Saturday, September 29, 2007

praying for humanity

Pray for what you cannot see.
Pray clearly
for what you can only faintly grasp.
Pray silently
from the core of your being.
Pray for healing.
Pray for humanity.

Pray lovingly
Pray deeply ---
pray so deeply that
the prayer and the praying
become one.

prayer - charlie elkind - september 2001

World Prayers

Picture by Nooone@Flickr

Friday, September 28, 2007

Let me not...

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain
but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life's battlefields
but to my own strength.

R. Tagore

Picture by Buzia@Flickr

a well-tamed self

I lay no wood for fires on altars,
Only within - burneth the flame I kindle.
Ever my fires burns, ever composed of self
and the heart is the altar;
the flame thereon - this is a man's self well-tamed.


Picture by jay_kilifi@flickr

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bardo Thodol

O that now, when the Bardo of life is dawning upon me,
after having given up indolence - since there is no time to waste in life -
May I undistractedly enter the path of listening, reflecting and meditating,
So that having once attained human embodiment,
No time may be squandered through useless distractions.

The Bardo Thodol

Burma - an update

Medical workers help a monk injured in clashes in Rangoon 26 Sep. 2007 (MoeMaka Media photo)

80-year-old disabled monk protester 'bashed'
Agence France-Presse, September 26, 2007

Rangoon, Burma -- At least 17 Buddhist monks were injured when Burma's security forces violently dispersed their peaceful anti-junta protest today, witnesses said.

All 17 were injured around midday when police baton-charged a group of monks and mainly young protesters near the Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's holiest shrine, the witnesses said.

Among the wounded was an 80-year-old monk who witnesses said was beaten about the head by security forces.

The elderly monk has participated in the daily anti-junta protests in Rangoon although he cannot walk and has to be carried.

Hospital officials have refused to comment on any injuries stemming from the crackdown.

Despite the violence, tens of thousands of people remained on the streets of Yangon, scattered across the city, witnesses said.

In the outlying township of Ahlone, about 300 monks protested but were blocked by armed soldiers who began firing over their heads, witnesses said.

The monks urged the people to stay away from the protest, but when the bullets started whizzing overhead, hundreds of people sat on the ground around the monks in a show of solidarity, the witnesses said.

"I felt so sorry when I saw this scene. I've never seen this kind of violence. I feel so sorry for the monks," one woman said by telephone from Ahlone.

At the Sule Pagoda in downtown Rangoon, security forces tried to use tear gas and warning shots to disperse the crowd, but thousands kept returning to taunt the soldiers.

As the day wore on, some protesters began to throw stones at the soldiers, who responded with more warning shots, witnesses said.

At least one man was seen being carried away after he was injured when thousands of people began running from the tear gas.

Support the people of Burma. Sign an online petition today:

Support the people of Burma - AVAAZ

Beating Myanmar monks ‘greatest wrong in history’ - NLD
Agence France-Presse, Sept 26, 2007

YANGON, Myanmar -- Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party said Wednesday Myanmar's military regime had committed "the greatest wrong in history" by beating Buddhist monks.
The party led by the detained democracy icon said it had warned the government before Wednesday's protest that attacking the monks would be seen by the public as a grave crime.

"We warned the authorities in advance that if they used violence against the peaceful protest marches, they would have committed the greatest wrong in history," the party said in a statement.

"The NLD asks to hold a dialogue immediately to solve all the nation's problems peacefully," it said.

"The NLD will stand together with the people," it added.

Burmese Capital Tense after military junta crackdown - Report by Voice of America 27 Sept 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

net of illusions

The unenlightened individual
is like a dreamer
who gets deeper and deeper enmeshed
in the net of his self-created illusions.

Lama Govinda

Picture by davinci1490@Flickr


In the past, we were mind-created spiritual beings, nourished by joy. We soared through space, self-luminous and in imperishable beauty. We thus remained for long periods of time. After the passage of infinite times, the sweet-tasting earth rose from the waters. It had colour, scent and taste. We began to form it into lumps and eat it. But while we ate from it, our luminosity disappeared. And when it had disappeared, sun and moon, stars and constellations, day and night, weeks and months, seasons and years, made their appearance. We enjoyed the sweet-tasting earth, relished it, were nourished by it; and thus we lived for a long time.

But with the coarsening of the food, the bodies of beings became more and more material and differentiated, and hereupon the division of sexes came into existence, together with sensuality and attachment. But when evil, immoral customs arose among us, the sweet-tasting earth disappeared, and when it had lost its pleasant taste, outcroppings appeared on the ground, endowed with scent, colour and taste. Due to evil practises and further coarsening of the nature of living beings, even these nourishing outcroppings disappeared, and other self-originated plants deteriorated to such an extent that finally nothing edible grew by itself and food had to be produced by strenous work. The idea of "I' and "mine", "own" and "other" was created, and with it, possessions, envy, greed and enslavement to material things.

Aggana Sutta, Digha Nikaya

Picture by wisepig@Flickr

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the mind

The mind alone is the radiant jewel,
from which all things borrow their temporal reality.

