Just randomly had the “one saturday morning” theme song pop into my head. Anyone else know what I’m talking about?
If you desire liberation,
But you still say “mine,”
If you feel you are the body,
You are not a wise man or a seeker.
You are simply a man who suffers.
Unless you forget everything,
You will never live in your heart.
The Ashtavakra Gita
the rooftop “maze” (at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
srnblu said: Hello, I often tell myself "what's the point since I'm going to die?" And its getting more and more "a disadvantage" as I feel like in not achieving anything because of that constant thought. How can overcome that inevitable truth without it becoming a handicap? All the best! xx
This is like showing up to a party and thinking there’s no point in meeting anyone or having any conversations since the party is going to end anyway. It is the very fact of the party’s end that makes the party a party.
Thinking the party will go on forever is immature. Letting the party’s end make you indifferent to the party is merely melancholy.
Of course, life isn’t a party. It’s a much more wild scene. But right now this phase you are going through is exactly the mood that Siddhartha once experienced. The contemplation of impermanence, the reality of death, is one of the thoughts that turns the mind toward truth.
Stop telling yourself that question and actually ask yourself that question. Then it is no longer an obstacle. It is one of your greatest tools.
So now, instead of rhetorically asking yourself ”what’s the point since I’m going to die?” try actually asking yourself ”what is the point since I’m going to die?”
Don’t look for Higher Truth or Destiny or Afterlife but seek to understand and come to terms with what this is, whatever that may be. It’s like watching a nature documentary; there isn’t One Conclusion to be drawn but at the same time it feels as though being immersed in singular knowledge.
I always recommend The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron but I’ve also been reading another great book that’s also worth a look, Turning Confusion into Clarity by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche.
The path is one of non-obstruction such that our innate wisdom nature is allowed spontaneous unconditioned expression.
A Koala reflecting on his sins, his triumphs, and the inevitability of death.
This actually strikes me as incredibly profound. And adorable.
Like, this is something you can really do while casually eating an apple.
culturejolt said: Hey Lazy! You live in NYC, right? Have you been to Tibet House US?
Yes I have and it’s an incredible place.
I had the privilege to go there last spring, one reason being that we were in talks about me helping them boot up a blog. But once I went the direction of premed, all my extra time pretty much evaporated.
Regardless, when I was there, I met the guy who runs their website. He was a soft-spoken and very gentle man who also happened to be a tibetan refugee. He actually told me his grand life story, starting with his parents. His father was a monk and his mother a townsperson. After the exile due to China’s invasion, his father joined the army in India, hoping to fight them.
Unfortunately that never happened. I don’t quite remember where they are now or what happened to them. But the man with whom I was speaking, Tenzin, grew up in the tibetan exile community in India. He went to many different schools and then came to the US with his wife and children.
There was something he told me about tibetans. He said that when tragedy strikes, one way they remain grateful is by imagining how much worse it could have been. With that imagination, they perceive the current tragedy as actually an occurrence that helped to avoid that much worse circumstance.
So when talking about the exile it sounds like he’s almost grateful it wasn’t a genocide or something. It really made me marvel. The tibetan community and culture is a thing of mind-blowing significance. Very few cultures have faced diaspora and still preserved their traditions while also embracing change. Another such culture was that of Judaism and the Dalai Lama has taken quite an interest in Jewish history as a result.
10 year single malt and cigars…the original truth serum
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
New mala I picked up from the Rubin Museum of Art.
"Hand made by Tibetan nuns living in exile in North India. The braided nylon tail is a traditional finish used by the nuns. This mala is made from hand painted Yak (water buffalo) bone.
Yak is an important animal in Tibet as they are used as packing animals for the nomadic tribes. The Tibetans honor their passing by creating these beautiful malas and using them in their meditative practice so that the animals can continue to be of service as they pass from this consciousness to another. All the yak bones used are the leftovers from the domestic population that died from natural causes.”
"Bone is used for taming the energies in your life for the purpose of improving yourself and helping all sentient beings. Bone mala can help us to subdue harmful energies with a compassionate outlook. The red color of these mala is a very attractive energy, and is associated with strength, intuition, love and healing."
The Dalai Lama
indietrillvibes said: Someone once told me that they "studied Buddhism" and came to the conclusion that it's underlying tenet is simply that "nothing really matters." My grandfather was a Buddhist and I haven't studied the religion thoroughly but for some reason I feel Iike this is a strange interpretation. I plan on dedicating my life to social justice under the premise that good deeds DO matter if they can change somebody's life for the better. Is life meaningless? Do our deeds matter?
I’m inclined to say that anyone who draws a conclusion from Buddhism hasn’t really gotten to the point of it.
Buddhist teachings are given from two points of view, both being essential to the path. There is the relative view and the absolute view. Keeping those views in perspective is important.
On the absolute level, all forms and beings and appearances are nothing other than emptiness. Nothing really matters, there is only the diamond-like eternity of perfect existence.
On the relative level, everything matters. This is a world filled with suffering, confusion, and conflict. Buddhism doesn’t sit back and simply say, “Well all is perfect, so disregard that nonsense.” Not at all! This is what makes compassion so important. Compassion is the sane response to meeting the limiting aspects of the relative level. It is love meets meditation.
Neither of those views are the actual truth, because the truth cannot be put into a view or words. And yet both of those views are extremely important to not only our spiritual development but to our harmony in our daily lives, society, and the world at large.
Buddhism is about much more than self-liberation. It is about the liberation of all sentient beings, all societies, and all worlds regardless of the context within time and space.
Our deeds matter. Justice matters. But so does the right view of eternity and impermanence. One without the other is deluded. Believing EVERYTHING MATTERS period end of story tends to actually lead to more conflict. While the belief NOTHING MATTERS tends to lessen conflict but also can lead to indifference or despair, which again leads to conflicts and suffering.
The Buddha was well known for the Middle Way, which contrary to conventional understanding is about much more than “everything in moderation.” The Middle Way means we are not allowed to wholly reject an idea nor wholly accept an idea as The Truth. That’s what forces us to think and discern for ourselves, rather than relying on conditioning or doctrine.
Herein is the crucial difference between “studying” Buddhism and practicing Buddhism. Study without practice is not studying.
“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things. When actualized by myriad things, your body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away. No trace of enlightenment remains, and this no-trace continues endlessly.” ~ Dogen
In such a truth-saturated context, there is no room for what matters and does not matter.
Hey folks, just wanted to do a general check in.
Finals wrapped up last Friday and today’s the first day that feels like I can forgo a mid-day nap! So that’s a win.
Yet again my inbox is brimming over and this time I’ll try to get to all of them before my next semester starts at the beginning of September.
Also amidst the end of summer semester chaos, I fell out of my daily practices. Which is copacetic by me, since I’m rebooting them while integrating Buddhist technology. I’ll be sure to share along the way.
I have a good feeling about this coming Fall season. If you want to partake, don’t forget to take out the trash at the end of the summer.
Beyond that, embrace the summer’s end. Go read that book in that park. Kiss the boy/girl. Smile at a sad stranger. Take the dog for a walk and let them lead you somewhere new. Often it’s our last memories about the summer that endure the longest.
Love yall, have fun. :)