Zen meditation is often referred to as “practice” because we never get good at it. - Koshin Paley Ellison
Here's some wisdom from Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron which I'm reflecting on this day:
"The life is a brief and fading window of opportunity. None of us knows what will happen next. As I've grown older with my sangha brothers and sisters, I've seen many friends die or experience dramatic changes in their health or mental stability. Right now, even though our lives may seem far from perfect, we have excellent circumstances. We have intelligence, the availability of teachers and teachings, and at least some inclination to study and meditate. But some of us will die before the year is up; and in the next five years, some of us will be too ill or in too much pain to concentrate on a Buddhist text, let alone live by it. Moreover, many of us will become more distracted by worldly pursuits...The point is not to squander this good fortune."
The world we are living in is impermanent. It changes from better to worse and vice versa. You have to develop determination of mind. You have to apply your mental power, what you might call good old-fashioned willpower. - Gehlek Rimpoche
If you can solve the problem, what is the need of worrying?
If you cannot solve it, what is the use of worrying?
“The bodhisattva is someone who vows to alleviate suffering and bring blessings in every circumstance. A bodhisattva chooses to live with dignity and courage and radiates compassion for all, no matter where they find themselves,” states Jack Kornfield, a contemporary Buddhist teacher and author. In support of this perspective, Buddhist teachers will often begin public talks by saying 'Bodhisattvas' rather than 'Ladies and Gentlemen'.
Traditionally, Buddhism has taught that a bodhisattva is an enlightened being who vows to continue being in the re-birth process in order to help others attain liberation. This is often viewed a desirable objective.
A writer cultivates on paper. A farmer cultivates the land. A teacher cultivates on the blackboard. A mediation practitioner cultivates the mind. - Hsing Yun
Do not take physical functioning for granted. This is a gift that shouldn’t be overlooked.
- Rabbi Abraham Twerski
Gratitude on the conventional level is a response to favors, kindnesses, and good fortune received from others, but gratitude on thee religious level is an affirmation of the gift of life itself, whether we are young or old, poor or wealthy, in good health or ind bad, living all alone or surrounded by loved ones. - Taitetsu Unno
Venerable Phra Paisal Visalo, the abbot of Wat Pasukato, a Buddhist monastery in Thailand’s Chaiyaphum Province, and a respected monk of 37 years in the Theravada forest tradition, offers a Buddhist perspective on this turbulent situation. He offers three ways of looking at this pandemic from a practical Buddhist perspective:
1. This is an opportunity to understand and accept reality:
We have to understand that humankind will continue to live with infectious diseases in various forms. In the past, we could feely used our hands to clean and touch our face, but now we can no longer do so. Even if we need to, we have to make sure we cleanse our hands thoroughly first. This mindful hand-washing helps to make us more careful and, at the same time, gives us more opportunities to be mindful in our daily lives, whereas in the past we might have taken many things for granted, including touching our face as many as 15–20 times an hour without even realizing it.
2. This is an opportunity to practice mindful living:
News reports about conflicts and armed fighting have taken a back seat to the coronavirus outbreak. Even news about the US and Iran has stopped. In Thailand, reports on the political unrest have also declined. Conflicts between the government and opposition parties are being ignored by the people as their attention is focused on COVID-19, to the point of driving them crazy. We have to find a careful balance between carelessness and craziness. We should be aware that the coronavirus is not the only dangerous virus that is spreading in our society—even though COVID-19 harms our body. Fear is also spreading, harming our minds and even impacting our humility, causing us to become selfish and to look down on those who are infected.
We stock up on masks, alcohol, and other hygiene products, even though they may not be necessary, especially for those who are not infected. Now masks are out of stock throughout Thailand and are not available for those suffering from tuberculosis, pneumonia, or influenza. The shortage of face masks has serious repercussions as it means that caretakers and medical personnel such as doctors and nurses do not have enough masks to wear while they work. Warnings are being given to people who are not sick that they shouldn’t buy and use masks. This demonstrates that COVID-19 itself can be less harmful than the fear of COVID-19. Therefore, as well as recognizing that we need to act to prevent COVID-19 from infecting our body, we should also ensure that we prevent our fear of COVID-19 from infecting our mind. Let’s support each other on both levels.
3. This is an opportunity to be generous and support each other:
Let’s be thankful for the countless people and groups who have been volunteering at hospitals. We have heard stories that when COVID-19 began spreading in Wuhan, China, many people began volunteering to support each other. These acts of selflessness and kindness included providing rides for nurses returning home to rest and then bringing back them to the hospital for work. Some volunteers drove all night long to serve those doctors and nurses so that they could have an opportunity to rest before continuing their work. Actions such as these may begin with one volunteer, but can quickly multiply as many more follow their example. These small volunteer activities can build up into a network sharing the volunteer spirit during times of crisis. This situation has great potential to help each of us to reduce our selfish behaviors and attitudes and increase our generosity in support of each other. We need to stay connected and encourage people to express their goodness from within, which ultimately helps others.
(please free free to re-post and/or share on your social media)
We should guard our speech. Just a sentence can lead us to the path of success or failure. - Hsing Yun
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.