Developing equanimity is like ploughing a field - clearing our mind of the rocks and weeds of anger and attachment. Practicing love is like watering the soil, training in compassion is like sowing the seeds, and generating bodhichitta is like causing the seeds to sprout. The final harvest is the supreme state of Buddhahood, full enlightenment.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully”

purpleaggregates:

windhorse:

Newari painting, Nepal

Tara!

(Reblogged from purpleaggregates)
Real love can never be a cause of anger; it is the opposite of anger and can never cause problems. If we love everyone as a mother loves her dearest child there will be no basis for any problems to arise because our mind will always be at peace. Love is the real inner protection against suffering.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully”

kadampapenny:

Generate compassion for lowly beings, and especially avoid despising or humiliating them.

Advice from Atisha’s Heart, as taken from The New Meditation Handbook by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

(Reblogged from kadampapenny)
We need to practice consideration whenever we are with other people by being mindful of how our behavior might disturb or harm them. Our desires are endless, and some of them would cause other people much distress if we acted them out. Therefore, before we act on a wish we should consider whether it will disturb or harm others, and if we think that it will we should not do it. If we are concerned for the welfare of others we shall naturally show them consideration.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully”

self-assassin:

Whereas all other virtues are like plantain trees,
In that they are exhausted once they bear fruit,
The enduring celestial tree of bodhichitta
Is not exhausted but increases by bearing fruit.

(Reblogged from purpleaggregates)
Sense of shame restrains us from committing inappropriate actions by reminding us that it is not suitable to engage in such actions because, for example, we are a spiritual practitioner, an ordained person, a Teacher, an adult and so on. If we think ‘It is not right for me to kill insects because I am Buddhist’, and then make a firm decision not to kill them, we are motivated by sense of shame. Our sense of shame guards us against committing negative actions by appealing to our conscience and to the standards of behavior that we feel to be appropriate.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully”
No matter how hard we study, if we have no faith in Dharma our intellectual knowledge will never help us to reduce our delusions, the root of all suffering. We may even become proud of our knowledge, thereby actually increasing our delusions. Dharma knowledge without faith will not help us to purify our negativity.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully”

honeyandmoonx said: just found your blog and i'm totally in love with it. Your posts are so inspiring. Thank you.

Thank you for following! I hope you get the most out of it and it continues to inspire you.

Goal setting in spiritual practice

So over the past 39 days, I’ve been doing the annual yoga challenge at the yoga studio I go to, which is to do 30 classes in 40 days. I just got my 30th class in today, one day early. Each week, the studio focuses on a spiritual lesson based on the yoga yamas and niyamas, and this week’s has been on the study of self. At first, as a Buddhist, I always find this one a bit amusing and the first thing I always think is that there really is no self, at least not inherently. But there is still a conventional self, which is how we identify ourselves in ordinary situations, and often without even thinking about it much. So between the yoga challenge and this week’s theme, I’ve been thinking about my spiritual practice and have realized that I’m very goal-oriented.

I’ve known I’m goal-oriented for a long time, so that really wasn’t any surprise, but re-acknowledging this has made me think about goal setting in my spiritual practice. I need goals in all aspects of my life, not just in yoga challenges or belly dance performances or my projects at work, but in my meditation and spiritual practice too. I think some people feel that there is something wrong with setting goals in your meditation or spiritual practice, but I have found that if I don’t have some concrete goal to work toward, I become lazy in my practice. If I don’t have a particular goal and a deadline to meet, it just doesn’t get done. Setting goals help me to set my priorities, and this is just as true for my spiritual practice as for completing my ESA reports at work.

If you are goal-oriented like me and want to set some goals for your spiritual practice, here is some advice or points to keep in mind. First, make your goals realistic. Don’t set some vague, distant goal like attaining enlightenment; set some smaller steps that will eventually lead up to that point, something that you know you can do now. Be specific; not just something like meditate every day. For how long? What time of day? What are you going to meditate on, what is your object of meditation?

If after a while you find that you aren’t meeting your goals, take a step back and re-evaluate. Maybe you created a goal that seemed realistic at the time, but it turns out it wasn’t as doable as you thought. Revise your goal if necessary, and try again. Most important, do whatever you need to do to keep from getting discouraged and quitting. Don’t be overly critical of yourself, and try again.