Archive for September, 2010

看山是山,看山不是山,看山还是山的来历。

September 30, 2010

–取自百度知道

宋代禅宗大师青原行思提出参禅的三重境界:参禅之初,看山是山,看水是水;禅有悟时,看山不是山,看水不是水;禅中彻悟,看山仍然山,看水仍然是水。

佛家讲究入世与出世,于尘世间理会佛理之真谛。人之一生,从垂髫小儿至垂垂老者,匆匆的人生旅途中,我们也经历着人生的三重境界。

人生第一重界:看山是山,看水是水。涉世之初,还怀着对这个世界的好奇与新鲜,对一切事物都用一种童真的眼光来看待,万事万物在我们的眼里都还原成本原,山就是山,水就是水,对许多事情懵懵懂懂,却固执地相信所见到就是最真实的,相信世界是按设定的规则不断运转,并对这些规则有种信徒般的崇拜,最终在现实里处处碰壁,从而对现实与世界产生了怀疑。

人生第二重界:看山不是山,看水不是是水。红尘之中有太多的诱惑,在虚伪的面具后隐藏着太多的潜规则,看到的并不一定是真实的,一切如雾里看花,似真似幻,似真还假,山不是山,水不是水,很容易地我们在现实里迷失了方向,随之而来的是迷惑、彷徨、痛苦与挣扎,有的人就此沉沦在迷失的世界里,我们开始用心地去体会这个世界,对一切都多了一份理性与现实的思考,山不再是单纯意文上的山,水也不是单纯意义的水了。

人生第三重界:看山是山,看水是水。这是一种洞察世事后的反璞归真,但不是每个人都能达到这一境界。人生的经历积累到一定程度,不断的反省,对世事、对自己的追求有了一个清晰的认识,认识到“世事一场大梦,人生几度秋凉”,知道自己追求的是什么,要放弃的是什么,这时,看山还是山,水还是水,只是这山这水,看在眼里,已有另一种内涵在内了。

Listening with Your Heart

September 29, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

When we listen from our heart, the logical grid of our brain tends to soften and melt.

Most of us were born and raised in cultures that value the head over the heart and, as a result, we place our own hearts below our heads in a sort of inner hierarchy of which we may not be conscious. What this means is that we tend to listen and respond from the neck up, often leaving the rest of our bodies with little or no say in most matters. This is a physical habit, which sometimes feels as ingrained as the way we breathe or walk. However, with effort and awareness, we can shift the energy into our hearts, listening and responding from this much deeper, more resonant place.

The brain has a masterful way of imposing structure and order on the world, creating divisions and categories, devising plans and strategies. In many ways, we have our brains to thank for our survival on this planet. However, as is so clear at this time, we also need the wisdom of our hearts if we wish to continue surviving in a viable way. When we listen from our heart, the logical grid of the brain tends to soften and melt, which enables us to perceive the interconnectedness beneath the divisions and categories we use to organize the world. We begin to understand that just as the heart underlies the brain, this interconnectedness underlies everything.

Many agree that this is the most important work we can do at this time in history, and there are many practices at our disposal. For a simple start, try sitting with a friend and asking him to tell you about his life at this moment. For 10 minutes or more, try to listen without responding verbally, offering suggestions, or brainstorming solutions. Instead, breathe into your heart and your belly, listening and feeling instead of thinking. When you do this, you may find that it’s much more difficult to offer advice and much easier to identify with the feelings your friend is sharing. You may also find that your friend opens up more, goes deeper, and feels he has really been heard. If you also feel great warmth and compassion, almost as if you are seeing your friend for the first time, then you will know that you have begun to tap the power of listening with your heart.

Loving Presence

September 27, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Even though it might not always seem like we have much control over who we are with in our life- we do.

In our everyday life we are surrounded by a variety of people. Some of the people we deal with on a daily basis are a joy to be with, and their loving presence nurtures and encourages us. Others may have the opposite effect, draining us of our energy, making us feel tired and exhausted. Our well-being can be easily influenced by those around us, and if we can keep this in mind, we will have greater insights into the quality of our social interactions and their energetic effect on us.

