Showing posts from July, 2017

Unscholarly Buddha's Four Noble Truths

Great spiritual masters like Buddha or Christ didn't write a prescription for elite scholars and bourgeois  Yet millions of pages fill interpretation of their work through the centuries. Followers struggle to understand and follow the paths pointed by the Buddha. Perhaps a better way to follow him is to use your heart and place yourself in his heart. Something happens when you do. Become a privileged young man with all pleasures of a principality, castles and servants. Or become a privileged child today with no financial worries, a good job, seemingly good life. Then cast your heart onto billions who suffer. Do you feel their pain? That's the feeling that caused Buddha to abandon it all, like doctor without borders or volunteer workers in war torn parts of world even today. Just like you, Buddha searched for an explanation of why all this suffering in a world that is apparently protected by an almighty benevolent kind God. He followed priests and gurus, did penance, chant

If You're Unhappy Clap Your Hands

I tweeted a while ago that if you're unhappy, you are making a mistake. Actually you are making two mistakes. First is you are identifying a suffering emotion as being unhappy. Your mind is creating this feeling of unhappiness to protect you from further harm. Remember the prime objective of your brain and mind is to keep you happy, healthy, safe and at peace. Unfortunately it often acts without deep wisdom and makes mistakes. So these mistakes cause another suffering and then it acts again. This is life. And this is why Buddha said life is suffering. Second, there is no one to be unhappy. So, he prescribed something to end suffering. Mindfulness meditation to gain wisdom. A natural outcome of ultimate wisdom is compassion. Compassion for all and hence a wish to make everyone happy, safe, healthy and at peace. Without this, we are all unfulfilled. So, anger is mind's way of releasing the body's frustration from being unable to achieve its perceived contentment. Sad

Why do anything?

Sometimes in the midst of chaos and anxiety and activity and wellness programs and satsangs and sadhanaa, a question like this has to pop up. The mind wants to know why are we doing anything at all. Gita does have an answer. When Arjuna asked Krishna about inaction and action. Krishna replied that there is really no such thing as inaction. Sure, it may seem like you have solved your immediate problem of facing adversity and unpleasantness by withdrawing from the battlefield or picking up a good book and vegging out on the couch but that too is an action. Whatever it is that you are avoiding by ignoring never eally goes away.  Like Buddha said, even if one person is unhappy in the world, that  will someday come to you or your progeny or what you call home. He went on to instruct his bhikkus that you must act to bring about enlightenment and happiness by ending suffering for all not just yourself. One enlightened being is a very temporary affair and no enlightenment at all. You

Gems from Culadassa

Insanity Paraphrasing Culadassa(at 1:31 to the end.  you tube clip }, Insanity is whenever you do not accept or rather reject what is at the present moment.Definition of insanity is to resist what is. This summarises Gita's teaching on Karma very well. Your action at any moment is based on your mindfulness principles now. You have a vision now what is the right choice. When the future arrives you must accept what is. Any time you resist what is, you will gain insanity. Doesn't mean you don't do the absolute best every moment what you think has to be done without resentment without prejudgment. We are born every moment. Live in that space.Outcome is what outcome was, you are just noticing it now. Suffering and Empathy Suffering is essential for awakening otherwise it is simply a theoretical or hypothetical exercise. How else could a Buddhist know what compassion is? Be mindful of compassion done to you, that is the best teacher and will linger in your mind longer

Are you the body?

The first and toughest block on the path to liberation is the body. From the moment of birth, everything in the body is designed to establish itself as a separate, successful and protected unit. This is of course a throwback from the days as hunter gatherer when we neded protection against predators. Animals are gone but the threat is still encoded. We act 24/7 as the body with a name, owner of stuff, related to other bodies with a vague feeling that there is more. Is there any direct evidence to support that you are the body? First, is there such a thing as a body? Well, there is flesh, there are bones, there is blood, there are limbs, there are glands, all conceptualized into a label called the body. Even the components are labels attached to cells, tissues and further down into molecules and atoms and so on. There is another organ called the brain which receives inputs from five senses in form of electrical signals translating into images of vision, taste, smell etc. What makes