Wednesday 21 November 2012

The wallet

Some of us, at some time in our lives, need help.
This help need not be financial,
may not be emotional, or even physical.
Some of us need spiritual help from time to time.
The guidance that gives us a warm glow of knowing that all is well within ourselves and the Universe.
This help sometimes comes from listening to a Dharma, from a good book, a kind talk with a parent, or a helping hand from a complete stranger.

The following story is from one of the Dharma's in my book.

The wallet.....
A ticket collector found a beaten up old wallet on a crowded train.
Inside was no clue to who owned it, no name, no cards, just a picture of the Buddha.
He held it up and asked
"Who owns this?"
An old man said "Its mine."
The ticket collector said he would have to prove it was his before he would hand it over.
The toothless old man said that there was a picture of Buddha in it, but the collector needed more proof.
So the old man took deep breath and told the following tale.
"My father gave me the wallet when I was in school.
I got a small sum as pocket money and I kept a picture of my parents and my money in it When I was a teenager I was greatly pleased with my good looks and I took the picture of my parents out and put in one of myself.
I loved my thick black hair.
Some years later I got married.
My wife was beautiful and I replaced my picture with a picture of her.
I spent hours looking at her pretty face.
When my child was born my life changed and I shortened my workday to spend more time with my son.
My babies picture now replaced my wifes picture.
The old mans eyes brimmed with tears as he went on,
My parents passed away many years ago, and last year my beloved wife left this world.
My son is too busy with his own family and has no time for me.
All that I had ever held dear and close to my heart is now far away.
Now I have put a picture of the Buddha in my wallet.
It is only now that I realize that he is my eternal companion.
He will never leave me.
Alas, if only I had reslised this before and loved the Buddha all these years with the same intensity as I loved my family,
I would not have been so lonely today.
The ticket collector gave the old man his wallet and when the train stopped at the next station the collector got off and asked the bookstall salesman,
"Do you have a picture of the Divine One I can put in my wallet?"


Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Thursday 15 November 2012



The main purpose of meditation is to free ourselves from our agitated uncontrolled state of mind.
We only free ourselves when we stop attaching ourselves to the things that happen.
When we release the delusions, the fears, the past and future,
then peace prevails.
We gain this peace and harmony with practice.

So, there was a wealthy man who had three sons and loved them dearly.
He didn't know who to entrust his business to when he leaves this present life.
He was wealthy for a reason,
he was clever.
He gathered his sons together and told them
"Here is a room, empty, absolutely empty.
Please fill it to represent how you will run my business.
The one who does it to my satisfaction will take over when I am gone."
The first son, the eldest, filled the room with earth.
He told his father that this represented his earthiness.
The second, middle son, filled the room with paper.
He told his father that this represented the money he would make.
The father said to the first son "thank you, your earth represents objects of clutter, earthiness, but messy.
Clutter leaves a home empty and it loses it's attractiveness with time."
To the second son, he said
"thank you, your paper represents stocks, bonds, shares, but have no real relationship to family.
On paper you are a millionaire, in real terms, you have no friends, no true joy,
a lonely life.
The youngest son had not filled the room with anything but a candle.
When the father saw this,
he was most pleased.
He said,
"thank you my true wise son.
You know how to fill a vacuum.
All emptiness needs light,
a candle of light,
a candle of joy.
The candle of the Divine Spark
to fill our homes and lives with light.

The lesson we learn from this Dharma is not to fill our rooms with attachment to anything,
other than joy,
love and light.


Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Sunday 11 November 2012


The subject of Karma conjures up debates and argument that spans more than two thousand five hundred years
How does Karma work,
do I create it and does it really exist?

I believe that nothing happens to us that we do not deserve.
The cause or causes of this visible effect are not necessarily confined to this present life.
Some causes could be environmental or heredity, but Karma is definitely a result of our own actions,
both past and present.
We alone are responsible for our happiness and misery.
We create our own Heaven,
We create our own Hell.

A devotee once asked the Buddha;
"What's the cause, what's the reason that some are short lived, some are long lived.
Some are born wealthy, some are born poor, some ugly, some beautiful?"

The Buddha explained that it was caused by Karma.
The Buddha explained Karma as;
" All living beings have Karma as their own inheritance and their own doing."
"It is Karma that differentiates high and low beings."
The Buddha then explained
the differences in accordance with the laws of cause and effect.
The Buddha also explained that not everything is due to Karma and even though it is one important factor in the twenty four conditions that effect us.
The Buddha also contradicted
the belief that all physical circumstance and mental attitude springs solely from the past.
If our present life is totally conditioned or wholly controlled by our past actions then Karma is fatalism or predestination.
If this were so, then free will would be absurd.
Such a fatalistic doctrine is not Buddhist philosophy or Karmic law.

According to Buddhism there are five processes or orders that operate in the mental and physical realms of Karma
They are:

Physical Inorganic order;
That is the seasonal changes of wind and rain

Physical Organic order;
Order of germs and seeds,
That is rice from seeds, sugar from cane, honey from bees.

