What’s Your Superpower?

I must confess that many of the thought I post here come from reflecting on Tara Brach’s podcast to which I listen daily. In her most recent podcast [link below], she spoke about this image…

What’s Your Buddhist Superpower? – Buddhist Peace Fellowship / Turning Wheel Media.

Tara Brach talked about this image in her recent podcast:

2014-02-19 – Part 2: Heart of Compassion – Most of us consciously value compassion, but move through much of life without access to the full capacity of our heart. This talk explores the self-compassion that is the very grounds of loving our world.

Direct download: 2014-02-19-Heart-of-Compassion-TaraBrach.mp3

My superpower IS kindness, but I don’t ‘get into the phonebooth’ often enough, if you what I mean. I often don’t put on my ‘kindness costume’ when I need it most…

Does that make me a failure? No, I think it puts me on a path. It makes me human. HH the Dalai Lama says:

“I don’t know why people like me so much. It must be because I value bodhichitta [the awakened heart/mind]. I can’t claim to practice [it], but I value it.” We care about the awakened heart because, like a flower in full bloom, it is the full realization of our nature. Feeling loved and loving matters to us beyond all else. We feel most “who we are” when we feel connected to each other and the world around us, when our hearts are open, generous and filled with love. Even when our hearts feel tight or numb, we still care about caring.

Brach, Tara (2004-11-23). Radical Acceptance (p. 222). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

How can I, a fellow being who is much less awakened, condemn myself for not practicing?

My takeaway? Get into the phonebooth. Put on lovingkindness. Even when — ESPECIALLY WHEN — our hearts feel tight and numb…

His wise counsel hits the target every time!

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Realizing Our Undefended and Awakened Heart

I’m listening to a dharma talk by Tara Brach this morning that I’d like to share with you. She says…

It is our evolutionary and spiritual potential to release unnecessary habits of violating other tribes, individuals and unwanted parts of our own being. This talk explores three essential facets of the pathway to awakening: Leaving the fortress of aversive judgment, entering the wilderness of our embodied being and encircling this life with love.

via Tara Brach : Realizing Our Undefended and Awakened Heart (retreat talk).

You can download the talk here.

Remembering Love

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Remembering Love (from IMCW Spring Retreat) – The habit of self-judgment not only causes emotional pain, it creates a trance that obscures the purity and vastness of our Being. This talk explores how a wakeful and forgiving heart can heal and free us…


Tara Brach : Remembering Love (Retreat Talk).

 

Gateways to Happiness…

May I recommend this audio podcast by Tara Brach? I especially liked the part about dogs toward the end:

While we all want to be happy, our habitual ways of pursuing happiness leave us dissatisfied. What prevents us from being happy? What is true happiness? How do we relax and open to the blessings of our life that are always and already here? Though these reflections we explore together our potential to live from a profound place of inner freedom, peace and happiness. Direct download: 2008-02-06-Gateways-to-Happiness-TaraBrach.mp3 via Tara Brach

via Blogger http://blogger.toddlohenry.com/2013/11/gateways-to-happiness.html

Life goes better…

…when I take care of me! I love to wake up in the morning, make a pot of coffee and sit down at the computer for an hour while listening to a meditation from Tara Brach. However, I find that if I don’t exercise first thing in the day the chances that I’ll do it later decrease rapidly throughout the day so lately I’ve been making a few changes that seem to work well for me…

Instead of sitting down at the computer I put on my walking clothes, spend 5 minutes stretching and walk for 30 minutes while listening to my meditation. Then when I return home, I have a big glass of water before drinking coffee and I seem to need less to do more. I like eggs for breakfast but instead of eating them with butter and cheese I’m finding that hard-boiled along with some vegetables is a good way to go!

These are relatively minor changes but they make a massive difference in how much energy I have the rest of the day. How about you? What one positive thing could you do that would make a major impact in your life if you started doing it now? What one negative thing could you drop that would have a positive impact in your life?

