Archive for June, 2010

Echoes of Power

June 30, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

When we make a promise, a subtle yet powerful shift takes place in our souls where intentions are housed.

Speech is a vehicle for vows, but the sacred vows we speak are more than just words. When we make a promise, a subtle yet powerful shift takes place in our souls where intentions are housed. A vow is both a tool we employ in order to facilitate transformation within ourselves and an expression of will. Thus, to make an oath is to communicate to the universe and our deeper selves our commitment to the principles most important to us. Fulfilling a sacred vow—whether it is as complex as “’till death do us part” or as simple as “I promise”—challenges us, exercising our willpower and aiding personal growth.

When we speak a sacred vow out loud rather than reciting it in our minds or recording it on paper, our voices project our promises into the deepest reaches of the universe. It is important that we remember that a vow made with the sincerest of intentions has the power to carry on past our earthly lifetimes. A well-chosen vow encourages commitment and dedication. The presence or approval of a spiritual teacher is not necessary to success, as true oaths are a product of the heart.

A sacred vow, once spoken, becomes a part of your existence forevermore. Your view of the world around you may change, and your predominant thoughts and feelings will no doubt evolve with time, but the spirit in which your oaths were spoken will remain unaffected. It is up to you to determine how you will stay true to your vows while your inner- and outer-world existence is transformed. Your strength and character will inevitably be tested as circumstances make keeping promises increasingly challenging, but after you have shown yourself steadfast many times, your appreciation of the sanctity of vows will be cemented in your mind and soul.

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Evolving Commitment

June 29, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Commitment to our career can coexist with the development of our soul when we approach each with balance.

We do not need to deny our spiritual selves while focusing on being at the office, even though working while walking the path of ascension can be extremely challenging. Commitment to a career can coexist peacefully with commitment to the development of the soul when we approach each with balance and determination.

Careers can tend to take up a great deal of time you might otherwise devote to your own awakening, so make the most of the free hours at your disposal by using your breaks to walk in nature or write in your journal. If you schedule healings, bodywork, and other therapeutic activities on Friday, you give yourself the gift of an unhurried and restful weekend of rejuvenation. You can create a spiritually aware workspace by adorning your desk or office with sacred objects such as a Buddha or a candle that have meaning to you. If decoration is not permitted in your workplace, your supervisor may allow you to display a small item associated with your life path if you explain its significance. Your workplace may not always meet your best expectations, but living with imperfection can also be a wonderful spiritual exercise. Remember that you can strive for excellence in your own existence without asking your coworkers to exemplify perfection. They, too, are human beings doing all they can to grow in spite of that humanity, and they can support you when your path becomes difficult.

In many companies, there is a spiritual reality tied in closely into the corporate culture. It is your choice whether you want to integrate the spirit of your workplace into your own divine practices or participate in this reality on a superficial level. However you proceed, realize that the spiritual values you hold dear need not be at odds with the energy of your place of employment. As an employee, your spiritual self is one of the diverse strengths you bring to the table. Simply by approaching projects, goals, and interpersonal relations in the workplace with intention, you can pursue individual fulfillment while also doing your part to gently promote a healthy and harmonious working environment.

临终祈愿文

June 27, 2010

[ 作者:星云大    文章来源:佛光祈愿文   ]

 慈悲伟大的佛陀!
我病了,
病得很久,病得很重,
我请人代我向佛陀您祈求:
在我生命的最后一刻,
我自知世缘将尽,
我不再牵挂亲友,
我不再执着身心,
我也不再追悔过去,
我也不再妄求未来。
当我流动的呼吸缓缓地减慢,
当我跳跃的脉动渐渐地转弱,
当我眼耳和鼻舌停止作用,
当我身体的器官不再运行,
我像远处归来的游子,
乘着金色的莲华,
回到光明极乐的净土。
慈悲伟大的佛陀!
我要将我所有的骨髓血肉,
 还给天,付于地,
随着大自然的运转,
 化作薰风和养份,
 年年月月滋长万物。
我要将我所有的心意全部
 施于众,施于人,
奉献给佛法僧的周遭,
 化作一瓣香花,
 时时处处地供养十方。
让憎恨我的人,
 得到我的祝福;
让爱护我的人,
 分享我的宁静;
让欣赏我的人,
 散播我的善行;
让想念我的人,
 延续我的愿心。
慈悲伟大的佛陀!
我终于了然:
 生命如坚韧的种籽,
 花落果成,生灭不息。
因此,亲友悲伤的泪水,
 不再是爱结缠缚。
慈悲伟大的佛陀!
我终于可以听到:
 生命如涓涓的流水,
 法音清流,绵绵不断。
于是,展望未来的前途,
 不再是茫然空无。
我终于洞然明白:
此时此刻,
我只是短暂的告别。
在诸佛菩萨和诸上善人的接引之下,
未来的生命,
希望我有乘愿再来的机缘。
慈悲伟大的佛陀!
尘缘已了,世缘已尽。
在我生命的最后一刻,
 如游子回家的欢喜,
 如囚犯释放的自由,
 如落叶归根的自然,
 如空山圆月的明净。
慈悲伟大的佛陀!
请您接受我至诚的祈愿,
请您接受我至诚的祈愿。

