and destruction, we too are created and destroyed. In each moment we are reborn. In each moment, we again have the infinite opportunities of now. Where we decide to take each wave is up to us. We can choose to conform, we can choose to lay down and give up, or we can choose to live. Ride this wave, and see where it takes you. Ride this wave in an endless transformation of yourself. Ride this wave until it is no more, and then do it again.

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You, Becoming Me


I am a Sufi.
I am a Jew.
I am a Christian.
I am a Buddhist.
I am Hindi.
I am you.

I am a man.
I am a woman.
I am you.

I am a teacher.
I am a preacher.
I am a lawyer.
I am a servant.
I am a slave.
I am you.

I am creation.
I am destruction.
I am you.

I am you, becoming me.

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Realization


Buddha under bodhi tree
Inspiration comes to the heart. Aspiration comes to the mind. To become greater than, or to be like something is to tug at the mind’s strings. There is no greater or greatest, and no easier or easiest, for all are one in the same. There is no becoming the other when we are already the other. There is only realization. Realization does not come from Masters or supposed spiritual Masters. There is no mastering the self. There is only realization of the self. Realization of the self is not administered by practitioners through one art or the other. It neither comes from books, nor does it come from ancient writings. All point the way, but the way is self-realization. It is in this moment that there is inspiration.

When inspiration comes, all aspirations shall fade for there is no need to become, because the actuality has already been realized. The rest is a gift, and so it should be shared. Come down from the tree and share your fruit, for sitting in the tree does not make the fruit any sweeter. Take a bite and share in the realization that there is neither a tree, nor any fruit.

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30 Seconds of Nirvana


bite of an appleNirvana is not confined to 30 seconds of peace, nor is it solely in the confines of meditation or mindful breath. It is not the cessation of life nor is it the deprivation of all bodily perception. Nirvana is not a state of mind nor is it the lack of a state of mind. Many gurus have had their say, and so shall many more. Some claim peace on mountain tops, and others in secluded caves. And though this may be the path they have chosen for themselves, it is not the only path to your heart. It is true that the life many lead now is not the same as those long since past, but what has always been will continue to be. Men may create constructs, and boundaries from where there are none, but it is each person’s choice to live by the rules of other men, or by the eternal light in each person’s soul.

Look beyond the world you have come to know, and tear down the walls others have told you to build. Peace is eternal. From all things it is created. Bite of the fruit and know the orchard is all about you.

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Divided We Fall


The world is divided. We are divided based on the country we choose to pay homage. We are divided based on our language and our culture. We are divided based on our religion. We are divided by what we choose to call God/Allah. We are divided by the wants of our mind and our heart. We are divided and yet we have no one else to blame but ourselves.

We choose sides and yet we have no idea what side it is that we really play on. We say we follow God’s laws, and yet we would honor our country before we would honor God. We say we are good Christians, Muslims, or Jews, and yet we would hold our prophets above God Himself. We say we are obedient children and yet we squabble over the scraps of a world full of illusions. We claim that we are without want except for God’s love, and yet we pray to the mighty dollar. We say in God we trust, but only when times get rough. We are divided and yet we have no one else to blame but ourselves.

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7 Billion


7 billion peopleThere are nearly 7 billion people in this world. There are several major religions and thousands more beliefs. Each claim to be correct, and yet how can they all be right? We look for differences and there are many. We look for similarities and there are few. And though those similarities are few, we would choose to look passed them. Why is that? Are we so confident with our beliefs that we would disregard the experiences and the lives of all those who we share this existence with? How can we be so confident? Surely among us, there are those who know? Do you choose to listen to those whose thoughts are in line with your own, or do you allow yourself to listen with an open mind, spirit and heart? When you hear or read the truth, how will you know? Will it announce itself, or will you feel it so deep down within the very core of your existence that you can no longer deny it? There are nearly 7 billion people in this world and yet we act as though we were the only one.

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