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    OMGURU - Spiritual

    Thursday
    Jul292010

    What Eastern religion deals with the balance between elements? Earth, Air, Water, Fire? Is it Buddhism?

    Frail Child of Dust

    What Eastern religion deals with the balance between elements? Earth, Air, Water, Fire? Is it Buddhism?

    Ans: stbb

    It is Taoism, its philosophy’s highest goal is to be one with Universe, and the concept is that all of the Universal particles are consisted and classified into five types of elements:  (1)  Gold (inclusive of all Metals), (2) Wood; (3) Water, (4) Fire, and (5) Earth- (Mud , sands etc.).

    When the elements are mixed, the world’s come into existence; but lacking or have excess of one or more of these elements can affect the world and the environment in which we live. Hence, the Taoists evolve the theory of balance the elements to make the environment more compatible with human living requirements.

    They believe by adjusting the elements: which involve introducing other elements to complement a particular element or elements, to create harmony in the surroundings and balancing all of the natural elements to make the environment compatible with human living requirements that this will therefore improve health and the fortune of those who dwell on the land. This balance affects and influences human relationships as well. From this concept, the Taoism evolved the  ”Feng-Shui Systems”– [to adjust nature’s directional displacement forces with human’s energy fields] to be in balence.

    Later, they found out that human bodies seem to resemble the Universe and confirmed that by adjusting the elements in your body, you can improve health and cure diseases- so the Chinese healing system (Chinese medicine systems ) was created- which later influenced Tibetan medicines as well, as well as most Asian countries including the Middle Eastern countries through the “Silk Routes”.

    Not to forget the Astrology systems- Chinese have hundred of systems, of which thirty to forty are most popular, and they can tell the human relationship compatibilities, individual fortune[s] and life courses, and many other odd and interesting end predictions, I personal know around ten different systems (all are from the Taoism and Vajrayana Buddhism).

    Even the Art of War, the techniques and theories are also related to five elements, with another branch of Feng-Shui systems, which involved attacks on your enemies with strategic placement of elemental components to win the war, and these were used by the Chinese Generals and Emperors, to maximize the best dates and times, as well best directions to embark the war or battles.

    Strictly speaking, the Earth, Air, Water and Fire are more involved with the Buddhism, but it is used to explain the makeup of the Universe as well as human body. In human body or Universe- the Earth being the entire solid; the Air is the lighter element, and breathes in humans and animals; the Water being liquid, or blood and all liquids in human and animals; and the Fire is the fire or in human and animals- the temperature.

    This theory is very important in the teachings of the “Tibetan (Buddhism) Book of Death” or the “Teaching of the Intermediate States”. This concept does not talk about balance of the elements, but more or less about the make ups, and breaking up of the elements during the creation and destruction of the Universe and lives.

    Watch out, my Vajrayana friends and brothers please do not talk specific in our practices, remember your Samayas …

    STB

    Monday
    Jul052010

    Why does Guan Yin pray for sentient beings?

    From: lvpinoy48

    Subject: Guan Yin

    A question dawned on me recently. It has been said that Guan Yin is an intercessor. To intercede is to pray for. But since Guan Yin is divine and she can just answer the prayer what need is there for her to pray?


    Ans: stbb

    This part is one of those secret messages, which people would never understand, without a teacher willing to explain it to you. Even with his/her power, Guan Yin is an emanation of Avolokiteservara- Lord of Compassion, a Mahasattva- a Great Bodhisattva.

    Amitabha is Avolokiteservara’s Guru, his Vajra Master; some said Avolokiteservara is the emanation of Amitabha himself? As such, even though, Avolokiteservara has unlimited powers to change destinies of those without fixed karma, and by continued to pray to his Guru, the blessing from his Guru is limitless, therefore giving him even more power to do good. (This is the Tantrayana explanation.)

    In Tantra, one’s accomplishment is given to you by your Root Guru; he is the beginning and he is the finish- of your obtainment of Buddhahood. He is the one that guides you and can accomplish you. Your very own spiritual achievement, including your Enlightenment; is totally depending on his willingness to mentally wiping out the remnant of your mind’ obscurations.


    Mahayana explanation is, even with his power, he needs the help from his Master, the blessing and empowerment.

    Friday
    Jun182010

    The cartoon that touched the heart of millions of people...

