Rigpa's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa Reflectin' on ol' Merton Dear Journal,

Today is a day for reflectin' on some good ol' Thomas Merton quotes.  Here's the first one:

"In Louisville, at the corner of fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers.  It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation.....Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire...can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes.  If only they could all see themselves as they really are.  If only we could see each other that way all the time.  There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed......I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other." Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander pp156-158

There are a lot of people in this world.  Everywhere I turn there are people all around me.  What if each and everyone of them was a source of inspiration that  enriched to the quality of my life?  This would be very, very nice.  It's a headache thinking about how I'd get to that point, but it's nice to just imagine being in that state of awareness where everyone would seem beautiful.  Apparently, all I have to do is see people as they really are.  Another quote from ol' Merton:

"The saints are what they are, not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everybody else.  It gives them a clarity of compassion that can find good in the most terrible criminals.  It delivers them from the burden of judging others, condemning other men.  It teaches them to bring the good out of others by compassion, mercy, and pardon.  A man becomes a saint not by conviction that he is better than sinners but by the realization that he is one of them , and that all together need the mercy of God."  New Seeds of Contemplation  p 57

So if I see the best in others I will become a saint?  I hear they have superhuman powers!  Maybe, maybe not.  But anyways, it's nice to think that if I just look for goodness in other people that there is the possibility of finding endless inspiration and a simple way of benefitting others that enabled the saints to do what they did.

Sincerely,

Rigpa 

4 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Mon, 20 Apr 2009 02:28:34 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/20/reflectin_on_ol_merton http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/20/reflectin_on_ol_merton Dear Journal,

Today is a day for reflectin' on some good ol' Thomas Merton quotes.  Here's the first one:

"In Louisville, at the corner of fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers.  It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation.....Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire...can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God's eyes.  If only they could all see themselves as they really are.  If only we could see each other that way all the time.  There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed......I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other." Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander pp156-158

There are a lot of people in this world.  Everywhere I turn there are people all around me.  What if each and everyone of them was a source of inspiration that  enriched to the quality of my life?  This would be very, very nice.  It's a headache thinking about how I'd get to that point, but it's nice to just imagine being in that state of awareness where everyone would seem beautiful.  Apparently, all I have to do is see people as they really are.  Another quote from ol' Merton:

"The saints are what they are, not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others, but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everybody else.  It gives them a clarity of compassion that can find good in the most terrible criminals.  It delivers them from the burden of judging others, condemning other men.  It teaches them to bring the good out of others by compassion, mercy, and pardon.  A man becomes a saint not by conviction that he is better than sinners but by the realization that he is one of them , and that all together need the mercy of God."  New Seeds of Contemplation  p 57

So if I see the best in others I will become a saint?  I hear they have superhuman powers!  Maybe, maybe not.  But anyways, it's nice to think that if I just look for goodness in other people that there is the possibility of finding endless inspiration and a simple way of benefitting others that enabled the saints to do what they did.

Sincerely,

Rigpa 

4 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Proper Prayer? Dear Journal,

I was doing some reading when I came across a story that reflected a persons unrelenting dedication to spiritual practice as well as a powerful demonstration of the practice bearing fruit.  The person in the story had repeated a particular prayer known as a mantra millions of times and the result of the dedication was very inspiring.  The mantra was a short prayer in a language that I didn't understand so I quickly looked it up on the internet.  Although I already had a mantra that was very meaningful to me, I was very eager to put this new prayer I had just read about into practice.  As I found information on the prayer, I discovered that the mantra was the embodiment of all that a great spiritual leader had taught to bring salvation to all of mankind.  My memory went back to a Native American pipe ceremony I had attended.  The leader of the ceremony spoke in his native tongue what seemed to be prayers that had been spoken for thousands and thousands of years reflecting the enduring power of a spirit that nurtures us all.  I was elated that I would now have my own words to speak, a prayer of my own that was as timeless as God's love.  As I read more about the mantra I came across a story that illuminated its meaning.  Here is the story:

The True Sound of Truth

A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching.  The student's humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried.

A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up.

The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island.  The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit.  As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice.  The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself.  The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself-- but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified!

"What's wrong?" asked the hermit.

"I don't know what to say. I'm afraid you've wasted your whole life!  You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!"

"Oh, Dear! That is terrible.  How should I say it?"

The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away.  On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit.

"It's so fortunate that I came along.  At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies."  Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quit shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat.

"Excuse me, please.  I hate to bother you, but I've forgotten the correct pronunciation again.  Would you please repeat it for me?"

"You obviously don't need it," stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced. 

The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island.

The end

This story makes me realize the suffering involved with obsessing over what would be considered the "proper" way to pursue a spiritual life.  It is very unpleasant.  But gladly it is possible to open to compassion and share it with others.

