Aligning with the highest

IMG_8890I woke up to this glorious Dallas blue sky morning, contemplating “aligning with the highest”…which my teacher always talks about, and defines as “align with ‘your’ highest view — whatever that is, but align with that”…

I do love and appreciate my Shudda Ayurveda and New Jonang Dharma lineages so much, and our amazing arya sanga.

This brought back to mind, the signs and symptoms that we define natural perfection by, and they are:

1. Healing the Sick – the desire to alleviate the suffering of all who experience pain, discomfort, and anxiety.

2. Nourishing the Young – the will to provide favorable conditions for the maturation of our juniors.

3. Protecting the Weak – the capacity to extend shelter to those who are oppressed by others or by negative circumstances. (This includes our animal friends.)

4. Loving the Beautiful – the outpouring of genuine appreciation for the attractive qualities of others.

5. Serving the Good – the uncontrived determination to contribute our talents, time, and treasure to further virtuous undertakings.

6. Honoring the Wise – the cheerful acceptance of correction and guidance from our seniors.

7. Aligning with the Highest – the constant disposition to search for the truth and aspire to manifest the Union of Wisdom and Compassion.

So beautiful and something to keep aspiring to…

Another photo sent to me by my son Jeffrey, taken in Venice, CA this past week…

Enjoy this weekend, which here in Dallas today, looks to be a lovely one…

Love & Light!

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Conditioning and tendencies…

12823342_998102903605724_7358314368076559261_oFor 24 weeks (and counting) my teacher has been lecturing on a chapter on Patience, from “The Way of the Bodhisattva” by Shantideva.

It always amazes me how he can speak on one or two lines in a text for over an hour — and, for weeks and weeks on end…

Patience is the practice of peace, so I suppose it could go on forever…:)

As we study Buddhism, we learn in detail how the mind works, and how previous conditioning and tendencies cause our suffering.

As we learn to take a step back and consider consequences before we act, it helps us to see that nothing is happening from outside of us, and that we have power over our actions and what happens next.

We all have a dominant emotion that has a very short fuse. When we are put in a situation that is ripe for it to manifest, our tendency is to react before thinking. For some that emotion is anger, for others: passion, yet others: jealousy…for me it is, and always has been: fear…

The past few weeks I have faced some realities that have caused a ‘fight or flight’ response in me, and the resulting tension in my body. Since I know that there is no physical or emotional threat ‘out there’ — no ‘tiger’ about to jump and have me for breakfast — I have been able to work through the process in my mind — however, I have still had to live through the effects in my body.

We have some conditioning that is so strong that even knowing the reasons, and being able to step back, it will take continuous awareness and effort. But, they will become less and less frequent, and less powerful in time, and…finally disappear.

Understanding and working with this process has been extremely helpful, and I think I can safely state that all of us who have had the benefit of Mind Training can attests to it totally changing our lives for the better.

My teacher always says we only have 2 problems in this world: wrong views and afflicted emotions. Due to our karma (action and consequence) we have conditioning that gives us the tendency to repeat, but we have the power to ‘cut’ off those tendencies, and put new causes in place for the effects we want to experience…

Fortunately for us, we don’t have to create something from nothing — all we have to do remove the veils that cover our true nature.

I am grateful each and every day for the wisdom and compassion of my teacher, for his teacher, and for our lineage root master: Kunchen Dolpopa.

om mani peme hum

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The value of small steps…

Alex on Hookipa beach“The true value of small steps is often ignored.They involve motion. We go from not doing something to doing it – even in a minimal way. According to the law of physics we go from being a body at rest to a body in motion…This is what we refer to as momentum. This is why small steps can be so valuable. It takes very little effort to create momentum. One pushup, one dish washed, one photo organized, one paragraph written in your novel-to-be. Have you gone very far? No. Do you now have momentum. Yes!”

— From an article in “Ten Thousand Days” by Gregg Krech, ToDo Institute

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May I be able…

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.06.12 PM“May I be able to conform to whatever the present moment requires”

— Shantideva

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We have to cultivate contentment with what we have

IMG_2445“We have to cultivate contentment with what we have. We really don’t need much. When you know this, the mind settles down.

Cultivate generosity.

Delight in giving.

Learn to live lightly.

In this way, we can begin to transform what is negative into what is positive.

This is how we start to grow up.”

– Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, “No excuses”

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How do we overcome ignorance?

IMG_2350How do we overcome ignorance, by praying to the Buddha?

No, by following the path he showed.

As he said, “You are your own master.” The Buddha didn’t say, “I’m the Buddha, pray to me.”

He taught the Four Noble Truths; suffering, its cause, cessation, and the path to it.

He taught about lasting peace that can only be achieved through practice.

His whole teaching is based on the law of cause and effect; if you want change, create the causes.

— Insights from the Dalai Lama

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White Tara Mandala

IMG_1496Just back from the Closing Ceremony of the White Tara Mandala at the Crow Collection of Asian Art here in Dallas.

Beautiful, and it is such a blessing to have them here every year…

Creating…then desecrating….reminding us of impermanence and making us reflect on how precious this life is…

Love & Light!

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Once we have a firm practice of compassion

om_mani_padme_humvvOnce we have a firm practice of compassion, our state of mind becomes stronger, which leads to inner peace, giving rise to self-confidence, which reduces fear.

This makes for constructive members of the community.

Self-centeredness, on the other hand, leads to distance, suspicion, mistrust, and loneliness, with unhappiness as the result.”

— Insight from the Dalai Lama

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My intention

IMG_0332As some of you may have noticed, I have not been posting much for quite a while now…I feel a bit like I have been in hibernation, like a bear…and, I guess in many ways I have been.

I have been digesting all sorts of information, which have had great impact on my world, and I have tried to put the puzzle pieces into some kind of order…

Some of it, I have shared on this blog.  What I have not shared is that I am taking an online business school course for 8 weeks, with the intention of turning this blog into my online business. I want to share my passion for the Shuddha Ayurveda lineage…So…I am in school on the side of working, and trust I can transform this blog into something more helpful as I go through this process.

The thing is that Ayurveda has Dharma as a base, and encompasses everything and more of what I intended to do when I started this blog…I just did not know how to put it together at the time.

This past first week of school, I set out to go slowly and methodically through the content of my weekly to-do’s, but by Wednesday, after hearing so many going on ahead, I did as well, and…the result was that I ended up exhausted and having to come home from work and just go to bed and rest.

Shuddha Ayurveda says to never spend more than 50% of our energy, as we can only control our ‘highs’ and cannot control our ‘lows’ – once we have gone below that 50%, all we can do is rest and recover. If we are aware of this, we can easily adjust when we notice it and get back into harmony and balance…

Since everything that we take in to our awareness has to be ‘digested’ by our bodies (or it gets stored as stress, which then has to be released in some way), knowing this helps us to make better choices.

I intend to pace myself better from here, and wanted to share this today to align myself with the teaching I wish to share; my intention for school; and to give you a heads up.

Love & Light!

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The wisdom that understands emptiness

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 6.56.25 AM“The wisdom that understands emptiness becomes much stronger with the help of concentration. Concentration brings the power of the mind to bear, and to develop concentration, we need the discipline of ethics.”

— Insight from the Dalai Lama

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