BBnB 91 (4.1) - Living the Heart Mind - A New Series at BBnB
BBnB 91 (4.1)
Living the Heart Mind
Discussion Meeting January 5, 2007
Namo Buddhaya Namo Dharmaya Namo Sanghaya
Happy New Year
BBnB Friday Night Buddhist Discussion
BBnB Discussion, led by GhanaBhuti
Has Moved to Friday Nights at 10 pm
Our Topic this Week is Living the Heart Mind
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When: Friday, January 5, 2007 at 10:00 pm Eastern Time.
Where: The Buddhist Discussion Room <---This is a Clickable Link to Our Chat Room.
(((Note - if for any reason we have to move, we will reconvene in the Buddhism Basics and Beyond chat room.)))
Buddhism Basics and Beyond <---This is our Website
Files <--- This is our Extensive Topic Index.
Click the Files Link and then, Search for 'Index'
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Also Remember that the
Compassion Sangha, a Leaderless Chat
Meets for Awesome Discussions
Mondays at 10 PM Eastern Time in the
Buddhist Discussion Room
Leads a Discussion of a Sutta from the Pali Canon
Thursdays at 9pm Eastern Time, also in the
Buddhist Discussion Room
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I do hope that everyone had an enjoyable holiday season.
I have received some reports that the Six-week series we had on Anger had some fruitful results during the past few weeks of feasting and family. While there is much more to examine on the question of Conquering Anger, we will put that aside for a time. This will allow us to gather the resources to help us begin to live a very different life, a life of Awareness, Mindfulness, Wholesome Emotions, Helpful Attitudes and Peaceful Intent. All of this comes from the Fruits of Pursuing and Living the Path of Heart Mind as taught by the Buddha and his worthy successors.
Heart Mind is a somewhat non-formal translation of Bodhi Mind or Bodhicitta. The lack of equivalent terms in English allows for a certain poetic rendering of a concept that is both Immense and Profound.
If we take Heart-Mind as the metaphor for the exploration of the Depths of the Buddha's Teachings, we can arrive at a familiar expression of what, to some, is esoteric doctrine.
Heart Mind refers to Living in the Manner of the Teachings, that we learn to stress the communal natures of grace and companionship instead of lusting after what - in the end - is only a cluster of ego-fulfilling pipe-dreams and lost hopes.
Tonight we will take a gentle approach to the start of this study by referring to - as described below - the Contemplation Phase of the Three Wisdoms of the Buddha.
Before we start, however, it is good to pause for a moment and stress the methodology of gaining Heart-Mind as described in the Teachings. Since Mind is at the very core of what we aim to transform, it is vital to realize that each rendition of the Teachings approaches our Transformation from Sorrow-ridden Residents of the Saha World to High-functioning Bodhisattvas from a distinct Point of View.
Sometimes the Point of View is from the elimination of negativities, sometimes from the accumulation of Meritorious instincts and Wisdom. Sometimes the Point of View is from acknowledging the negativities and working within our own yogic power-consciousness to transform them into Deep Wisdom. In all of these Points of View, however, it is best not to see differences as such, but rather, to see a Unity of Intent as the Buddha's many Levels and Teachings reach out to transform each of us dependent upon our own personal form of delusion and addiction to the false view of life.
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The Four Noble Truths. All of the Buddha's Teachings are an elaboration of the Four Noble Truths. The Fourth Noble Truth is the Eight-fold Path which contains every lesson of every school of Buddhism from the very beginning of Buddhism until now.
As I mentioned, there are many approaches and many Points of View that we gather into a Whole that is our own Expression of the Teachings. Foundational among the many methodologies are a Suite of Numbered Approaches that help us to realize the Integration of the Various lessons and phases into a coherent whole. This list includes:
The Three Wisdoms (Prajnas) of the Buddha. These Three are the Integration of
Hearing the Dharma,
Contemplation of the Dharma, and
Meditations upon the Dharma.
Another formulation of the Three Wisdoms is Study, Analytical Investigations and Training in Experience (Meditative Experience) that makes the Teachings our own.
The Three Principal Aspects of the Path. These are listed by Lama Je Tsongkhapa as:
The Desire to Be Free (aka Renunciation);
Heart-Mind (Bodhicitta), and
The Correct View of Emptiness (the Two Truths as an Integrated View of the Suchness of all Things).
The Three Marks of all Conditioned Phenomena are Impermanence, Not-self and Ultimate Unsatisfactoriness. The Three Marks help us identify what NOT to take as our token of what is actual reality.
The Two Truths or the Two Levels of Truth help us to realize the Ultimate Reality of Emptiness from the Conventional Truths of the Day-to-day Life. Emptiness itself allows us to live, as the late Professor Herbert Guenther described, 'The Open Dimension of Being.'
The Three Principal Aspects have another octave that stresses the Perfections. The Three Higher Trainings are described as:
The Correct View of Emptiness.
All of Buddhism is based upon the Two Accumulations of Merit and Wisdom.
Wisdom, in this context, is specifically a Wisdom-knowledge of Emptiness gained thru the meditative arts.
Merit, in this context, is the gathering of intent based on all of the other teachings.
