Step by Step

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Giving

Postby Hanzze » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:26 am

Giving

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Jesus said, “Whatsoever you have given to one of my brothers, you have given to me as well.”
Great beings maintain their mental balance by giving preference to the welfare of others, working to alleviate the suffering of others, feeling joy for the successes of others, and treating all beings equally.
Great beings receive their pleasure in giving gifts. To avoid harming others, they practice the five precepts. They practice non-indulgence in order to perfect their virtue. They practice meditation in order to see clearly what is good and what is not good for beings.
Great beings constantly arouse their energy by keeping the welfare of others at heart. When they attain great courage through this exertion of energy, they become patient with others’ faults. They do not deceive. They are unshakeable committed to the welfare and happiness of others. With loving kindness, they always place the welfare of others before their own. With equanimity, they expect no reward. This is how they perfect all the good states, beginning with giving.
Just that! :-)
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We Are Our Temple

Postby Hanzze » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:58 am

We Are Our Temple

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Many Buddhists are suffering - in Tibet, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, and elsewhere. The most important thing we Buddhists can do is to foster the liberation of the human spirit in every nation of the human family. We must use our religious heritage as a living resource.
What can Buddhism do to heal the wounds of the world? What did the Buddha teach that we can use to heal and elevate the human condition? One of the Buddha’s most courageous acts was to walk onto a battlefield to stop a conflict. He did not sit in his temple waiting for the opponents to approach him. He walked right onto the battlefield to stop the conflict. In the West, we call this “conflict resolution.”
How do we resolve a conflict, a battle, a power struggle? What does reconciliation really mean? Gandhi said that the essence of nonviolent action is that it seeks to put an end to antagonism, not the antagonists. We implicitly trust his or her human nature and understand that ill-will is caused by ignorance. By appealing to the best in each other, both of us archive the satisfaction of peace. We both become peacemakers. Gandhi called this a “bilateral victory.”
We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to the Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will then become our temples. We have so much work to do.
This will be a slow transformation, for many people throughout Asia have been trained to rely on the traditional monkhood. Many Cambodians tell me, “Venerable monks belong in the temple.” It is difficult for them to adjust to this new role, but we monks must answer the increasingly loud cries of suffering. We only need to remember that our temple is with us always. We are our temple.
Last edited by Hanzze on Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! :-)
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Peace Is Growing Slowly

Postby Hanzze » Thu Feb 10, 2011 11:43 am

Peace Is Growing Slowly

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There is no self. There are only causes and conditions. Therefore, to struggle with ourselves and others is useless. The wise ones know that the root causes and conditions of all conflicts are in the mind.
Victory creates hatred. Defeat creates suffering. The wise ones wish neither victory nor defeat.
We can oppose selfishness with the weapon of generosity. We can oppose ignorance with the weapon of wisdom. We can oppose hatred with the weapon of loving kindness.
The Buddha said, “When we are wronged, we must set aside all resentment and say, ‘My mind will not be disturbed. Not one angry word will escape from my lips. I will remain kind and friendly, with loving thoughts and no secret malice.’” Peace begins in the mind. Yes, we show loving kindness, even for the oppressor.
After a great darkness, we see the dawning of peace in Cambodia. We are grateful for the Buddha’s compassion and light, his realization of peace, unity, and wisdom. We pray that this unity, the heart of reconciliation, the middle path, will be present at every meeting and dialogue of Cambodia’s leaders.
We seek to learn and teach the skills of peace. When we live the Dharma, we develop inner peace and the outer skills needed to make peace a reality. With peacemakers of all faiths, we can accept no victory except peace itself. We have no need for personal honor, title, or glory.
Loving kindness is alive in every heart. Listen carefully. Peace is growing in Cambodia, slowly, step by step.
Just that! :-)
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Self-Determination

