Tuesday 29 April 2014

Dharmapada 237

Dharmapada 237

"Your life has come to an end now. You are setting forth into the presence of Yama, the king of death.
No resting place is there for you on the way,
yet you have made no provision for the journey!"

'Bhavana Vandana'
Meditation on Death

'There is no possibility
that mortals shall not die;
having reached old age they die;
Such is the nature of living beings.

As fruit, when ripe,
has to fall,
so all beings live constantly in the fear,
that they will die.

As a potter's earthen jars eventually must all break up, so too does the life of mortals eventually come to an end.

The young and the old,
the foolish and the wise,
all move in the grip of death;
All finally end in death.

Impermanent are all conditioned things, affected by rising and falling away;
Having arisen, they then must cease;
Blissful is it, when they subside.

Before long this body will lie cast away upon the ground, bereft of all consciousness like a useless block of wood.

Uninvited she came here, without leave she departed.
She went just as she came, so why lament?

So a wise person,
seeing her own good,
secures firm conviction
in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

She who practices the Dharma;
In thought, word, and deed, receives praise here on earth, and after death rejoices in heaven.'

"Friends, I give these words, as a consoling and soothing balm to ease the pain.
May you all be blessed in the knowledge that our loved one is at peace."

With Metta

Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Sunday 27 April 2014

Once again

..Once again..

Buddha Dharma at practice:

The monk Huike came to Bodhidharma pleading:
"Bring me peace master,
there is a hole in me,
I am incomplete,
please help me."

"Bring me your mind,"
Bodhidharma replied,
"and I will set it at peace."

Huike looked and looked, without success,
finally came back to Bodhidharma and said:
"I've searched everywhere and can't find it."

Bodhidharma said,
"I have set it at peace."


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With love

Once again...

Saturday 26 April 2014

The candle

The candle---

I am reminded of a great poet,
a famous man.
He wrote about beauty.
He was the court poet, poet to the King and lived in the palace.

All about him was romance and beauty.

Suddenly he ran out of poems, he became like a river without water, he felt dry..

He turned to the books in the palace, the old writings, looking, seeking for words that would help to start the flow.

The poet had only one candle in his room and the light was dim, his eyes hurt and even in the old books he couldn't find words about beauty.
All about war, hatred, hell,
lots of burning in hell.

Tired and frustrated he blew out the candle and couldn't believe his eyes.

There, suddenly from the window and under the door, the moonlight poured in.

The poet rushed outside and was transported into another world.

He looked at the moon,
at the silence of the night,
the reflections on the river.
He saw the dark forrest behind the silvery river.
This was beauty.

The poet had been looking into a book for beauty and here it was, waiting just outside the door.

The small yellow candle light had prevented him from seeing the magic of the night.
He had been occupied with books and had completely forgotten the beauty of a full moon night.

He threw books away and that was the last day he thought about beauty.
Thinking won't help, writing about it is not enough,
beauty is all around us.
We have to be available to it.

We must blow out the candle,
the small candle of the ego.
Then our Buddha nature can enter.

Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Friday 25 April 2014

Clear path--

Clear path--

It is now over forty years since I started on my journey to become more enlightened and cultivated.

One of the greatest lessons I have learnt is the lesson of destiny.

So do I have a clear path?

I love my life and everything I do.
I love everyone I come into contact with.

It's a choice, a decision.

We start our short existence on the graph of life, and it ends before we have even learnt that we have a destiny to fulfill.

There's a choice how we live, how we behave,
a choice that has a karmic outcome.

We all have a decision to make regarding our destiny.

Our lives are similar to when we build a house.

We start with a strong foundation, we then build walls and rooms.
We start placing stuff inside.

After many years our house collects so much rubbish, the house falls in on it's self.

This is exactly like what is happening to most of us right now.

How can we discover our potential when we have so much rubbish surrounding us.

Let me tell you a story;
A famous yogi from Tibet, Dromponpa saw a young man circling a stupa chanting.

The Yogi said,
"Circling a stupa is well and good, but wouldn't it be better if you practiced dharma."

The young man thought, perhaps he means this is too simple a practice for me, and I'd be better off studying texts.

Later the Yogi saw him reading holy books and said.
"Reading texts is well and good, but wouldn't it be better to practice dharma?"

What should I do,
the young man thought, maybe meditate.

Again the Yogi said,
when he saw the young man sitting in meditation,
"Wouldn't it be better if you practiced dharma?"

The young man was getting agitated .
"What do you mean practice dharma ?"

The great Yogi replied...
"Turn your mind away from attachment to the worldly life.
You can go round holy objects, go to a monastery, or a temple, and meditate in some corner, doing nothing.

