To understand the significance of the Buddhas, it may be worth reading the introduction to the mandala of the five Buddhas, which explains a little more about what they really are and how they evolved in the archetypal Vajrayana Buddhist imagination. Effectively how real they are, and in what way they are real, is left to you. They are not like Gods, they represent aspects of the enlightened mind, and as such, are both real and unreal, both archetype and other power.
Ratnasambhava is the gorgeous bright Buddha of the southern realm, made of golden light, made of the summer, of generosity and abundance, giving and equanimity. He is the sunshine at its bright zenith, the reworking of the mind and heart to include all life in one’s outlook rather than the limited one self. Continue reading Ratnasambhava – The Golden Buddha of the South
If you had been out walking one night, two and a half millennia across time, you might have seen, framed against the moonlight shining on the river, a meditating figure. There would have been something deeply compelling about this sight, about the enigmatic smile and peaceful countenance.
Had you been out again the next morning, the same sight would have greeted you, except this time he would be framed by golden light of the sparkling sunshine, dancing on the surface of the gently flowing stream.
What you would not know, what you could not know, is that in the sparkling stream of consciousness connecting the two sights, the most profound event for life in this aeon had arisen. A Buddha had come to be.
Continue reading The Buddha’s Activity is as Sunlight Dancing on the Waters of Time
Another year has passed, and we are reminded of the passing of time. The numbers change, the years of our lives pass. To recollect the preciousness of our time is not depressing, but a reminder that it is to be cherished, this gift of life. Yesterday I wrote about setting goals and deciding to achieve them, and also about the joy of giving, and ways we might better serve our communities and our world.
However, I want to suggest that whatever your faith, however you define or label yourself in religious or non-religious terms, that one of the best and healthiest resolutions you could make are to turn your mind to its patterns and conditioning, and begin to know freedom from the processes with which the mind decides that things are not right, and that you need x or y to make you happy. I want to offer the possibility of freedom from craving and grasping and clinging, I want to suggest you learn to meditate. Continue reading Four Mind-Turning Reflections and the Threefold Way
It’s the perfect time to reflect on the year, now we are past the frenetic Christmas rush. Many people are off work this week and have some time to pause, take stock, and plot a new course.
Like a ship in port, sometimes we need to look at what cargo we are carrying, and work out what we would like to add to our inventory. We may need to make physical repairs, cosmetic improvements, or perhaps there is inner work to be done. Perhaps the engine needs greasing, or the mind needs cleaning, maybe motivation needs stoking and maps pored over, to plot new and exciting journeys. Continue reading New Year – Resolutions, Reflections, and Random Acts of Kindness
Once upon a time there was a seed, and it had been tossed and turned about in the soil. It was anxious and unhappy, for it was sure there was something it needed to do. It was as if it had forgotten why it was here, and as if the conditions were not quite right for it.
So one lovely day, one gorgeous, auspicious morning, it had a glimpse of the sunshine. It saw something so beautiful, bright, and wonderful that it wished to crack open, unfurl and grow, so that it could once again know that warmth and brightness.
Continue reading Fragile is the Seed on its Way to the Sunshine
Let me take you on a journey, from the hells of addiction to the peaks of experience. I wish I had heard this when I was younger, so please allow me to give you a gift, a gift I need to give.
We all seek a refuge in life, we all seek happiness and freedom. Drugs and alcohol are an easy way out, a well trod path from pain. Sadly though, they lead to more suffering.
Addiction is very much like a cave system, you leave the world and go into a warm and inviting room. A cosy pub or party, with smiles and beautiful, jolly people. You like it there, and you want to stay. Your social life is now a search for this feeling of cosiness, of security, of confidence, of smiles. Continue reading A Letter to the Addict – A Seed of Hope and a Lamp for the Path
So many people say that they can’t meditate, often after perhaps trying it just a few times! Their mind is just a jumble, so it must be beyond them. Well we all are like that in the beginning, so welcome to the mind, to the monkey-mind.
There is nothing special and different about you, it is not as if your mind is wired differently or damaged uniquely, all mind craves and suffers. Continue reading You Say You Can’t Meditate?
Sometimes we forget that our meditation sessions are so directly affected by what we have been doing prior. Our whole day runs through our mind when we try to sit, or it does for me anyway, and similarly when I sit often a barrage of things I have to do comes up. Sometimes it helps to have a notepad nearby in case something seems essential.
Often after excitement or exercise or conversation, it takes ages to settle. It helps to have a clear conscience and to be settled emotionally. That said, sometimes when I have been sad or angry and sat with it, turning it into a meditation on suffering and its causes, on compassion, can be incredibly powerful and transformative. Continue reading Meditation: Preparation and Ritual
I woke up this morning with a vision, whether from dreams or the ether, or from the simple conditions of reflection and writing about dharma and ecology, from the frustrations and the wish to change the way we live in a meaningful way. I wrote an article about purifying our karma, about taking charge of the network of conditions that is creating our personal reality and forming our daily lives and our levels of happiness (here) and this vision was to apply the same principles to the world.
There is a shift happening, all the conditions are forming for change. Just as the present world is formed by layer after layer of conditions, just as it is dependent on certain conditions, attitudes or beliefs, on certain economic realities, so it is certain to pass away due to conditions and changing perceptions, attitudes and beliefs. Reality, or the world, is like a garden, and we are its gardeners. Continue reading Seeding Planetary Karma – How to Effect Change