Lama Govinda - Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism

Picture: Pangong Tso, the largest Himalayan lake at an altitude of 4,600m

Monday, September 24, 2007

Burma Protests: What you can do for Burma

An appeal to pause and meditate

The monks of Burma are taking a great chance, trying to transform the brutal, deluded generals of the ruling military regime with metta (loving-kindness), quiet courage, and discipline. They have asked the people of Burma and those who support them, to meditate and pray silently in their doorways for 15 minutes at 2000 hours this Tuesday:

Can you join them?

2000 hours Rangoon time
1430 hours GMT
1030 hours New York
0630 hours Los Angeles
2030 hours Bangkok
2130 hours Kuala Lumpur/Singapore/Hong Kong
2230 hours Tokyo

Message from His Holiness The Dalai Lama

I extend my support and solidarity with the recent peaceful movement for democracy in Burma.

I fully support their call for freedom and democracy and take this opportunity to appeal to freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements.

Moreover, I wish to convey my sincere appreciation and admiration to the large number of fellow Buddhists monks for advocating democracy and freedom in Burma.

As a Buddhist monk, I am appealing to the members of the military regime who believe in Buddhism to act in accordance with the sacred dharma in the spirit of compassion and non-violence.

I pray for the success of this peaceful movement and the early release of fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

A Petition Campaign for Buddhist Solidarity with the Monks and Nuns of Burma
"Love and kindness must win over everything"

We, the Buddhists of the world, implore the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC, the official name of the military regime of Burma (Myanmar)) to refrain from taking any actions that:

Physically harm the Buddhist monks and nuns participating in the protest marches currently taking place in major cities and towns in Burma
Infiltrate the protesting groups by pretending to be monks and nuns (via having the head shaven and dressing in monks' robes) and then instigitating violence from within through such pretension
Offer poisoned foods as alms (Dana)
Arresting and beating up people or persons who offers food and water (dana) to the monks
Arresting the protesting monks and treating them like criminals, such as catching the monks by lariats and ropes, tying them up with wires and strapping them onto electrical poles, slapping their cheeks, kicking them with military boots and hitting their heads with rifle butts.
We appeal to the members of the military regime to act in accordance with the sacred Buddha-Dharma, in the spirit of loving-kindness, compassion and non-violence.

We implore the millitary regime to accede to the wishes of the common people of Burma, to establish the conditions for the flowering of justice, democracy and liberty.

We wish to convey our admiration and support to the large number of Buddhists monks and fellow Dharma practitioners for advocating democracy and freedom in Burma, and would like to appeal to all freedom-loving people all over the world to support such non-violent movements.

We pray for the success of this peace movement and the early release of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myannmar Protestors hit 100,000 - Washington Post

Burmese Healthcare to stand by Sangha and Burmese people - Mizzima News is an agency run by Burmese people in exile


And here we come to the problem of our time: we have learned to master the forces of nature, but we have not yet achieved mastery over our selves, our inner life, our psychic and spiritual forces, in short, the dormant faculties of our deeper consciousness, which after all created the world in which we live and all that we have achieved in the form of manifold civilizations. These faculties permit us to see the fundamental oneness of life, the interrelatedness of all peoples and civilizations and the ultimate oneness of humanity, they even allow us our conquest over the forces of nature. Yet we do not understand these faculties.

Tibet chose to cultivate and develop these powers of inner perception, which are the very source of human culture, knowledge and achievement. Unless man is able to coordinate, unify and ultimately integrate these powers within himself and thereby become complete, how can he expect to create a harmonious and united human world? This is the way Tibetans viewed the problem of the future of humanity, a problem that now faces us on a global scale.

Lama Govinda

Amazon: Tibet in Pictures by Li Gotami and Lama Govinda

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

inner silence

In the silence of those nights he began to perceive the ever-present inner sound, seemingly beginningless and endless, and he soon found that he was able to discern it throughout the day, and in many circumstances, whether quiet or busy.

He remembered that as a wonderfully pure and peaceful state, and he recalled that the sound had been very loud then, so those positive associations encouraged him to experiment and see if it might be a useful meditation object. It also seemed to be an ideal symbol, in the conditioned world of the senses, of those qualities of mind that transcend the sense realm: not subject to personal will; ever-present but only noticed if attended to; apparently beginningless and endless; formless, to some degree; and spatially unlocated.

Ajahn Sumedho,
Intuitive Awareness

Picture AML ® All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 09, 2007

the mind that conquers death

Only if we realize that it is in our hands to bridge the chasm of death and to determine and direct the course of our future life in such a way that we can pursue or accomplish in it what we regard our highest task, then only can we give depth and perspective to our present existence and to our spiritual aspirations.

The torn and tortured human being of our time, who knows neither of his infinite past, nor the infinity of his future, because he has lost connection with his timeless being, is like a man suffering from incurable amnesia, a mental disease which deprives him of the continuity of his consciousness and therefore of the capacity to act consistently and in accordance with his true nature. Such a man really dies, becauses he identifies himself with his momentary existence.

Directed consciousness is that which has "entered the stream" towards liberation or enlightenment, in which its universal nature is realized. Undirected consciousness allows itself to be driven hither and thither by blind urges and external sense-stimuli.

The Way of the White Clouds,
Lama Anagarika Govinda

Picture taken from: