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Another pearl courtesy of Martha Fast Horse
Redwolf5150 - 14-12-2007 at 21:22

My Native American friend passed this along in her daily meditations today. Thought you Christians might enjoy it.

kewl_glasses
---------------
Christmas Dharma
by Lama Thubten Yeshe

These teachings came from Silent Mind, Holy Mind, a collection of talks given by Lama Yeshe at Kopan Monastery at the end of one of the month-long Kopan Meditation Courses. Western students had gathered on Christmas Eve, feeling a little out of place and unsure of what to do with their feelings of "missing out on Christmas". Lama, sensing their confused feelings, had them gather in the meditation hall where he gave these talks about Christmas and Buddhist practice. These were recorded and later became the book published by Wisdom Publications.

When we see each other again on Christmas Eve for the celebration of Holy Jesus' birth, let us do so in peace and with a good vibration and a happy mind. I think it would be wonderful. To attend the celebration with an angry disposition would be so sad. Come instead with a beautiful motivation and much love. Have no discrimination, but see everything as a golden flower, even your worst enemy. Then Christmas, which so often produces an agitated mind, will become so beautiful.

When you change your mental attitude, the external vision also changes. This is a true turning of the mind. There is no doubt about this. I am not special, but I have had experience of doing this, and it works. You people are so intelligent, so you can understand how the mind has this ability to change itself and its environment. There is no reason why this change cannot be for the better.

Some of you might think, "Oh, I want to have nothing to do with Jesus, nothing to do with the Bible." This is a very angry, emotional attitude to have towards Christianity. If you really understood, you would recognize that what Jesus taught was, "Love!" It is as simple and as profound as that. If you had true love within you, I am sure you would feel much more peaceful than you do now.

How do you normally think of love? Be honest. It is always involved with discriminations, isn't it? Just look around this room and see if anyone here is an object of your love. Why do you discriminate so sharply between friend and enemy? Why do you see such a big difference between yourself and others?

In the Buddhist teaching, this falsely discriminating attitude is called dualism. Jesus said that such an attitude is the opposite of true love. Therefore, is there any one of us who has the pure love that Jesus was talking about? If we do not, we should not criticize his teachings or feel they are irrelevent to us. We are the ones who have misunderstood, perhaps knowing the words of his teachings, but never acting upon them.

There are so many beautiful sentences in the Bible, but I do not recall reading that Jesus ever said that without your doing anything whatsoever—without preparing yourself in some way—the Holy Spirit would descend upon you, whoosh! If you do not act the way He said you should act, there is no Holy Spirit existent anywhere for you.

What I have read in the Bible has the same connotation as the Buddhist teachings on equilibrium, compassion and changing one's ego-attachment into love for others. It may not be immediately obvious how to train your mind to develop these attitudes, but it is certainly possible to do so. Only our selfishness and closed-mindedness prevent us.

With true realizations, the mind is no longer egotistically concerned with its own salvation. With true love, one no longer behaves dualistically; feeling very attached to some people, distant from others and totally indifferent to the rest. It is so simple. In the ordinary personality, the mind is always divided against itself, always fighting and disturbing its own peace.

The teachings on love are very practical. Do not put religion somewhere up in the sky and feel you are stuck down here on earth. If the actions of body, speech and mind are in accordance with loving kindness, you automatically become a truly religious person. To be religious does not mean that you attend certain teachings. If you listen to teachings and misinterpret them, you are in fact, the opposite of religious. And it is only because you do not understand a certain teaching that you abuse religion.

Lack of deep understanding leads to partisanship. The ego feels, "I am a Buddhist, therefore Christianity must be all wrong." This is very harmful to true religious feeling. You do not destroy a religion with bombs, but with hatred. More importantly, you destroy the peacefulness of your own mind. It does not matter if you express your hatred with words or not. The mere thoughts of hatred automatically destroys your peace.

Similarly, true love does not depend on physical expression. You should realize this. True love is a feeling deep within you. It is not just a matter of wearing a smile on your face and looking happy. Rather, it arises from a heartfelt understanding of every other being's suffering and radiates out to them indiscriminately. It does not favor a chosen few to the exclusion of everyone else.

