- Ayya Khema
Peacefulness is not something given to us. We have to gain it. It's not our just because we like it or are wishing for it or because it's desirable. We have to gain it through effort.
- Ayya Khema
We generally think of exercise as something beneficial for the body but yoga is different, quite different. It not only strengthens the body but also strengthens the brain. One pose specifically designed to do that is actually called "Super Brain Yoga Pose". (There is solid science behind it). Here's how it's done - 3 simple steps:
1. Take your left hand, cross your upper body to take hold of your right earlobe with thumb and forefinger. Make sure that the thumb is in front.
2. Now take your right hand across your upper body to take hold of your left earlobe. Again, make sure that the thumb is in front.
3. Squat and rise 30 times or more.
This pose draws energy upward. At it reaches the chest and heart area, it fills a person with feelings of calm and inner peace. When the energy moves up further into the throat, neck and head, the practitioner’s intelligence and creativity are improved.
Our counterfeit impotence has been driven into our consciousness, lifetime after lifetime. Most religions strengthen this view that society also imposes on us. We have been told that we do not have power, that we are dependent victims of a cruel world, or of cruel people, or of cruel destiny, or of an all-powerful and vengeful god. - Tashi Nyima
We suffer because we never stop desiring things. We demand things all the time. Whether it is a big house, love of your life, smarter kids, or a good job, our desires never end. When we fail to fulfill our desire, we welcome suffering into our lives. - Daniel D'Apollonio
In 1997, Ram Dass (who died at 88 last month) suffered a debilitating stroke. Shortly after he was interviewed by Inquiring Mind editor Wes Nisker. He asked Ram Dass about the stroke and it's effect on him spiritually -
"I see the stroke as a new chapter in the life of this body. It’s very interesting to me because it is so uniquely diﬀerent than the last chapter. In that chapter I spoke, and in this chapter I’m mostly silent. I have this new identity to explore, which is that of a wheelchair-bound person—someone “physically challenged,” or whatever we are called these days. I’m really exploring what it means not to have power. Remember, I can’t get out of bed or go to the toilet without somebody helping me. I used to drive a car, and I loved driving, but in my new identity, I’m always a passenger. Of course, there are certain advantages: as a chauﬀeured person, I can look around at the scenery because I don’t have to keep my mind on the road."
All sentient beings have the diamond of Buddha Nature, so all that we have to do is clean away the coarse, subtle, and extremely subtle incidental stains. - Tashi Nyima
Pema Chödrön, a bestselling author and one of the best-known American Buddhist teachers, has stepped down as a senior teacher (acharya) in the Shambhala organization.
In a letter released last week, she states that she was ”disheartened” by news that Shambhala leader Sakyong Mipham may resume teaching this year with the approval of the organization’s board. Sakyong Mipham has currently “stepped back” from his roles in the community after allegations against him of sexual assault and clergy sexual misconduct.
“I experienced this news as such a disconnect from all that’s occurred in the last year and half,” Chödrön says in the letter. “It feels unkind, unskillful and unwise for the Sakyong to just go forward as if nothing had happened without relating compassionately to all of those who have been hurt and without doing some deep inner work on himself.”
“How can we return to business as usual,” she writes, “when there is no path forward for the vast majority of the community who are devoted to the vision of Shambhala and are yearning for accountability, a fresh start, and some guidance on how to proceed? I find it discouraging that the bravery of those who had the courage to speak out [about sexual abuse] does not seem to be affecting more significant change in the path forward.” She says indications the community is “returning to business as usual is shocking and disheartening.”
Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936 in New York City. She studied under Lama Chime Rinpoche in London for several years, and with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Califnornia. She became a novice Buddhist nun under Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, in 1974. While in Hong Kong in 1981, she became a fully ordained bhikshuni—the first American woman to do so in the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. She has authored numerous best selling Buddhist books.
(sources: www.lionsroar.com and www.buddhistdoor.net)
When residents at a South Indian ashram learned they would be visited by the President of India - Dr. Rajendra Prasad - they immediately began tidying the buildings, cleaning up the property and festively decorating the ashram. Dr. Prasad was visiting specifically to meet with Ramana Maharshi, the ashram resident mystic and teacher. Because the ashram always attracted a high number of beggars and homeless individuals, they were instructed to remain away from the Ashram center but assured they would still be fed later in the day
Upon arrival, Dr. Prasad was immediately escorted to the small hut occupied by Ramana. However, Ramana was not there, nor could he be found. Highly embarrassed, ashram residents continued searching for him eventually finding Ramana sitting among the beggars and homeless who had been carefully placed and hidden away from the visiting dignitary.
After some pleading, the residents persuaded Ramana to return to his hut to meet with India's President. There Dr. Prasad asked Ramana: "Why were you sitting off the property with the beggars?" Ramana responded: "It was repeatedly announced in the ashram that the beggars should go and wait for their meal off under a distant tree. I also have been a begging monk my whole life. That’s why I went and stayed with the other beggars.” Additionally he explained that it had been his policy at the Ashram that food would first be served to animals, then to the beggars, followed by guests and finally to the ashram residents. Ramana's absence was a powerful reminder for the residents to faithfully adhere to that cherished practice regardless of who was visiting the ashram.
We should focus our primary, though not our exclusive, efforts on improving ourselves, not others. - Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
Live your life fully. It doesn’t have to look like anybody else’s. - Gina Sharpe
Victor M. Parachin ...is a
Vedic educator, yoga instructor, Buddhist meditation teacher and author of a dozen books. Buy his books at amazon or your local bookstore.