Hexagram 18 Work on What has been Spoiled (Decay)

A challenge to improvement that which has been spoiled through neglect can be rejuvenated with effort. Receiving this hexagram is an indication that there is a defect in the attitude of oneself, another or one’s society that requires correction. For me this comes at at time of transition.  Moving through a job and personal transformation … Read moreHexagram 18 Work on What has been Spoiled (Decay)

Hexagram 46 Pushing Upward

Dolphin

    My consultation today focused on overcoming obstacles.  Often, as you will find with other readings referencing similar lessons, the Universe (Sage) teaches us in many different ways about the battle of ego dominance vs. Higher Self guidance. Lessons designed to get your attention are sometimes humbling and even shocking when one is not … Read moreHexagram 46 Pushing Upward

Expert Mind vs. Beginner’s Mind

Assumptions or misconceptions “subject matter experts” often make:

They know everything about the particular subject
They have the respect of their (followers, students, readers) because they forgot more about the subject than anyone else knows.
They do not see with “Beginner’s Mind”
A very wise book on Zen Buddhism by Shunryu Suzuki talks about the contrast between Beginner’s and expert’s mind.

Readings With Lorri

Lorri Gifford

Are you looking for clarity in an area of your life?
Would you like to feel lighter, peaceful and breathe easier?
Do you want to quiet those voices of doubt in your head?

A session with Lorri can help.

“ My intention while reading your cards is to allow Spirit to speak through me. I shine the light for you to reconnect to that spark within you to live your best life possible.”

Teachings of HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

HH Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche displaying the vitarka mudrā, Teaching, Giving Instruction, Reason, Preaching, Transmission of the Dharma mudra, after a visit to the Sakya Dharma Center, 1976, SeaTac Airport, Seattle, Washington, USA
Three Short Teachings
By Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche:

Thoughts and the Mind

Like waves, all the activities of this life have rolled endlessly on, one after the other, yet they have left us feeling empty-handed. Myriads of thoughts have run through our mind, each one giving birth to many more, but what they have done is to increase our confusion and dissatisfaction.

When we closely examine the ordinary habits that underlie whatever we do and try to discover where they come from, we find that their very source is our failure to investigate them properly. We operate under the deluded assumption that everything has some sort of true, substantial reality. But when we look more carefully, we find that the phenomenal world is like a rainbow—vivid and colourful, but without any tangible existence.

When a rainbow appears in the sky we see many beautiful colours—yet a rainbow is not something we can clothe ourselves with, or wear as an ornament. There is nothing we can take hold of; it is simply something that appears to us through the conjunction of various conditions. Thoughts arise in the mind in just the same way. They have no tangible reality or intrinsic existence at all. There is therefore no logical reason why thoughts should have so much power over us, nor any reason why we should be enslaved by them.

Mind is what creates both samsara and nirvana. Yet there is nothing much to it—it is just thoughts. Once we recognize that thoughts are empty, the mind will no longer have the power to deceive us. But as long as we take our deluded thoughts as real, they will continue to torment us mercilessly, as they have been doing throughout countless past lives. To gain control over the mind, we need to be aware of what to do and what to avoid, and we also need to be alert and vigilant, constantly examining all our thoughts, words and actions.

To cut through the mind’s clinging, it is important to understand that all appearances are void, like the appearance of water in a mirage. Beautiful forms are of no benefit to the mind, nor can ugly forms harm it in any way. Sever the ties of hope and fear, attraction and repulsion, and remain in equanimity in the understanding that all phenomena are nothing more than projections of your own mind.

Once you have realized absolute truth, then you will see the whole, infinite display of relative phenomena that appears within it as no more than an illusion or a dream. To realize that appearance and voidness are one is what is called simplicity, or freedom from conceptual limitations.

Self and others

As you wish to be happy, so you should wish others to be happy too. As you wish to be free from suffering, so you should wish that all beings may also be free from suffering. You should think, “May all living creatures find happiness and the cause of happiness. May they be free from suffering and the cause of suffering. May they always have perfect happiness free from suffering. May they live in equanimity, without attachment or hatred but with love towards all without any discrimination.”

To feel overflowing love and almost unbearable compassion for all living creatures is the best way to fulfil the wishes of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Even if for the moment you cannot actually help anyone in an external way, meditate on love and compassion constantly over the months and years until compassion is knit inseparably into the very fabric of your mind.

As you try to practise and progress on the path, it is essential to remember that your efforts are for the sake of others. Be humble and remember that all your exertions are child’s play compared to the vast and infinite activity of the Bodhisattvas. Like parents providing for the children they love so much, never think that you have done too much for others—or even enough. Even if you finally manage to establish all living creatures in perfect Buddhahood, simply think that all your wishes have been fulfilled. There must never be so much as a trace of hope for any benefit for oneself in return.

