The Dalai Lama Reveals How You Can Discover the True Nature of Reality

Have you ever wondered about the true nature of reality? Is everything an illusion or is it real?

The Dalai Lama, as one of the world’s most influential spiritual teachers, has thought deeply about this question.

He has shared with us a simple path for figuring it out and experiencing it for yourself.

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The eight mundane concerns to let go of

The first step is to understand that there are eight mundane concerns that tend to dominate our lives. They are:

  • becoming elated when someone praises you;
  • becoming depressed when someone insults or belittles you;
  • feeling happy when you experience success;
  • being depressed when you experience failure;
  • being joyful when you acquire wealth;
  • feeling dispirited when you become poor;
  • being pleased when you have fame; and
  • feeling depressed when you lack recognition.

Someone seeking enlightenment into the true nature of reality should ensure that they are not being defiled by these thoughts.

By letting go of your attachment to these kinds of thoughts, you end up transforming your mind in very powerful ways.

Be glad when someone belittles you

As the Dalai Lama says:

“May I be gladdened when someone belittles me, and may I not take pleasure when someone praises me. If I do take pleasure in praise then it immediately increases my arrogance, pride, and conceit; whereas if I take pleasure in criticism, then at least it will open my eyes to my own shortcomings.”

This is indeed a powerful sentiment.

He continues:

“And may I, recognizing all things as illusion, devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.”

In the Buddhist teachings on the ultimate nature of reality, there are two significant time periods to consider:

  1. The actual meditation on emptiness.
  2. The period subsequent to the meditative session when you engage actively with the real world.

In the Dalai Lama’s view:

“Sometimes people have the idea that what really matters is single-pointed meditation on emptiness within the meditative session. They pay much less attention to how this experience should be applied in post-meditation periods. However, I think the post-meditation period is very important. The whole point of meditating on the ultimate nature of reality is to ensure that you are not fooled by appearances can often be deluding. With a deeper understanding of reality, you can go beyond appearances and relate to the world in a much more appropriate, effective, and realistic manner.”

He continues:

“The illusion-like nature of things can only be perceived if you have freed yourself from attachment to phenomena as independent discrete entities. Once you have succeeded in freeing yourself from such attachment, the perception of the illusion-like nature of reality will automatically arise. Whenever things appear to you, although they appear to have an independent or objective existence, you will know as a result of your meditation that this is not really the case. You will be aware that things are not as substantial and solid as they seem. The term ‘illusion’ therefore points to the disparity between how you perceive things and how they really are.”

17 of President Obama’s most inspirational quotes

 SKYE GOULD, REBECCA HARRINGTON|JAN 15, 2017, 7:00 AM

From his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 that made him a household name to his farewell address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama has captivated the world with his words.

Hailed as one of the greatest presidential orators in modern history (although the title is quitecontentious), Obama has a knack for public speaking even his political opponents can recognise.

As Obama prepares to leave office, we’ve compiled 17 of his most memorable inspirational quotes. Enjoy:

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Injured? Tips on maintaining your physical and mental fitness

My knee benched me for the beginning of the high-school season, a blow that hit my fragile teen psyche the hardest. I felt inferior, damaged, irrelevant.

So, when I spotted this BeWell@Stanford piece on exercising with injuries, I devoured it eagerly. Although I’m much healthier emotionally than I was as a teen, I know I want to remain active, period.

In the Q&A, Gordon Matheson, MD, PhD, a sports medicine physician, says that an injury shouldn’t kill your workout: “Fortunately, programs can be devised that work around almost any musculoskeletal condition.”

He also weighs in on the mental benefits of exercise:

Regular exercise has two main effects. One is that exercise builds greater capacity within your body; it increases bone, cartilage, muscle, joint and heart health; and helps manage weight. The other effect is something known as self-efficacy or confidence. Both are equally important. Even if you aren’t exercising vigorously, the fact that you are taking time to do something good for your body sets the mental stage for further development of your exercise goals. Once you incorporate exercise as a means of increasing the health of your daily life, you will experience an empowerment that helps to overcome the feelings of frustration and limitation.

The article also includes advice from Joyce Hanna, associate director of the Stanford Health Improvement Program, on remaining on track when you have to change your exercise program. For example:

Exercise keeps you aware of the state of your body. When you’re running, or exercising vigorously, you get some feedback if you’ve eaten too much or too little. Your body sends you a message if you’re dehydrated. You can feel bloated and stiff if you’ve had too much salt or alcohol the night before. You have trouble finishing your workout if you’ve gone without enough sleep for a number of nights. All this feedback works to help you take care of yourself and to pay attention to habits that affect your health. So it’s important to pay attention to your body if you’re not able to exercise. Don’t check out and get numb to the effects of your eating, drinking, and sleeping habits. Pay attention.

I will, thanks.

 

A Zen Master Reveals 10 Fundamental Mindful That Will Make You Much Happier

The only moment that truly exists is the here and now, and that is the key to living life in a mindful way.

With the stress of family and career, it is hard not to get caught up in the rush of everyday life. By practicing mindfulness everyday, we learn to embrace the truth that the path to peace exists only within ourselves.

I came across this brilliant article from a Zen master that goes through 10 essential habits of mindfulness. I’ve summarized the most important points below.