Furthermore, if someone hits you and you react with anger or great alarm, crying, "What has happened to me?" this also has nothing to do with a mind knowing the meaning of true love. It is just the ignorant preoccupation of the ego with its own welfare. How much wiser it is to realize, "Being hit does not really harm me. My delusion of hatred is an enemy that harms me much more than this." Reflecting like this allows true love to grow.

For more information on Lama Thubten Yeshe please visit
Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive

In beauty,
Fast Horse Productions


Redwolf5150 - 14-12-2007 at 21:28

The gist of this piece is this:

"The teachings on love are very practical. Do not put religion somewhere up in the sky and feel you are stuck down here on earth. If the actions of body, speech and mind are in accordance with loving kindness, you automatically become a truly religious person. To be religious does not mean that you attend certain teachings. If you listen to teachings and misinterpret them, you are in fact, the opposite of religious. And it is only because you do not understand a certain teaching that you abuse religion."

How many of you thought a Buddhist could ever teach you something so profound about Christianity?

Remember, it is as hard to get something through a closed mind as it is a closed door.

kewl_glasses


Redwolf5150 - 15-12-2007 at 03:49

Sheesh, either I have offended everyone into silence or everyone is still digesting this latest feast.

kewl_glasses


the bear - 15-12-2007 at 05:18

Quote:
Originally posted by Redwolf5150
The gist of this piece is this:

"The teachings on love are very practical. Do not put religion somewhere up in the sky and feel you are stuck down here on earth. If the actions of body, speech and mind are in accordance with loving kindness, you automatically become a truly religious person. To be religious does not mean that you attend certain teachings. If you listen to teachings and misinterpret them, you are in fact, the opposite of religious. And it is only because you do not understand a certain teaching that you abuse religion."

How many of you thought a Buddhist could ever teach you something so profound about Christianity?

Remember, it is as hard to get something through a closed mind as it is a closed door.

kewl_glasses



Redwolfe I have read your posts with great interest, the wisdom of the native indians is Universal, I have quite a number of books on the subject, ( reading is very well ) but its a practical wisdom I feel, a free spirit has to be just that "free".
We have several CD recordings of thier native music. There are two that I play often, one is called "Pray" by Douglas Spotted Eagle and the which is haunting is "Spirit of the Canyon" by AH*NEE*MAH.

A couple of years ago I was supposed to take part in a Smoke lodge ceromony in Mountain forest in Wales.
Unfotunately this never happened.

I have a friend who lives in the tradion her name is Minwah. You can feel a tangable serenity when your in her company.

It would be great if you could continue to post of such things



Regards the Bear


scholar - 15-12-2007 at 05:35

Redwolf, I've had other things on my mind, and wanted to wait until I can give it the appropriate attention. I'm just posting this now because I saw your comment on the lack of response, and I do want to encourage you.:)


LSemmens - 15-12-2007 at 14:04

I see the wisdom in the statements attributed to Lama Yeshe. It would be a difficult to fault his logic.


Mermaid - 16-12-2007 at 01:20

Quote:
Originally posted by Redwolf5150
The gist of this piece is this:

"The teachings on love are very practical. Do not put religion somewhere up in the sky and feel you are stuck down here on earth. If the actions of body, speech and mind are in accordance with loving kindness, you automatically become a truly religious person. To be religious does not mean that you attend certain teachings. If you listen to teachings and misinterpret them, you are in fact, the opposite of religious. And it is only because you do not understand a certain teaching that you abuse religion."

How many of you thought a Buddhist could ever teach you something so profound about Christianity?

Remember, it is as hard to get something through a closed mind as it is a closed door.

kewl_glasses




From what I see Native Indian religion is practical wisdom and certainly worth more than passing glimpse


:gossip):gossip):gossip)


scholar - 16-12-2007 at 05:42

pictures from Kopan monastary page
This piece is not Native American in Origin, but rather Buddhist.

This very thread in KF is the tenth listing in Google for "Kopan meditation."


scholar - 16-12-2007 at 06:05

Here is information about their month of training which started in November and ended in December in Nepal.

Quote:
During the last two weeks of the course, the 8 Mahayana Precepts will be taken daily before sunrise. These are special vows in which we promise to keep the following precepts: To refrain from killing, lying, stealing, sexual activity, taking intoxicants, sitting on high beds, playing music, wearing jewelry and perfume, eating at inappropriate times (only one meal a day will be served during this time).

