There are no doors to the hells; you yourself make the doors.
All the water and drink you've consumed
From beginningless time until now
Has failed to satisfy your thirst or bring you contentment.
Drink therefore of this stream
Of enlightened mind, Fortunate Ones.
Self-reflection is a practice,
a path and an attitude.
It is the spirit of taking an interest
in that which we usually try to push away.
Self-reflection is the common thread
that runs through all traditions of Buddhist practice.
It breathes life into our practice,
preventing it from becoming just another enterprise.
When we practice self-reflection
we take liberation into our own hands and
accept the challenge and personal empowerment.
We humans suffer from a shortage of intensive knowledge-wisdom. We search for happiness where it doesn’t exist; it’s here, but we look over there. It’s actually very simple. True peace, happiness and joy lie within you; therefore, if you meditate correctly and investigate the nature of your mind you can discover the everlasting happiness and joy within. It’s always with you; it’s mental, not external material energy, which always fizzles out. Mental energy coupled with right method and right wisdom is unlimited and always with you. That’s incredible! And explains why human beings are so powerful."
If you wish others to know about your good deeds, they are not truly good deeds.
If you fear others will find out about your bad deeds, those are truly bad deeds.
Not to be pleased by praise,
Nor displeased by criticism,
And to maintain properly their good qualities:
These are the characteristics of noble people.
Truly excellent individuals, recognizing that generally in this world there are friends, enemies and neutral people, are unaffected by praise since they realize there are those who will surely criticize them. They are also unaffected when criticized, since they know there are yet others who will praise them. Knowing that particular words of acclaim and condemnation are merely melodious echoes, they focus on the Three Jewels, monitor their mental activity, are captivated by the Dharma, and properly abide in the tree trainings.
"Even if the whole world was filled with negative people and actions, still we had to do good. We had to make the aspiration to live truthfully and act ethically, showing love and respect to all other sentient beings. These days society was very difficult and full of falsehood, but without good people the world would lose all hope. Whether we were male or female, lay or ordained, we needed courage, sincerity and the commitment to be a good person. It wouldn’t be easy. Yet, however dark the world might be, we had to be a small lamp in that dark. From now, everybody had to take on that responsibility from today."
Namo Amitabha Buddha!http://www.blia.org/english/publication ... ges/05.htm
Let me tell some more stories to illustrate my point and to illustrate how we can intelligently use our time and space for our own blessings.
One day, a young person saw a very old man. He was curious and asked, "Sir, can you tell me how old you are?"
With a smile, the gentlemen replied, "Oh! I am four. I am four years old."
The young fellow was shocked. He looked at the old gentleman left and right, "Oh! Sir, please do not joke with me. Your hair is so white and your beard is so long. How could you be four?"
"Yes! I am really four!" The old man then kindly explained, "In the past, I lived a befuddled life. I was selfish and preoccupied. I wasted away a great portion of my life. It wasn't until four years ago that I discovered Buddhism. Then I learned to do good and be helpful. I learned to get rid of my greed, hatred, and ignorance. I realized that I should cultivate myself to find my true nature. My entire life had not been meaningful, valuable, or fulfilling until these past four years. You asked me my age. I really feel I have been a worthwhile person for only these four years. This is why I am only four."
Virtuous deeds should be done as soon as possible.
The Dharma should be learned as early as possible.
Please let me ask all of you: in your brief existence in this realm of time and space,
how have you been leading your lives?
Have you used the opportunity to do good and to seek the truth?
Have you used all available time and space to benefit others and yourselves?
When we practice bodhicitta prayers or meditations, it may look like we are alone, like we are practicing for ourselves, but we are not practicing for ourselves, and we are not alone. All beings are interconnected, and in that sense they are present or affected. Milarepa sang, "When I am alone, meditating in the mountains, all the Buddhas past, present, and future are with me. Guru Marpa is always with me. All beings are here."
We are not practicing for ourselves alone, since everybody is involved and included in the great scope of our prayers and meditations on this perfectly pure motivation. The natural outflow of so-called "solitary meditation or prayer" is spontaneous benefit for others; it's like the rays of the sun, rays which spontaneously reach out. This good heart, pure heart, vast and open mind, is called in Tibetan sem karpo, white mind. It means pure, vast, and open heart. This is innate bodhicitta. It is not something foreign to us, as we well know, yet it is something we could relate to more, cultivate, generate, and embody.
We talk about vast and profound teachings of Dharma, such as Dzogchen, but without this goodness of heart, this unselfishness, it is mere chatter, gossip, and rationalization.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!http://www.dharmabliss.org/quotes.htm
People have sharp eyes and will see your good points.
You don't need to praise yourself.
If you want to determine whether a person is genuine or phony,
whether he is a Bodhisattva or a demon,
you can look for the following things:
First, see whether he has any desire for sex;
and second, see whether he is greedy for money.
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