Buddhism America relaunch

We have relaunched buddhismamerica.com ad are looking for volunteer dharma contributors. email scottdiiorio@gmail.com to volunteer with information on your school of Buddhism, experience, and abilities.

Dharma contributors, writers, and staff must have a understanding of universal core dharma teachings. Also give us your understanding of the specific school of Buddhism you are a part of.

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Proper focus in practice and life.

Why are you interested in Buddhism? Is it to find clarity in your samsaric existence? Is it to pursue enlightenment? To help others?

I have seen meditation and practice for some as becoming more ritual then growth. What the Buddha Shakyamuni explained is a problem in the realization of mind. Be mindful of the purpose, effort, and true purification.

I will keep it simple, because it is simple. Don’t desire to improve. Don’t attach to the practices. Don’t attach to meditation. Do desire enlightenment. As the Sharmapa, and other guru’s have told me, it will prevent your progress. Let go of the grasping just like you let go of other attachments in your life. Realize without need.

To realize true nature and mind, simple be, purify, and it will take it natural course. Trying to turn on the light switch will be of no use if you are blind. The desire to see in the dark, when your eyes are so clouded, you can not tell light from dark.

See the mirror when it is held up. I often do this with others. Showing an energetic, over funny, goofy side. In reality, It is a way to allow others to work with ego. I have had it done to me. I often reflect those around me, that includes their emotion, and other aspects.

Purify in the present moment. Trust me I know what it is like to trust in others, be close, and sit back as a person worried more about personal image and what others think, then simply being in the present moment. I have had to do what is right for both, and it can be perceived as rejection. I recently received a email from someone who is going through the same issue. Feeling as if they are shunned because of untruth. USed then cast aside, as you protect someone you care about, as they present a false image.

As a Bodhisattva, you have compassion regardless. Your own hurt, and ego, wants what is truth to be seen, to be known, and not to be looked bad at because of the actions or deception of another. We know with refuge the vows we take. We understand with purification, that those aspects do not matter. They must work with their mind, accept what is done, and take meditation seriously, without attachment to the simple concept of it, and actions of performing them.

Through my own experience, I know how this can be. I also realize I am compassionate without the need of aversion. Any aversion and denial will push one self back into the samsaric cycle. Reflect the qualities of a Buddha. That is how you help others. That is how another grows around you. Part of their own purifying is to realize actions they have done to others, communicate with those they have done it to, and help purify together. Aversion allows your karmic action to continue without true resolve. Simply saying to your own mind “may the actions be forgiven” does not change the effect. Acting with resolve with the people you harm will. The negative effect on the ones you harm continue on them until you resolve it with them. At which point aversion is no longer needed, since it is a effect of your regret, fear, ego, image, and is illusion.

Work with mind with no goal. Work with karma by truly resolving. Don’t seek enlightenment, or you will always be short of it. Have true compassion, wisdom, and reflection, then you can see mind without the darkness. Don’t simply practice with the idea of enlightenment, becuase you won’t become enlightened. Simply be in the true nature.

 

 

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Mindfulness leads to more then a stronger mind.

In our daily life, health can many times be a struggle to us. Our weight may go up, we feel more lethargic, We don’t feel like ourselves, let alone at our full potential. Even when returning to practice, the yo-yo effect plays out in mind as well as body.

For a period in my life I let myself go. Once a dancer, fitness lover, I found myself slipping into a state of “it doesn’t matter”. Meditation was no longer an aspect I carried through with. Forgetting the dharma. Basically I wasn’t working with mind, so essentially, I lost my mind.

We learn our true conscious thought and that we have our bodies, rather then we are our body. The body is a tool. Like many tools, if we do not refine, sharpen, and work with our mind, the tools we use become dull, and do not work properly. This holds true for our body, when the mind is dull.

Experiences, and the ups and downs bring evaluation, as well as wisdom, and compassion. This includes compassion for yourself. As the mind strengths, so does the body. We control our bodies, and choose to sharpen the tool. It often happens as a result of clearer mind. Clear mind is needed.