    When you were very young...


    They spent a lot of time to teach you how to eat with spoon and chopsticks... 

    They taught you how to get dress, how to tie your shoelaces and button your buttons…

    They taught you how to wash your face

    and brush your hair…

     

     

    They explained to you the rules to be a decent human

    Therefore...

    Therefore, some day when they grow old...

    When they can't remember or unable to connect

    with you on conversational levels...

    Please don't blame them for being slow...

    When they begin to forget how to button their buttons or forget to tie their shoelaces...

    When they begin to dirty their clothing

    while eating...

    When they’re brushing their hair and their hands

    can't stop shaking...

    Please don't rush them...

    because while you were slowly growing up,

    they are slowly growing old...

    All you have to do is just to show up in front of them...

    That alone, will warm their hearts.


    One day, If they can't even stand up without wobbly, and when they are no longer able to walk...

    Please grip on firmly to their hands, and walk

    with them slowly at their pace... 

    just like...


     

    Monday
    Jun072010

    Clear Your Mind Then All Things Come Naturally.

    Clear Your Mind Then All Things Come Naturally.

     

    Question [Joseph]:

    I have heard of people who practice various spiritual practices and my friend who practices Tibetan Buddhism sometimes sees things in the spiritual world or has various dreams or meditative visions. I am wondering what practices do I need to do to be able to see and experience them too? What do you recommend to get started for someone who has never tried these types of practices before?

     

    Answer [stbb]:

    There are several factors to determine if someone will be accomplished in any particular spiritual related practice, or just simply have some experiences in those spiritual practices.

    (1)   Faith is the first factor; this faith can be blind faith or experiential faith. How these faiths come about? It could come from sources like your parental influences, due to their faith in a particular religion, or your personal experiences, or your brain thinks it is logical, and finally there is the inborn faith due to past life experiences, or meeting a teacher of destiny.

     

    (2)   Life changing experiences such as the death of a parent, relatives, friends and the possibility of ones own death experience from which one was revived - these experiences will cause one to explore alternative life styles - instead of “American Dream”, hence a spiritual practice may be found.

     

    (3)   Propaganda, this you can find through all types of advertisement in different medias; such as attending an Evangelist sermons, attending a church or a temple service; having a mental concept of a particular religion as such and such, or feeling it is mysterious and exciting , or perhaps cool and logical, etc. etc.…  All of these reasons can cause someone to dabble with a particular spiritual practice.

     

    (4)   Meeting or finding a spiritual teacher, there are teachers of a worldly kind, like you meet in your school, in a function or even at work, these worldly teachers teach and guide you in worldly matters, but these teachers are not what I am talking about.

    I am talking about a spiritual teacher who comes into your environment and right away things change, or it may take time, but as time goes on your faith increases, because these are life changing experiences, mind turning moments and spiritual awakenings. This can be instantaneous and awe striking; or simply weird dreams and spiritual tidbits that appear left and right all around you. There could be goose bumps experiences or emotional events as well.

    All the other factors I won’t elaborate on, but I will emphases on finding the “Spiritual Teacher”, as this is the highest level of finding a teacher. After all, how many people out there will think about spiritual things, because in our society the money reigns supreme; people are just simply too busy making money and deciding how to enjoy their earnings.

    Most of us, who have the spiritual yearning, are special; and we have come from various higher planes of development, be it voluntary or otherwise.

    In this corporal form without someone having some form of spiritual awakening, we are doomed to remain in this realm without guidance. After all, we don’t come with a hard copy of “Life’s Handbook” to tell us what to do, and how to do regular checkups on our progress, and to see if we are going to the right place, etc…

    Now, it boils down to what do we do, so we can make life changing events happening? The answer for most people is “Nothing”! Because there simply isn’t an answer we know of, for sure, using our deluded mind to try coming up with an answer. After all we are all ruled by our emotional brains, which try to decipher our environment using incomplete data with extremely sensitive minds that are prone to reactions of outside stimuli.

    As everyone in the computer field knows – “Garbage in and Garbage out.” With our emotionally affected mind, using incomplete data, of course most of our decisions are wrong. That is why in Buddhism, we are trained to stop the functions of the brain which create all kinds of delusional concepts. And these delusions are contaminates to our thoughts and mind.

