Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/21/2014

Dream Journal – Night 3

I’m not sure why but I’m having difficulties remembering my dreams. I know I have had them as I can remember snippets of them but it is hard to construct a narrative out of them. There are for fragments from last night that I can recall:

The first is simply an image of one of our cats but she is much larger and more feral looking with a piece of pink fuzzy material over her right brow.

The next is a scene of a building carved into the earth like a deep well with balconies and windows limit the courtyard walls and a pleasant blue green light welling up from below.

The next is a fragment which resembled reality as I know it in every single way. I was at my office explaining to my employees that the next person who was late would be fired.

Finally, I see a stirring with a red awning and the security gate down. I have the feeling that an architect has his office there and that I’m going to work for him. I feel that this is in Scarsdale.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/20/2014

Dream Journal – Night 2

Dagda’s dagger and Nimrodel are all I can really remember from last night’s drama although I know I had many. The funny thing is that I don’t even recall seeing either of the two things above. It was as if I heard someone say the words “Dagda’s dagger” and kept telling myself to remember it so I kept repeating it in my dreams. Nimrodel I saw written in script in pen toward the end of the night.

What do they mean? I think Dagda is an Irish Celtic god and I believe Nimrodel comes from Tolkien but who really knows.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/19/2014

Dream Journal – First Post

For quite some time the idea of using lucid dreaming as a way to further my Dhamma practice has been an attractive idea to me. Yet, Ii have never found a teaching or approach that had worked for me. Lately, however, I have been reading a book by B Allan Wallace which is giving me real hope that Iwill be able to succeed in my attempts. As such, itis necessary for me to keep a dream journal in order to further my practice. My apologies to everyone for putting this blog to use as adream journal alongside its main aim of being a place for Dhamma reflection but, in some strange way, it all seems to fit to me. So, without further ado I’ll begin.

I can only remember fragments of last night’s dream at this point but the one image which stands out clearly in my mind is that of a old, wooden door with a gifted glass label and the word “Joo” written across it in large, black vinyl letters in something like Comic Sans typeface. I remember, too, that one of my employees Gary was there and had commented about the library and how it had something to do with Jews.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/18/2014

One Pointed Mind

352. Music from a five-piece ensemble
Cannot produce as much delight
As that of a one-pointed mind
With perfect insight into things.

Therigatha 398

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/17/2014

Inner Metta

After listening to a talk by one of the monks at Abhayagiri on the way he practices metta I can’t away with two things that I have been experimenting with in my own practice: the idea of not getting to send out metta and the realization that metta doesn’t have to feel good to be effective.

At first glance these two ideas may seem contradictory because when you bring the object of your metta in to your heart it feels as if you’re actually concentrating and strengthening the metta and, thereby, experiencing more warmth and peace. But, since we only work on the causes and are advised to let the effects look after themselves it is only an apparent contradiction.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/15/2014

Uposatha Aftermath

Yesterday’s observance was well worth the effort and I am keen to begin following it regularly one again. Perhaps the one thing that I find myself to be working on more than any other is the fair of Right Effort.

You see, I have a habit of pushing too hard and rationalizing it as being skillful means when, in fact, it just seems to push me towards burning out. So yesterday, when I began to feel overwhelmed I took stock and handled myself with care. What this amounted to in practice was either cultivating a pleasant breath and relaxing around the tension or simply reflecting on self-compassion rather than pushing through as obstinately as a bull.

At the end of the day, having respected my limits while following the update precepts, I felt lighter and more content than I have for some time. May I remember this lesson well and act wisely for my own true welfare.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/14/2014

Happy Uposatha | Rebirth

It’s the uposatha again and it will be the first in a long while that I am observing. In many ways, I really feel like I have been born anew to the practice and my life. I feel a renewed zeal and energy coursing through me and the desire to commit myself to Dhamma study and bhavana has returned where it had ebbed away for the past few months. Observing this and the constant arising and passing away of phenomena not only gives me faith in the teachings of the Lord Buddha and his disciples but serves as the best possible reminder that time is short and that the appropriate conditions for effective practice can fall apart at any time.

Accenti Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya I.04)

The Bhagava was staying at Savatthi.. .The deva stood at a suitable place and spoke thus in verse in the presence of the Bhagava:

“Time passes by days and nights pass by swiftly. The stages of life progressively pass by. He who sees these (three) dangers of death  should perform meritorious deeds that bring happiness.”

The Bhagava said:

“Time passes by days and nights pass by swiftly. The stages of life progressively pass by. He who sees these (three) dangers of death and wishes for the peace (of Nibbana) should forsake the worldly objects of Craving (i.e., the three states of existence).

May we heed the words of both the devata and the Lord and practice rightly so as not to have wasted this precious human life. Sukhita hontu!

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/14/2014

Study and Meditation

Upāsaka:

I hope you all find this post as useful as I did. Check out this kalyana-mitta’s blog if you have time as well.

Originally posted on Vajra Vehicle:

Buddha Maitreya

Buddha Maitreya

“Meditation would be useless if reality could be perceived through mere study; and the teaching would be useless if one could practice meditation without having studied.”

[From the Mahayanasutralamkara as taught by Buddha Maitreya ]

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Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/13/2014

The Little Things

Feeling inspired once more to deepen my practice so the first thing I did this morning after waking up was head to my altar and recite the refuges and precepts. No, it’s not a huge thing and it doesn’t take more than tn minutes but it certainly changed the tone and direction of my entire day.

Posted by: Upāsaka | 12/12/2014

Semipermeable Membrane of Self

I have been working with a few themes lately but mainly the following three: loving-kindness,  acceptance and forgiveness. What is funny about this is that, as I work with them, I begin to see how the line between self and other becomes blurred. How the feeling of forgiveness can just sort of spill over and out of oneself into everything one sees and feels. But it’s not just forgiveness that finds its way through, its just about everything else as well. The more I practice the more I see this but that doesn’t mean (unfortunately) that it gets any easier.

As some of you may I know, I have decided to focus my practice on my family first as that is where I most often get into trouble. It’s really here that my contemplations on forgiveness have been most needed and effective. Not a day goes by where I don’t feel the need to seek forgiveness for something I’ve done and to forgive my wife and kids for this or that perceived failure. And you would think that wisdom would suffice by now to see through the anger, the irritation but it doesn’t quite yet. At best I am becoming quicker to forgive and to beg pardon. So until I start to develop some sense may I learn to forgive everything, accept anything and love everyone better.

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