As you progress through meditation, you often find strength, energy, and the ability to do more. Ngondro will be an aspect, as prostrations are good full body exercise (yet that is not the focus nor what you are trying to achieve in the meditative state during prostrations).

Recently, while meditating, My awareness triggered debate. Why was I eating so unhealthy? I don’t even like the junk. Sure convenience, easy access plays a roll, but for the brain to function and receive conscious thought, it need to be ore healthy. I can use the body as a tool when I can’t get up.

I simply started eating better. More balanced. The 8 fold path was in my mind. Right thought, right intent, effort ect… I wasn’t eating right, treating myself right, and being a positive reflection by stuffing a McDonalds Daily Double into my face rather then a healthy pita.

I knew better. I know how food works, calories, versus what you expend during the day. I also started pushing my exercise on top of Ngondro to much. Not thinking “hey wise guy, you know darn well you didn’t eat enough high impact carbs to push your leg muscles this much, expended all your glucose, and now your muscle feel so weak, you went to job and looked like a woobler bird”.

Yet with a clear mind, the body will follow, and strengthen. Posture become upright, reflecting wisdom and strength. Gestures become compassionate. Body starts to strengthen with the mind. It often doesn’t take much thought, because your true nature and conscious state is guiding you naturally.

You do not neeed to stride for the perfect body. It’s illusion. Strong mind will strengthen body. You want strength, on both aspects and allow it to fall in place.

I have seen many of our members/students change. In mind, and body. It becomes a natural state.

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Many see my dedication, and trust in my opinion on Diamondway Buddhism.

The Buddha gave approaches to the middle path and schools formed based on them. Not everyone needs the same path, or may settle in as easy. Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, which to choose? Are they legit? What can we gain?

I am a strong believer that people newer to Buddhism should learn the core aspects of Buddhism. The 4 noble truths, the aspects of the 8 fold path, apply it daily. Understand lineage, the teachers, and start to really work with mind. The Kagyu lineage is one of the oldest Buddhist schools of Tibet, and the oldest complete school containing the teachings including the Mahamudra. Which means, dedication and effort is needed.

Don’t be confused between Dharma and culture. Even our teachers inform us, the cultural aspects of Tibetan life, merge with Buddhism in Tibetan life. That does not mean it is the core of focus. Shamar Rinpoche (Sharmapa) has told me himself, the core dharma and teachings of the lineage is your focus, don’t become attached to Tibetan cultural aspects as it doesn’t apply to westerners, and even now, less to Tibetans in exile.

For this reason the cultural aspects that do not apply are removed from the core teachings, and the focus becomes more clear for us. While we still have text in Tibetan (or you can use English-dutch or other translations) We focus on key vibrations, work in mind, and the preliminaries.

Diamondway is part of the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism. THe lineage starting from Naropa to Marpa to Milerepa, Gampopa, all the way down through Karmapa’s-sharmapa’s-Rinpoche’s, to each of us.

Diamondway is laymen, however, let me be clear. It is a serious school of Buddhism, not simply centers, or meeting area’s. You can choose to simply do base meditations, or take refuge, begin Ngondro, and progress. Members/students are encouraged to research, learn, give talks on core dharma topics, and learn. Ask questions, take part in events, and build Sangha and community.

Keep in mind, we are all individuals where ever we go. We apply dharma for the benefit of all. Learn to work for that effort.

At times we will read about controversy, how the ego loves it. However as I was told, let it pass, focus on teachings, efforts and growth. Have compassion to everyone regardless. Often western minds put extreme twist on things to create more drama then needed. That is not the reflection of a Buddha. So be mindful.

Lama Ole’ may become a topic. I have seen web based slander and wander to true intent. Clearly by those that do not understand Buddhism, dharma, and create false stigma by that lack of wisdom. I will say this, Lama ole’ has dedicated so much time, strength effort, and travels non-stop, dedicated to his teachers, the Karmapa, and helping others out of true compassion, other aspects need to pass in the mind of those lacking the wisdom.

Our Karmapa continues the work as stated by the 16th Karmapa, and in a new birth, is doing it as requested. To continue Buddhism in the west, for the Sharmapa to be returned as the second aspect of himself and continue it with full decision. That alone removes controversy, so there is no need to give it further thought. The clarify teachings for the west.