May this one have deepest well being, happiness, and joy.

 

Sincerely,

Rigpa

1 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Thu, 16 Apr 2009 00:45:59 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/16/proper_prayer http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/16/proper_prayer Dear Journal,

I was doing some reading when I came across a story that reflected a persons unrelenting dedication to spiritual practice as well as a powerful demonstration of the practice bearing fruit.  The person in the story had repeated a particular prayer known as a mantra millions of times and the result of the dedication was very inspiring.  The mantra was a short prayer in a language that I didn't understand so I quickly looked it up on the internet.  Although I already had a mantra that was very meaningful to me, I was very eager to put this new prayer I had just read about into practice.  As I found information on the prayer, I discovered that the mantra was the embodiment of all that a great spiritual leader had taught to bring salvation to all of mankind.  My memory went back to a Native American pipe ceremony I had attended.  The leader of the ceremony spoke in his native tongue what seemed to be prayers that had been spoken for thousands and thousands of years reflecting the enduring power of a spirit that nurtures us all.  I was elated that I would now have my own words to speak, a prayer of my own that was as timeless as God's love.  As I read more about the mantra I came across a story that illuminated its meaning.  Here is the story:

The True Sound of Truth

A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching.  The student's humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried.

A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up.

The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island.  The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit.  As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice.  The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself.  The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself-- but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified!

"What's wrong?" asked the hermit.

"I don't know what to say. I'm afraid you've wasted your whole life!  You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!"

"Oh, Dear! That is terrible.  How should I say it?"

The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away.  On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit.

"It's so fortunate that I came along.  At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies."  Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quit shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat.

"Excuse me, please.  I hate to bother you, but I've forgotten the correct pronunciation again.  Would you please repeat it for me?"

"You obviously don't need it," stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced. 

The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island.

The end

This story makes me realize the suffering involved with obsessing over what would be considered the "proper" way to pursue a spiritual life.  It is very unpleasant.  But gladly it is possible to open to compassion and share it with others.

May this one have deepest well being, happiness, and joy.

 

Sincerely,

Rigpa

1 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Prayer Dear Journal,

I read this out of a book once, "Prayer is the raising of the heart and mind to God."  It can be very pleasant to reflect on this.  I have felt nurturing support when witnessing all the demonstrations of faith in people's profiles on this site, feeling as if I was turning to God to receive a big bear hug.  Very satisfying! I never thought I would view surfing the internet as prayer, but in this case, I do.  Actually, I never thought I would consider watching the movie Caddyshack as prayer, but I feel the same nurturing support when I hear Bill Murray say, "Gunga galunga."  Yes it is true, on this Good Friday I have realized a divine manifestation of the almighty by meditating on the spiritual nature of Caddyshack.

 

Sincerely,

Rigpa!

1 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Fri, 10 Apr 2009 16:02:51 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/10/prayer http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/10/prayer Dear Journal,

I read this out of a book once, "Prayer is the raising of the heart and mind to God."  It can be very pleasant to reflect on this.  I have felt nurturing support when witnessing all the demonstrations of faith in people's profiles on this site, feeling as if I was turning to God to receive a big bear hug.  Very satisfying! I never thought I would view surfing the internet as prayer, but in this case, I do.  Actually, I never thought I would consider watching the movie Caddyshack as prayer, but I feel the same nurturing support when I hear Bill Murray say, "Gunga galunga."  Yes it is true, on this Good Friday I have realized a divine manifestation of the almighty by meditating on the spiritual nature of Caddyshack.

 

Sincerely,

Rigpa!

1 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Rigpa "Ultimately, we discover that unconditional, boundless love is the very radiance of our deepest wisdom--rigpa, the unconditioned, boundless nature of mind.  This is the path of the bodhisattvas, holy beings who have become spiritual benefactors to the world, radiating and embodying love to all unconditionally, even to those who have done them harm."   p121 Awakening Through Love by John Makransky.

Dear Journal,

Rigpa rocks!

Sincerely,

Rigpa!

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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Fri, 10 Apr 2009 02:26:28 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/10/rigpa http://community.beliefnet.com/rigpa/blog/2009/04/10/rigpa "Ultimately, we discover that unconditional, boundless love is the very radiance of our deepest wisdom--rigpa, the unconditioned, boundless nature of mind.  This is the path of the bodhisattvas, holy beings who have become spiritual benefactors to the world, radiating and embodying love to all unconditionally, even to those who have done them harm."   p121 Awakening Through Love by John Makransky.

Dear Journal,

Rigpa rocks!

Sincerely,

Rigpa!

0 Comments - Leave a Comment
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