Showing posts tagged Buddhas
If, as stated, a buddha has the ability to relieve all beings of their suffering, why have the countless buddhas of the past not yet led everyone to enlightenment by now? The answer is as follows. Because buddhas have overcome all obstructions and limitations they possess all the wisdom, compassion and skilful means necessary for leading others to buddhahood. However, if sentient beings from their own side do not exert the necessary effort - if they do not bother to follow the path shown to them by the buddhas - they will remain stuck within cyclic existence.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
It is important to remember that we do not need to be a monk or of aristocratic birth or possess a male body in order to develop bodhichitta. Although Shantideva uses the title ‘son of the buddhas,’ he is not using it restrictively. When a woman develops the mind of enlightenment she becomes known as a daughter or princess of the buddhas and likewise becomes an object to be venerated by all gods and humans.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Meaningful to Behold”
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 ~ 8 Steps to Happiness (via self-assassin)
(Reblogged from self-assassin)
There are two ways in which Buddhas and Bodhisattvas help living beings: by manifesting in different aspects as Spiritual Guides who lead living beings to enlightenment by teaching the Dharma, and by assuming the form of different Dharma Protectors who remove obstacles and bestow good conditions.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Universal Compassion”

Preliminary Practices: Requesting the Holy Beings to Bestow Their Blessings

The last of the six preparatory practices for meditation is to request the holy beings to bestow their blessings on us. This has two parts: the request itself, and actually receiving the blessings. We make the request to transform our mind into the mind of an enlightened being and then we imagine that the blessings of the holy beings descend from their hearts to our body and mind in the form of lights and nectars. These pacify our negativity and obstacles, and increase our merit, lifespan, inner peace, and Dharma realizations.

The Buddhas are actually always bestowing their blessings on every living being all the time without us realizing it. By consciously making a request, we make our minds more receptive to the blessings that are already coming to us, which increases the effect of the blessings that we receive. It is similar to opening a shuttered window to the sun - the sun is there whether we open the shutters or not, but we get more sunlight directly on us if we do open the shutters. In a similar way, requesting blessings makes our mind more receptive to receiving blessings that already exist.

All those who are now Buddhas once wandered the painful paths of samsara, just as we still do now. However, through their great effort they entered the Bodhisattva’s path, and progressing through all its stages, attained complete enlightenment. From the depths of our heart we rejoice in their virtuous attainments and pray to become just like them.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”
Visualizing Buddhas is not like a children’s game of make-believe; it is a way of opening our mind to what is already there. Buddha Shakyamuni said, “Whenever anyone with faith visualizes me, I am there.” On an overcast day, although we cannot see the sun directly we have no problem imagining it shining behind the clouds because we know it is there. In the same way, even if our visualization of the Buddhas is very unclear we should have no doubt that they are really present before us. If we engage in visualization with full confidence that the living Buddhas are in front of us, our mind will definitely make a connection with them, and gradually the clarity of our visualization will improve.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso - “Eight Steps to Happiness”

Visualizing the Field for Accumulating Merit

We imagine that Buddha Shakyamuni is in front of us, surrounded by all the other holy beings - Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, lineage Gurus, etc. and meditate on this mental picture for a while. The image we perceive doesn’t have to be perfect in detail and it’s OK if it’s vague. Just generating a feeling that they are really there in the room with us is enough. Once we become more familiar with them, the visualization will become easier, just as if we were trying to visualize our relatives or close friends. In reality, the Buddhas are present in front of us and all around us, but because of our ignorance and negative karma we are unable to see them with our ordinary human eyes. Buddhas are everywhere.

Preliminary Practices: Sitting in the Correct Meditation Posture, Going for Refuge, and Generating Bodhichitta

Step #3 of the six preparatory practices include sitting correctly, going for refuge to the Three Jewels, and generating bodhichitta. We can sit either in a chair with our feet flat on the floor, or on a cushion with our legs crossed comfortably. The most important thing is that we keep a straight back and don’t slump forward or slouch back in our chair. This will help prevent from falling asleep during meditation, and give our lungs more room to breathe. If the mind is very busy, it’s OK to keep the eyes closed. If you are more prone to drowsiness, try to keep them slightly open, but looking down at the floor or something equally non-distracting. The hands can be placed in the lap in whatever position you find comfortable. In the Kadampa tradition, we place our right hand, palm facing up, inside our left hand with the palm also facing up, and the thumbs gently touching. Pictures and statues of Buddha Amitabha show him in the correct meditation posture, including the hands.

Once we are in the correct meditation posture, we can do a short breathing meditation to calm our mind, imagining that we breathe out dark smoke containing our distractions, and breathe in the white light of the Buddha’s blessings, purifying our mind. Then we go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha and imagine that the living Buddha Shakyamuni and all the other Buddhas are really in front of us. Then we generate bodhichitta motivation, the intention to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings. Going for refuge to the Three Jewels is the gateway through which we enter Buddhism in general, and generating bodhichitta motivation is the gateway through which we enter Mahayana Buddhism.