When new people come, I encourage them to stay and ask questions, get understanding. Learn. Grow. Then start reading core aspects, and decide on refuge. To now there is a Sangha there. Some students still have much growth in different areas, some merge there deeper understanding with others in the Sangha to help each other.

As my Refuge/TIbetan name (Karma Yeshe Dondrub) means (accomplishment through higher wisdom) I stride to grow, study, and teach. The members of Diamondway Clear lake show true growth, structure, effort, and dedication, laymen, with dedicated hearts of compassion, and together they share experiences that help in the growth of a Buddha nature.

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Continuing on wordpress

To save costs during changes, I have returned to using word press for my blog, information on the Karma Kagyu, and information on Diamondway centers and how they can benefit others.

Always check diamondway.org and the clearlake/Webster centers page for updates. You can also shortcut to the clearlake page by using the url http://www.clearlakebuddhism.com.

Be sure to check regional events as well, such as ole’s visit to Montgomery Texas this month.

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Finding Peace

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

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Even death is n…

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

It means to live to the highest truth we know and to rise to our highest values and capabilities.

Living wisely also means not to believe every thought that comes, but to live more from the space between thoughts, from our essence.

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Teach this Triple Truth

“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

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The Four Seals of Dharma – Video Segments

The Four Seals of Dharma. Taught by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje on March 11, 2010 at the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute in New Delhi, India

I have compiled the video posted on the Golden Rosery onto this page. The videos are broken up to help adsorption of the key teachings.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

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The Bodhisattva Vow (Shamar Rinpoche)

The Bodhisattva Vow

 

In general, there are two aspects to the Bodhisattva Vow. The first aspect is the wish, the intention, or aspiration of a bodhisattva. The second is the application of that intention or wish. The Application of the wish means to actualize, or to put the wish into action. The Bodhisattva Vow should be taken after the Refuge Vow. 

The Aspiration of the Bodhisattva Vow

First comes the aspect of the wish or aspiration. This means that we set our minds upon a goal, towards a target. What is this? It is all the beings that occupy space in a whole variety of forms of existences in all the worlds and planets. What characterizes a living being? It is that the living being has a mind. Its mode of existence is characterized by suffering due to the fact that the mind is deeply rooted in fundamental ignorance. A mind marked by fundamental ignorance produces nothing but disturbing emotions. Under such influences, inevitably we will act and accumulate karma. The karmic seeds when ripened produce suffering. It is this suffering that underlies and produces the various types of existences. The process generates itself life after life and forms a cycle of existences. By being concerned with all beings, their conditions of existence and their suffering, we will develop an authentic compassion.

Developing the Wish to Liberate All Beings

Keeping in mind the suffering that all beings experience, we need to develop an attitude. This mental attitude is a profound wish that we must develop in an honest way. The wish is for all beings to be completely and permanently liberated from suffering. Faced with this suffering of beings, one encourages oneself to develop the state of mind known as bodhicitta. In order to realize this wish, i.e. to relieve beings of suffering in a definite way, one has to work on oneself and be liberated from one’s own suffering and confusion. Then afterwards, one can acquire the true capacity to help others and to liberate them. This capacity is a complete and perfect awakening; it is the state of Buddhahood. It is a real capacity to benefit others in a spontaneous way. In order to achieve this awakened mind, one needs to have firmly created the cause for it.

The Awakened Mind

The development of bodhicitta, or the enlightened aspiration, is the cause of awakening. The development of this aspiration forms a seed in the mind that will ripen as enlightenment. To formalize our commitment, we take the Bodhisattva Vow. Having taking the Vow, we carry on by actualizing this attitude of mind, and we develop spiritually. From life to life, we become increasingly capable of achieving the benefit of others. Eventually, we will realize the ultimate fruit that is the complete and perfect awakening, the state of Buddhahood. We will then benefit beings spontaneously, no longer in a conceptual manner, but in a completely spontaneous way without any obstacles. Just as the sun shines in the sky and illuminates everything, the activity of the Buddha will naturally benefit others. It is what is called the fruit of awakening, a complete and perfect awakening acquired by developing bodhicitta. These are therefore the two points of view, the two reference points on the path to enlightenment: the fruit itself, and the seed or cause that produces the fruit. The fruit is the genuine capacity to benefit others. Its cause is the development of bodhicitta, the development of the enlightened attitude, formalized by the Bodhisattva Vow.