    Without knowing the truth, this brain devised mind which we accept as us is in Psychology mistakenly coined as the “Sub-consciousness”; it will devise delusions and will continue to generate delusions which cause us to continue to dwell in the state of suffering. In order to stop all the deluded thoughts from contaminating our ”True Mind”; Buddha and many of his successors have come up with many exercises they use to stop the brain from generating delusions.

     As our brain continues to weave delusional dreams, while we are living in this world of Samsara, it knows not of its true master! Hence, it is like a slave without the “Master” in sight and forget its position; in terms of thinking of itself as the true master of this physical form.

    This false identity we adopt as ourselves, this delusional mind is the fabrication of our mental faculty we call our brain, it is known as the Sixth Awareness- or Consciousness in Buddhism; long before there was the subject of psychology in college. We know “It” corroborates with the Seventh Awareness- which is the transporter or messenger for our “True Mind”.

    In psychology some may term the Seventh Consciousness as the “ID” thinking of it as the core of our being, but in Buddhism it is merely a messenger from the brain to our “True Consciousness”, and back and forth relaying the messages and reports. It will continue to store tricky mental fabrications into our storage house, which in Buddhism we call the Eighth Awareness or Alaya Consciousness.

    In some religions this is what they believe to be where their “Godhead” feeling is coming from and their believe of where their accomplishment is coming from; or in lower forms of religions- any religions which believe in Supreme Higher Beings, the feeling of “God” and the “Vastness” is coming from this Alaya Consciousness - another delusion.

    This “Eight Consciousness”, the universal all knowing storage house stores all of our existences, all of our karma and the causes for our cyclic rebirths, when we get in touch with it, then we get access to our knowledge of all our past lives experiences and understanding since the beginning of the Universe; information such as how we come about, how the Universe started, karma connection with others, etc…

    This is how and why a Buddha is all knowing and truly without any delusion, because he can get access to all of these human/ sentient beings’ knowledge and experiences through his Alaya Consciousness, which in turn taps into others’ Alaya consciousness, and therefore he can pin point all the shortcoming of every sentient being he encounters. (A Buddha is not limited to the Shakyamuni Buddha as there are many Buddha’s in the universe.)

    So many religions will stop here, Alaya Consciousness as the ultimate stop, even for the highest form of Religion- the Brahmanism; but most would not even get beyond the Sixth Consciousness.

    Hinduism is a sad descendant of this once great religion (Brahmanism), which existed long before Shakyamuni Buddha, and was destroyed by Muslims and the Great British Empire (Muslims ruled them until the fall of Mongolian Empire in India (Mongols at later stage in India became Muslims- the Brahmanism was not allowed to be practiced in the open for close to 800+ years, and the British ruled for 460 some years after the Mongols- and they wanted to propagate Christianity! So further putting a damper to this religion).

    It was barely revived as Hinduism during the Indian nationalistic movement, when India was seeking independence from England. It was during Gandhi’s time that it was revived, but with so much knowledge lost, all they could salvage were just bits and pieces from the original glories. They have had to adopt so many Buddhism ideologies to fill the gaps, and also adopted the Buddha as the 7th incarnation of their God Shiva (?).

    All the while, they forgot they were part of the reasons why, whatever remaining of the Buddhism disappeared from India, aside from the planned genocide and religious extermination from the blood thirty Muslims of the past. They had their bloody hands in killing the Buddhists too, and put the final nails to the coffin, and exterminated the remainder of the Buddhist practitioners.

    Now today they say and think we are their cousin religion, because the Buddha was the 7th incarnation of their God, and we adopted many of their ideologies. (As far as the Buddhist go- we are not a religion- but we are seekers and students of the Universal Truth.) If they truly believe that back then, they would never have raised their hands against Buddhism in India; so they wouldn’t have fallen victims to the Islam’s extermination as well, which destroyed, conquered and ruled them for many centuries.

    Now, getting back to that what we know as the Universal store house- Alaya Consciousness; it is a very important consciousness to be aware of, this is how we know all and then are able to trace back all the past memories and history of the long forgotten past.