Stronger Than You Know

June 26, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

We are almost always stronger and more capable than we believe ourselves to be.

Our capacity to cope successfully with life’s challenges far outstrips our capacity to feel nervousness. Yet in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to an event that we believe will test our limits, we can become nervous. While we may have previously regarded ourselves as equal to the trials that lie ahead, we reach a point at which they near and our anxiety begins to mount. We then become increasingly worked up, until the moment of truth arrives and we discover that our worry was all for nothing. We are almost always stronger and more capable than we believe ourselves to be. But anxiety is not rational in nature, which means that in most cases we cannot work through it using logic as our only tool. Reason can help us recognize the relative futility of unwarranted worry but, more often than not, we will find more comfort in patterns of thought and activity that redirect our attention to practical or engaging matters. 

Most of us find it remarkably difficult to focus on two distinct thoughts or emotions at once, and we can use this natural human limitation to our advantage when trying to stay centered in the period leading up to a potentially tricky experience. When we concentrate on something unrelated to our worry—such as deep breathing, visualizations of success, pleasurable pursuits, or exercise—anxiety dissipates naturally. Meditation is also a useful coping mechanism as it provides us with a means to ground ourselves in the moment. Our guides can aid us by providing us with a focal point wholly outside of our own sphere.

The intense emotional flare-up you experience just before you are set to challenge yourself is often a mixture of both excitement and fear. When you take steps to eliminate the fear, you can more fully enjoy the excitement. Though you may find it difficult to avoid getting worked up, your awareness of the forces acting on your feelings will help you return to your center and accept that few hurdles you will face will be as high as they at first appear.

Anticipating the Good

June 24, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Change your perspective by changing the labels used to identify your feelings. For instance anxious butterflies become eager expectation.

When we find ourselves going through any kind of change in our lives, our natural response may be to tense up on the physical, mental, or emotional level. We may not even notice that we have braced ourselves against a shift until we recognize the anxiety, mood swings, or general worried feeling toward the unknown that usually results. There are positive ways to move through change without pushing it away, however, or attempting to deny that it is happening. Since change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to make our response to it an affirmative one of anticipation, welcoming the new while releasing the past with grace.

One thing we can do is change our perspective by changing the labels we use to identify our feelings. We can reinterpret feelings of anxiety as the anxious butterflies that come with eager expectation. With this shift, we begin to look for the good that is on its way to us. Though we may only be able to imagine the possibilities, when we acknowledge that good is there for us to find, we focus our energy on joyful anticipation and bring it into our experience while allowing the feelings to carry us forward.

We can also choose to do a ceremony to allow our emotions to process. Every culture has created ceremonies to help people make the transition from one phase of life to the next. We can always create a ceremony too, perhaps by burning written thoughts to watch the smoke carry them away, thereby releasing them, or we can welcome new endeavors by planting flowers or trees. Some ceremonial activities such as a farewell send-off or housewarming party, we may do automatically. Society also has built-in ceremonies, like graduation and weddings, which may satisfy the need we feel. Sometimes the shift from denial to acceptance is all that is needed to ease our anxiety, allowing us to bring our memories with us as we move through nervousness to joyful excitement about the good to come.

養生三字經

June 20, 2010

[章友蘭詞]

 人到老    莫煩惱    憂愁多    催人老

 常鍛鍊    抗衰老    量力行    勿過勞

 找歡笑    變年少    心胸寬    壽自高

 善交往    廣愛好    心情暢    睡眠好

  遇事煩    不急躁    多謙讓    少氣惱

 調飲食    莫過飽    身體健    疾病少

  心不順    賞花草    聽音樂    怒氣消

 勤動筆    讀書報    常用腦    記憶好

 三字經    要記牢    保健康    樂陶陶

 

 

 

 

Finding Deep Strength

June 19, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

We have all have times in our lives when we think we don’t have the strength to carry on. You do, and you can.

