Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Burma - Child Soldiers

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says children as young as 10 are beaten or threatened with arrest to make them enlist.

The report, entitled "Sold to be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma" says there are thousands of children in the Burmese military.

It claims that children are approached in public places by military recruiters and civilian brokers who have been promised cash rewards by the military.

The children are often beaten or threatened with arrest to force them to enlist, the report says.

BBC News: Read More Here

For full report from Human Rights Watch, Click Here

Monday, October 22, 2007

purpose in life

My daughter taught me this today:

"I forgot why I was born
or what's my purpose in life.

Then I look at all the suffering around me
- and I remember."

Photo by James Nachtwey

HH Dalai Lama - 4 Noble Truths

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gnosis and Kalacakratantra

In the Kalacakratantra, gnosis (jnana), which is considered the ultimate reality, is the most crucial concept.

As in other gnostic traditions, the main focus of the Kalacakratantra is on gnosis as the source of the individual's aspiration for enlightenment, as the means leading to the fulfillment of that aspiration, and as the fulfillment of that aspiration.

When this source of aspiration for spiritual awakening is brought forth, or made fully conscious, it liberates one from cyclic existence. But when it is not brought forth, or remains unconscious, it destroys the individual and keeps him in cyclic existence. Therefore, it is said that gnosis is the source of both cyclic existence and nirvana.

In this regard, the Kalacakratantra fully accords with the writings of other gnostic systems, which also sees gnosis as the source of sublime power, the ground of all being, and the potential for liberation or destruction, existing in a latent state within the psyche of all people.

The Gospel of Thomas expresses it in this way:
If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

The Christian gnostic text the Testimony of Truth asserts that the gnostic is a disciple of his own mind, "the father of the truth". Therefore, gnosis is nothing other than self-knowledge, insight into the depths of one's own being. As for all other gnostic traditions, so too for the Kalacakratantra tradition, the individual who lacks this knowledge is driven by impulses that he does not comprehend. One suffers due to ignorance regarding one's own divine nature. Therefore, ignorance of oneself is a form of self-destruction.

In other words, in these gnostic traditions, one becomes the transcendent reality that one perceives at the time of spiritual transformation. Having perceived oneself in this way, one perceives and knows all things in the same way. Likewise, just as in the Kalacakratantra, so too in some Christian gnostic systems, the realization of gnosis entails the transcendence of all differentiations, or dualities, for it is the final integration of the knower and the known. One reads in the Gospel of Thomas:

"When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and when you make the male and the female one and the same... then you will enter [the Kingdom]."

The Kalacakratantra speaks of this non-dual perception of the world in terms of seeing all things as being of the "same taste" - the taste of gnosis.

The Inner Kalacakratantra by Vesna A. Wallace

Photo Credit: Picture @ Flickr

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dalai Lama Receives Congressional Award - 17 October 2007

"I am deeply touched that this great honor has been given to me, a Buddhist monk born of a simple family."

For full story at CNN

Dalai Lama Says His Successor Could be Chosen by Unorthodox Method -
The Dalai Lama says his successor could be chosen among a group of senior monks, rather than through the centuries-old tradition of reincarnation.

In an interview with VOA, the Tibetan spiritual leader said his successor could be chosen like the Pope, or he may decide to declare his own successor while he is still alive.

Website of the Tibet Government in Exile

Teachings of HH The Dalai Lama

Friday, October 12, 2007

wake up

There is a term in Tibetan, nge jung, that is often translated as "renunciation", but which literally means "definite emergence". Definite emergence is the capacity to wake up and be willing to face our life and our habitual tendencies. It is the intention, either consciously chosen or instinctually driven, to become conscious. This movement towards consciousness has at its heart the recognition that the resolution of the struggles and suffering of our life is to face them. While we may be tempted to hide our fallibility and problems, and deny or anesthetize our emotional struggles, they are resolved only when we genuinely address them honestly and openly. Anything else simple perpetuates a regressive sleep of ignorance. We may put a bandage over our pain and wounds, hoping they will go away, but at some point we will need to bring fresh air to them. In our lives, it would seem that almost anything may be used as a means to avoid facing ourselves and anesthetizing our awareness. We may take refuge in our material desires, our sensory stimulation and entertainment, our work, relationships, and various intoxicating substances, including food.

The meaning of this renunciation is not giving up life. It is living fully, fearlessly and with openness.

Emerging from this illusion, we take a step across the threshold, facing our fear and insecurity. This requires an inner decision: the willingness to truly wake up and face ourselves, to engage in life knowing that the source of our suffering or our happiness lies in our minds. We are then confronted with the reality that we, on one level, choose the life we create. The heroic quest begins when we take up the challenge.

The Wisdom of Imperfection, Rob Preece

Picture by: ornellab. at Flickr.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

the higher destiny of man

To a Tibetan, religion is not so much the adherence to a certain creed or dogma, but a natural expression of faith in the higher destiny of man, that is, in his capacity to free himself from the bondage of delusion and the narrowness of egohood in order to realize the universality of his true nature in the Enlightened Mind.

Lama Govinda,
Insights of a Himalayan Pilgrim

Picture ® aml

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Monk's Reflection

"Monks, there are these five aspects of speech by which others may address you: timely or untimely, true or false, affectionate or harsh, beneficial or unbeneficial, with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. Others may address you in a timely way or an untimely way. They may address you with what is true or what is false. They may address you in an affectionate way or a harsh way. They may address you in a beneficial way or an unbeneficial way. They may address you with a mind of good-will or with inner hate. In any event, you should train yourselves: 'Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words. We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate. We will keep pervading him with an awareness imbued with good will and, beginning with him, we will keep pervading the entire world with an awareness imbued with good will -- abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves."

Majjhima Nikaya 21

Nothing better than patience is found.
Whoever, when strong,
is forbearing
to one who is weak:
that's the foremost patience.
There's no reproach for one who is strong,
guarding -- guarded by -- Dhamma.
You make things worse
when you flare up at someone who's angry.
Whoever doesn't flare up at someone who's angry
wins a battle hard to win.
You live for the good of both
-- your own, the other's --
when, knowing the other's provoked,
you mindfully grow calm.
When you work the cure of both
-- your own, the other's --
those who think you a fool
know nothing of Dhamma."

Samyutta Nikaya XI.5

"Monks, when liberation of the mind by friendliness (metta) is ardently practiced, developed, unrelentingly resorted to, used as one's vehicle, made the foundation of one's life, fully established, well consolidated and perfected, then these eleven blessings may be expected. What eleven?

One sleeps happily; one wakes happily; one does not suffer bad dreams; one is dear to human beings; one is dear to non-human beings; the gods protect one; no fire or poison or weapon harms one; one's mind gets quickly concentrated; the expression of one's face is serene; one dies unperturbed; and even if one fails to attain higher states, one will at least reach the state of the Brahma world."

Anguttara Nikaya 11.16

A Monk's Reflection - Bhikkhu Gavesako @ Buddhist Channel