Picking Up Trash

I walked outside today and there was trash in the front yard.  Quite a lot actually.  It had gathered over the long, grey winter.  I picked up five pieces of trash and was careful not to add any.  I'll do more tomorrow.

Springtime in the mountains.

Karma, when properly understood, is just the mechanics through which consciousness manifests. ~ Deepak Chopra 

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Bodhicitta - Atomic Power

Bodhicitta is a spontaneous wish to attain enlightenment motivated by great compassion for all sentient beings, accompanied by a falling away of the attachment to the illusion of an inherently existing self.


Bodhicitta " is like atomic energy to transform your mind." 


Bodhicitta is powerful.  Meditating upon the well being of others, our responsibility in our community, and the interdependence of everything in the universe can eliminate our selfish tendencies and the suffering that results from a self-centered point of view.  Lama Thubten Yeshe says Bodhicitta " is like atomic energy to transform your mind." 

Metta, meditating for the well being of self and others, is a good introduction to Bodhicitta, but Bodhicitta is much more than wishing others well. It includes a personal responsibility for the world we see around us.  It is the union of interdependence and compassion.

May all beings be happy.
May all beings be well.
May al beings be safe.
May all beings be peaceful and at ease 

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One Problem

If you are unhappy, there is one problem you must work on.  Look in the mirror.

The world is what it is.  It has evolved and survived for billions of years without your approval. Learn how to be happy.

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Losing It All

Meditate deeply for a period of time and you will start to lose things:  anger, frustration, anxiety, doubt, shame, false pride, depression, and even your sense of identity. You'll be left with only joy, love, compassion, and a sense of equanimity or appreciation for all that exists as it exists.  No more resistance.

Be careful or you might begin to realize that you create your own misery.  It is said that when you realize this deeply, you will lose it all.

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Wide Open

There are quarks and leptons.  We see them as everything from tables to flesh but that's all labels.  It's all quarks and leptons.  How you experience them is wide open.  There are tendencies based upon conditioning, but you are not bound to experience them as such.

Thoughts and experience are all mind.  They rise and fall every moment.  How we see, create, and respond to the world is in our mind.  It's a terrifying responsibility but it can't be shirked.  You can work to become conscious of the world you see and project or you can do it unconsciously and life a life of confusion and frustration.

Start by taking responsibility for your emotions and thoughts about the world around you.  Deep down you are responsible for every single thought you have.  Before paying deep attention it seems other people and events cause your experience of life but really it is your beliefs about those people or events that create your felt experience.

If you want to live a life of freedom and joy, then you must quit reacting to life and take responsibility for everything.  This doesn't mean everything is your fault, it means your response is yours to own and that you are building your future with it. Responding is taking purposeful action with awareness.  Reacting is letting events, causes, and conditions evoke your thoughts and actions.  The first leads to meaningful living, the latter to hopeless stress and suffering.


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Good is Dangerous

When I'm good, you're bad.  Good people do terrible things to bad people.  Many people involved in holy wars, including members of ISIS, believe that they are "good" people.

What if, instead of seeking to be "good", we sought to be effective; to be happy and to make the world a joyful place?  What if we sought to end hunger, misery, and oppression?

Be careful of smug labels.  When being "good" leads to judging and labeling others, it becomes dangerous.  When we are good then we feel empowered to correct and condemn others.  If your actions don't lead to happiness, are they really good anyway?

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Effort

As a species we can send rockets into space, speak around the world on cell phones, and peer into galaxies far away.  With all of our great achievements, why is it that we aren't happy?  Why is there so much suffering?

We can leave this as a rhetorical question or we can look deeply.  How many years of study do we put into our careers versus the amount of time we put into looking into our mind?  How much effort is put into industrialization and automation of our lives as compared to developing the areas that really bring happiness?

Most of us don't really look at this too deeply.  Instead we hide from our insecurity and emotional turmoil.  We try to seek refuge in momentary pleasures or through avoidance tactics - alcohol, drugs, and sex just to name a few.  Unfortunately we suffer.

I invite each of you to spend some time looking at your mind.  Take responsibility for your thoughts, your beliefs, and your world.  Explore, meditate, and reflect.  What brings true happiness?

5 Practices for Nurturing Happiness by Thich Nhat Hanh

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