We have all faced moments in our lives when the pressure mounts beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves thinking that we do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes we have just gotten through a major obstacle or illness only to find another one waiting for us the moment we finally catch our breath. Sometimes we endure one loss after another, wondering when we will get a break from life’s travails. It does not seem fair or right that life should demand more of us when we feel we have given all we can, but sometimes this is the way life works.

When we look back on our lives, we see that we have survived many trials and surmounted many obstacles, often to our own amazement. In each of those instances, we had to break through our ideas about how much we can handle and go deeper into our hidden reserves. The thought that we do not have the strength to handle what is before us can be likened to the hard surface of a frozen lake. It appears to be an impenetrable fact, but when we break through it, we find that a deep well of energy and inspiration was trapped beneath that icy barrier the whole time. Sometimes we break through by cutting a hole into our resistance with our willpower, and sometimes we melt the ice with compassion for our predicament and ourselves. Either way, each time we break through, we reach a new understanding of the strength we store within ourselves.

When we find ourselves up against that frozen barrier of thinking we cannot handle our situation, we may find that the kindest choice is to love ourselves and our resistance too. We can simply accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched, and we can offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion. If we can extend to ourselves the unconditional warmth of a mother’s love, before we know it, the ice will begin to break.

The Consequences You Sow

June 19, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Every action you take has a cause and effect.  The influence we wield is infinite.

All motive and action affects the cosmos in some way. The principle of cause and effect is the truth that allows us to change ourselves and the world around us for the better. However, this same universal law is also at work when change is not at the forefront of our minds. Our intentions flow forever outward in the form of energy, affecting both the people closest to us and billions of individuals we will likely never meet. For this reason, we should strive always to speak, think, and behave with great thoughtfulness and compassion. The virtues we choose to embody can inspire joy and integrity in the lives of countless people, whether we touch their existence directly or not.

The influence we wield is infinite. In an effort to internalize our conscious understanding of the nature of cause and effect, we can never truly know how our thoughts, emotions, words, or actions will manifest themselves on the larger universal stage because it is likely that the furthest-reaching effects will fall outside the range of our perception. We can only look to the guidance of our conscience, which will help us determine whether each of our choices is contributing to humanity’s illumination or setting the stage for unintended troubles. When we are in doubt, we need only remember that the cultivation of altruism inevitably leads to a harvest of goodwill and grace. Motivated by a sincere desire to spread goodness, we will be naturally drawn to those choices that will help us express our commitment to universal well-being.

Nothing you do, however minor or mundane, is ever exempt from the rules of cause and effect. From the moment of your birth, you have served as an agent of change, setting forces beyond your comprehension into motion across the surface of the earth and beyond. You can exert conscious control over this transformative energy simply by examining your intentions and endeavoring always to promote peace, positive energy, and passion in your ideas and actions. While you may never fully comprehend the extent of your purposefully heartfelt influence, you can rest assured that it will be universally felt.

Make Change Work For You

June 19, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

At the root of all growth, we find change. Allow it to work for you not against.

Transformation is a universal constant that affects our lives from the moment we are born until we leave earthly existence behind. At the root of all growth, we find change. Occasionally, change and the circumstances leading up to it are a source of extraordinary joy, but more often than not they provoke feelings of discomfort, fear, or pain. Though many changes are unavoidable, we should not believe that we are subject to the whims of an unpredictable universe. It is our response to those circumstances that will dictate the nature of our experiences. At the heart of every transformation, no matter how chaotic, there is substance. When we no longer resist change and instead regard it as an opportunity to grow, we find that we are far from helpless in the face of it.

Our role as masters of our own destinies is cemented when we choose to make change work in our favor. Yet before we can truly internalize this power, we must accept that we cannot hide from the changes taking place all around us. Existence as we know it will come to an end at one or more points in our lives, making way for some new and perhaps unexpected mode of being. This transformation will take place whether or not we want it to, and so it is up to us to decide whether we will open our eyes to the blessings hidden amidst disorder or close ourselves off from opportunities hiding behind obstacles.

To make change work for you, look constructively at your situation and ask yourself how you can benefit from the transformation that has taken place. As threatening as change can seem, it is often a sign that a new era of your life has begun. If you reevaluate your plans and goals in the days or weeks following a major change, you will discover that you can adapt your ambition to the circumstances before you and even capitalize on these changes. Optimism, enthusiasm, and flexibility will aid you greatly here, as there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been. Change can hurt in the short term but, if you are willing to embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will nearly always be physically, spiritually, and intellectually transformative.

Creating Space In The Body

June 12, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

When our minds are cluttered with too many thoughts and information, our bodies respond by trying to take action.

