Posts Tagged ‘buddhist’


Thich Quang Duc

by adminadam in home

Thich Quang Duc / Thích Quảng Đức
Born: 1897, Died: 11 June 1963 (aged 65–66)
Other name(s): Bồ Tát Thích Quảng Đức (Bodhisattva Thích Quảng Đức)
Religion: Mahayana Buddhism
Hội Khánh, French Indochina / Saigon, South Vietnam

Thích Quảng Đức, on his death, 6/11/63

Thich Quang Duc

(Click picture to learn more about him.)

Attachment to Illusion

by adminadam in art, videos

The Sand Mandala (Tibetan: དཀྱིལ་འཁོར།; kilkhor) is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition involving the creation and destruction of mandalas made from colored sand. A sand mandala is ritualistically destroyed once it has been completed and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life. (link)

Planning creation, planning destruction

You build a fire and then you light it…

Symbolism in each grain

Ceremonious cooperation

Beauty is fleeting, as are all things

Fine detail, fine labor, and karmic purification

Sweeping away the attachment…

Attachment to Illusion

A Mandala Destruction Ceremony


Telomerase & Meditation

by adminadam in articles, education

A new study from UC Davis is showing that meditation can, over-time, help to increase your telomerase, a vital rejuvenating enzyme that extends the life of cells and helps to repair damage.

The key is in meditation’s ability to reduce stress levels. Stronger psychologically; stronger physiologically. Clifford Saron, a researcher who contributed to the study, had this to say:

“The take-home message from this work is not that meditation directly increases telomerase activity and therefore a person’s health and longevity, rather, meditation may improve a person’s psychological well-being and in turn these changes are related to telomerase activity in immune cells, which has the potential to promote longevity in those cells. Activities that increase a person’s sense of well-being may have a profound effect on the most fundamental aspects of their physiology.”

The participants in the experimental group underwent intensive training during a three-month retreat, and, compared to the control group, generally showed greater ability to avoid neuroticism/negative emotionality, in addition to feeling more in control of their lives and aware of themselves by the end of the study. I personally find this a very encouraging link between mind and body.

I meditate a short while each morning. Generally, I focus on what it is that I am thinking, what feelings are arising, and, my breathing of course.

The aim in a large part of the various meditation traditions is to ‘observe without judgment’ and become aware of your own mind and how it works. This doesn’t have to be the lotus-position, focused-breathing type of meditation by any means. The UC Davis study does point to structured meditation, however, as correlating with telomerase increases. The volunteers in the UC Davis study  practiced in a group setting for two hours a day, and in solitude for an average of about six hours a day. And while this would certainly be untenable for most normal folks, sessions as short as 10 minutes seem to produce measurable changes in emotional regulation and increase psychological well-being, leading to the potentially life-extending physiological benefits.

If you are interested in meditation but don’t know where to start, here are 4 basic techniques:

  1. Impermanence Meditation: Think on happy and unhappy events/times in your life. Think back and notice how all these things change and nothing is permanent. As you recall an experience, say to yourself “This is also impermanent.” or “This too will pass.” This I have often tried as I am falling asleep, my head full of fantasies and worries for the coming day. It calms me down to think of the transient nature of everything like this. You may find it useful, too.
  2. Watching the Dust Cloud: The mind is constantly churning with thoughts. Trying to stop yourself from thinking anything is generally futile, like trying to clear the motes of dust floating in a sunbeam by throwing spears at individual specks; every time you throw a spear, the whole cloud just gets kicked up again. Wait and the dust settles. Here, the idea is to compassionately note to yourself, “Thinking, good buddy…” and choose a focus point — your breath going out, the look of the back inner side of your eyelids, the sounds you are hearing, whatever you want. Choose a focus point and notice yourself thinking. Let the quiet enter naturally and you should finish feeling quite refreshed — but I will warn you that I have spent up to 45 minutes working towards this clear-mind-feeling, although it was worth it in the end. The realization that you are having no thoughts fill your head is singular and also quite exciting.
  3. A Healing Light: Good for relaxing the body. In this exercise, the practitioner images a brilliant source of healing light wandering slowly and meticulously over every section of the body. As it does it’s healing work in your mind, you feel the sensation in your toes, then the bottoms, then the tops of your feet, and working slowly up the legs and torso, out onto the arms, and up the neck to the face and head, the light sets your body tingling… Even without an imaginary light source, “feeling” your toes, feet, legs, torso, arms and head one-by-one is a revitalizing mental massage.
  4. Tonglen Meditation: This one I get from Pema Chodron. It is meant to provide illumination in dark and hopeless times. You start with the assumption and, well, fact — that despite the level of your woes, there are those out in the world who are worse-off, those who live with great suffering: Hunger, disease, poverty, chronic stress, intense anger, resentment, jealousy, deep-seated negativity, and more. To awaken the Buddha inside of you — or perhaps Inner Light for those not so keen on Inner-Buddha — one must continue to develop empathetic skills. In Tonglen Meditation, one breathes in (symbolically) the black, poison smoke of suffering, lightening the burdens of fellow human beings, and then breathes out peace, love, wisdom, hope, and happiness, in a clear, cleansing breathe of light. Taking in suffering, breathing out release from suffering. The target may be an individual as well, a mourning mother, a drug-addicted father, a lonely child, a relative who is ill, anyone you choose. To cleanse others awakens the Inner-light, the Inner-Buddha, who can more easily see the transient, unjust, and cyclic side of things. This helps to develop compassion and empathy, and put things in one’s own life in perspective.