Once we think more deeply about the people we interact with, it becomes easier for us to work toward filling our lives with people who help us cultivate healthy and positive relationships. Even though it might not always seem like we have much control over who we are with, we do. The power to step back from toxicity lies within us. All we have to do is take a few moments to reflect on how another person makes you feel. Assessing the people we spend the most time with allows us to see if they add something constructive to, or subtract from, our lives. Should a friend sap our strength, for example, we can simply set the intention to tell them how we feel or simply spend less time with them. We will find that the moment we are honest with ourselves about our own feelings, the more candid we can be with others about how they make us feel. While this may involve some drastic changes to our social life it can bring about a personal transformation that will truly empower us, since the decision to live our truth will infuse our lives with greater happiness.

When we surround ourselves with positive people, we clear away the negativity that exists around us and create more room to welcome nurturing energy. Doing this not only enriches our lives but also envelopes us in a supportive and healing space that fosters greater growth, understanding, and love of ourselves as well as those we care about.

Letting the Curves Take You

September 24, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

When you resist what’s at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion.

Trying to maintain control in this life is a bit like trying to maintain control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go its own way, regardless of how tightly you grip the bar. There is a thrill and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and downs of it, letting the curves take you rather than fighting them. When you fight the ride, resisting what’s happening at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion. When you go with the ride, accepting what you cannot control, freedom and joy will inevitably arise.

As with so many seemingly simple things in life, it is not always easy to let go, even of the things we know we can’t control. Most of us feel a great discomfort with the givens of this life, one of which is the fact that much of the time we have no control over what happens. Sometimes this awareness comes only when we have a stark encounter with this fact, and all our attempts to be in control are revealed to be unnecessary burdens. We can also cultivate this awareness in ourselves gently, by simply making surrender a daily practice. At the end of our meditation, we might bow, saying, “I surrender to this life.” This simple mantra can be repeated as necessary throughout the day, when we find ourselves metaphorically gripping the safety bar.

We can give in to our fear and anxiety, or we can surrender to this great mystery with courage. When we see people on a roller coaster, we see that there are those with their faces tight with fear and then there are those that smile broadly, with their hands in the air, carried through the ride on a wave of freedom and joy. This powerful image reminds us that often the only control we have is choosing how we are going to respond to the ride.

Breathing In, Breathing Out

September 23, 2010

 [ By Plum Village ]

Breathing in, breathing out,
Breathing in, breathing out,
I am blooming as a flower,
I am fresh as the dew.

I am solid as a mountain,
I am firm as the earth,
I am free.

Breathing in, breathing out,
Breathing in, breathing out,
I am water reflecting,
What is real, what is true.

And I feel there is space,
Deep inside of me,
I am free, I am free, I am free.

〈吸进来,呼出去〉

吸进来,呼出去;吸进来,呼出去;

好似盛开一朵蓮花,

我清凉如一滴露,

一如高山 屹立不移,

像大地一般稳厚,我自在。

吸进来,呼出去;吸进来,呼出去;

我是净水反照著,

什么是真,什么是实,

在我觉得心里深处,

空间满溢在其中,

我自在,我放下,我自在。

Shining through the Clouds

September 22, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Grumpy people can only affect your mood if you allow it.  The sun and stars can still shine in their presence.

When we’re in a good mood, we shine like the sun. But if we find ourselves in the presence of a person, or people, in a grumpy mood, it can feel like a dark cloud approaching to dim our radiance and block our positive way of seeing the world. We can remind ourselves that clouds pass, while the sun and stars continue to shine above. Then it’s easier to think of these “grumps” affectionately, knowing that they only have the power to affect our mood if we allow it. With the power of change firmly in our hands, we can choose how to respond to a grumpy person, or a grumbling group of people, with confidence and understanding.

Like a lighthouse, we can continue to shine through the darkness, offering our light to help others find their way back to their own. We can send them a silent prayer of peace or a sympathetic smile. We may sense that reaching out to offer a comforting touch or hug can ease their frustrations and cause the clouds to dissipate. If they need understanding, we can sympathize without reinforcing the negativity they may be experiencing by directing their attention someplace more positive. Helping them find the humor in their situation might be appropriate and is a great way to lift spirits, or a logical approach may help them see all the good in the situation, in their lives and in the world.

