Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Nam myoho renge kyo - Where to begin?

Monday, 30 August 2010

Honest and sincere prayer/meditation/chanting - Our Buddhist practice is a gift not an obligation.

John Shelby speaks candidly about prayer. He speaks about how prayer has become a practice or an austerity to many Christians.

In Nichiren Buddhism we are taught that prayer or chanting should never become an austerity or a chore, prayer is about focusing on being sincere and honest.

We never pray to beg for help, we pray and chant to ask for courage and strength to resolve our own problems and issues in life.

John Shelby is an inspirational man, who clearly leads the way for a new movement in Christian belief, I just hope that there are many more young men and women out there in the US that are spreading this word of love, compassion and honesty.

Our Buddhist practice, is a gift, not an obligation.

Part 1


Part 2

There is no hell. The Church invented hell.




"Hell is an invention of the church ... The catholic church doesn't like the people to grow up." (John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopal bishop from Newark, N.J., interviewed by Keith Morrison on Dateline, NBC, 8-13-2006)

John Shelby Spong, whose books have sold more than a million copies, was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark for 24 years before his retirement in 2001. His admirers acclaim him as a teaching bishop who makes contemporary theology accessible to the ordinary layperson — he's considered the champion of an inclusive faith by many, both inside and outside the Christian church. In one of his books, "The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Discover the God of Love" (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2005), this visionary thinker seeks to introduce readers to a proper way to engage the holy book of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

A committed Christian who has spent a lifetime studying the Bible and whose life has been deeply shaped by it, Bishop Spong says he was not interested in Bible bashing. "I come to this interpretive task not as an enemy of Christianity," he says. "I am not even a disillusioned former Christian, as some of my scholar-friends identify themselves. I am a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply. But I also recognize that parts of it have been used to undergird prejudices and to mask violence."

A visiting lecturer at Harvard and at universities and churches worldwide, Bishop Spong delivers more than 200 public lectures each year to standing-room-only crowds. His bestselling books include Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, A New Christianity for a New World, Why Christianity Must Change or Die, and Here I Stand.

Bishop Spong's extensive media appearances include a profile segment on 60 Minutes as well as appearances on Good Morning America, Fox News Live, Politically Incorrect, Larry King Live, The O'Reilly Factor, William F. Buckley's Firing Line, and Extra. Bishop Spong and his wife, Christine Mary Spong, have five children and six grandchildren. They live in New Jersey.

http://www.johnshelbyspong.com/

Showing gratitude

There is a difference between feeling gratitude and appreciation for something, and feeling attachment to something. Appreciation and gratitude are states of pure love, while attachment contains fear - fear of losing or not having what you are attached to. When it comes to something you want in your life, appreciation and gratitude attracts, and attachment pushes away. If you are feeling afraid that you will not get what you want, or losing what you have, then you have attachment.

To remove the attachment, keep shifting yourself into a state of appreciation and gratitude, until you can feel that the fear has gone.

Why is the SGI continuously attacked and subject to vicious rumours?

SGI continues the Buddha’s mission of awakening people to their potentials and their identity as Bodhisattvas : global citizens who put humanity first in their behaviour. This spirit clashes head on with three main tendencies:

The isolationist tendency of Japanese supremacists has no room for the concepts of global citizenship, humanism and Buddha nature, inherent in the people of all nations. It only natural for those who deny the equality of people - based on their shared humanity, such as racists and nationalists - it is natural for them to be at odds and in strong disagreement with SGI teachings of Humanism. The nationalist powers continue today their past history of hatred and disregard to what unites people.
The Japanese nationalist authorities, which caused the ruin of millions of families during the II World War - and banned the Soka Gakkai at that time – were not alone in finding justification for their aggression. Various temples vigorously supported the nationalist cult of emperor worship and the cult nation worship.
“Arrogance and Authoritarianism” are shared qualities between the nationalists and the “religious” priesthood:

The spiritual life of the individual in Nichiren Buddhism does not need the authority of “mediator-priests”. SGI’s teaching: that an individual has a “direct connection” with the world of Buddhahood - was a teaching of dispute with the controlling priests. The priesthood demanded from ordinary believers the “absolute obedience” to the authority of the High Priest. When the Soka Gakkai rejected obedience to this spirit of arrogance and control over ordinary believers of Buddhism, the vicious animosity of the priesthood against SGI consequently revealed it self.