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Tonight, we will take recent world events and practice one form of looking at such events from the POV of each of these Numbered Lists of 'How to Learn Buddhism' and 'How to Live as a Buddhist.' The presentation below is a form of Contemplation from the Three Wisdoms of the Buddha in the form of a Poem. This is the poem I wrote as the Clock struck 12 am and the New Year. For me, at least, it serves as a way of dissecting the banality of knee-jerk human emotion and opinion into it's conditioned excess and - at the same time - teaching us more and more the nature of the paths of Wisdom, Merit, the Four Immeasurables and the Six Perfections.
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The key to the following Contemplation is based on a Meditative Knowledge of the Prayer of the Four Immeasurables. Every week we begin our Discussion with Refuge, a remembrance of Emptiness and the Prayer of the Four Immeasurables or the Bodhisattva Vow. Here are two forms of such Prayers we have used to invoke Bodhicitta.Arousing Bodhicitta - (Prayer of the Four Immeasurables)
May all sentient beings become free
of the attachment and aversion
of holding some as close and others as distant,
and thus attain Superior Bliss.
May they become free from the ocean of suffering,
so difficult to bear, and may they never become separate
from the Bliss of Excellent Liberation.
Here is another version (of the Bodhisattva Vow) that I wrote for my own practice:
The Universe is Numbered with Beings in Sorrow;
I vow to Save them All.
The Universe is Numbered with Phantom Sorrows and Illusory Views;
I vow to Defeat them all.
The Truth is Subtle and Immeasurable;
I vow to Master and Teach it.
Enlightenment is beyond both Tears and Knowing;
I vow to Attain it.
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The heart of the Aspiration of the Four Immeasurables is to Generate, Experience and Practice Great Love, Great Compassion, Great Joy and Great Equanimity - to experience Great Love and Compassion for Every Sentient Being in the Six Realms - without any exception at all.
With this in Mind, here is my Meditative Contemplation of the 'Uncertain Trinity' of Gerald Ford, James Brown and Saddam Hussein, all who died within a few days of each other.
Friday Evening, we will discuss the nature of Heart-Mind as we experience it now and how we might be able to learn to experience it in the Future.
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GhanaBhutiAn Uncertain Trinity
It's raining cats and dogs in Detroit;
46 degrees at midnight and the Ball falling
in NYC. New Years has
an odd nostalgia - weeping
at once for the deaths of heroes and innocents,
winners, losers and tyrants.
It's the rain that won't let us shrug off
the moment as 'just another tick of the clock;'
the rain and wind that howl
as if there were indeed
spirits stored in every moment of time, all waiting
for a wet and dripping New Years' night to tear open
both the gross and subtle veils and soar around
in cycles apparent to anyone
who is accustomed to look for signs.
In a week we lost a Statesman, a
Genius of Life and Funk and a Tyrant.
Jerry Ford and
James Brown both strove
to heal, Saddam Hussein reveled in the blood
of others and now has only the memory of
such swollen feasts to keep him company in his grave.
And we are left to count the tokens;
to take the coins from the eyes of the dead
and dying and see
if there are messages written
in the gaze of those who sing their own songs
of death and dying.
How do we count the hours? How do we
gather the mossy wisps and gossamer fogs of
our dreams of rainy nights? How do we
separate, process and
feel the many emotions that are spoken,
bandied about and sold? How do we
count the blessings hidden
amidst the contradictions?
Life is abundant in ironies; Jerry Ford
decrying the war 2 weeks before his own death
and the solemn count of
3,000 American Lives tallied
on New Year's Eve; James Brown passing quickly
days before he was to appear in NYC on this
very night of rain and shadows;
Saddam hung on the same gibbet
that had delivered so many deaths
sent by his very hand.
It is easy to succumb to the emotions
of the masses; to succumb to the banality
of clichés that form the
worship of this most
uncertain of Trinities.
Sorrow at the passing of the Statesman,
Regret at the passing of the Godfather of Soul,
Righteous Gratitude at the passing
of the Tyrant. The Nobility of Sorrow and
Regret sullied by association with dissonant emotion,
the cat-call and grackle of those who revel in
the exploitation of any convenient death.
Is there more to feel - and less - if we
take the time to build our own emotions from
the milieu of those
paraded as meet and proper -
if we remember the sorrow that each life entailed
along with the moments that lead to ends both
glorious and horrific?
For myself, I abide the changes of death with
a sense of Wonder; my sense of gratitude for Jerry
and James acquired from
long acquaintance with the
arts of both men. Saddam, however, tempts me to rail
in the enjoyment of a death rendered as 'justice,'
a justice, however, my wisdom decries
as never a matter of joy.
In the stead of the gawker's delight
at the sorrow of another, I feel sorrow for
the pains of a life that drove
a handsome little boy
into the arms of the callous and religious where distortions
rendered the arts of the assassin and tyrant. I feel sorrow
as well for the Mountains of People that he killed, and
the ocean of pain that is not yet
full enough to make those who fill it daily
with the blood of their own tears to say Enough -
to Demand Peace.
3,000 dead in Iraq is sorrow
more than sufficient to quell my own
need for suffering. The
hundreds of thousands
of dead in Iraq an underreported quotient
that more than matches the mood of such
a surreal and rainy night;
December on the heels of Autumn
turning to winter and yet holding onto Summer -
even as we surrender the dream.
January 1, 2007
Midnight to 12:27 am
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We will meet Friday Evening to discuss the Contemplations of the Four Immeasurables and How to Live Heart Mind.* * * * *
Namaste and Shanti,
We Dedicate any Merit this Group and
These Discussions Accumulate to the Benefit
Of all Beings and thus to Highest Enlightenment
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