Many people nowadays are attracted to tantra because they believe it will provide a shortcut to enlightenment - or at least endow them with magical powers - but these people have no understanding how important the foundation of renunciation, bodhichitta and emptiness is to this higher path. Practicing tantra solely for the sake of benefiting this life, hoping to gain notoriety or special powers, does nothing but plant seeds for hellish suffering in future. Anyone who practices like this is like a misguided person who uses precious sandalwood to kindle a fire. Or, to cite other examples, such an ill-motivated practitioner is like a person who uses pound notes to light his cigarette or a Rolls Royce to cart manure. If we wish to make the practice of tantra meaningful, bodhichitta is indispensable.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
When King Prasenajit asked Shakyamuni Buddha for a spiritual practice he could follow without having to abandon his family or his kingdom, Buddha advised him to practice rejoicing, cultivate bodhichitta and dedicate his merits. Even someone who is very busy with the affairs of the world has time to engage in these three practices and a great deal of positive energy can be generated by each of them.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
An attitude of regret can only be cultivated when we recognize the connection between the harm we create and the harm we receive. However, it is important not to misunderstand what it means to regret our unskilful actions. We should not view the suffering we experience as an externally applied punishment for our sins; nor is it necessary to feel guilty, thinking that we have offended some authority or force that is prepared to take revenge upon us. True regret is not concerned with such extraneous attitudes.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”

I’ll be teaching a day course this Saturday at our Richardson branch. Any local followers are welcome to attend regardless of experience level.

Join us on Saturday, September 20 from 10:00 AM to 1:00PM for a half-day course “Stepping on the Path: 21 Meditations to Increase Our Happiness.”

We all want to experience lasting happiness and contentment, however, these experiences are usually short lived in our busy daily lives. The Indian Buddhist master Atisha presented a series of practical meditations that comprise all of Buddha’s teachings. By learning about twenty-one of these meditations, we can learn to increase our happiness and remove negativities from our mind such as stress and anger. Anyone whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist can benefit from these practical teachings especially suited to busy modern day people.

Click here for more information and to register:
http://www.meditationintexas.org/
workshops-and-events/stepping-on-the-path-21-meditations-to-increase-our-happiness/

Due to the imprints of self-grasping accumulated since beginningless time, whatever appears to our mind, including our I, appears to be inherently existent. Grasping at our own self as inherently existent, we grasp at the self of others as inherently existent, and then conceive self and others to be inherently different.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
There are no valid reasons whatsoever for thinking that we are more important than others. For Buddhas, who have unmistaken minds and see things exactly as they are, all beings are equally important.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”

Eight Steps to Happiness: What is Self-Cherishing

Self-cherishing is thinking that we are more important than others and develops from the belief that the self that we identify with is inherently real. The mind of self-cherishing is the most harmful mind because it makes us commit negative actions out of selfishness. It is also a wrong awareness because it is based on the belief in the inherently existent self, which does not really exist. While the self does exist conventionally, it does not exist independently from our body and mind, even though when self-cherishing is manifesting strongly within our mind, it feels like something that exists from its own side. We grasp at this self that we identify with, and then cherish this self that we have completely fabricated within our own mind. Actions that are motivated by the minds of self-grasping and self-cherishing are contaminated actions that cause us to take rebirth in samsara, so these minds are considered to be the root of samsara.

Normally we divide the external world into that which we consider to be good or valuable, bad or worthless, or neither. Most of the time these discriminations are incorrect or have little meaning. For example, our habitual way of categorizing people as friends, enemies, and strangers depending on how they make us feel is both incorrect and a great obstacle to developing impartial love for all living beings. Rather than holding so tightly to our discriminations of the external world, it would be much more beneficial if we learned to discriminate between valuable and worthless states of mind.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
kadampapennies:

Through the force of my making offerings and respectful requests
To the venerable Spiritual Guide, the holy, supreme Field of Merit,
I seek your blessings, O Protector, the root of all goodness and joy,
So that you will gladly take me into your loving care.
Happy Tsog Day!

kadampapennies:

Through the force of my making offerings and respectful requests

To the venerable Spiritual Guide, the holy, supreme Field of Merit,

I seek your blessings, O Protector, the root of all goodness and joy,

So that you will gladly take me into your loving care.

Happy Tsog Day!

(Reblogged from kadampapenny)

Eight Steps to Happiness: Exchanging Self with Others

Equalizing self and others is fairly easy to understand and most people have no problem with the idea or putting it into practice. It appeals to our sense of fairness, that all beings are equally as important as me. But exchanging self with others takes the practice a step further. In this practice, we learn to give up our self-cherishing completely and cherish only others. We put others first within our mind, and stop obsessing about ourself.

A lot of people have more trouble with this one. They are afraid it will allow others to take advantage of them. But this isn’t about being a doormat, and it isn’t saying that we don’t still take care of ourselves. This is a mental action to reduce our self-cherishing even further and eventually completely eradicate it. Of course our verbal and physical actions will naturally change as our mind changes; it isn’t about forcing ourself to commit selfless outer actions that we don’t feel up to doing. Eventually, with practice, we will be more than happy to put others first; to allow others to go first in line, or to have the last piece of cake that we would normally want for ourself. Exchanging self with others should be a joyful practice that we feel good about, not as an obligation that will end up making us feel resentful.