The essence of the Bodhisattva practice is to go beyond self-clinging and dedicate yourself to serving others. The Bodhisattva’s activity hinges on the mind, not on how your actions might appear externally. True generosity is the absence of clinging, ultimate discipline is the absence of desire, and authentic patience is the absence of hatred. Bodhisattvas are able to give away their kingdom, their body, their dearest possessions, because they have completely overcome any inner impoverishment and are unconditionally ready to fulfil the needs of others.

Practice

The teachings we need most are those that will actually strengthen and inspire our practice. It is all very well to receive teachings as high as the sky, but the sky is not that easy to grasp. Start with practices which you can truly assimilate—developing determination to be free of ordinary concerns, nurturing love and compassion—and as you gain stability in your practice you will eventually be able to master all the higher teachings.

The only way to achieve liberation from samsara and attain the omniscience of enlightenment is to rely on an authentic spiritual teacher. An authentic spiritual teacher is like the sail that enables a boat to cross the ocean swiftly.

The sun and moon are reflected in clear, still water instantly. Similarly, the blessings of the Three Jewels are always present for those who have complete confidence in them. The sun’s rays fall everywhere uniformly, but only where they are focused through a magnifying glass can they set dry grass on fire. When the all-pervading rays of the Buddhas’ compassion are focused through the magnifying glass of your faith and devotion, the flame of blessings blazes up in your being.

Obstacles can arise from good as well as bad circumstances, but they should never deter or overpower you. Be like the earth, which supports all living creatures indiscriminately, without distinguishing good from bad. The earth is simply there. Your practice should be strengthened by the difficult situations you encounter, just as a bonfire in a strong wind is not blown out, but blazes even brighter.

When someone harms you, see him as a kind teacher who is showing you the path to liberation and merits your respect. Pray that you may be able to help him as much as you can, and whatever happens, never hope for an opportunity for vengeance. It is particularly admirable to bear patiently the harm and scorn of people who have less education, strength or skill than you.

Look right into it, and you will see that the person who is harmed, the person who does the harm, and the harm itself are all totally devoid of any inherent reality. Who, then, is going to get angry at mere delusions? Faced with these empty appearances, is there anything to be lost or gained? Is there anything to be liked or disliked? It is all like an empty sky. Recognize that!

Once you control the anger within, you will discover that there is not a single adversary left outside. But as long as you pay heed to your hatred and attempt to overcome your external opponents, even if you succeed, more will inevitably rise up in their place. Even if you managed to overpower everyone in the whole world, your anger would only grow stronger; to follow it will never make it subside. The only really intolerable enemy is hatred itself. To defeat the enemy of hatred it is necessary to meditate one-pointedly on patience and love until they truly take root in your being. Then there can be no outer adversaries.

Ask yourself how many of the billions of inhabitants of this planet have any idea of how rare it is to have been born as a human being. How many of those who understand the rarity of human birth ever think of using that chance to practise the Dharma? How many of those who think of starting to practise actually do so? How many of those who start continue to practise? How many of those who continue attain ultimate realization? Indeed, those who attain ultimate realization, compared to those who do not, are as few as the stars you can see at daybreak compared to the myriad stars you can see in the clear night sky.

As long as you, like most people, fail to recognize the true value of human existence you will just fritter your life away in futile activity and distraction. When life comes all too soon to its inevitable end, you will not have achieved anything worthwhile at all. But once you really see the unique opportunity that human life can bring, you will definitely direct all your energy into reaping its true worth by putting the Dharma into practice.

If you make use of your human birth in the right way, you can achieve enlightenment in this very lifetime. All the great Siddhas of the past were born as ordinary people. But by entering the Dharma, following a realized teacher and devoting their whole lives to practising the instructions they received, they were able to manifest the enlightened activities of great Bodhisattvas.

Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group
From Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
Editions Padm

Walk with Me, Thich Nhat Hanh opening 8-18-17

Thich Nhat Hanh image

Watch the trailer for the Cumberbatch-narrated Thich Nhat Hanh documentary, “Walk With Me,” premiering on August 18 BY LILLY GREENBLATT| AUGUST 4, 2017 Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)More Walk With Me, a cinematic … Read moreWalk with Me, Thich Nhat Hanh opening 8-18-17

Cucurrucucu Paloma performed by Caetano Veloso

This morning I started surfing YouTube in search of another orchestral arrangement of this song performed with Caetano Veloso. I found several comparable to this live to film version below from Pedro Almodovar and then a new discovery by this young singer from Spain. Please listen to this ebullient, lyrical version from Silvia Perez Cruz: … Read moreCucurrucucu Paloma performed by Caetano Veloso

Why Buddhism is True

    “Don’t think of Buddhism as some kind of narrow, closed-minded belief system. It isn’t. Buddhist doctrine is not a historical fabrication derived through imagination and mental speculation, but an accurate psychological explanation of the actual nature of the mind.” Lama Zopa Rinpoche I completed, Buddhism and Modern Psychology course on the Coursera learning … Read moreWhy Buddhism is True

