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10.08.12 : Subduing Anger | Sam & Sara @ BooksActually | How To Enjoy Life More Fully | Parable Sutra (With 12 Metaphors) | Heartbreak Paradox

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 9, 2012
      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: Subduing Anger

      The hostile multitudes are vast as space –
      What chance is there that all should be subdued?
      Let but this angry mind be overthrown
      And every foe is then and there destroyed.

      - Shantideva

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       Realisation: How To Enjoy Life More Fully

      Your life's happiness
      is directly proportional
      to mindfulness of life itself.

      While unmindfulness prolongs suffering,
      Right Mindfulness lessens suffering,
      and approaches True Happiness.


      When we speak of the cultivation of Right Mindfulness as part of treading the Noble Eightfold Path towards liberation from suffering, we often mistaken it to be a dry practice, where we sit still and watch our breathing, with nothing much going on. As experienced meditators would tell you, this cannot be further from the truth, as with the various mind games our minds play with us, learning to be mindful is quite an intriguing adventure! That said, seated meditation might still give rise to the image of tiresome routine. Again, this is far from true, for each moment of meditation is new and full of potential for deeper insight.

      If even mindfulness meditation is never boring, where something as 'simple' as watching the breath is refreshing, everything else in life can be just as, if not more interesting. The breath is deemed uninteresting only when one is unmindful of it, thus lacking appreciation of its subtleties, its effects on our mind, and how it reflects the workings of our mind itself. If one does not genuinely enjoy something as immediate and ever-present (while alive) as breathing, how can one be said to have even begun to enjoy life? Indeed, to enjoy life's experiences, mindfulness is absolutely needed. The reverse is also true – the unmindful suffer the most, as they remain unaware of how they sabotage themselves with their poor attitudes.

      If you reflect more deeply, in order to enjoy even a massage, mindfulness is needed. There has to be awareness in the here and now, the full experiencing of the soothing touches that eases the body's tensions. If you are 100% mindful, you will enjoy the massage session 100%. If you are 80% mindful, enjoyment is discounted by 20%. If you are mindful only half of the time, with the other half of the time absent, the mind adrift, lost in another place and time, you will enjoy the massage only half of the time. The worst-case scenario is to be totally unmindful, mindless – asleep! The best massage becomes as if no massage! Yes indeed, even in order to relax physically, mindfulness is needed. What more to say, to deeply savour life's ups and downs to fully experience and make the best of its entirety!

      If you live fully in each and every moment,
      you will fully live and enjoy your life.
      Even sweeping will no longer be a chore.


      Related Course:
      Project Rebirth: Rediscover, Reflect, Recharge (Round 5)

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       Excerpt: The Parable Sutra (With 12 Metaphors)

      As long as unenlightened,
      each thing misperceived
      is a 'hidden' metaphor for truth missed.


      Thus have I heard: Once upon a time, the Bhagavan [Blessed One; Buddha] was staying in the Jetavana grove near Shravasti City. Then the Bhagavan was among a great congregation and addressed the King named Brilliance, "Maharaja, I will now for your majesty briefly discuss a parable about the beings of Samsara and their feelings, clingings, mistakes and afflictions. Your Majesty should now listen closely and well think about it. "Going back in the past an asamkhyeya-kalpa [quarter of a world cycle], there was a person who went into the wilderness and was chased by an evil elephant. Fearfully, he fled without any refuge. Then he saw an empty well. And dangling into it was a tree root. Thereupon, he quickly went down the root and hid himself in the well. There were two rats, dark and light, that together gnawed the tree root above him. And in the well, its sides had four poisonous snakes that desired to bite that person. And below there was a poisonous serpent. His mind was terrified by the snakes and the serpent and he was apprehensive about the tree root breaking. The tree roots had in them the honey of bees, five drops of which fell into his mouth. When the tree shook, bees swarmed down to sting the person. And bush fires came repeatedly to burn the tree. The king said, "How is it that this person should undergo such endless distress, craving so little feeling?"

      Then the Bhagavan addressed the great king, "The wilderness is a metaphor for that long night under [the path of] ignorance that is vast and distant. The words 'that person' is a metaphor for a[n ordinary] being in yet another life. The elephant is a metaphor for impermanence. The well is a metaphor for [the shore of] samsara. The dangerous crossing of the tree roots is a metaphor for [being in this] life. The dark and light pair of rats is metaphor for day and night. Them gnawing the tree root is a metaphor for being in the four elements [earth, water, fire, wind]. [The gnawed root is the decay of thought after thought.] The honey is a metaphor for the five desires [wealth, sex, fame, food, sleep] and the bees[' stings] are a metaphor for false thinking. The fire is a metaphor for old age and illness. And the poisonous serpent is a metaphor for [the way to suffering of] death. "This is why, Maharaja, you should think that birth, ageing, sickness and death are quite terrible. Always should you think and be mindful of them. Do not make yourself subject to the slavery of the five desires…

      The wise regard these matters thus. The elephant can weary a being's crossing. The five desires[' dissatisfactoriness] can lead the mind to detachment, and the way is called the liberated person. An oppressive place is the ocean of ignorance. Always is death the ruler chasing us. One must know that the love of sound and form is not pleasant when they leave the ordinary man [who is attached]." Then the Maharaja Brilliance heard the Buddha give this talk on birth and death being a passage through afflications and attained an unprecedentedly deep birth of disillusionment. With his palms together reverently and single-mindedly gazing respectfully he said to the Buddha: "Bhagavan, it is greatly compassionate of the Tathagata to give a talk on such a subtle and wondrous meaning of the Dharma. I am now crowned! [blessed wih the Dharma]" The Buddha said: "Sadhu! Sadhu! [Excellent]. Maharaja, you should practice this as it has been propounded and not go about unrestrained." Then King Brilliance and those of the great congregation were all elated. They faithfully received, transmitted and upheld it. 

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      Translated by Charles Patton
      Notations & Paraphrasing by Shen Shi'an

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