This practice allows you to experience that abstaining from unwholesome actions is the basis for developing many positive qualities.
This is a requirement in order to take the month-long training course at the monastary.

If you have any other ideas of how you want to pursure spirituality, forget it! You must agree to follow the above rules and some others, without deviation, and you agree to stay and study according to their rules for the whole month or they do not let you do it.

No non-dharma reading materials are allowed, nor may any music be brought in. This would mean a Christian could not bring a Bible or Christian hymns.

To their credit, they do list the rules which you must follow. (It's not like a lodge/secret society where a person agrees to follow secret rules, before the rules are disclosed.)

To be fair, they do not say every rule must be followed with no possible exceptions. In the case of medical considerations and other exceptional emergencies, they may allow for some exceptions.

Here is a link about the course:
http://www.kopan-monastery.com/program_november.html

The cost was only $399 (US) for an entire month!:o


scholar - 16-12-2007 at 06:09

Quote:
Originally posted by Redwolf5150
Remember, it is as hard to get something through a closed mind as it is a closed door.
And if you want to bring any Christian Scripture with you during training, nothing doing--the door is closed to it.


LSemmens - 16-12-2007 at 11:50

I understand all the precepts except one: sitting on high beds? That one escapes me. Are they afraid that you will fall off and hurt yourself, perhaps it's an Occ Health and Safety issueconfused2confused2confused2


Redwolf5150 - 17-12-2007 at 17:53

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
pictures from Kopan monastary page
This piece is not Native American in Origin, but rather Buddhist.

This very thread in KF is the tenth listing in Google for "Kopan meditation."


I never said it was Native American in origin.

In fact, if you look in the first paragraph, Martha cites the source of the piece.

kewl_glasses


the bear - 17-12-2007 at 18:02

Redwolf, Hi,

I would like to recommend a beautiful book to you, its called"The Bones of the Master, wrtten by George Crane it tells the true story of a Buddhist master, his life and laterly his relationship with an American poet, an melding of minds and wisdom from different cultures.


Very best regards, the Bear


scholar - 17-12-2007 at 19:20

Quote:
Originally posted by Redwolf5150
I never said it was Native American in origin.

In fact, if you look in the first paragraph, Martha cites the source of the piece.
kewl_glasses
Agreed. In fact, you did well in pointing that out yourself as well when you said
Quote:
How many of you thought a Buddhist could ever teach you something so profound about Christianity?


I mentioned it yet again because the Bear referred to "the wisdom of native indians" (which could be a general reference) and Mermaid made reference to "Native American religion" (and I wondered if she was keeping the distinction between Native American and the Buddhist piece).

I have a personal interest insofar as, in the arena of ideas, I think Buddhist thought embraces some ideas I think are false, and I would not want Native American thought to have a mark against it for what the Buddhists express.;)


scholar - 18-12-2007 at 02:01

Quote:
How do you normally think of love? Be honest. It is always involved with discriminations, isn't it? Just look around this room and see if anyone here is an object of your love. Why do you discriminate so sharply between friend and enemy? Why do you see such a big difference between yourself and others?

In the Buddhist teaching, this falsely discriminating attitude is called dualism. Jesus said that such an attitude is the opposite of true love. Therefore, is there any one of us who has the pure love that Jesus was talking about? If we do not, we should not criticize his teachings or feel they are irrelevent to us. We are the ones who have misunderstood, perhaps knowing the words of his teachings, but never acting upon them.

This is a distorted, mostly false description of the Christian faith. The distortion lies mainly in falsely describing it as if Jesus taught in agreement with Buddhism, on points where Buddhism is wrong.

Jesus taught that one is to discriminate between good and evil. (St. Paul echoes this idea in speaking of discernment.) While Buddhism teaches to embrace the unity of all, the Christian faith teaches to embrace good and reject evil. (It is true that Jesus also taught to love one's enemy--but that's not the same as embracing the evil he does!)

Here is some Scripture that gives part of Jesus' teaching. Matthew 12 :
33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

What do you think on this point? Is there really a difference between good and evil? Do we not need to discriminate between the two? Doesn't Buddhist practice show discrimination in prescribing some behaviors over others? Your response?