Unless you change your mental attitude, your old habits of attachment, your old games you learnt from parents, you won't find peace, your practice will be ineffective.

If you don't change your mind, no matter how many external things you do, you'll never progress along your spiritual path.

The cause of agitation will remain with you.
It's your mental attitude that determines whether your actions become the path to inner realization and liberation, or to suffering and confusion.

Dharma practise is the method for totally releasing attachment.

One dharma is to understand that you have a destiny to fulfill.
To choose your own destiny, or to be steered by others suffering greatly on the way to death."

Your own life is in the balance right now."
So here's the question:
do I live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way, or do I stumble from day to day suffering and in pain?

Make a choice,
make a decision,
and create destiny.

It is only when we practice dharma,
that the path is clear.

With Metta

Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Thursday 24 April 2014



I write this with my own family in mind.
One of my own has been given a short time to live. Terminal illness needs decisions, and at the best of times, decisions about dying are confronting.
I offer the following,
with utmost respect:


Choosing "what is"
leads to true happiness.

Our usual state is to want things to be different,
different to what they really are.
To think that when,
"this or that" changes, then things will be great.

If only I wasn't so thin,
so fat, so tall, so short,
so old, so sick.
Then of course,
I would be happy.

We spend most of our lives waiting to be happy,
waiting for something,
or some one, to help us. Then one day,
in a moment,
it's over.

We are never truly happy.

Choosing to be with the moment, to be with
"what is,"
is real happiness.

Staying with the reality of the moment is true happiness.

A person that is indecisive, not sure,
can't make decisions, thinks everything and everyone is wrong,
no luck, and is always unhappy, that's their choice for now.

Maybe they will choose something else tomorrow, but right now, that is who they are.

That's fine,
if that's what they feel comfortable with.

We choose who,
and how we are,
right now.
We also choose our situation.

Most of us don't think
"I'll wake up tomorrow feeling depressed."
We may be dead tomorrow, so why not enjoy every breath, and choose to be with our life,
as it is, right now.

So Chung Tzu's wife died and the next day he was visited by Tzu Chia,
who found Chung Tzu in his bathtub banging the sides and singing loudly.

"How can you be singing at a time like this,
your wife just died and your happy?"

"Ah" Chung Tzu said,
"her life was like the four seasons, and one cannot change the seasons."
"We can't change
"what is" to happen."
"She lived in the summer of her life, and left her mortal coil in the winter."

"I was sad for a moment, and then decided I should not live in a state of
"what if," my wife would have preferred me to live in "what is".

"I am happy."

Of course, before any transformation can happen,
we must firstly empty the mind of our suffering.

We must let go of the shackles and choose
"what is" in our lives.

I too am happy.


Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Tuesday 22 April 2014



What a joy, what bliss.
There's only a small number of times in our lives, when we are truly inspired.
We feel a presence.
Some call it a Holy Spirit,
a Heavenly Mother,
a Divine One.
Whatever it is called,
a presence enters us,
and leaves us calmer and more peaceful.

We feel at these times,
a sense of joy, youth,
and love.

A famous Monk guaranteed joy, youth,
and love.
All one had to do was to let go, give up,
and surrender.

So a wealthy woman,
on hearing about this Monk and his guarantees, rushed to see him.

"How much donation do you want, what do I have to do," she gushed at him.

The Monk asked her to empty the large bag full of jewels she carried.
He said;
"give up your jewels to the Temple and in return I shall guarantee you joy, youth and love."
She said; "there is so much and wouldn't you settle for just a few."

She told him that she had saved all her life.
She really didn't want to part with any of her jewels.
She said she wanted to think about the whole thing.

She thought and thought,
and asked another lady,
"did you give up your jewels?"
"Yes," she said "and the next day the Monk gave them back"
I now have joy, youth,
and love."

So once again the wealthy lady asked the Monk.
"If you really offer joy, youth, and love,
and guarantee it,
then I will hand you my jewels."
"Make sure they are in a safe place, look after them, I know how many there are. Don't let anyone touch or steal them."
"Keep them safe."

The next day she waited for the return of her jewels, and the next,
and the next.
There was no return of the jewels, no joy, youth, or love.

That thief, that scoundrel, she told all her friends, some holy Monk he is,
don't go near him.
Her friends advised her to go to the court, but she couldn't because some of the jewels were maybe not hers.

