May those who follow this path always be surrounded by the compassionate love of all Buddhas of the past, present, and future, and may they always meet awakened teachers.
Meeting and hanging out with those wiser than us is a big deal. Without realizing it, we absorb ideas and examples of ways of living and viewing experiences that will stand us in good stead. It may seem like no big deal, but being able to meet such people and be in their circle is the result of the good virtue and merit that arises from selfless actions.
People may think that those who are kind and generous are just suckers and victims, fools who don’t know how the world works, but they are the ones who do understand: Helping others cleanses my own heart. Even when I try to help others just because they need it, with no expectation of getting anything back, sometimes it feels like I got the most from the experience.
May all those who follow the Buddha’s Way keep experiencing the deep truth of how karma melts down, and never lose sight of this path.
That we are not the eternal victims of our past is such an incredibly huge deal. If we didn’t know about mindfully returning inwardly whatever arises, then we would just tend to react to what arose, creating endless chains of new events. But, when we entrust something inwardly to our foundation, whatever it is begins to be dissolved. When that fully happens, we are free of that and can move in fresh directions.
What often happens is that we suddenly see things more clearly. We see in a way we couldn’t have imagined. Whatever it was that we let go of was subtly (or not so!) distorting and framing what we were experiencing, and what options we were perceiving.
Having evolved over eons beyond measure, until at last reaching this point, we take all of the karma that we’ve created through the five kinds of desires* and the ten evil actions,* and every kind of ignorance, and entrust all this karma to the compassionate power of one mind, where it will all melt down.
It may happen that ugly things still happen in your life, even though you live well and behave wisely. Rather than feeling upset by those, know that this is actually an opportunity to take care of things that you didn’t know how to handle in the past.
If we just react to what confronts us, we re-record that, and will face a slightly worse version sometime later. But, now that we know how to handle this, we can take care of it once and for all, or at least take a big chunk out of it. So although it may not seem like it, these things coming to you when you know how to handle them, isn’t such a bad deal.
The five kinds of desires: The desire for form, sounds, fragrances, taste, and touch.
The ten evil acts: Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, manipulative speech, abusive speech, slander, covetousness, anger, and false views.
May the great power of one mind, realized by all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, protect and look after everyone here today. May it shelter and guide all those unenlightened beings who are lost and suffering.
The Buddha statue in the image kind of fits this verse. It’s actually cast from iron, sometime between 900-1200CE, but although it’s made from a fairly hard and brittle metal, it’s flowing. Nothing about the image suggests hard or brittle. Likewise, this power of one mind arises from the flowing and interconnected nature of all things, not something separate and stiff.
Don’t covet those things that belong to others, let go of deceptiveness and overblown pride, speak truthfully and uphold trust, and in all circumstances, cultivate bright and upright wisdom, always relying upon our inner foundation. In this way, may we all come to realize our inherent nature.
Today is Chuseok in Korea, or Korean Thanksgiving, if you will. It’s a day when everyone dresses up, families get together, and children bow to parents. It’s considered a time of giving thanks to those who have gone before, and due to whose efforts we are here today.
So, in a sense, today’s verse from the Noon Blessing is appropriate: If you want to repay all of those who have come before, work at being an outstanding person! What better way to repay their efforts?
May others’ lives always be just as precious as our own.
This is quite a simple idea, nothing complicated here. It’s really how this entire whole is functioning, yet it’s also the opposite of how millions of years of evolution have forced us to live. We’ve had no choice but to view others as resources to be used or eaten. It is such a blessing now that, for many of us, we aren’t forced into such choices. From that perspective, this world and age truly approaches a heavenly realm.
I’ll be traveling through next month, so updating the blog will be a bit difficult at times, so I’m going to switch to three posts a week. This week, posts will be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and from next week on they’ll be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (I think!)
May those who are teenagers not get caught up in activities that darken their spirit.
I like the phrasing of this one, because ultimately, what’s important with all the things we do is whether it brightens our spirit or not. If the task is perhaps not so exciting, is it something that improves the environment and circumstances for the others around us?