We might find that someone we encounter often seems to be in a perpetual state of gloom. Our tendency in such cases may be to try to avoid them, but instead we can make the choice to offer support that comes from the heart. We may be inspired to ask if they would like some help or to offer suggestions that have helped us in the past. We can include thoughts of their health and happiness in our times of prayer and meditation. When we lend our energy to uplift another in any way, we improve our own lives while making the world a better place for all of us.

To Others and To Ourselves

September 21, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Obligations can tend to feel heavy and overwhelming, there is nothing wrong with an occasional “no”.

We all encounter obligations in life, from spending time with family and friends to being present at important functions in the lives of the people who form our community. Many times, the obligations are actually fun and fulfilling, and we want to be there. At the same time, we all sometimes experience resistance to meeting these obligations, especially when they pile up all at once and we begin to feel exhausted, longing for nothing so much as a quiet evening at home. At times like these, we may want to say no but feel too guilty at the idea of not being there. Still, our primary obligation is to take care of ourselves, and if saying no to someone else is what we have to do, then we do not need to feel bad about it.

There is a skill to balancing our obligations, and it starts with simply becoming aware of our schedule. We may notice that three invitations have arisen in one weekend, and we know that we will pay energetically if we attempt to fulfill all three. At this point, we can take the time to weigh the repercussions of not going to each event, considering how we will feel if we miss it and how our absence might affect other people. Most of the time, it will be clear which obligation we can most easily let go and which one we simply can’t miss. Sometimes we have to miss something really important to us, and that can be painful for everyone concerned. At times like this, reaching out with a phone call, a thoughtful card, or a gift lets people know that you are there in spirit and that your absence is by no means a result of you not caring.

Meeting our obligations to others is an important part of being human and not one to take lightly. At the same time, we cannot meet every obligation without neglecting our primary duty to take care of ourselves. We can navigate this quandary by being conscious of what we choose to do and not do and by finding concrete ways to extend our caring when we are not able to be there in person.

No Need to Wait

September 20, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

We don’t need an emergency or disaster to come together as people in community, this can be now.

We humans have a knack for coming together and rising up to our potential in the face of a tragedy. Natural disasters and acts of violence bring us out of our small selves and into the world, ready to lend a hand to those in need. This experience is often life-changing for those who are willing to step into the position of helper. We feel as if we are finally doing something really important, and this leads us to feeling more self-actualized. We feel more connected to the people we are helping, as well as more connected to humanity in general. As we expand beyond the boundaries of our individualistic pursuit of happiness there can be a complete reality shift. We often find that it is much easier to be happy when we are motivated in an effort to make the world better in tangible ways, by coming to the rescue of those who are suffering.

Considering the many benefits of this kind of gesture, it is surprising that more of us don’t devote our lives, or at least some portion of our time, to serving people in need. We don’t have to wait for a tragedy to come together, as a community or a nation, and offer ourselves to the world in service. Sometimes it’s easier, of course, to respond to an event that has just happened rather than to ongoing problems like homelessness, poverty, and illness. But the truth of this world is that there is always someone in need of our best efforts to rally a group of helpers and healers. Maybe we feel discouraged because these smaller acts and gestures don’t generate the same kind of energy and attention from other people as heroic acts in the face of immediate disaster, and perhaps an effort to change this is one way to change the world.

The more we promote, applaud, and actively inspire humanitarian efforts in the world, the more others will be drawn to this kind of work. We might pay a little less attention to sports and celebrity gossip and a little more attention to those everyday heroes who devote their lives to alleviating suffering. The more attention we pay, the more we will inspire others and ourselves to be of service in a world that greatly needs our attention.

The Miracle of Change

September 20, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

The feeling of boredom is often misunderstood and can actually mean we need to look under the layers for change.

Sometimes we feel that things aren’t moving along fast enough for us and that the world is passing us by. It may be that time seems to stand still and that we are simply bystanders in our own lives. Other times it might appear that there is nothing new left for us to experience and that we are locked into a never-ending cycle of stasis. If we take the time to listen to these feelings we will notice that there is probably more going on beneath the surface, like our apprehension to venture out into the unknown. By taking a new look at how we live our lives, however, it will be easier to break through our sense of boredom and enter into a more positive state of being.