These 10 daily habits to practice mindfulness will help you to connect with the joy and balance that can be found within each present moment.

1) Release Judgment

 

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 This not only applies to others, but to yourself as well. Don’t judge yourself so harshly for your perceived faults. Instead, honor the strengths within you. Remind yourself that there is no wrong way, only another way.

2) Honor your Feelings

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Fighting against your emotions and thoughts will only increase anxiety. Slow down and acknowledge what you are feeling and the reasons why. By approaching your feelings with a calm mindset you can stop negative emotions in their tracks.

3) Remember to Breathe

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Breath is the essence of life, and consciously being aware of your breathing has dramatic affects on the mind and body. Make it a daily habit to stop throughout the day and take several slow, deep breaths.

4) Make Time for Yourself Everyday

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You cannot take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. When practicing mindful living, give yourself the gift of taking time each day to honor your own needs.

5) Notice the Small Things in Life

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Living in a mindful state means appreciating and acknowledging the simple joys of the world around you. Make time for a short walk everyday, and use this time to focus on the simple beauty that surrounds you.

6) Live your Passion

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Live your passion, and all else will follow. Be aware of your emotions throughout the day, and make it a habit to look for the positive in every situation.

7) Smile at Strangers

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A smile and kind word has the power to turn around someone’s day. Practice reaching beyond your comfort zone and share your joy with the world. A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

8) Unplug from Technology

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Technology is involved in every aspect of modern society, and the constant distractions have disconnected us from each other and ourselves. Take time each day to completely unplug from the blackhole of technology and spend quality time with those you love.

9) Try Mindful Meditation

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Mindful meditation focuses on the idea that you are not your thoughts. Through conscious breathing and honoring of your emotions, practicing mindful meditation will teach you to reconnect with the present moment.

10) Focus on One Task at a Time

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Multi-tasking is the norm in today’s society, but trying to do everything at once is the opposite of practicing a mindful life. Prioritize your to-do lists and take on tasks one at a time.

Living a mindful life is a simple idea, but one that is hard to put into practice in this modern world. Release judgment as you start to incorporate these daily habits into your life, knowing that every moment is the perfect moment to begin anew.

 [Original Article]

By admin-January 7, 2017

 

 

The Number One Cause of Suffering According to Buddhism (and What You Can Do About it)

[Original Article]

Ever heard of the four noble truths of Buddhism? If you haven’t, it’s basically the four principles of life that govern Buddhism philosophy. They are:

  1. The truth of suffering (dukkha)
  2. The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
  3. The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)
  4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

In this article, we’re going to talk about the second noble truth on what causes our suffering and then discuss strategies we can use to overcome it.

What Causes Our Suffering

According to Buddhism, suffering arises from attachment to desires. These desires can vary from material objects, sensual pleasures or even your relationships. The reason desiring causes suffering is because attachments are transient and loss is inevitable.

Buddhism says that the only constant in the universe is change, and by desiring you are trying to control and make something fixed. Suffering will follow because you are going against the forces of the universe, which is what causes anxiety, depression and negative emotions.

Suffering Ceases When Attachment To Desire Ceases

The end to suffering is when the mind experiences freedom from attachment. It’s letting go of any craving or desiring. This state of enlightenment is called “nirvana” which means freedom from all worries, anxieties and troubles. They say that it isn’t comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

How Do You Eliminate Desire?

It’s important to remember that it’s impossible to eliminate desire completely. In fact, most people that embark on this journey face the obvious dilemma that when you “try” to eliminate desiring, you are desiring not to desire.

What we really need to do is eliminate attachment and desire as much as we can.

In order to end suffering, Buddhists say we must follow the Eightfold Path. This liberation from suffering is what many people mean when they use the word “enlightenment.”

There are eight attitudes or paths you must follow to find freedom from suffering:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

What Are Some Practical Strategies?

Here is a brilliant article from Tiny Buddha on 6 ways to decrease suffering. I’ve summarized the most important points below. If you have time, I highly recommend you read it.

1) Let go of creating stories.

When we experience suffering, we tend to create “stories” about what happens. For example, when we face the end of a relationship, we tell ourselves things like “I will never find someone as good again” and “there is no way out of our suffering”. However, this simply adds layers of meaning that don’t exist within the original feeling. Instead, practice positive self-talk and living in the moment. You’ll find that things aren’t as bad as you think and your reality exists only in each moment.

2) Embrace Change.

Buddhism says that the only law in the universe is change. Keep in mind that all feelings, whether negative or positive, will change. This will give you hope during the bad times, and make you realize to enjoy every moment you can because they don’t last forever.

3) Smile, even if you don’t feel like it.

Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” This is a wonderful reminder that we have more power to change our mood than we realize.

4) Jolt yourself out of your usual routine. 

Whatever it is that may pull you out of your rut, give it a try and see how it changes the nature of your suffering.

5) Soften someone else’s suffering.

Everyone experiences suffering, and it’s helpful to realize that someone is probably suffering more than you right now. Be kind to someone else. Get yourself thinking about others and it will improve your well being.

6) Remember your basic goodness.

“Basic goodness” is a wonderful concept that comes from the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. It reminds us that no matter how chaotic or negative the circumstances of our life, there is a ground of basic goodness in ourselves and in the universe that we can count on.