Worldly Thoughts

"There are these two kinds of gifts: a gift of material things & a gift of the Dhamma. Of the two, this is supreme: a gift of the Dhamma." - Buddha

Reflection 37: Prepare for conflict by developing loving-kindness and wisdom

Those who have renounced the use of force

in relationship to other beings,

whether weak or strong,

who neither kill nor cause to be killed,

can be called great beings.

— Dhammapada 405

"We aspire to live with a heart of kindness and wisdom. And it is to these spiritual powers that we need to turn when we seek a resolution to conflict. On occasions when we don’t get our own way, we can feel tempted to use force. At an instinctive level part of us might want to fight, manipulate, even be unkind. For this reason e train to prepare ourselves in advance, so that when the fires of resentment, frustration and disappointment flare up we don’t abandon our commitment to reality"

— Ajahn Munindo

Reflection 36: Investigate your suffering instead of swimming in it

As water falls from a lotus leaf

so sorrow drops from those

who are free of toxic craving.

— Dhammapada 336

"The sorrows of life can convince us they are really important. They seem to demand a huge amount of attention. However, the Buddha teaches us that the most important things are mindfulness and wise reflection. If mindfulness practice is mature, we will be able to observe suffering when it arises without becoming too fascinated by it. We will also be able to reflect wisely on the reality of the moods we have, not just be sensitive to them. They are not ultimate — they come and go. And there is a cause for their arising. Once this cause is recognized, the Buddha says, suffering simply falls away."

— Ajahn Munindo

Reflection 35:

Immeasurable is the benefit

obtained from honouring those 

who are pure and beyond fear.

Beings who have found freedom

from sorrow and grieving are worthy of honour.

— Dhammapada 195-196

"It is virtue within us that recognizes virtue in others. When we honour this or that virtue in another person, those same qualities are nourished within ourselves. We set Buddha images up high so that we can look up to them and to that which they symbolize. What a privilege to find confidence in a path of practice which points to sorrow and fear as teachings. Such feelings are not who or what we are — there is much more to us than that in bowing to our teacher, the Buddha, we learn to bow into life and death and to learn from everything."

Reflection 34: Don’t use one’s words to gauge their wisdom

Those who speak much

are not necessarily possessed of wisdom.

The wise can be seen to be at peace with life

and free from all enmity and fear.

— Dhammapada 258

"The Buddha often spoke about ‘the wise’ and the benefits of associating with the wise. But how can we be sure someone is wise? One way is to observe how free they are from ill-will. And we might get a feeling for that by listening to them with our hearts. The same is true for fear. Does this person generate peace or contention? If we listen only with our heads, we could be over-impressed by clever speech. But if we let go of trying to know for sure and quietly trust in mindful attention, our own common sense may guide us."

— Ajahn Munindo

Reflection 33: Listening with the heart means not being cynical

A single verse of truth

which calms the mind

is better to hear than a thousand 

irrelevant verses.

— Dhammapada 101

"[The verse says] that quality counts for more than quantity. If we apply this principle to our effort in practice, we won’t worry about how long we have been sitting, how many texts we have studied or how many Dhamma talks we have listened to. It is of more value to listen fully to just one minute of a Dhamma talk than to listen partially for many hours. To listen fully means we listen not just with our ears, but also with our hearts. And to do this we let go of trying to understand. Also, we must let go of all cynicism. Wholesome scepticism is an ally in practice, but cynicism is corrosive. Real listening requires trust."

Reflection 32: Magical experiences should not be the goal!

Swans fly through the air.

Adept yogis transport themselves through space.

Wise beings transcend worldly delusion

by outwitting the hordes of Māra

— Dhammapada 175

"As we journey along the spiritual path, we will inevitably hear of magical feats performed by spiritual masters. Even if some people do experience profound states of absorption and have powerful psychic abilities, wanting such experiences to occur can be an obstruction to development. We are wise to remember that Māra can appear in any guise. Without well-established, embodied awareness, we can easily ascribe more value to special experiences than they deserve. The feat the Buddha praised was that of transcending delusion.

— Ajahn Munindo

Reflection 31: Meditation is like exercise

Those who are foolish and confused

betray themselves to heedlessness.

The wise treasure the awareness they have cultivated

as their most precious possession.