Our minds and bodies are interconnected, and the condition of one affects the condition of the other. This is why meditation is such a powerful tool for healing the body, as powerful as physical therapies. When our minds are cluttered with thoughts, information, and plans, our bodies respond by trying to take action. When the body has a clear directive from the mind, it knows what to do, but a cluttered, unfocused mind creates a confused, tense body. Our muscles tighten up, our breath shortens, and we find ourselves feeling constricted without necessarily knowing why.

When we sit down to meditate, we let our bodies know that it is okay to be still and rest. This is a clear directive from the mind, and the body knows exactly how to respond. Thus, at the very beginning, we have created a sense of clarity for the body and the mind. As we move deeper into meditation, the state of our mind reveals itself, and we have the opportunity to consciously decide to settle it. A meditation teacher pointed out that if you put a cow in a small pen, she acts up and pushes against the boundaries, whereas if you provide her with a large, open space, she will peacefully graze in one spot. In the same way, our thoughts settle down peacefully if we provide them with enough space, and our bodies follow suit.

When we settle down to examine and experience our consciousness, we discover that there are no hard, definable edges. It is a vast, open space in which our thoughts can come and go without making waves, as long as we let them by neither attaching to them nor repressing them. As we see our thoughts come and go, we begin to breathe deeper and more easily, finding that our body is more open to the breath as it relaxes along with the mind. In this way, the space we recognize through meditation creates space in our bodies, allowing for a feeling of lightness and rightness with the world.

The Mystery of Seeing

June 11, 2010

[ Posted in Care2, Adapted from Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul, by Deepak Chopra ]

David, who is now in his thirties, was born a twin, but he had a tiny genetic heart defect that his twin lacked. “I was lucky, and my heart was repaired soon after I was born,” he relates. “There was no reason for me to be treated any differently from my brother.

But I remember from early on my mother’s anxious looks whenever I tried to do anything she thought was risky. My brother didn’t get those looks, and by the time we were four or five, he was considered the strong one while I was the sensitive one.

There’s a lot more to raising kids than looking at them, of course. My parents did their best to provide equally for us and to love us the same way. I accepted that I was the fragile twin, and as we grew up, it amazed me how wrong my parents had been.

My brother didn’t turn out to be a great success. I, who always expected to be on the sidelines, grew up to get scholarships, a much better education, and a teaching job at a good university. “It took me years to realize that we were both shaped to become what we are.”

This is one example of seeing, but many others come to mind. We look at those we love entirely differently from people we don’t love. Your gaze doesn’t fall passively. It conveys meaning, it makes another person aware of something. In other words, your awareness speaks to theirs, and that is enough to create changes in the brain, leading to changes elsewhere in the body.

There’s no limit to the result. The secret is to create positive effects instead of negative ones. Seeing is active. You send out energy, and take in energy from others. You can decide to see with love and understanding, acceptance and tolerance. When you do, these qualities exert a force on your surroundings that benefits everything and everyone.

The Greatness in Others

June 10, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

We cannot recognize greatness in others unless we too posses that same quality in ourselves.

A person who is said to possess greatness stands apart from others in some way, usually by the size or originality of their vision and their ability to manifest that vision. And yet those who recognize that greatness, whether they display it themselves or not, also have greatness within them; otherwise, they could not see it in another. In many ways, the achievements of one person always belong to many people for we accomplish nothing alone in this world. People who display greatness rely upon others who are able to see as they do, to listen, encourage, and support. Without those people who recognize greatness and move in to support it, even the greatest ideas, works of art, and political movements would remain unborn.

We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along. When we respond to someone else’s greatness, we feed our own. We may feel called to dedicate ourselves to their vision, or we may be inspired to follow a path we forge ourselves. Either way, we cannot lose when we recognize that the greatness we see in others belongs also to us. Our recognition of this is a call to action that, if heeded, will inspire others to see in us the greatness they also possess. This creates a chain reaction of greatness unfolding itself endlessly into the future.

Ultimately, greatness is simply the best of what humanity has to offer. Greatness does what has not been done before and inspires the same courage that it requires. When we see it in others, we know it, and when we trust its presence in ourselves, we embody it.

Translating Our Feelings

June 9, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Often times when trying something new, we feel scared when in actuality we may be excited. Reframe your thoughts.

When new challenges and opportunities show up in our lives, we may diagnose ourselves as feeling scared when what we really feel is excited. Often we have not been taught how to welcome the thrill of a new opportunity, and so we opt to back off, indulging our anxiety instead of awakening our courage. One way to inspire ourselves to embrace the opportunities that come our way is to look more deeply into our feelings and see that butterflies in our stomach or a rapidly beating heart are not necessarily a sign that we are afraid. Those very same feelings can be translated as excitement, curiosity, passion, and even love.