When life seems monotonous, it is usually an indication that there is something we need to change. Boredom can easily lead us down the path to despondency. Acknowledging our feelings and then setting the intention to alter just one small thing in our life can give us a much more affirmative outlook. This act of change allows us to step outside of ourselves and discover new and exciting things that are often already present in our everyday lives. Simple things such as eating a healthier diet, taking a new class, or joining a club are all ways in which we can go beyond our comfort zone and explore the wonders that exist all around us. Keep in mind that the moment we do something different from our usual routine, the more fresh energy, hope, and blessings we will manifest in our life. What this means is that we’ll no longer see things as being tedious but will instead realize the preciousness of everything.

Being able to integrate these subtle changes on a daily basis allows us to recognize the miracles that are our lives. Even though we may think of change as doing something life-altering or drastic, gentle transitions from our habitual ways of doing things and an appreciation of all life offers us will truly bring about positive and lasting transformation.

虚云老和尚法语

September 16, 2010

修行要在动用中修,

不一定要坐下来闭起眼睛才算修行,

要在四威仪中,

以戒定慧三学,

除贪瞋痴三毒,

收摄六根如牧牛一样,

不许它犯人苗稼。

Seeing Inside

September 16, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

Sight is the ability to see the physical world while vision is the gift of seeing beyond it.

Sight is the ability to see the physical world while vision is the gift of seeing beyond it. Sight enables us to take the physical world in so we can participate in it with knowledge. It brings us pleasure through our eyes, which perceive the colors and shapes of all the myriad expressions of nature and human beings. It helps us feel in control, allowing us to see what is coming toward us, which way we are going, and exactly where we are standing at a given moment. We are able to read signs and books, navigate the interiors of buildings with ease, sense and perceive how a person is feeling by the expressions that cross her face.

As anyone who has lost their eyesight can tell you, though, there are things that are clearer when you cannot see the world through your eyes. One of the reasons many meditation instructors advise sitting with the eyes closed is because we automatically become more in touch with our inner world when we are not distracted by the outer world. It is in this state that vision becomes our mode of seeing. Vision comes from within and shows us how to navigate the realms of thought, feeling, and emotion. It enables us to see things that aren’t yet manifested in the world of form, and it also connects us to that part of ourselves that exists separately from the world of form.

As we age, even those of us with perfect eyesight will generally lose some of our acuity, but this loss is usually replaced with inner vision. This is the time of life when we are meant to turn inside and take what are sometimes the very first steps of a journey that cannot be traced on a map. We call upon intuition and feel our way along a path that ultimately carries us beyond the realm we can see with our eyes and into the land of spirit.

Playing Your Part

September 14, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

This world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected.

As children, most of us sang that mesmerizing, wistful lullaby that ends with the words, “Life is but a dream.” This is a classic example of a deep, sophisticated truth hiding, like an underground stream, in an unlikely place. It winds its way through our minds like a riddle or a Zen koan, coming up when we least expect it and asking that we consider its meaning. Many gurus and philosophers agree with this mysterious observation, saying that this world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected on a screen. Most of us are so involved in the projection that we don’t understand it for what it is. We are completely caught up in the illusion, imagining that we are in a life and death struggle and taking it very seriously.

The enlightened few, on the other hand, live their lives in the light of the awareness that what most of us perceive as reality is a passing fancy. As a result, they behave with detachment, compassion, and wisdom, while the rest of us struggle and writhe upon the stage in the play of our life. Having the wisdom to know that life is but a dream does not mean that we ignore it or don’t do our best with the twists and turns of our fate. Rather, like an actress who plays her role fully even as she knows it’s only a role, we engage in the unfolding drama, but with a little more freedom because we know that this is not the totality of who we are.

And life is more of an improvisation than it is like a play whose lines have already been written, whose end is already known. Like an improviser, we have choices to make and the more we embrace the illusionary quality of the performance, the lighter we can be on the planet, on others, and on ourselves. We can truly play with the shadows cast by the light of the projector, fully engaging without getting bogged down.

