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Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.
Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
Buddhism started in India with a prince named Siddhartha. Once, he glimpsed suffering on the street. He saw a poor, old, hungry man. This had convinced him to give up his position as prince and search for the truth; that is, a way to end suffering. Of course, his mother and father disapproved. His mother had a dream of a white elephant, meaning that he would someday wander, but they didn't want him to. Eventually, he did have his way and he left his mother, father, and family (yeah, I know. Very irresponsible) so that he could find it. He went many ways, but finally arrived at his truth by meditating under a bo tree. It motivated him to make up the Four Noble Truths, which prettu much outline how to end suffering. The Four Noble Truths are: All life is suffering, the reason for suffering is desire, the only way to end suffering is to end desire, and the only way to end desire is to follow the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path pretty much says things like right thought, right speech, right behavior, etc. Buddhism started in India, and was quite successful there. It started around the 500s B.C., and was adopted by Asoka the philosopher king in the 200s B.C. during his rule of the Maurya empire. Unfortunately, Buddhism had declined in India for a number of reasons. The first was the rise of the Gupta Empire. This empire had promoted cultural flowering, but had also promotedHimdu texts such as the Upanishads, and eventually, their promotion of Himduism had led to the decline of Himduism. Also, it didn't quite sit well with the public. Women didn't favor it because Hinduism had more clearly given them a role in the home, whereas Buddhism for women at the time did not give them a clearly defined role anywhere. Buddhism had ended with the Mughal empire, started by King Aurangzeb, an Arab who had a low tolerance for other religions as a Muslim. So, Buddhism was prettu much stamped out in India. Though there are, now, a few Buddhists in India, not many of them are there.
Later on, in the 200s A.D. and onward, it had spread to China. There's a Chinese woodblock print copy of the Diamond Sutra written in 868 A.D. in China, so it stayed there for a long while. It had, however, declined because of some cruel ruler who destroyed the stupas and burned many texts. I forgot his name. Empress Wu, though, the only empress to rule officially under her own name, promoted Buddhism.
World History textbook.
Patterns That Cause Suffering
"The origin of suffering, strangely, can come either from trying to be highly disciplined and aware, or from completely losing one's awareness. Generally, if you are not mindful and aware, suffering begins to arise; whereas, if you are mindful and aware, suffering does not arise. However, suffering can also come from using your awareness discipline as a means of securing yourself by developing set patterns in life. Ego-oriented patterns arise from both attitudes and actions, and lead to suffering. They include (1) regarding the five skandhas, or aspects of ego, as belonging to oneself, (2) protecting oneself from impermanence, (3) believing that one's view is best, (4) believing in the extremes of nihilism (that nothing matters) and eternalism (that things last forever), as well as the extreme emotions of (5) passion, (6) aggression, and (7) ignorance….
As a practitioner, you realize that these patterns don't particularly go away, but at least you know what they are all about, and as you go along, you will probably know what you should do about it. You may think that once the dharma or the truth has been spoken, it should solve those problems automatically, but that is not the case. First you have to get into the dharma; then you can think about what you can do. Unless you are a businessman, you can't discuss bankruptcy."
From "The Development of Set Patterns," in THE TRUTH OF SUFFERING: and the Path of Liberation. Forthcoming from Shambhala Publications.
(Ocean of Dharma Quote of the Week)
The Ten Things to be Understood
Understand that outer appearances are unreal because they are mistaken.
Understand that inner mind is empty because it is devoid of self-entity.
Understand that thoughts are momentary because they occur due to conditions.
Understand that the consequences of your actions are inevitable because all the pleasure and pain of sentient beings results from karma.
Understand that pain is your spiritual friend because it is the cause of renunciation.
Understand that pleasure and happiness is the demon of attachment because it is the root of samsara.
Understand that many engagements are obstacles for merit because they hinder spiritual practice.
Understand that enemies and obstructed are your teachers because obstacles are inspiration for spiritual practice.
Understand that everything is of equal nature, because all phenomena are ultimately devoid of self- nature.
(Gampopa's Precious Garland of the Supreme Path)
I have really been working my way around "Friends" lately (no not the tv show). I've had a few deep cuts, burns, and heartache in regards to those I considered a "friend". Whenever I am in doubt, in question, I seek written word as guidance. I found this today, reading through the suttras.
'Let me not perceive any disgust, even faced with some that is disgusting'
this friend does not perceive any disgust, even facing something utterly disgusting.
This really, REALLY, pertains to what I have gone through just recently.
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