    Before I conclude this article I must introduce another two consciousness, which in Tantrayana we the practitioner call “Omora”- the Ninth Consciousness- our True Mind”, I don’t know the correct sounding of this word, as this is the Chinese phonetic sounding of the original Sanskrit word. This, we believe, is the true awareness of what we are. Then by refining this awareness, then it became the Tenth Consciousness- the Buddha’s mind.

    So how do we begin to be aware of all the unknown dimensions that the Buddha Shakyamuni talked about in his Sutras and Tantras? So you ask how do you see and sense.

    The answer is very simple, by first clearing your mind, than all things come naturally. The exercises and the needed requirements will be disclosed and transmitted during retreats.

     

    Extra Information

    In Hinayana Buddhism, the practitioners can reach the Alaya Consciousness and wipe out the good and bad Karma; therefore they will rest in a non-rebirth status. While alive, they can acquire extraordinary sensory perceptions, such as acquiring Divine Eye Sight (Sight of Heavenly Beings- Gods for example). Divine Hearing, Ability to travel between Realms, Past-life Awareness (3 or more lives), Telepathy of Mind Reading. At the same time they can acquire abilities to be aware of all dimensions, except the High Level Bodhisattva and Buddha’s Realms;

    In Mahayana Buddhism, practitioners can acquire all of above abilities, yet more refined and the capacity expanded, but they may not eliminate all of the rebirths, as the rebirths will be important for them to continue the activities for helping other sentient beings, to learn Buddhism and to break free away from Samsara. The Highest level of accomplishment is to acquire “All Encompassing Knowledge” and “All Accomplishing Abilities” of a Buddha, they generally reach the Eight Consciousness and slightly beyond, never quite reaching and becoming aware of the Ninth Consciousness.

    One more thing they can achieve, and that the Hinayana Buddhists cannot do, is that one day all Mahayana Practitioners can be a Buddha however long it takes. If the Hinayana practitioners want to be a Buddha, they must revert back their karma; so the Hinayana Practitioners will again have to have their rebirths, so that they can accumulate both wisdom and compassion from this Samsara. When they have completed their accumulation, then they too can be a Buddha one day.

    To become a Buddha for Mahayana Buddhist, it will take almost three eternities’ time to become a Buddha.

    Any Tantrayana Practitioner can be a Buddha in one life time; Three life times; Seven life times; 16 and 32 life times maximum to become a Buddha, but you  must have past life affinity or previous Buddhism background to progress, unless you work very hard. So should you give up? No, you never know, if you have the affinity or not, until you try.

     

    Thursday
    May202010

    As I Get Closer to an Achievement Should I Become Less Emotional?

    Question: Chris

    As a Buddhist I feel I should strive for a claim and collected mind at all times, yet I still find myself cranky, pissed off, and irritable at times. I raise my voice and become angry at people too.

    As I get closer to an achievement does this subside? Is it normal as a Buddhist to still have these issues? 

     

     Answer- STBB

    Part of the training in Buddhism is to subdue ones temperament, attachments, desires, and negative aspects of the human psyche.

    Knowing ones shortcomings and being mentally aware of the negative attributes of human attitudes is the minimum awareness we should maintain. (It is good you have acknowledged your shortcomings, and that is the first step toward full control of your own emotional displacement.)

    Subduing the temperament, attachments, desires and negative aspects are but a small step to fulfill our destiny as an Enlightened person; but when you have achieved "the Control of your mind", you are but only 25% more to go to achieve the Buddhahood.

    To have more patience with others is the "Compassion" and "Bodhicitta" of the “required mind” that we so emphasize in Buddhism, and the reason is that this is the fundamental bases of the Bodhisattva's ways.

    The reason why you have a lack of patience is that you don't have enough "Compassion" for others' shortcoming. Raising your voice and become irritable with others and being cranky is a normal human emotion, but these are negative emotions due to our own ego and sense of self-importance. Tuning and subduing your mind and feeling the oneness with all beings will cause to re-adjust your mental outlook, and you will develop your Bodhicitta- the compassionate mind. (I have exercises for this and we can have a session of training and practice just on this subject).

    As we develop, our compassion and attitudes of letting go will eventually grow by leaps and bounds, and then all of suddenly that you will be able to control your emotional minds or aggregates. (Meditational shamata will help you tone down your emotional fire.)

    Of course I am not perfect in this aspect as well, but I am just more "Let Go", so many things don't bother me as much.

    - STBBDude

     

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