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5 Great Buddha Quotes

by adminadam in quotes

ONE — “Things are not what they seem. Nor are they otherwise. Deeds exist, but no doer can be found.”

What does he mean by ‘no doer’? This connects directly with the concept of no self; just as all other things, phenomena are transient, illusory, etc., so is the self. Actions are real in that they have an effect on people and produce certain outcomes (everything is interdependent), but the self that can look back on the action is already not the same self anymore, because of impermanence… Funny, isn’t it?

TWO — “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

To the extent that we have any self at all, it is that which stems from our thoughts — these are the bases of the words we speak and the actions we perform. And our thinking patterns largely determine the ways in which we view all the things that “happen to us”, from the biased, individual perspective that is. Perception is reality, basically.

THREE — “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

We all have those days when one person’s unexpected kindness turns us around, snaps us out of the gloom, leads us to do a double-take on the stinky-rotten-nature of this ugly Monday morning, or whatever morning it happens to be. Lift each other up, people! One cookie may be enough…

FOUR — “I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

Wait too long and the universe will find some way of getting you out of your house, out of your pajamas, and you very well may not like it. Attack the day, non-violently that is, be proactive and claim your fate — or else you’ll be letting it claim you. Perhaps with one of those new sloth-seeking anvils. Watch out!

FIVE — “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”

(Looks at sky and laughs — “Ha HA!”)  … This quote is symbolic of the irony of realizing that enlightenment is nothing more than a direct experiencing of reality. And of course once you have done all the work needed to clear your mind of obstructions, it becomes exceedingly easy to maintain clarity. A perfect ‘enlightened’ experience is also a perfectly accurate experience of reality. How easy it is to ‘keep arriving’ once you get there…

buddha on suzuki


Ocean of Glass

by adminadam in home

there is nothing wrong according to the universe
the universe is – it just is.
no wrong can be filtered in or out;
the filtering is personal,
stemming from personal bias and the unfortunately habitual mind.
the root of perception, the root of reality as experienced
is in the mind.
and again, there is nothing wrong in the mind,
except that which is learned,
but which can be unlearned somehow.
how now?
unlearning is very unlike learning for the first time:
learning is busy, and energy-intensive,
unlearning is noticing what we have learned, crystallized,
and putting it up to the light to be examined
not to be picked apart, but to see how the light shines through it:
how opaque is the thing we have learned, which now we can objectively see?
unlearning is noticing:
the structures of the mind are nothing more than the waves of a slowly creeping, icy liquid ocean
impermanent, but seemingly ominous, seeming not to move.
and yet all these things that seem so solid, especially those that seem most solid, are corruptible, transient, creeping through time like the glass creeping down the cathedral pane, painfully slow, gravity constantly easing it downward…
unlearning is not a breaking of the glass, but a feel, for its subtle curvature, to grasp at where things are going, no more…
unlearning is calm and peaceful, reflection naturally healing, restoring energy, enlightening
like light shining through the pieces of this slowly shifting ocean made of glass,
the mind like an ocean made of glass.
the mind like an ocean made of glass.
the mind like an ocean made of glass.