Anyone familiar with the history and influence of the concept of “authority” on the Japanese society would grasp how easily ordinary people can fall into deception. There are various individuals and institutions which are strongly affected by the media campaign of fabrications and hatred against SGI. Falling in the trap of emotionalism and delusion, they also attack SGI, expressing their ignorance.

The group of the “Ill-informed” about SGI can also be found outside of Japan, in various Western countries, among those who base their information - and hence attacks on SGI - on hear-say sources and “Japanese experts” views. The “Ill-informed group” covers under its umbrella also those whose superficial views about Buddhism find SGI teachings as “revolutionary and alarming”, a reminder of the situation faced by Nichiren when he challenged traditional beliefs with the revolutionary concepts of the Lotus Sutra.

The above is an excerpt, from http://www.buddhawill.com/Soka_Humanism/Homepage.html

It is my firm and strong opinion that if people would stop juding others, based on what they heard, and instead on what they actually saw with their own two eyes, the world would be a very different place.
So many different schools and groups, spend so much time, throwing insults, hurling abuse and demanding that the other "practices the correct path".
If we all have the same goal, of peace and happiness for all humanity, what does it matter.
We all want the same things at the end of the day, love in our hearts, peace in the land.
It is beyond me why we cant all just get along. I dream of a day when ignorance and arrogance are no longer the major causes of conflict in this world.

The Earth - Our Home...




Panasonic VariCam HD cameras were used for land-based footage and Sony HD cameras for aerial sequences. For aerial footage the camera was mounted in a device called a Heligimbal, a gyroscopically-stabilised housing attached to the underside of a helicopter and controlled by joystick from inside the cockpit. The unit was lightweight, enabling lenses with a longer reach to be attached (up to 40x magnification).

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Reincarnation - The Boy that lived before - Part 1

Reincarnation is not an easy concept to get your mind around. How could we possibly live again and again? Death seems so final and when we are alive, life appears so vivid.

It is not easy for us to imagine the possibility of life after death because we are so focused in this life, that nothing outside of it seems real.

What happens at the point of death? My teacher Seth, said that its much easier to ask the question then it is to answer it.

What is it to be alive? And where does the I, or the me, exist? Am "I" in my brain, or am "I" in my heart?

We often refer to our bodies, in the possessive form, my body, my arm, my leg, and with out realising it, we refer to it like a suit.

I don't want to hurt my body, I don't want to damage my body, I must look after my body.

Seth says that we are a projection from our inner conciousness. If you think of your body like an image projected on a wall, the energy required to maintain that image, is immense.

There is a part of your that exists, outside the physical matter, that maintains this corporeal image.

When we die, what happens to us afterwards comes down to a matter of choice. Since everything that exists is connected, we have a choice to be a part of anything.

When the Buddha, became aware of all phenomena, he literally was everything and every where instantaneously. He reached a point of creative concious thought that connected this concious mind, his subconscious mind and every thing in between and he became aware of all reality and everything in it.

Death, in Buddhism is seen very much like a form of sleep. When we go to bed at night we dream and when we wake up in the day time, it all seems very real.

Well in our Buddhist belief, it is our understanding that when we die, the essence, the entity, the karma, what ever you want to call it, rests and then re-enters the world, on some level, based on the choice of the source self.

Sometimes, I wonder why I believe this stuff, but it is something that I have known, since I was a child. I have always felt something like this.

Long before I became Buddhist, I believed in life eternal.

Just like winter turning in to spring and then summer. Our lives are the same, we go and return over and over.

Our lives can be likened to a stage, and we come and go from that stage. The characters on the stage play the parts, and act convincingly, consumed by the part, but when it comes time for them to go, they leave the stage.

They may return in a new costume, with a new mask.

The Hindus believe, that we are all GOD, but with different masks on. That each and every one of us, is a different aspect of God.

Like a large pane of glass, smashed in to a trillion shards, each one of us feels unique, but we are all a small slice of the source, the universe, the god, Allah, Yahweh.

Centuries have passed and we have been brainwashed to forget who we are, but I believe that that is changing.

As time passes, we will wake up from the dream and realise who we are.

All connected. Many in body one in mind.

