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42315.08.14: This Moment | Nightmare That Woke Me Up | How To Verify Truthfulness Of The Buddha's Teachings | Project Precepts: How To Avoid Evil & Do Good

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  • NamoAmituofo
    Aug 15, 2014
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      The Daily Enlightenment
      Quote: This Moment

      Don't miss this moment now
      [while it is still here] but
      don't miss this moment later
      [when it is no longer here] too.

      – Stonepeace | Get Books
      – Comment | More | 

      Feature: The Nightmare That Woke Me Up
      As all need true compassion,
      have true compassion for all.

      – Stonepeace | Get Books

      I dreamt that we were at the void deck of an empty block of flats. There was a ceremony going on but I wasn't sure what it was. A group of us were spectators, another group participants. There were some workers working on something I wasn't sure of as well. Out of nowhere, there was a loud thud. Something heavy dropped to the floor and a huge crack formed. Those with me saw it and moved a few steps back, but there was no sense of danger while we watched. Perhaps it was because the workers did not have us evacuated.

      Suddenly, from the corner of my eye, I saw the far end of the building collapsing. I yelled for all to flee and the spectators quickly backed off to safety. But the participants are not aware and could not hear me shouting as they were too engrossed in the ceremony. To my shock, I realised they are family members among them. Debris started to fall from the ceiling, as some participants finally realised the grave danger and ran off hysterically.

      I wanted to step forward to grab my confused young niece, but could not move pass the cracked line for some strange reason. I could only gesture and coax her to come towards me. She moved to me very slowly and slightly distractedly, while time was running out. The nearer she came towards me, the less could I recognise her. Nonetheless, all I had in mind was to save her. It was at this moment, that I realised how limited my power was. I could not save everyone as many could not even hear me. With advice falling on mostly deaf ears, I could only struggle to do my best to save the ones in sight.

      It struck me that the Bodhisattva path isn't about how many one can save immediately but saving those that we can in the moment due to limiting karmic conditions. As everyone at one point had being family, it really makes no difference in who we are saving, although we are habitually attached to more familiar faces, who change over time, through many lives. The dream was humbling. It taught me that having true compassion is to see every single being as family with equanimity. Being unenlightened, I seriously need to brush up my skilful means to be able to help more as well. – Zhenmin

      As all need true equanimity,
      have true equanimity for all.

      – Stonepeace | Get Books

      – Shen Shi'an | Comment | More | 
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      Excerpt: How To Verify Truthfulness Of The Buddha's Teachings
      Any so-called 'truth' that cannot
      be practically experienced
      is practically useless.

      – Stonepeace | Get Books


      There is a process of reflection... that is helpful in determining the validity of teachings. This tradition speaks of four valid sources of knowledge: the valid scriptures (sutras) of the Buddha, the valid commentaries, the valid teacher, and one's own valid experience. In terms of the historical evolution of these four factors, one can say that the valid scriptures, those taught by the Buddha, came into being first. Based upon the reading and interpretation of these scriptures, many valid commentaries and treatises evolved, explaining the most profound meaning of the Buddha's teachings... Then, based upon the study and practice of these valid commentaries, certain practitioners may have mastered or actualized the themes presented in the scriptures and their commentaries, and thereby become valid teachers. Finally, on the basis of the teachings given by such teachers, valid experience or realization grows in the hearts of practitioners.

      However, one becomes able to personally verify the validity of these four sources in a different order than that in which the sources historically evolved: in order to develop deep conviction in the validity of the Buddha's teachings, one first needs a degree of experience of them. Thus, one's own valid experience becomes the first factor. When we speak of valid experience, there can be ordinary valid experiences and special ones. Although we may not possess extraordinary kinds of spiritual experiences at present, we can all attain ordinary types of spiritual experience. For example, when we reflect deeply upon the teachings on compassion, we can feel some impact in our minds and in our hearts...

      Once one has such spiritual experiences, even at an ordinary level, one has a taste of what it feels like to truly have these realizations. Based on that little experience, one can more meaningfully be convinced of the validity of the great spiritual realizations that are talked about in the sutras, in the commentaries, and in the biographies of the masters. This process of beginning with our own experience and using it to verify the teachings and the teachers is important; one could say, in fact, that this is the only way open to us [to progress to enlightenment].

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      Essence Of The Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama's Heart Of Wisdom Teachings
      Translated & Edited By Geshe Thupten Jinpa
      Letter: Why Do I 'Naturally' Hold My Breath During Meditation?

      Question: I realised that I tend to hold my breath when I practise meditation on mindfulness of breathing (Anapanasati meditation, as a kind a Samatha or calm-abiding meditation). But when I breathe, I would be controlling my breathing, while holding my breath seems natural to me. Why is this so? How can I overcome this?

      Answer: Even if holding your breath seems natural, you must realise that it is unnatural – for the simple reason that it leads to shortness of breath and death (though the latter is difficult unless done with an external ‘aid’ forcefully). Holding your breath during meditation can be due to two possible reasons – (1) unmindful tension about meditation itself, with ‘fear’ that it is going to be challenging. (2) At the same time, there might be subconscious thinking that holding your breath helps you to calm down; though it is deep breathing that aids relaxation.

      Just as excitement about anything else can make us hold our breath or become short of breath (thus the term ‘breathtaking’), this can happen during meditation too. The irony is that being excited about meditation’s ability to bring us calmness makes us more agitated. The solution is to settle and forget your body and mind, for resetting to your normal breathing mode before starting your actual meditation, by not doing anything special in the moment, to blank out in a relaxed way, by not even watching the breath, which could prove too ‘exciting’ at first.

      True relaxation comes from letting go of your body and mind – before watching the breathing process, and doing nothing else, such as becoming excited about the above. If there is tension that makes it hard to relax physically and mentally, take a few deep breaths before normalising your breathing naturally. This itself is a form of preliminary meditation. When breathing has become calm, watch it just as calmly. Being mindful but not interfering with it is how calmness arises. Holding of the breath happens only unmindfully, which interferes with the calm.

      The breath is an aid for mindfulness training for calm focus. Even if mastered, it as a clutch has to be let go of eventually, because the breath will run thin and out when dying. If it is attached to, but can’t be found, there will be tension and unhappiness. This is when a steady and everlasting refuge for mindfulness is more fruitful – Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha) – whom, when connected to via sincere Nianfo (mindfulness of his name), eases all tensions with his blessings and bridges us across to his Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.

      Related Courses:

      Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra (14th Run)
      http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2014/08/understanding-amituofo-via-the-amitabha-sutra-14th-run
      The Mindfulness Factor : How To Be Mindful Of Buddha Purely (Run 2)
      http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2014/08/the-mindfulness-factor-how-to-be-mindful-of-buddha-purely-run-2

      Related Articles:

      Comparison of Pure Land Practice with Samatha & Vipassana Meditation
      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amituofo/conversations/messages/7
      How to Ease Tension When Practising Mindfulness of Buddha
      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/amituofo/conversations/messages/224

      – Shen Shi'an | Comment | More 

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