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03.08.10 : What is Holy? | Are You 'Recycling' Yourself Every Three Lifetimes? | Combining Meditations on the Four Immeasurables

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3 11:01 AM
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      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: What is Holy?

      Holiness is simply the coming together 
      of great compassion and great wisdom. 
      [It is nothing mystical.]


       New Look Soon
       Realisation: Are You 'Recycling' Yourself Every Three Lifetimes?

      While those who do great good and evil 
      have great rises and falls in rebirths, t
      he average ones rise and fall similarly, 
      albeit to lesser extremes. 

      - Stonepeace

      It is often idealistically imagined that the path to enlightenment is a smooth-sailing one, which is ever steadily cumulative in the amassing of merits and wisdom - the perfection of which is Buddhahood. But if this was so, we would have attained emancipation long ago already! The truth is, as long as we have yet to attain stream-entry (a state that guarantees liberation within seven or less lives), we will tend to have spiritual backslides now and then, both within this life and from life to life. Even if we do not do great evil that leads to a sharp descend into the lower realms, or great good that leads to heavenly rebirths, there is another form of less extreme, yet still terrifying form of existential looping. This is illustrated by the problem of three lifetimes.

      Imagine this repetitive cycle... In Life #1 (this present life), we do much worldly good deeds. In Life #2 (the next life), we naturally enjoy the positive karmic results of Life #1 in terms of fleeting worldly blessings such as wealth, power, fame and such. However, as being well-off tends to corrupt, we are likely to become spiritually complacent and even begin to do evil. In Life #3 (the life after the next), our positive karma from Life #1 is drained, while the negative karma from Life #2 bears retributive fruit. We might then repent and begin to do good again, which loops us back to a state similar to Life #1... ad infinitum, ad nauseam! We thus trick ourselves into thinking we are advancing on the 'highway' to Nirvana, when we take steps backwards every now and then.

      Good done in Life #1, when not guided by sustained wisdom can thus 'become' one's spiritual enemies in Life #3 if the merits are not dedicated to a goal that transcends the rounds of rebirth. If we are already so preoccupied by the mundane, why would we 'naturally' be more spiritually inclined in the next life? Even worldly skills we have mastered can be forgotten in this life, much more to say of our spiritual lessons 'learnt'. If you are now horrified by the 'hamster wheel' that runs somewhere but nowhere, the good news is that there is a safe and feasible way to break free of this cycle by the end of this life - not by attaining enlightenment directly, which is realistically too challenging for most of us, but by seeking birth in Pure Land, where enlightenment is assured! -Shen Shi'an

      As Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha) realised there is 
      the problem of three lifetimes (in Samsara), 
      he provides the solution of liberation within one lifetime (in his Pure Land).

      - Stonepeace

      Special Article: The Buddha's Real Views on Meat-Eating

      Share Articles & Comments: comment@... | More Realisations
       Excerpt: Combining Meditations on the Four Immeasurables

      The practice of equanimity is the equal application 
      of loving-kindness, compassion and rejoice
      towards all beings without discrimination.

      - Stonepeace

      Begin with altruistic love, the strong wish for others to find happiness and the causes of happiness. If after a while, this love drifts towards self-centred attachment, move on to the meditation on impartiality in order to extend your love and compassion equally to all beings – dear ones, strangers or enemies.

      If your impartiality turns to indifference, it is time to think of people who are suffering and arouse intense compassion within you with the wish to relieve these beings from all their suffering. But it can happen that, as a result of being continually concerned with the endless misfortunes of others, you may be overcome by the immensity of the task and lose heart. At that point, meditate on your joy in the happiness of others, thinking of those people who possess great human qualities and of those people whose altruistic aspirations have been successful. Rejoice fully in that.

      If that joy turns into blind euphoria and distraction, go back again to altruistic love – and so on. Develop the four thoughts in this way while avoiding the pitfalls possible in each of them. At the end of your meditation, contemplate the interdependence of all things for a few moments and their lack of autonomous, intrinsic existence. Understand that, just as a bird needs two wings to fly, you must develop wisdom and compassion simultaneously. Wisdom is a better understanding of reality and compassion is the desire for all beings to be liberated from the causes of suffering. [Read Chapter]

      The Art of Meditation 
      Matthieu Ricard
      Get it at Awareness Place shops or Amazon | More Excerpts

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      Should We Accept Negative Karma Passively?
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      Vanilla Twilight: What Does It Mean?
      Not Oversensitive
      Not My Place
      Everything But the What?


      Another Superhero Paradox

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