— Dhammapada 26

"We all forget ourselves from time to time and become lost in confusion. What matters is how long it takes us to remember. We can’t rid ourselves of confusion just because we don’t like it. But meditation can help. When we make an effort in formal practice to come back to our object of focus over and over again, we are building a certain kind of strength. Even if we don’t see it at the time, valuable potential is growing. Meditation can be boring and can even seem pointless. But energy never disappears. The good effort we make to remember to return to our meditation object can come back to us in daily life as spontaneous here-and-now awareness. Where we might previously have forgotten ourselves and become lost, we suddenly find ourselves again, alert and mindful of what is happening. Such awareness is indeed a treasure."

— Ajahn Munindo

Reflection 30: Don’t hate the ego, don’t embrace it — see past it

One might defeat alone in battle

a thousand-thousand men,

but one who gains self mastery

is by far the greater hero.

— Dhammapada 103

"This verse is not an endorsement of violence of any kind. It is about recognizing that which is truly worthy. When the ego sees itself as a hero there are problems. Dhamma says that none of ego’s achievements are particularly valuable. What truly matters is the task of dropping our attachment to, and identification with, the personality structure. If we think we are being spiritual by demonizing ego, we make the task even harder. Self-mastery is not served by merely judging the unhappy experience of limited being. It is about investigating until we come to see the way things actually are. Ego has its place. It is a convention or habit of perception that has a natural function. The mistake we make is to assume that it is who and what we are."

— Ajahn Munindo

Donate to a friend in need!

Hey all, I have a friend who would benefit greatly from your help. She’s pregnant, but her body is in rough shape and so she must stay in the hospital. As you may know, hospital care isn’t all that cheap. She has 6 kids she needs to take care of — six! — and her inability to work is making it difficult to support her whole family. She’s on the verge of losing her job, and the bills are piling up.

She is very stressed. Stress, besides making the mind unhealthy, makes the body unhealthy as well. In the situation she’s in, stress is the one of the lastthings she needs. It will have a bad effect on her mind, her body, and the baby. It could seriously harm both of them. There’s no doubt that her fiance and kids are stressed as well.

So, I ask you to please donate money for her well-being. Here’s a link to the donation page.

http://www.gofundme.com/ewypl4

Thank you for your help. If you cannot donate, a reblog would be great as a way to spread the word… Thanks again.

"One who gives, who is a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large. And the fact that who gives, who is a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large: this is a fruit of generosity visible in the here & now.

Furthermore, good people, people of integrity, admire one who gives, who is a master of giving. And the fact that good people, people of integrity, admire one who gives, who is a master of giving: this, too, is a fruit of generosity visible in the here & now.”

— Buddha

Help a friend of mine in need — Donate!

Hey all, I have a friend who would benefit greatly from your help. She’s pregnant, but her body is in rough shape and so she must stay in the hospital. As you may know, hospital care isn’t all that cheap. She has 6 kids she needs to take care of — six! — and her inability to work is making it difficult to support her whole family. She’s on the verge of losing her job, and the bills are piling up.

She is very stressed. Stress, besides making the mind unhealthy, makes the body unhealthy as well. In the situation she’s in, stress is the one of the last things she needs. It will have a bad effect on her mind, her body, and the baby. It could seriously harm both of them. There’s no doubt that her fiance and kids are stressed as well.

So, I ask you to please donate money for her well-being. Here’s a link to the donation page.

http://www.gofundme.com/ewypl4

Thank you for your help. If you cannot donate, a reblog would be great as well. Thanks again.

Reflection 29: Set your mind on calm contentedness — don’t give in to habits

Like a fish, which on being dragged

from its home in the water

and tossed on dry land 

will thrash about,

so will the heart tremble

when withdrawing from the current of Māra

— Dhammapada 34

"Probably we can all relate to this image. It’s about how it feels when we attempt to let go of our habits. The current of Māra — a Buddhist term for the manifestation of delusion — is the force of distraction. Even after years of practice, our addicted to distraction can still return, sometimes subtle, sometimes coarse. The more intense our resolve to let go, the more convincing the obstructions can appear. This is not necessarily something going wrong, it is natural. We are all in this together and it can help to remember we need each other’s support on this challenging journey."