Postby Hanzze » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:53 am

Self-Determination

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The suffering of Cambodia is but a mirror of the world. The Buddha tells us that enlightenment begins when we realize that life is suffering.
This may seem negative or pessimistic to many people, but it is not. It is only a statement of our shared circumstance, to be seen without regret or attachment.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “When the satyagraha practices ahimsa and suffers voluntarily, the love that develops within has a tremendous power. It affects and elevates everyone around, including the opponent.” Gandhi called this “The Law of Suffering.” The Buddha also taught that suffering teaches us compassion. Whenever I think about the suffering of the Cambodian people, I am filled with compassion.
The Buddha said, “You must work out your own salvation with diligence.” What does this mean? Each of us is responsible for our own salvation. This is self-determination in its purest, most essential from. All understanding of liberation, personal or national, must begin with this point.
The idea of personal salvation has been debated among different religions and schools of thought. Personal salvation does not mean salvation exclusive of the rest of humanity. If we follow the eightfold path, the path toward an end to suffering, our growing union with the universal spirit unfolds naturally, and our love comes to embrace all living beings. Personal salvation is but a microcosm of human salvation.
If we meditate on the ten perfections, we gradually become selfless, and we cannot help but inspire those around us. Gandhi said, “The satyagraha seeks self-realization through social service.” The Dalai Lama recently told me, “To exterminate the root cause of all suffering, we must seek refuge in the three precious gems - the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. We must develop altruism and strong will.” He said that it is his firm belief that this will bring lasting peace and happiness to the entire human race.
The key to social service and social ethics is loving kindness. Loving kindness is no different from ahimsa, non-harming. It includes the well-being of everyone. According to the Buddha, even when our body is dismembered we can radiate good will toward all beings, remaining patient toward those who caused the harm and causing them no injury, even in thought. Hatred is never appeased by hatred. Hatred is only appeased by love.
Just that! :-)
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Re: Step by Step

Postby Hanzze » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:45 am

Who Is The Enemy?

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In 1981, the United Nations held a conference to discuss the future of Cambodia. During that time, we held a Buddhist ceremony for peace. At the end of the ceremony, a Khmer Rouge leader came up to me, very cautiously, and asked if I would come to Thailand to build a temple at the border. I said that I would.
“Oh!” thought many people, “he is talking to the enemy. He is helping the enemy! How can he do that?” I reminded them that love embraces all beings, whether they are noble.minded or low-minded, good or evil.
Both the noble and the good are embraced because loving kindness flows to them spontaneously. The unwholesome-minded must be included because they are the ones who need loving kindness the most. In many of them, the seed of goodness may have died because warmth was lacking for its growth. It perished from coldness in a world without compassion.
Gandhi said that he was always ready to compromise. He said, “Behind my non-cooperation there is always the keenest desire to cooperate, on the slightest pretext, even with the worst of opponents. To me, a very imperfect mortal is ever in need of God’s grace, ever in need of the Dharma. No one is beyond redemption.”
I do not question that loving one’s oppressors - Cambodians loving the Khmer Rouge - may be the most difficult attitude to archive. But it is a law of the universe that retaliation, hatred, and revenge only continue the circle and never stop it. Reconciliation does not mean that we surrender rights and conditions, but rather that we use love in all of our negotiations. It means that we see ourselves in the opponent - for what is the opponent but a being in ignorance, and we ourselves are also ignorant of many things. Therefore, only loving kindness and right mindfulness can free us.
Gandhi said, “The more you develop ahimsa in your being, the more infectious it becomes, until it overwhelms your surroundings and, by and by, it might oversweep this world!” We are each individually responsible for our own salvation and our own happiness. Through our service, we find a road to salvation. This service is nothing but our love for all beings and the uplifting of ignorance into light.
Just that! :-)
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The Human Family

Postby Hanzze » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:36 am

The Human Family

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During his lifetime, the Buddha lobbied for peace and human rights. We can learn much from a lobbyist like him.
Human rights begin when each man becomes a brother and each woman a sister, when we honestly care for each other. Then Cambodians will help Jews, and Jews will help Africans, and Africans will help others. We will all become servants for each others rights.
Is is so even in my tiny country. Until Cambodians are concerned with Vietnam’s right to exist and be free, and with Thailand’s rights,a nd even China’s rights, we will be denied our own rights.
When we accept that we are part of a great human family - that every man and every woman has the nature of Buddha, Allah, and Christ - then we will sit, talk, make peace, and bring humankind to its fullest flowering.
I pray that all of us will realize peace in this lifetime, and save all beings from suffering!
Peacemaking is at the heart of life. We peacemakers must meet as often as possible to make peace in ourselves, our countries, and the whole world.
Any real peace will not favor East, West, North, or South. A peaceful Cambodia will be friendly to all. Peace is nonviolent, and so we Cambodians will remain nonviolent toward ass as we rebuild our country. Peace is based on justice and freedom, and so a peaceful Cambodia will be just and free.
Our journey for peace begins today and every day. Making peace is our life. We must invite people from around the world to join in our journey. As we make peace for ourselves and our country, we make peace for the whole world.
Just that! :-)
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Preserving Our Heritage

Postby Hanzze » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:16 pm

Preserving Our Heritage

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North America is a melting pot. We Cambodians have been here for just one generation. In recent year, we have also resettled in Europe, Australia, and throughout Asia. As we rebuild our lives in new lands, as we become part of new societies, it is important for us also to preserve our cultural identity. Without our culture, we will become lost and confused, like fish out of water.

