Thursday, May 22, 2008

Meditate on garbage



One night I left out my garbage and the raccoons made a real mess of it. See the photos. I had to collect all the garbage piece by piece and put it back in the bins again. I was so upset and angry and I decided never to keep garbage out on the night previous to the garbage collection day. It ruined my entire morning.

But it happened again.

I forgot to close the garage door last night. I think my “mind was full” instead of being mindful :). Raccoons has had a great feast on the garbage and it was all over the garage floor.
I had two choices. Just to get upset and complain like last time or clean it with mindfulness as an exercise. I decided to go with the second option. I collected each piece of garbage with complete mindfulness. To my surprise I did a great cleaning job without creating any “suffering” to me. It is amazing how you can meditate, even on garbage!
Buddha expalined how to be mindful in evrything you do. It is very hard but you can try and train yourself. This is how:
"Furthermore, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away... when bending & extending his limbs... when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl... when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring... when urinating & defecating... when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.
To read the full sutta:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Head of a snake


If one, longing for sensual pleasure,
achieves it, 
yes,
he's enraptured at heart.
The mortal gets what he wants.
But if for that person ... longing, desiring ... the pleasures diminish,
he's shattered,
as if shot with an arrow.

Whoever avoids sensual desires... as he would,
with his foot,
the head of a snake ... goes beyond,
mindful,
this attachment in the world.

Kama Sutta -Sensual Pleasure

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A monkey in the forest


When a person lives heedlessly,
his craving grows like a creeping vine.
He runs now here
& now there,
as if looking for fruit:
a monkey in the forest
.
-Dhammapada

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just as rust eats the very iron...


Just as rust
— iron's impurity —
eats the very iron
from which it is born,
so the deeds
of one who lives slovenly
lead him on
to a bad destination.
-Dhammapada

Saturday, May 10, 2008

How to train mindfulness...


The Blessed One said, "Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, 'The beauty queen! The beauty queen!' And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, 'The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!' Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, 'Now look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?"

"No, lord."

"I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."

Sedaka Sutta
At Sedaka
(2: The Beauty Queen)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sensuality, a bog hard to cross over


I call greed a 'great flood';
hunger, a swift current.
Preoccupations are ripples;
sensuality, a bog hard to cross over.
Not deviating from truth,a sage stands on high ground : a brahman

Attadanda Sutta

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Loving-kindness far excels ...


"Whatever kinds of worldly merit there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness; in shining and beaming and radiance the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness far excels them."
Itivuttaka, Sutta 27(spoken by the Buddha)

Effects of Loving-kindness (compassion) meditation

From latest scientific research: March 26th 2008

Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise
Antoine Lutz1*, Julie Brefczynski-Lewis2, Tom Johnstone3, Richard J. Davidson1*
1 University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America2 West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia, United States of America3 University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom


Click on this to read the full article


Watch CNN Video


From the Anguttara Nikaya, 11:16(spoken by the Buddha) :2500 years ago


"When the heart-deliverance of loving-kindness is maintained in being, made much of, used as one's vehicle, used as one's foundation, established, consolidated, and properly managed, then eleven blessings can be expected. What are the eleven?


A man sleeps in comfort; he wakes in comfort; he dreams no evil dreams; he is dear to human beings; he is dear to non-human beings; the gods guard him; no fire or poison or weapon harms him; his mind can be quickly concentrated; the expression of his face is serene; he dies without falling into confusion; and, even if he fails to penetrate any further, he will pass on to the world of High Divinity, to the Brahma world
."

Click on this to read the full sutta

How to train yourself to practice compassion and loving-kindness

Suppose a man came with a hoe and a basket, and he said, "I shall make this great earth to be without earth"; and he dug here and there and strewed here and there, and spat here and there and relieved himself here and there, saying "Be without earth, be without earth." What do you think, bhikkhus, would that man make this great earth to be without earth? — No, venerable sir. Why is that? Because this great earth is deep and measureless; it cannot possibly be made to be without earth. So the man would reap weariness and disappointment.


So too, bhikkhus, there are these five modes of speech that others may use when they address you. Their speech may be timely or untimely, true or untrue, gentle or harsh, for good or for harm, and may be accompanied by thoughts of loving-kindness or by inner hate. Now this is how you should train yourselves here: "Our minds will remain unaffected, we shall utter no bad words, we shall abide friendly and compassionate, with thoughts of loving-kindness and no inner hate. We shall abide with loving-kindness in our hearts extending to that person, and we shall dwell extending it to the entire world as our object, with our hearts abundant, exalted, measureless in loving-kindness, without hostility or ill-will." That is how you should train yourselves.
-Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta 21

A new study shows that meditation opens the gateway to compassion





By David Biello