Self Reliance

To you, the self-made man or woman, I bow.

To you, that never received care or love from a parent or relative when young, that never had a meal prepared for you, never had anyone teach you anything, I bow.

To you that never attended a public school, never used a public library, never traveled upon a public highway - well you have the right to beat upon your chest and proclaim your great achievements and brag to the world how you did it all yourself.

You that never had a teacher, counselor, or friend listen to your problems and help you through a tough time, you are truly self-made and I bow.  I'm sorry you missed out on the human experience.

Most of us have received some form of love and support during our lives.  Most of us have been receivers of gifts of love and compassion at one point or another.  We have had to learn to receive, to be grateful, and to be a part of a community.  In doing so we have had the opportunity to to reciprocate and to be generous - all human qualities.

The self-made man is a lie, delusion - a very sad self deception that hides one's inability to feel humility and gratitude.

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Stepping Off



Realizing that "I" am a part of all that is, in the same way that my toes are a part of what I call my body, I drop the small minded identity called self.

Realizing that the ability to think is like the ability to see; that thoughts come and go and are a function of a bodily organ, I know that I am not my thoughts.  Realizing that the individual self is a product of the mind, I vow to live for the good of all.

Events, thoughts, and emotions - empty of inherent existence - come and go.  They rise and fall from the infinite possibilities of emptiness.

Loosing our selfish sense of identity, our ego, is terrifying at first.  It is like "stepping off of a 100 foot pole."  Terrifying or not, we must take the step.  We must lose the self and commit to the Bodhisattva Vows or be imprisoned to our tiny world atop of  a pole forever.

Every day, challenge your assumptions.  Stretch your boundaries.  Be willing to step off of the pole.

And now as long as space endures,
As long as there are beings to be found,
May I continue likewise to remain
To drive away the sorrows of the world.

—Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva



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The Sin

The old man has accomplished much.  He studied, he worked hard, and he helped many.  He had his work cut out for him.  This new generation has lost the path and it saddens him. Don't they see the value in tradition?

The young woman feels the strain, the grief of generations past.  She sees their mistaken ways and feels a passion for change.  Why can't they see the wrong in their stubborn ways?  There is much to be done.  She has her work cut out for her.

I see a single flaw, replicated in two gems.  Why won't they listen?  Why don't they see what is so clear to me?  I have my work cut out for me.

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Who is Responsible?



When you look out and see the world, how do you see it?  Do your eyes "see" anything, or do they simply receive energy and transmit signals to your brain?  Our minds process everything and tell us a story.

Your eyes don't see.  Your ears don't hear.  They provide raw data which your mind uses to fabricate an empty reality.  Do you think you really KNOW what is going on in this world, independent of the spin your mind puts on it?

Ultimately we are responsible for the world we see, real or not.  This is why karma; our thoughts, speech, and actions are so important.

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Belief

If I believe in someone, I have to believe in myself.

If I hate someone, I have to hate something in myself.

If I love someone then I have love somewhere down inside, something deep within myself.

The world "out there" reflects what is inside.

Their is no duality, no separation.

Don't take my word for it.  Change how you think, what you believe and watch the world change.


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As You Are

Start now, as you are.
Start here, where you are.
There is no other time, no other place, no other way.

All is mind, all you see is illusion.  Every moment coming and going, self liberating.



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Life Experience - Reality

ALL APPEARANCE / EXPERIENCE IS MIND.  
You do not see what is really going on.  You can't.  You have limited observation capabilities through your senses and your mind interprets all information received.  The way I experience a sunset, a movie, or any event will be different from the way that you experience the event. My version of you is different from your version of you.

YOUR MIND EXPERIENCE IS EMPTY OF AN INDEPENDENT FIXED REALITY.
What you see as a tree, as a deer, or whatever....doesn't even inherently exist as you see it.  "Trees" consists of cells, which consist of elements and compounds, which are made of quantum particles interacting with consciousness and other quantum particles. Trees as you know them do not exist absent your consciousness.

EMPTINESS / EXPERIENCE SPONTANEOUSLY ARISES FROM POSSIBILITY.
Everything is in constant flux, interpreted and arising from a myriad of quantum possibilities interacting with each other, moment by moment.  Every single moment arises from a myriad of possibility collapsing into a reality we call now.

POSSIBILITY IS SELF LIBERATING.
Once an event arises, it goes away.  Another event arises and goes away.

You are alive, or at least having the experience of being alive.  Your body will die.  Weather changes. These things will happen.  How we experience them is based upon our thoughts, beliefs, speech, and actions.  Change seems hard and takes work, but we create our experience.

Namaste.

Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being.
“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.
“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.
“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.
The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.
The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.
Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.
Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.
“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.
“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!”

The Heart Sutra as translated by Thich Nhat Hanh

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All Beings are Worthy



All beings are worthy of your devotion and love.  Behaviors are toxic, not people.

All of your worldly experiences occur through your mind.  You do not see, hear, or relate to anything other than through the filter of your mind.  Any resistance you have to loving others is due to your own mental defilements, not others.

This may sound radical to many of you, but please give it a try.  Treat all beings as if they deserve your love and respect.  Realize that you are responsible for how you see and interact with all beings. When you quit interacting with the "bitchy" woman behind the counter as a bitchy woman behind the counter, she will cease to be a bitchy woman behind the counter.  Don't believe it?  Give it a try.  What can it hurt to spend a week or two of your life trying to improve your relationship with the world?  When I began to put this into practice it changed my relationships and my world.

You are responsible for your thoughts, speech, and actions. In short, you are responsible for your world.

Thus the state of buddhahood depends
On beings and the buddhas equally.
By what tradition is it then
That buddhas, but not beings, are revered?

~ Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva



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Grateful for Everyone

Be grateful for everyone.

Those that love you give you hope and courage .

Those that oppose you build your strength and determination.

Just this is it.  Use it as you will.

Whenever I catch sight of others,
By thinking, "It is through them,
That I will reach awakening,"
I'll look with sincerity and love.

~ Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva


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