Cambodians have precious heritage. The richness of Cambodian culture includes many gifts:


* Cambodians are fearless because they can overcome greed, anger and delusion.

* Cambodians are humble, courteous, and noble.

* Cambodians are grateful to their mother and father, to their leaders, to their land, and to the whole world. Cambodians keep the five moral precepts, the constitution of humanity, and the Dharma of goodness.

* Cambodians have mindfulness and clear comprehension as their protectors.

* Cambodians practice loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.

* Cambodians have patience. They can bear great difficulties, suffering, and hardships.

* Cambodians forgive and forget the wrongs of other people. They learn from the lessons of the past. They use the present to build the future.

* Cambodians are truthful and well-behaved. They follow the middle path.

* Cambodians are soft and smiling. Their speech is truthful, loving, and practical, clear, vibrant, and sweet. Their speech has the power to free the mind from anxiety, to purify the mind from delusion, and to make the mind strong.

* Cambodians have the tradition of solidarity, united by Buddhism and their love of Dharma.

When we are in the river, we flow with the river, zigzag. But we cannot forget our bout, which is our tradition. As Buddha’s all, may the Cambodian people be peacemakers. In the tradition of our scared land, may we celebrate unity, loving kindness, and peace with our deepest gratitude.
Just that! :-)
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Building Bridges

Postby Hanzze » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:23 pm

Building Bridges

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Cambodia has been torn by death, starvation, and strife. Our people have turned against each other, brother fighting brother. The whole world has been suppling guns to our people to help us kill one other.
Now we are brought to our one common element - the middle path of the Dharma. There is no other path for us. We must travel the middle path together, step by step. On our journey, we seek to awaken the Buddha nature, the Christ nature, the burning light of peace in all our people. We seek to awaken the nonviolent resolution to all of our problems. We seek to rebuilt the sangha, the Cambodian Buddhist community. We want to support Buddhist monks and nuns and to help temples grow in Cambodia and throughout the world. We seek to rebuild the bridges among our people, no matter how grave the differences may seem.
We are united by our own Buddha nature, and with our Buddha nature we can build bridges of unity, understanding, and peace. We will journey to Cambodia and to every corner of the world where there are Cambodians. Each step will be a prayer, and each step will build a bridge. Our pilgrimage is one with all the world’s religions and with all the world’s religion leaders. Each person’s prayer and meditation is a powerful vibration of peace for Cambodia and the entire world.
Just that! :-)
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Four Faces, One Heart

Postby Hanzze » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:47 pm

Four Faces, One Heart

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During the Angkor period of our history, the ancient kings built elaborate temples. These stone temples reach to the skies and extended for miles, and so they were called “temple mountains.” One of the most famous is Angkor Thom. Parts of Angkor Thom still stand today.
At Angkor Thom’s main gate, there is a beautiful sculpture. It is a very large head with four faces of the Buddha, gazing out in four directions. The faces stand for great qualities of the Buddha - loving kindness, compassion, equanimity, and sympathetic joy.
Why has this sculpture endured for so many centuries? Because it holds a promise - the nearly forgotten secret to peace in Cambodia: loving kindness, compassion, equanimity, and sympathetic joy. Four faces, one heart. Four factions, one Cambodia. Peace is coming slowly, step by step.
Just that! :-)
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An Army of Peace

Postby Hanzze » Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:31 am

An Army of Peace

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History is being made. Four armies are putting down their guns. Four Factions are joining to govern. We are all walking together.
All Cambodia weeps for the dead. Every act has a consequence. Years of violence have brought great tragedy. More violence can only bring more harm.
Now is the time for peace, and Buddhist monks will bring a fifth army to Cambodia - the army of the Buddha. We will shoot people with bullets of loving kindness.
The army of the Buddha will maintain strict neutrality. Mindfulness will be our armor. We will be an army of so much courage that we will turn away from violence. Our goal will be to bring an end to suffering.
We will work for unity, freedom, and fro an international policy of friendship. In the day ahead, we will continue to broaden the spiritual ground for peace. We will continue to strengthen our skills for peace. We will seek to organize ourselves as an army of peace.
As we go forward, let us remember these seven basic principles:

1. Cambodia embraces a distinctive people, culture, and religion tradition that must be preserved and maintained.
2. Cambodian people overwhelmingly desire nonviolence, disarmament, and neutrality.
3. Cambodian people must obtain all basic human rights, including of self-determination and rights to freely pursue economic, social, and cultural development.
4. Nonviolence is the primary precept of Cambodian history, culture and religion.
5. Cambodian people everywhere need to be invited to join in this meditation and peace effort.
6. Buddhism offers a reconciling, universal, and unifying spirit.
7. The way of the eightfold path - right understanding, right mindfulness, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right attention, right concentration - will bring peace.