The lady who had her jewels returned to her asked the Monk why he hadn't returned the jewels.
The Monk said;
"you surrendered your jewels to me gladly, without conditions,
no calculations."
"I don't want calculating people around me,
so I killed two birds with one stone."
"We have enough money to renovate the Temple with the sale of her jewels, and as she is spreading rumours about me, no other calculating people will come."

The Buddha said;
"When we give up desire,
that is when we get what we desire."

Surrender to this and you will have
joy, youth and love.


Sent from my iPhone and
With love


Monday 21 April 2014

The Buddha said:

The Buddha said:

"Desire is the root cause of all misery."

let go of the past
let go of the future....
Dhammapada 348

desire is the bane of mankind....
Dhammapada 359

It is this desire that causes us to create a future, projecting ourselves into make believe and causing anxiety.

When we create a tomorrow and start to live in it, that's when
today dissapears.

We cannot see today, when our eyes are clouded by what tomorrow may bring.

So, desire is born out of the past and projected into the future, where once again, we can repeat our mistakes from the past.
This causes anxiety, which causes more desire, to be something other than what, and who, we really are.

We believe that the past and the future constitutes the entire mind.

Should we analyse and dissect our daily thoughts,
we find only two thoughts,
past and future.
We don't find a present.

The present is the only reality,
the only existence,
the only joy.

Present moment can only be found when the mind ceases it's chatter.
When it is stilled.

Only then does anxiety cease.

Be still.....


Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Friday 18 April 2014

My friend

My friend:
Dongshan Liangjie
807-869 AD
Tang Dynasty
Ch-an Monk
Once said;

"How amazing
How amazing
Birds and trees expound the Dharma
It cannot be heard with the ear-
but when the sound is heard with the eye
It is understood."

I love this

Sent from my iPhone and
With love

My thought number 23:

My thought number 23:

Enlightenment is not something we achieve.

It is the absence of something.

All our lives we go after something,
pursuing some goal.

Enlightenment is dropping all that.

Talking of it is of little use.

Practice has to be done

There is no substitute but to practice.

What to practice?

Nothing, but the breath.


Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Thursday 17 April 2014

Where is the mind?

Where is the mind?

For many years I have immersed myself in spiritual contemplation and growth.

Over the years I have locked myself in a pagoda in a Vipassana retreat.
Spent weeks in a Wat in far northern Thailand being a novice Therevadan Monk.
Spent time in an Ashram in Malaysia, and in China,
spent time as a barefoot doctor in a hospital run by blind masseurs, learning how the body and mind works.
I have even studied, for a short time, with a Chassidic Rabbi in a local Synagogue and a Holy Master in a I-Kuan Tao Temple, in Australia,
in Malaysia, and Taiwan.

To what end?

Did I find something that most don't know?

I do know that this morning I was reading a short discussion on what the mind is and how we should see our mind.
The next thing was where the mind is situated.

The article was written by the late Traleg Rinpoche.
From a Vajrayana point of view, Traleg Rinpoche showed me that I may have got it wrong.

Needless to say, I should start all over again.

Forget what I think I know, and begin again with a blank screen.

In understanding mind and what it is,
Tantric texts tell us that:
Mind is empty
Mind is luminous,
Mind is bliss.

Where the mind is,
is another matter.

Firstly, I thought of the emptiness of the mind.

Tantric tradition says that mind is something that cannot be grasped.

We cannot identify it with brain processes,
or with the heart.

The mind cannot be found either within,
or outside our physical selves.

Mind is not an entity,
or a thing, and that is why
the mind is empty.

Unlike inanimate objects, the mind is able to illuminate both itself and other things.
This luminosity is not discovered outside our ordinary experience.

Our experience of anger, jealousy, pride, are illuminated with a sense of clarity well before we put our interpretations on our emotions.

Luminosity of the mind comes in two situations:
when the mind is calm,
as during meditation,
and when the mind is disturbed.
With both these situations we should identify and see with clarity and not make any distinctions.
We then will see the luminosity of the mind.

The minds blissful aspect, is reliant on being able to cease in making distinctions, between our ordinary mind, and the meditative experiences of mental tranquility.

We no longer have to make distinctions within our mind saying
"this aspect is good and that aspect is bad so it must be destroyed."
When that conflict is solved, bliss takes place naturally.
Bliss is then discovered as another aspect of our own mind.

These three aspects of mind are indispensable in the tantric tradition.

Now to the question:
Where is the mind?

Traleg Rinpoche said that some identify the mind with our neural system, whilst others locate it somewhere in the heart.
If we are really sophisticated, we may think it is located in the brain.

Tantric logic tells us to identify the minds location as purely within the three aspects :
Empty, luminous and bliss.