Tending the Emotions

September 8, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

In the midst of a breakdown, it is important that we allow it to happen, rather than fight it or try to shut down.

Most of us have had the experience of holding back our emotions for such a long period of time that when they finally come out, we have something resembling a breakdown. For a certain period of time, the overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, these outbursts take us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or engage in some otherwise mundane task. We may feel like we do not know what triggered us, or if we do know, it does not make sense of our overpowering emotional response. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much needed catharsis.

When we find ourselves in the midst of such an experience, it is important that we allow it to happen, rather than fight it or try to shut down. Wherever we are, we can try to find a private, safe place in which to let our feelings out. If we can not access such a place immediately, we can promise to set aside some time for ourselves at our earliest possible convenience, perhaps taking a day off work. The important thing is that we need to give our emotional system some much-needed attention. It is essential that we allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they do not create imbalances in our bodies and minds.

When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions more regularly. You can do this by employing a therapist or making a regular date to talk to a trusted friend. Journaling can also be a great way to acknowledge and release your emotions, as can certain forms of meditation. Making room in your life for tending your emotions on a regular basis will keep you healthy, balanced, and ready for life

Let Your Confidence Shine

September 3, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

We all have insecurities, what we think we see about another person is usually what they want us to notice.

At some point in our life there may come a time when we feel insecure about ourselves. We might judge our ability to do something or feel self-conscious about the way we look. It does not matter how this feeling manifests in our life, but it is important to be aware of our thoughts and how they impact our view of ourselves. Once we remember that insecurities are a normal part of life for everyone—even those who appear to be extremely self-assured—we may find it easier to step back from the uncertainty that lies within and take a more realistic look at ourselves.

The desire to improve or better ourselves is a natural response that arises when we begin to compare our lives to those of other people. It might seem, for example, that we do not have nearly as much going for us as our neighbor, best friend, or coworker. In truth, what we think we see about another person is usually what they want us to notice. They may be putting on a mask, trying to make things in their lives seem better than they are. If we were to look at their lives a little more closely, we would also realize that they are human, full of glorious imperfections that make them who they are. Recognizing this may take some time at first. Should we, however, feel our uncertainties begin to surface, taking deep breaths while at the same time acknowledging each one of our gifts will help us become more centered. Doing this allows us to see the wonders that lie within and lets our inner beauty shine forth into the world all the more brightly.

When we hold up such a detailed mirror to our lives and weigh ourselves against others, we are not able to see the things that make us truly unique. Giving ourselves permission to appreciate all the universe has given us, however, will make us feel more secure about ourselves and more able to use our gifts to their fullest.

Sending Yourself Sunshine

September 2, 2010

[ From DailyOM ]

The more we accept our darkness as one part of the picture, the more easily we can also allow and accept our light.

When things go wrong, it is easy to get into a bad mood, and that bad mood has a way of spiraling out and affecting our life for days to come. In the same way, when we feel badly about ourselves, we tend to act in ways that have repercussions, again creating a negative vibe that can negatively influence the next several days. While it is important that we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, and to be genuine, we do not have to completely surrender to a dark mood or feelings of self-doubt. In fact, the more we simply allow and accept our darkness as one part of the picture, the more easily we can also allow and accept our light. In this vein, we can temper our grey moods with an injection of sunshine in the form of sending good wishes to ourselves for the next 24 hours.

If you feel a bad mood coming on or find yourself plagued with negative feelings, take a moment to acknowledge that. At the same time, recognize that things can and will change, and that you can still have a good day, or a good week, especially if you take the time to visualize that for yourself. This is a great way to support yourself when you are working through tough times and hard feelings. When you visualize good things for yourself, you are sending yourself love and warmth, as well as encouraging yourself to keep going.

Before you even get out of bed in the morning, you can take the time to send good wishes to yourself all the way through to the next morning. As you picture your day, take the time to fill in the details—where you are going, who you will see, what you will do—and send love and good wishes ahead to yourself, as well as everyone you encounter. It will be like arriving in a new place and finding that an old friend has sent a bouquet of flowers from back home to welcome you and remind you that you are loved.