May the richness and power or our heritage, the goodness of Cambodians everywhere, and the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha move us to a peaceful reunification.
Just that! :-)
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Love‘s Embrace

Postby Hanzze » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:44 pm

Love‘s Embrace

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Cambodian people have a special way of greeting each other. They cup their hands in a prayerful pose and bow their heads low. This is called sompeah „I bow to your Buddha nature.“
When Cambodians greet persons of special importance, they offer a long and warm embrace. Then they gently lift the honored one into the air. This gesture places the honored one‘s head above the head of the greeter. It says, “I have deep reverence for your being.”
When I met Pope John Paul II on the Vatican steps, we shared a warm embrace. Then, to show respect, I tried to lift him. But I am a small monk and the Pope is of great stature. My arm was sore for weeks afterwards. Compassion must be met with wisdom!
Some people say Buddhism and Christianity can not live together. I say, “Why not?” Love can embrace everything.
I bring love to the Pope, the Pope is happy. He embraces me, and I embrace him. We are fearless together because of love.
Just that! :-)
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Each Step Is a Prayer

Postby Hanzze » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:30 pm

Each Step Is a Prayer

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The Buddha called the practice of mindfulness „the only way.“ Always in the present. At this very moment. From moment to moment. In all activity. In this very step.
This is why we say, “Step by Step. Each step is a meditation.” When the children in Providence see me off at the station, as I walk up to the train, they shout, “Slowly, slowly, step by step, each step is a prayer!” and all the passengers look and smile. This saying has become famous!
The children do not know English well, but they know this sentence by heart. They are the new Cambodia, and already they know the way to peace.
In Cambodia, we say, “A journey of 10.000 miles begins with a single step.”
Slowly, slowly, step by step. Each step is a meditation. Each step is a prayer.


The whole book can be found:
Meditations on Wisdom and Compassion
Step by Step
Maha Ghosananda

Foreword by Dith Pran
Preface by Jack Kronfield
Parallax Press + Berkeley + California
ISBN 0-938077-43-0

Just that! :-)
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Re: Step by Step

Postby Quiet Heart » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:24 am

:smile:
Once there was a monk who heard a story of a beautiful place where everyone was happy. He decided to search all his life for that place.
After many years of study he finally found a map with the directions to that place. So he set out on his journey.
The way was long and difficult, but he perservered. Eventually he saw the walls of a beautiful park. He knew that was the goal he had been searching for all his life. Approaching the walls, he saw there was a gate to enter the park, but it was closed and locked. He called for someone to open the gate and let him in, but no one came.
While he was deciding what to do he saw on the ground near the gate a large number of precious gems which had apparently been discarded there. He picked one up and held it up to the fading daylight. It was truely beautiful and a very valuable gem! Why would anyone discaard such a valuable gem here in front of the gate?
While he was looking at the gem he suddenly heard the sound of a pack of wild dogs from the forest behind him. With a start he realised it was getting darker, and soon it would be night. He needed to get into that park where he would be safe from the wild dogs very soon!
Using the beautiful gem he had in his hand he began to bang loudly on the metal gate. The noise woke up the gatekeeper, who saw him waiting there, and the gatekeeper opened the gate to let the monk enter.
Looking at the park the monk knew his life-long journey had not been wasted. It was truely a paradise.
Leaving the pack of wild dogs behind him, he entered into the gate and the park. As he did he dropped the no longer needed gem behind him. It no longer was of any use to him.

The beautiful place the monk heard of in his youth represents enlightenment
The monk's decision to find it represents his initial commitment to go there.
The map he found to that park represents the Dharma.
His long journey represents his years of practice and meditation.
Finding the park represents first catching sight of his goal.
The closed and locked gate represents the need to take the final step into enlightenment.
The beautiful gems scattered about on the ground in front of the gate represent all the various paths that lead to enlightenment
The pack of wild dogs in the forest represent all the forces that wanted to keep him from entering into enlightenment.
Banging on the gate to the park with that beautiful gem represents using that Dharma to awaken the gatekeeper to open the gate so he can enter into the paradise of enlightenment.
Dropping the gem represents letting go of the Dharma that got him through the gate. Once he entered, it was of no use to him any longer.

All the beautiful gems, the Dharma gems, were only "expedient means" used for the purpose of entering into enightenment only. They had no other value, no matter how beautiful they were.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Step by Step

Postby lobster » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:06 am

sometimes we are the bump
sometimes the bumped :thanks:
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