Right on Track

essence

Sometimes we have to repeat certain words to ourselves over and over again. Over days and even weeks just to help keep our focus. To help pick us up when we have fallen over a negative thought or feeling. It’s like that story that Pema Chödrön tells about the Buddha:

“On the night on which he was to attain enlightenment, the Buddha sat under a tree. While sitting there, he was attacked by the forces of Mara. The story goes that they shot swords and arrows at him, and that their weapons turned into flowers.

What does this story mean? My understanding of it is that what we habitually regard as obstacles are not really our enemies, but rather our friends. What we call obstacles are really the way the world and our entire experience teach us where we’re stuck. What may appear to be an arrow or a sword we can actually experience as a flower. Whether we experience what happens to us as an obstacle and enemy or as a teacher and friend depends entirely on our perception of reality. It depends on our relationship with ourselves.”

Well, that is why over the last couple of weeks I have needed to repeat some words over and over again to myself. Because I have been experiencing a lot of obstacles and unpleasant circumstances….particularly arising from within my own thoughts and emotions.

Here is what I’ve have personally had to write and say to myself over and over again to transform those arrows and swords into flowers:

“I am right on track, right on schedule. I trust that everything is unfolding perfectly. All is well. I am free to enjoy myself. I am right where I need to be, when I need to be, how I need to be. My life is enough. I am enough. Everything I say or do is enough. In chaos or order, it is enough. My life is natural and wholesome. I am natural and wholesome. I have the grace to recognize and accept that. I have the grace to be free. I go on and on past this moment, past boundaries, past time, past understanding.  I am an infinite being. I AM Infinity, itself. I AM Essence.”

*this post is dedicated to a dear Twitter friend, Ishani, @musicmoonlove “Be blessed, Soul Sister.” ❤

*photo by Alisdair Miller, New Day

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Dangerous Notions of Happiness

Cades Cove

“Please remember that your notions of  happiness may be very dangerous. The Buddha said happiness can only be possible in the here and now. So go back and examine deeply your notions and ideas of happiness. You may recognize that the conditions of happiness that are already there in your life are enough. Then happiness can be instantly yours.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

*Photo by Nicholas Bell

Cosmic Renewal

lotus

Forgiveness of self

Slowly opens a closed heart

Lotus reflections

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower grow. There cannot be a lotus flower without the mud.” -Thich Nhat Hanh-

no mud no lotus

*lotus photo by Bahman Farzad

https://www.flickr.com/photos/21644167@N04/3030351845/

*no mud, no lotus inscription found on:

https://www.tumblr.com/search/inspired+by+Thich+Nhat+Hanh

The Universal Embrace

These four parts of Deva Premal’s album Embrace were part my meditation this morning.

The 1st: Shree Ram Jai Ram

Shree Ram Jai Ram
Jai Jai Ram Om

Glory to Ram
the all pervading being,
and the Goddess Lakshmi,
the mother of abundance.

“An alternative translation of this famous mantra is simply, ‘Thy will be done.’ which is another way of acknowledging the Universal Embrace. It seems to me that the biggest learning in life is the realisation of the absolute perfection of Existence. Everything is as it should be…how could we ever doubt it? I sing this to honour a life of blissful surrender and trust; to that which is…” ~ Deva Premal~

The 2nd: Shante Prashante

Shante Prashante
Sarva Bhaya
Upasha Mani Swaha

Invoking supreme peace I surrender
the quality of fear to its source in
the higher and formless universal
mind. Salutations.

“Since fear seems to be my main obstacle to absolute freedom, this is an important mantra for me. What I love about Shante Prashante is that it values fear as a quality, something which can be a great transforming force. We are actually blessed by those ‘undesirable’ qualities in us, because they point the way to liberation.” ~Deva Premal~

The 3rd: Rang De

Rang de, Rang de, Range de
Jai ma rang de, rang de
Satya-prakashake hei
bhranti-vinashake hei
satchidanande to hei
aisa hamko rang de

Rang de, rang de, range de
jai ma rang me, rang de
niremale mane kare de
prem-atule kare de
prem ka sagare tu hei
aisa hamko rang de

Rang de, rang de, range de
osho rang me, rang de

You are the one who enlightens the truth.
You are the one who destroys the illusions.
You are truth, consciousness and bliss,
colour me, colour me, great mother,
colour me likewise.

Colour me, colour me, great mother,
colour me likewise

Please purify our consciousness.
Please fill us with love.
You are the ocean of love, please
colour me likewise.

“Miten always loved the piece, and when he played it for me during the recording of Embrace., I was uplifted by the exuberance and charm of the song….I hope it lifts your spirits, as it does mine.” ~Deva Premal~

The 4th: Teyata

Teyata om bekanze bekanze
maha bekanze radza samudgate soha

It is like this.
Medicine Buddha, you are the King,
the Supreme Healer. Please remove illness,
illness and the great illness.
Now I offer this prayer.

“Teyata carries the healing quality of great prayer. Illness can be understood on all three levels: physical, psychological, and mental. The great illness manifests as the illusion of duality, the root cause of our suffering. The Medicine Buddha is invoked with this mantra, and blesses us immediately with Divine Presence. I also love that this mantra concludes with ‘soha’ which means, ‘Now I offer this prayer. I have asked, and I am ready to surrender to whatever needs to happen.” ~Deva Premal~

Reverence for Life

Image

The 1st of the Five Mindfulness Trainings

Reverence for Life

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

*Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation of the 5 basic precepts as taught by the Buddha Shakyamuni

*Artist: Wilfred Lang,  piece: New York Heights