Order of act and result;
Reward and punishment
Water seeks its own level and so does Karma and is as natural as the sun follows the moon

Order of the norm
This is the natural gravitation of the laws of nature and the reason for being good

Order of mind or psychic law
This is the processes of consciousness and mind that are inexplicable to science

Every mental or physical
phenomena can be explained by these five orders including Karma which is only one

My belief is that Karma does not attach itself to persons unless there is a cognitive action or decision to commit certain acts
When one is conscious the very thought of an action causes Karma
It is then that action and the consequence that causes suffering.
if we do something with intent, Karma is created and the suffering starts.

The Buddha said
"I declare O Bhikkhus,
That volition is Karma.
Having willed, one acts by body, speech and thought."
(Anguttara Nicaya)

A traveller came in search of the most famous Holy Zen Master Roshi.
He had come so far and was tired and grumpy.
He stopped to ask a Monk where the famous Roshi lived and explained how far he had come and how famous he had heard the Master was.
The Monk said
"You mean to tell me you have travelled so far to see this man? What a waste of your time.
I know this man personally and he is a zero. You have wasted your time and money on silly rumours."
The visitor was outraged.
"You lowly despicable man, what do you know.
You obviously have no understanding of anything spiritual or holy."
Very upset the traveller stormed off.
Later that day, he finally found the great Holy Masters home and having been granted an appointment, was brought into his office.
He nearly fainted in shame and remorse.
The Monk who he was so rude to in the street was sitting in front of him and was none other than the great Roshi himself.
With tears in his eyes, he begged forgiveness.
"Why are you so upset,
there is no need to apologise,"
the great man said,
"I told you the simple truth, and everything you said was also true."
The great man then said,
"Don't let the Karma of your action take hold of you and make you regret our meeting.
Let go.
Be conscious,
Be responsible.
Buy me lunch."


Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Saturday 3 November 2012

Should I feel let down?

Should I feel let down?
I feel let down and I shouldn't.
I spent time as a Samanera Monk in the Theravedan tradition in a Wat in northern Thailand earlier this year.
I was assisted by two wonderful foreign teaching monks who were full of knowledge and wisdom.
However both of the monks who were assisting in my training at the time, have left the Wat.
One dis-robed and the other has left Thailand.
I am sure they had their reasons and I am also sure they both thought very hard about leaving.
This has left me wondering now about my own commitment, even though my practice is going well.
The Buddha said
"be a light unto thyself"
and not to be bothered by external nonsense, but there still seems to be a void, as I was looking forward to seeing them both on my visits to Thailand.
The Buddha said that any kind of "desire leads to suffering."
So any form of attachment causes suffering and I am feeling an attachment

How ironic that the one major setback to humanities future development is attachment and I feel attached to two monks. I suppose it could be worse.
I am so lucky to have met them and am reminded of them daily in my practice

The decision to start a new life was wonderful as it fixed most of my problems
For most the main problem is not knowing what we want.

We can start our new life's resolutions, our wishes, our hopes and dreams, but the secret is to know what we want.
The Buddha said
"when we give up what we desire, we will get what we desire."

Like the holy master who was dying and his disciples gathered around to hear his last words.
The holy master whispered
"tell them desire is like a river."
One of the young monks said "what does he mean desire is like a river?"
The old master said,
"Tell them desire is not like a river" and he died.
We all want words of wisdom about desire, about what we think we can't get.
The secret of a good life is to know what we want.
We then allow the universe to arrange it.

So what do we want:
To make a fortune this year?
Save the world ?
Wrestle a demon ?
Face a challenge?
Win a battle ?
Gain a new friend ?
Deepen an understanding ?Strengthen a commitment ?
Move a mountain?
All possibilities
All feasible
Here is the question;
What do we want?

Last year a lady rolled up to the shop in an electric chair.
I remember her, five years ago she was healthy, with full use of her legs. She fell and hurt her shoulder and needed an operation. The doctor made a mistake and severed a nerve and she lost the use of her legs, permanently.
She was at home having trouble coping, and for the next two years was looked after by a team of helpers.
She gained forty five kilos and developed a very bad opinion of herself and others.
A year ago she had to go to hospital and her helpers were not available to take her.
She had to catch the train by herself.
On the train she met a man in a wheelchair who was profoundly crippled, to the extent of having to use a stick to point to words on a computer to communicate.
She asked him where he was going and he told her the same hospital, but not for treatment, but to help others like himself cope with life.
He told her he was a volunteer and his life is great.
She felt ashamed, wallowing in her own suffering when there was a person much worse than her helping others.
This was the lesson she needed, this was the message from The Universe.
Over the next year and a half, she lost fifty kilos in weight, changed her attitude, started attending Temple, started being nice to everyone.
She started volunteering at the hospital three times a week, and here she is coming to the shop to wish me a happy new year even though its eight weeks away.
She said she is getting in early as she is busy.
I asked her "what do you want this coming year?"
"Do you want a cure?"
I asked her.
"No" she replied,
"I want the strengh to be able to go to hospital to help others overcome suffering."

The secret is to know what we want and The Universe will provide.


Sent from my iPhone and
With love