My deepest thanks to the late Traleg Rinpoche for his insight into the tantric path.
He said that the greatest hindrance to our search is the fear of our own incompetence.
He said we need to have ultimate conviction.

Thank you dear man,
I am working on my conviction.

Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Thursday 10 April 2014

"My cure for cancer"

"My cure for cancer"

Dear friends:
This morning I wanted to give thanks.
Who to give thanks to?

I am not Christian, I am not Indian, Muslim, Japanese or Chinese, so some thirty thousand and two Gods miss out on my thanks, although if they are listening;

I would like to think that a Quan Yin or LaoMu had a hand in my miracle.

I would love to be able to get on my knees and thank a deity, and get an answer, "that's ok, you deserve our help."

None of this happened.

The miracle did happen.

Some three years ago a blood test showed an elevated reading for prostate cancer.

Over the next three years and four very personal examinations, and a biopsy, showed increases in the size of the prostate and the presence of cancer.

Last Friday I had a biopsy to see if the cancer had spread.

Yesterday I got the result:
"You are cancer free."

The surgeon and I discussed the result and decided that a relaxed state of mind and a non ownership of the dis-ease is a great start to a cure.

It all started with my practice of Anapanasati
(breath meditation) http://youtu.be/sTQbxtD-y30

In my case, this practice helped me to remove my dis-ease.

The Buddha said that we are the total cause of our own suffering.
The Buddha included dis-ease as suffering.
The removal of suffering is the recognition that we are suffering and the way to remove suffering is in the practice.
The practice also includes the "eightfold path."

I am most pleased to say that I feel great.

For those who are suffering, and not feeling great, may I suggest to lesson the suffering,
try the practice.

With Metta,

Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Sunday 6 April 2014

Once again:

Once again:
Buddha Dharma at practice:
The monk Huike came to Bodhidharma pleading:
"Bring me peace master,
there is a hole in me,
I am incomplete,
please help me."

"Bring me your mind,"
Bodhidharma replied,
"and I will set it at peace."

Huike looked and looked, without success,
finally came back to Bodhidharma and said:
"I've searched everywhere and can't find it."

Bodhidharma said,
"I have set it at peace."


Sent from my iPhone and
With love

Tuesday 1 April 2014

The Buddha said

The Buddha said
"Attha dipa:"
"You are the light."

My latest copy of Buddhadharma:
The practitioners quarterly magazine, has an amazing article that has touched me profoundly.

"A glimmer of Dharma"
written by Patrick Brady, an inmate at a prison in Corcoran California.

Patrick is housed in a solitary confinement unit for twenty three hours a day. He has been there for fourteen years so far.

Patrick found the Dharma some two years ago and
he tells us that his path is difficult.

What an understatement when we consider our life of freedom.
To think of being locked in a cell, the size of a bathroom and try to clear the mind.

His food is pushed through a slot in the door twice a day.

No contact, visits are rare.
Phone calls are limited to death notification of family members only.

He is allowed one hour a day exercise, chained up, accompanied by two guards to walk in an enclosed space.

Patrick tells us that he finds relief in the Dharma, and that his suffering that he clings to, can dissipate by his letting go of it.

He says that is easier said than done, but he is practicing, albeit under most difficult circumstance.

He says that in his world of anger, hatred and pain, it is hard to draw much from the Dharma.

He says he grasps for it like a drowning man reaching for a life jacket.

One thing that strikes a chord with Patrick is that, he has learnt, that the Buddha teaches not to cling, not to grasp, and not to define things.

He says at this point in his practice, he does all three.

"I cling to the Dharma, I grasp at the precepts, and I define Buddhism, rather crudely, as a way to deal with the shiftiness of life." He says.

He tells us that meditation, as a space of clarity, alludes him.
However, he has just finished a book by Soto Zen teacher Katagiri who advises quite simply
"Just shut up and sit."

This message resonates with him and when his mind is full of monkeys, he says, he just shuts up and sits.

Finally he says that he stands on the edges of Buddhism and that keeps him real.

"In this spot from which I cannot move, I am beginning to recognize both myself and the walls I have built in my own mind.
I am starting, for the first time, to see a way to break through."

Consider our life, filled with love and joy.
His life filled with anger, hatred, and guilt.
He made life choices that maybe we would not have made.
This does, not sever him from finding peace and clarity of thought.

Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in,
we can find solace in the Buddha's Dharma.

I wrote recently to my friend Nanadhaja Bikkhu;

"Though this hut is small,
it includes the entire world."

This becomes truly clear in terms of the life of Patrick Brady.
May he and you all be guarded and guided.
With Metta

Sent from my iPhone and
With love