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The phases are going through me…

Statue representing Siddhartha Gautama.I have a new friend that I am getting to know. I discovered not too long ago that she had begun reading my favorite book Siddhartha. I asked her recently what her takeaway was and she started “in life you pass through different phases…”. Just recently, I had exactly the OPPOSITE reaction, that in life, different phases pass through us! This is one of the things I love about this book. In some ways, it’s more like a mirror than a book and if you read it mindfully over again, you will find the book is different each time you read it. I recently re-read it earlier this summer via Audible after spending a lot of time with Brené Brown, Kristen Neff and Tara Brach and I remember hearing this part while I was out clearing the pasture and it almost knocked me over like a bolt out of the blue:

“Listen well, my dear, listen well! The sinner, which I am and which you are, is a sinner, but in times to come he will be Brahma again, he will reach the Nirvana, will be Buddha and now see: these ‘times to come’ are a deception, are only a parable! The sinner is not on his way to become a Buddha, he is not in the process of developing, though our capacity for thinking does not know how else to picture these things. No, within the sinner is now and today already the future Buddha, his future is already all there, you have to worship in him, in you, in everyone the Buddha which is coming into being, the possible, the hidden Buddha. The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life. It is not possible for any person to see how far another one has already progressed on his path; in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting. In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence , to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me. I have experienced on my body and on my soul that I needed sin very much, I needed lust, the desire for possessions, vanity, and needed the most shameful despair, in order to learn how to give up all resistance, in order to learn how to love the world, in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished, I imagined, some kind of perfection I had made up, but to leave it as it is and to love it and to enjoy being a part of it. These, oh Govinda, are some of the thoughts which have come into my mind.” Siddhartha bent down, picked up a stone from the ground, and weighed it in his hand. “This here ,” he said playing with it, “is a stone, and will, after a certain time, perhaps turn into soil, and will turn from soil into a plant or animal or human being. In the past, I would have said: This stone is just a stone, it is worthless, it belongs to the world of the Maja; but because it might be able to become also a human being and a spirit in the cycle of transformations, therefore I also grant it importance. Thus, I would perhaps have thought in the past. But today I think: this stone is a stone, it is also animal, it is also god, it is also Buddha, I do not venerate and love it because it could turn into this or that, but rather because it is already and always everything and it is this very fact, that it is a stone, that it appears to me now and today as a stone, this is why I love it and see worth and purpose in each of its veins and cavities, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it makes when I knock at it, in the dryness or wetness of its surface. There are stones which feel like oil or soap, and others like leaves, others like sand, and every one is special and prays the Om in its own way, each one is Brahman, but simultaneously and just as much it is a stone, is oily or juicy, and this is this very fact which I like and regard as wonderful and worthy of worship. But let me speak no more of this. The words are not good for the secret meaning, everything always becomes a bit different , as soon as it is put into words, gets distorted a bit, a bit silly yes, and this is also very good, and I like it a lot, I also very much agree with this, that this what is one man’s treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person.”

Hesse, Hermann (2010-02-15). SIDDHARTHA [The Deluxe Edition, Annotated, & Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 1722-1744). Northpointe Classics. Kindle Edition.

There is no moment outside of this one! I cannot be better than I already am! “in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting.” I can only choose to be more mindful and be more in touch with my buddha nature. This moment “is already and always everything” and like the old native-american story of the two wolves, it is the wolf I feed in this moment that wins…

Break your heart no longer…

Cover of "Radical Acceptance: Embracing Y...

My beloved child,

break your heart no longer.

Each time you judge yourself you break your own heart.

You stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your vitality.

The time has come, your time

To live to celebrate and to see the goodness that you are…

There is no evil, no wrong in you. Your true essence is pure awareness, aliveness, love.

Let no one, no thing, no idea or ideal obstruct you

If one comes, even in the name of “Truth”, forgive it for its unknowing

Do not fight

Let go

And breathe – into the goodness that you are.”

via I would like to share this Bapuji poem with you – copied from “Radical Acceptance” by Dr Tara Brach PhD: « Maureen Kozicki.