This video touched me in a pure heart way. This man's bond with his dog helped him off the streets “He loves me unconditionally, I count my blessings every day.” The loving bond this man has with his dog helped take him off the streets – and even saved his life. Posted by Channel 4 … Read more

Jon Seskevich updates

The Bright Hour
Received a text from a friend reading a book and saw me mentioned as “Nurse Jon” and “Relaxation Jon.” What a big surprise for us both! This book is powerful, like one of Stephen Levine, or Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Living and Dying workshops. I read it on plane flight and trains in India! Right after she finishes about our interaction and an outcome of her practice, recovery from an anxiety, panic attack, she shares her relative, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Bright Hour story. On Facebook recently: Working at Duke put this picture and told about Nina’s treatment at the Cancer Center, and my teaching her a form of meditation that she used and gained repeated benefits over the last year of her life. LINK to the Facebook story.

The Bright Hour

During my recent trip to India, this was our last day at Kainchi Ashram in the foothills of the in the Kumoan Hills towards Nepal.

 

Body Relaxation with Hammered Dulcimer

 

So very pleased to announce the release of Body Relaxation with Hammered Dulcimer! My voice is recorded with the relaxing, soothing, fun sound of the Hammered Dulcimer with Helen Wolfson.

Spontaneously collborating one afternoon in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, we did a guided relaxation with a patient and her mom that yielded fantasic feedback and encouragement to make a recording. Here it is. Helen playing her hammered dulcimer and I speak from a place of deep heart and meditation. We have weaved together voice and music, that relaxes, the body, and calms the mind.

 

Helen Wolfson is a Certified Music Practitioner® who plays at bedside in private homes, residential facilities, and hospitals. Her relaxing music offers healing, solace, pain relief, and stress relief to clients and their families.

Jon Seskevich RN, BSN, BA, CHTP, is a stress-management nurse who works daily with patients in a major medical center in Durham, NC. He teaches simple, practical, scientifically valid, mind/body approaches for healing and stress management.

One day, Helen and Jon found themselves in the same hospital room and spontaneously worked together to create a profound difference in the patient’s attitude. At the end of the session, the patient’s mother asked them if they always worked together. Out of that question, this collaboration was born.

Body Relaxation with Hammered Dulcimer combines Helen’s mesmerizing music with Jon’s soothing voice. Sit back, listen, and let them dissolve your stress.

 

Jon is Blue Devil of the Week, read about it here.

Read moreJon Seskevich updates

My left footed. Buddhist Journey

My Left Footed Buddhist life Before I began my Buddhist practice, it was as if my left foot was stretched out behind me, rooted in the past while my right foot was outstretched in front of me, standing in the future, thereby preventing any recognition, let alone immersion in the beauty of the now. My … Read moreMy left footed. Buddhist Journey

A Meditation Workshop for Healing and Resiliency and an Evening of Universal Chanting

Registration required. [button link=”https://www.wholistichealthstudionc.com/Register.aspx?oid=108″ type=”big”] Register here[/button]   Meditation to Quiet the Mind and Open the Heart   Saturday 4:00-6:30 PM, 6/24 @ Wholistic Health Studio Jon will present a meditation workshop for healing (improving quality of life and physical functioning) and resiliency (the ability to bounce back from stress, illness and life changes.) He … Read moreA Meditation Workshop for Healing and Resiliency and an Evening of Universal Chanting

Hexagram 17

i Ching Bronze Coines

Let’s start something new for 2017! The reading I received this morning was Hexagram 17. I’m interested to hear from you, readers of iChing guidance, what questions or comments do you have about Hexagram 17, Following? Please write your comments or questions in the section below this article. When we reach or exceed 5 new … Read moreHexagram 17

Hexagram 58: The Joyous Lake

Hexagram 58 the Joyous Lake (Twee) Pleasure ORACLE:   The surface of the marsh is still; the inner marsh seethes with life, Beside it friends sit and talk, The conversation is easy but the communication between them is deep, Success if you keep to your course. Notice the featured image for this post. Indian elementary … Read moreHexagram 58: The Joyous Lake

Richard Wilhelm Rainmaker Story and Hexagram 58 The Joyous Lake

My reading and interpretation this week is on Hexagram 58 The Joyous Lake: The ancient Taoist emulated the behavior of the Lake to practice achieving tranquility in disturbance. Regardless of the changes, we can make our heart like a lake to discover how the path opens before us. “Make your heart like a lake with … Read moreRichard Wilhelm Rainmaker Story and Hexagram 58 The Joyous Lake

Hexagram 18 Work on What has been Spoiled (Decay)

Hexagram 18   The two trigrams are Mountain over Wind.    Decay is not an overnight event, it stagnates and infects areas vulnerable to attack. This problem is not new and requires us to give it our full attention in order to first detect the problem, then to begin rooting it out.   We must also remain vigilant … Read moreHexagram 18 Work on What has been Spoiled (Decay)