Saturday
Feb172018

Do not steal. 

This second of the Five Basic Precepts and the Ten Virtuous Karmas is often regarded as not taking another’s property. We might well wonder at the prominent placement of this precept.

How many of us would steal others’ possessions?

But we’re not just talking about things here. Buddhism regards not stealing as taking anything without permission. What is taken can include someone’s time, their peace of mind, their feeling of security, happiness. Stealing is taking advantage of another person, taking things from work, shouting at a child, avoiding paying taxes, bringing home a shell from a public beach, not letting someone in line while driving, not completing work on time and making others have to work harder to meet a deadline.

The list is endless.

The solution simple.

Not easy! Simple.

Approach all actions with respect and humility, and every being as a future Buddha.

Thursday
Feb152018

Tuesday
Feb132018

Chanting with a focused mind and with sincerity,

the vitality of the seed planted will be strong. 

Chanting with a wandering mind or with reluctance,

the vitality of our seed will be weak. 

Planting Amituofo seeds in our eighth consciousness is akin to planting bean seeds in a garden.

If we view our gardening task as a burden, we’ll end up inattentive and careless. Very likely the bean plants will not thrive. But if we attentively plant those seeds, we can have strong healthy plants.

Planting Amituofo seeds works the same way.

Chanting with a focused, dedicated mind, our properly planted Amituofo seeds will grow strong and firm. As we keep planting more seeds, they’ll begin to overwhelm all the selfish seeds we already planted. Not just in this lifetime, but in lifetimes lived since time immemorial. Birth as a human is incredibly rare.

The chance of being born as a human who can chant “Amituofo” is beyond imagining. We need to get busy.

We need to focus and sincerely chant planting seed after seed after seed.

Sunday
Feb112018

Friday
Feb092018

It can be a fine line between 

appreciation and attachment. 

And as with all fine lines, easy to slip from the good side to the one we hope to avoid.

The deciding factor? Craving. Desire. Missing something when it’s absent, like the morning triple-shot latte we had during that rush project at work. Wanting it to not end when it’s present, like an evening spent listening to our favorite music at a summer concert.

Think of attachments as failing to accord, of not being satisfied with the current situation. They’re unfulfilled wishes, which is the seventh of the eight sufferings. And they can be difficult to detect because it cane be a really fine line between them and sincere appreciation.

But since attachments lead to suffering we do need to detect them. And so we need to observe our thoughts. When we fix our morning coffee do thoughts of lattes arise? Does our usual simple cup now seem less satisfactory? Do we start checking prices online for that Nespresso machine everyone’s talking about?

If so, we’ve slipped over that line.