There is nothing wrong with being afraid as long as we do not let it stop us from doing the things that excite us. Most of us assume that brave people are fearless, but the truth is that they are simply more comfortable with fear because they face it on a regular basis. The more we do this, the more we feel excitement in the face of challenges rather than anxiety. The more we cultivate our ability to move forward instead of backing off, the more we trust ourselves to be able to handle the new opportunity, whether it’s a new job, an exciting move, or a relationship. When we feel our fear, we can remind ourselves that maybe we are actually just excited. We can assure ourselves that this opportunity has come our way because we are meant to take it.

Framing things just a little differently can dramatically shift our mental state from one of resistance to one of openness. We can practice this new way of seeing things by saying aloud: I am really excited about this job interview. I am really looking forward to going on a date with this amazing person. I am excited to have the opportunity to do something I have never done before. As we do this, we will feel our energy shift from fear, which paralyzes, to excitement, which empowers us to direct all that energy in the service of moving forward, growing, and learning.

Exploring an Alternate Universe

June 8, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

All people have their own way of being in the world, what works for you may not work for everybody.

All people have their own way of being in the world. It is easiest to comprehend this basic yet profound fact when we consider that every human being on the planet occupies a distinct role in the universe. We grow up in different environments, affected by a unique range of influences. The preferences, values, and beliefs we embrace are frequently related intimately to our origins. And the need to individualize our experiences is instinctive, as doing so enables us to cope when we must face challenges on our own. Consequently, each of us has developed a perspective that is uniquely ours. Interacting peacefully and constructively with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from. Then we can adjust our expectations so that we avoid making undue assumptions about what they are about.   

In the face of emerging interpersonal conflict, it is easy to assume that others are being difficult, unreasonable, or stubborn. We are apt to grow frustrated when someone in our environment does not share our opinions or feel compelled to support us in our endeavors. It is likely that the individual or individuals before us may simply possess differing notions with regard to what is and what is not important in this life. We can ease the tension that exists between us by reaffirming our belief in the fundamental right of all beings to determine their own destinies. To foster a harmonious relationship, we need to do our best to relate to the unique universes they inhabit. And as we discover what makes them tick, our ability to find a mode of interaction that is pleasing to both of us is enhanced.

When there are barriers keeping you from connecting with someone else, think of questions you can ask them to gain a more thorough understanding of their point of view. You may discover that in addition to the differences in perspective dividing you, they are subject to insecurities and other personal issues that influence their way of seeing the world. It is likely that you will never fully grasp the myriad complexities embodied by humanity, but you can go a long way toward encouraging mutually satisfying relations by reaching out to others in the spirit of sympathetic comprehension.

Experiences Shape Your Reactions

June 4, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Our individual reactions to events are shaped by what we ourselves have experienced in our own lives.

Our view of the universe is largely determined by our experiences. It is when we are caught off guard by the spontaneity of existence that we are most apt to respond authentically, even when our feelings do not correspond with those of the multitude. Events that arouse strong emotions with us or are surprising in nature can be disquieting, for it often is in their aftermath that we discover how profoundly our histories have shaped us. The differences that divide us from our peers are highlighted in our reactions when these diverge from the mainstream, and this can be highly upsetting because it forces us to confront the uniqueness of our lives.

When our response to unexpected news or startling ideas is not the same as that of the people around us, we may feel driven by a desire to dismiss our feelings as irrational or incorrect. But reactions themselves are neither right, nor wrong. The forces that sculpted the patterns that to a large extent dictate our development are not the same forces that shaped the development of our relatives, friends, colleagues, or neighbors. There is no reason to believe that one person’s reaction to a particular event is somehow more valid than another’s. How we respond to the constant changes taking place in the world around us is a product of our history, a testament to our individuality, and a part of the healing process that allows us to address key elements of our past in a context we can grasp in the present.   

Life’s pivotal events can provide you with a way to define yourself as a unique and matchless being, but you must put aside the judgments that might otherwise prevent you from gaining insight into your distinct mode of interpreting the world. Try to internalize your feelings without categorizing or evaluating them. When you feel unsure of the legitimacy of your reactions, remember that cultural, sociological, spiritual, and familial differences can cause two people to interpret a single event in widely dissimilar ways. Examining your responses outside of the context provided by others can show you that your emotional complexity is something to be valued, for it has made you who you are today.