Saturday, December 23, 2006

Symptoms of Inner Peace

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

Loss of interest in judging others.

Loss of interest in interpreting actions of others.

Loss of interest in conflict.

Loss of ability to worry. (very serious symptom)

Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation or unattached giving.

A tendency to smile more often

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

Frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes from the heart.

Tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

Tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fear based on past experiences.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

the truth of desire

Our usual perceptions are tinged with “unwise consideration”. We ordinarily look only at the surfaces of things, scan them in terms of our immediate interests and wants; only rarely do we dig into the roots of our involvements or explore their long-range consequences. To set this straight calls for wise consideration: looking into the hidden undertones to our actions, exploring their results, evaluating the worthiness of our goals. In this investigation our concern must not be with what is pleasant, but with what is true. We have to be prepared and willing to discover what is true even at the cost of our comfort. For real security always lies on the side of truth, not on the side of comfort.

When desire is scrutinized closely, we find that it is constantly shadowed by 'unsatisfactoriness' (or dissatisfying). Sometimes 'unsatisfactoriness' appears as pain or irritation; often it lies low as a constant strain of discontent. But the two — desire and dukkha — are inseparable concomitants. We can confirm this for ourselves by considering the whole cycle of desire. At the moment desire springs up it creates in us a sense of lack, the pain of want. To end this pain we struggle to fulfill the desire. If our effort fails, we experience frustration, disappointment, sometimes despair. But even the pleasure of success is not unqualified. We worry that we might lose the ground we have gained. We feel driven to secure our position, to safeguard our territory, to gain more, to rise higher, to establish tighter controls. The demands of desire seem endless, and each desire demands the eternal: it wants the things we get to last forever. But all the objects of desire are impermanent. Whether it be wealth, power, position, or other persons, separation is inevitable, and the pain that accompanies separation is proportional to the force of attachment

Desire breeds fear and sorrow. Renunciation gives fearlessness and joy.

Bhikkhu Bodhi

the path

The search for a spiritual path is born out of suffering. It does not start with lights and ecstasy, but with the hard tacks of pain, disappointment, and confusion. However, for suffering to give birth to a genuine spiritual search, it must amount to more than something passively received from without. It has to trigger an inner realization, a perception which pierces through the facile complacency of our usual encounter with the world to glimpse the insecurity perpetually gaping underfoot. When this insight dawns, even if only momentarily, it can precipitate a profound personal crisis. It overturns accustomed goals and values,
mocks our routine preoccupations, leaves old enjoyments stubbornly unsatisfying.

No longer can we continue to drift complacently through life, driven blindly by our hunger for sense pleasures and by the pressure of prevailing social norms. A deeper reality beckons us; we have heard the call of a more stable, more authentic happiness, and until we arrive at our destination - we cannot rest content.

Bhikkhu Bodhi

Saturday, December 02, 2006

a battle hard to win

ONe who repays an angry man with anger
Thereby makes things worse for himself.
Not repaying an angry man with anger,
One wins a battle hard to win.

He practises for the welfare of both
His own and the other's
When, knowing that his foe is angry,
He mindfully maintains his peace.

Samyutta Nikaya