Watch this touching story, I really enjoyed it.

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3




Part 4



Part 5

Saturday, 28 August 2010

The earth is a priceless jewel, of which we must cherish.



Some-days we forget what a beautiful planet Earth truly is. We wake up every day and we go about our chores, our work and we become so consumed by every thing that happens around us and in our mind, we often dont stop and observe the wonder and the beauty around. The trees, the birds, the flowers, the rock and stone, the water and air.

Have you ever picked a flower, held it in your hand, looked at it, seen it and merged with it? Have you ever just looked at an object and just allowed it to be, without question, or judgement or an attempt to understand it.

To really, see it!

The earth is a priceless jewel and it is our duty to cherish it, honour it and protect it.

Buy CD - Beyond: Buddhist & Christian Prayers (Tina Turner, Dechen Shak-Dagsay)

I found this a while ago, but never thought to buy it.
It is a wonderful album with many beautiful Christian and Buddhist prayers.

Sometimes in our lives, we need to reach down inside ourselves and call forth deep faith.

Faith that we are on the right path and that the universal law/god will give us the wisdom and compassion to choose the right direction and the correct path.



If your in the UK you can buy BEYOND with Tina Turner by clicking here

Tina Turner - Speaks about Nam myoho renge kyo

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Sound of the universe. The OM.

When we chant, we are tapping in The Om. The universal sound of the universe. The vibration of the Source of all creation.

Nikko Hansen - Nam myoho renge kyo - free your mind, connect with your subconcious, manifest your dreams and the happiness of all humanity.

I found this today, its a wonderful recording of the gongyo chant, a selection from the lotus sutra.

When you listen you can almost hear the sacred OM. The vibration of the universe and source of all things, manifest and un-manifest.

We chant nam myoho renge kyo daily, as a way to connect to the subconcious mind, the universe and the supreme source of all creation. It has many names, and is worshiped and connected to in many differnet ways.





DOWNLOAD THE CLIP as an MP3...
http://www.bluedomers.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/NikkoHansen-TheGroupChant.mp3

THINK YOUR SELF SUCESSFUL -> FAITH + PASSION + DESIRE + FOCUS + DREAMS = RESULT

Life is a race to win. :) Lets win together! 

“If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose, you've lost,
For out in the world we find
Success being with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are:
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.”

― Walter D. Wintle

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Love comes again

You have become what you have always been
light flickering around, peripheral vision

no words we can speak, our paths have been chosen
but all trails that we trek,
-should lead us back
to here 

because our
love comes again

just when i've broken down i found
love can come again

you've got to believe that
love comes again

just when i've broken down i found
love can come again

dig within me, 
turn all the secret stones
forests and fields, 
breathing with blood and bones

still no words we can speak, 
our paths have been chosen
but all trails that we trek,
 should lead us back to here 

because our love comes again
just when i've broken down i found love can come again
you've got to believe that

love comes again
just when i've broken down i found
love can come again

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Dream + Passion + Desire = Manifestation

Today I decided that I will bring my dreams to life. I am going to dream so hard every day that my dreams manifest this year. I am going to leave no thought un-turned with out thinking about my dream.

I am going to pour a mixure of highly concentrated passion and a few large heaped spoons of desire on my dreams and I am going to make sure they flourish.

Dream as hard as you can until your dreams come to life.

The Middle Way

Buddhism does not espouse any ascetic practice, nor does it hold a doctrine tending to a dualistic conception of existence which makes the flesh the source of evil and the spirit the foundation of everything good. The body as a material phenomenon has its limitations, as a living organism has its impulses, desires, passions, and moods; and there is nothing evil or wicked in it. It is thirsty and it must drink; it is hungry and it must be fed. Exposure to cold affects its well-being, and it must be clothed. Too much strenuosity exhausts its energy, and it must rest. All these things are inherent in it, and unless we demand that the tree grow as the fish, as a Japanese saying goes, it is altogether irrational to wish our bodily existence to be free from all its constitutional wants. Therefore, Buddhism teaches us not to curb them and torture the body but to regulate them and prevent their going to self-destruction through wantonness.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Being Buddhist

Does not mean we stand around chanting and dreaming.

Being a Buddhist is about action. Taking action based on wisdom.

Speak out against injustice, and if that means you need to speak with the breath of fire.

