Not creating delusions is enlightenment. Not engaging in ignorance is wisdom.
Singer Tony Bennett was ten years old when his father died. Though he has few memories of John Benedetto, one stands out and has influenced Bennett all his life. His father, an Italian immigrant to America, operated a small grocery store in New York City. The family lived above the business.
One evening they heard noise downstairs. A man had gotten drunk and was attempting to break in but having a hard time doing it due to the alcohol. Benedetto crept downstairs and discovered the man unconscious. Evidently he had tripped over some egg crates. The police were called and they explained that if Benedetto pressed charges, he man would be arrested and jailed. Letting out a sigh, Benedetto walked over to the man asking:
“Do you have a job?”
The man shook his head no, too embarrassed to speak.
Then Benedetto told him: “Well, you have one now. You can work for me if you want to.”
The man accepted the offer of employment immediately.
Thinking about that incident, Tony Bennett realized “my father didn’t do it out of pity. He truly felt we had been blessed in America and were obliged to share our blessings with those who were less fortunate.”
If we [Western practitioners] be indeed worthy of the name of followers of the Buddha, it behooves us, first and foremost, to understand the full meaning that that title has for us; and, not less essentially, to consider what course of action we must follow, if we are to make the most of the great opportunity that our Karma now has brought to us. - Allan Bennett
The pain of remorse can motivate a profound desire within us to live more awake and more genuinely. From the pain of deep humiliation—from seeing how we go against our true nature—real humility can awaken. - Ezra Bayda
Buddhism teaches that all beings have Buddha nature, meaning, they have innate wisdom, goodness, compassion and more.
Consider the outlaw Jesse James who, for a moment, tapped into his Buddha nature. While on the run and in hiding from the law, James and his gang sought food and rest at a remote farmhouse. The woman who lived there greeted the men warmly, responding to their request for food and a time to rest safely. As she prepared the meal for them, she apologized for her meager resources explaining she was recently widowed, had no income and was unable to keep up with the farm mortgage. In fact, a banker was on his way to foreclose on her farm unless she could give him the $1,400 she owed.
James had with him a sack full of money from one of his raids. He gave the astonished woman $1,400 she needed to pay off the debt instructing her, “Be sure you get a receipt when you pay the banker.” As James and his gang prepared to leave, he reminded the widow once again, “Be sure to get a receipt when you pay the banker.”
A short time later, the banker arrived at the widow’s farm looking grim and unhappy to be foreclosing on her. When he emerged from the house, the banker looked relieved because the woman was able to pay off the debt. As he rode off the property, Jesse James and the gang stopped him, recovered their $1,400 and rode off.
Here's the application: Don’t let some flaws and failures prevent you from tapping into and acting on your innate Buddha nature.
Yoga is not meant merely to cure illnesses but to unburden it's practitioner from all suffering. And that is accomplished by dispelling the illusion that one is a separate being and discovering the authentic Being which is eternal, supraconscious and blissful. - Georg Feuerstein
The Goal of Buddhism is not in the hereafter, but here in the life we live—its goal is a life made glorious by self-conquest and exalted by boundless love and wisdom. - Allan Bennett
Japanese Buddhist monks held a service for 200 pairs of old eyeglasses on November 8. The annual ceremony to “show gratitude” to the glasses for “their years of service” has taken place at the Ichibata Yakushi Temple for the past 30 years. The Tendai Buddhist temple—built in 894 CE around a statue of Yakushi Nyorai, a bodhisattva of medicine and healing—has become a pilgrimage site for Buddhists who suffer from eye problems.
According to legend, the “medicine Buddha” statue was pulled out of the Sea of Japan by a fisherman whose mother’s eyesight was miraculously restored shortly after the discovery. The Ichibata clergy created the glasses ceremony in response to repeated requests to bless old spectacles. The glasses that are still usable, such as those discarded because of a change in prescription, are donated to a group in India that distributes them to people in need.
When people develop respect for life in childhood, they are most unlikely, when they grow up, to harm things. And they will be even less likely to commit suicide or jeopardize the lives of others. - Daiskau Ikeda
Addiction is sadly common in our culture. I have attended the funerals of too many young adults who died as a result of their addiction. So it was with a focused interest that I came across some wisdom offered to Kirk Douglas when his 46 year old son, Eric, was found dead, the result of a drug overdose. His son had struggled with addiction issues for decades.
Of course, the actor and his wife, Anne, were devastated by the unnecessary death of their son and looked inward to see "what, if anything, we did wrong." Though nothing could relieve their immense pain, one counselor reminded the Douglas' of the three Cs concerning family addicts:
Victor M. Parachin ...is a
Vedic educator, yoga instructor, meditation teacher and author of a dozen books. Buy his books at amazon or your local bookstore.