So be it.

Free Tibet.

Traditional Buddhist Healing Blessing

Just as the soft rains fill the streams,
pour into the rivers and join together in the oceans,
so may the power of every moment of your goodness
flow forth to awaken and heal all beings,
Those here now, those gone before, those yet to come.
By the power of every moment of your goodness
May your heart's wishes be soon fulfilled
as completely shining as the bright full moon,
as magically as by a wish-fulfilling gem.


By the power of every moment of your goodness
May all dangers be averted and all disease be gone.
May no obstacle come across your way.
May you enjoy fulfillment and long life.
For all in whose heart dwells respect,
who follow the wisdom and compassion, of the Way,
May your life prosper in the four blessings
of old age, beauty, happiness and strength.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Fuel for the Fires of Suffering

In the language of the Buddha, the word for fuel and for clinging is the same: upadana. The Buddha understood that suffering arises from and is fueled by clinging. When the fuel is removed, suffering is extinguished. By understanding how deep-rooted and subtle clinging is in our own unliberated minds, we come to appreciate the mind of nibbana (coplete liberation) as refreshingly cool and peaceful.


- Gil Fronsdal, "Three Takes on Nirvana"

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

In response to a heated conversation about which school of Buddhism is correct. Is SGI a cult? Is Disaku Ikeda a honest man or not...

I have been observing this rather heated conversation and am reminded of what happens across other faiths when people argue and try to convience that the other is correct.

Buddhism was created to lift people out of suffering, it was developed and nurtured so that ordinary people could look in the mirror and KNOW that they had the power to change their lives and the lives of others for the better.

You are wasting precious time arguing about this text and that letter, this gosho and that gosho.
What matters is what is in your heart.

Judge a man by his actions, not by his words. If you with your own eyes have seen evil deeds by IKEDA then judge him accordingly, but as Buddhists it is not our place to cast judgment on others.
Karmic law will create an outcome for any evil doings.

Just like the Christians and the Jews and the Muslims, everyone killing each other, fighting and arguing about who is right.

At the end of the day, we all want the same thing.

Food on our tables, love in our hearts and the safety of our family and children.

If Siddhartha Gautama, was listening to this conversation, I do believe that he would shed a tear at the level of arrogance and ignorance.

It is not our place to correct others, but to show them a path we have walked to achieve unshakable happiness.

Your life is your life, and you can choose how you live it.

If you wish to share your experiences for the good of man kind, it should be able helping others altruistically not demanding that they practice, said teaching, in the way written down in stone.
Every life is different, every life is unique.

You are missing the point of Buddhism if you continue to demand others follow the same path of you.

Namaste

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Becoming..

What you hope, you will eventually believe, what you believe, you will eventually know, what you know you will eventually create, what you create, you will eventually experience, what you experience, you will eventually express, what you express, you will eventually become. That is the formula for all Life. It is as simple as that.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Live in Joy.

We all know what it’s like to get trapped in dark, constricting states of mind—and how useless it is, in terms of awakening, to dwell there. That is exactly what the Buddha taught: we don’t need to stay stuck in greed, hatred, and delusion. Life can be lighter, more workable, even when it’s challenging. This lightening up, which I see as an aspect of joy, is the fruit of insight into anatta, the selfless nature of reality, and anicca, the truth of impermanence. When we are not attached to who we think we are, life can move through us, playing us like an instrument. Understanding how everything is in continual transformation, we release our futile attempts to control circumstances. When we live in this easy connection with life, we live in joy.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Realize the Undivided Mind

We often feel our everyday existence is a distraction from our spiritual intention. When this happens, life is divided between the sacred and mundane, and the mind pits one concept against the other. But belief shapes reality, and if the belief is maintained that the sacred lies somewhere else other than Now, our spiritual life will be governed by that limitation. The truth is that the sense-of-self is not separate from the moment in which it is arising, any more than the sense-of-self is outside the mind that it thinks it possesses. In fact, realizing the undivided mind also heals the dualistic notion of “me” being outside the moment.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Role of a Teacher.

A teacher, out of compassion and love, seeing that somebody is suffering, gives a path. But each individual has to walk on the path. There is no magical miracle with the teacher. Totally out of the question. He only shows the path. That is the only role of the teacher, nothing else.

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