Four Types of Beings

We have talked about the fruit of awakening. It is important to really understand what this fruit is and what it means to be awakened. A Buddha has the capacity to accomplish the benefit of others in a spontaneous and limitless way. We need to understand what that means. A Buddha benefits others spontaneously through four levels of activity that correspond to four types of beings. Spontaneously, a Buddha’s activity enables beings that are completely imprisoned in samsara and its suffering, to have the opportunity to liberate themselves. This is especially the case for beings trapped in the suffering of the lower realms. A Buddha has the capacity to bring them to a rebirth in which they can experience relative happiness.

The second and third levels of activity concerns the beings that are already on the Path of spiritual practice. These beings are the arhats, and the Pratyekabuddhas. (They are on the Path but their levels of realization are still not the real enlightenment.) In this case a Buddha’s activity takes the form of encouragement and support so that they can completely free themselves from samsara. Take for example the arhats. Their practice will yield them the realization of the Smaller Vehicle (Hinayana); the Buddhas can help them equally to attain full enlightenment. The arhats are those who are already established in an inner peace of mind. They reside completely in this peaceful state. This achievement of inner peace is the fruit of the path of individual liberation, the awakened state of an arhat. The Buddha’s activity can influence an arhat to advance towards full awakening rather than to remain in this peace. The activity of a Buddha can effectively shake an arhat out of the state of serenity and peace of his samadhi or meditative absorption. The Buddhas exhort the arhats to continue along their paths towards full awakening. The same applies to the Pratyekabuddhas.

A Buddha’s activity also benefits a fourth type of beings. They are practitioners who are on the higher levels of the Bodhisattva Path, that is, the eighth or the ninth level. These Bodhisattvas are encouraged and helped by the activity of a Buddha to continue their efforts, to persevere, until they realize by themselves the full awakening.

Thus, we can see how vast this awakened activity of a Buddha is. Its sphere encompasses at the same time, beings who are completely caught in samsara, beings who are already on the Path of practice as well as beings who have already attained various levels of the Path. In short, this activity benefits all types of beings, on all levels of the Path. So it is important that we understand the initial cause that precipitates this spontaneous and boundless activity. It is this promise, this commitment, and this oath to practice in order to help and to benefit others. The Bodhisattva Vow enables us to have this spontaneous and limitless result.

Putting the Enlightened Aspiration into action

To actualize this enlightened aspiration and wish, we have to engage ourselves in the practice of the six paramitas, the six enlightened qualities. They are : generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiastic effort, meditation, and non-discriminating wisdom. A Buddha is someone who has brought these six qualities to full perfection and maturity. By practicing these qualities, complete awakening can be realized. The Buddhas have practiced and actualized these qualities, they perfected them and thus achieved enlightenment. They have gone through numerous existences rooted in their wish to truly help others. As a result, their enlightened qualities blossomed. We should follow their example and as we take the Bodhisattva Vow, we should think: “Just as the Buddhas of the past, the present and the future, adopt the Path of practicing the six enlightened qualities, the six paramitas, I too will follow this Path.”

The Discipline of the Bodhisattva Vow

We can activate and carry out the Bodhisattva Vow in the context of three types of discipline. Firstly, we reduce our negative actions that cause suffering. Secondly, we accumulate positive actions that generate positive results for ourselves and for others. And thirdly, we behave and act to benefit others.

In order to maintain and to carry out the Bodhisattva Vow, we have to train ourselves. The methods are clearly explained in Gampopa’s ‘Jewel Ornament of Liberation.’ If we fully train in these methods, we will build a powerful base for the development of virtues and everything that is positive. The development itself is automatic when the Vow is not broken. Even when we sleep and even when the mind is not attentive, these positive benefits continue to develop. This is why it is said that the Bodhisattva Vow is like a fertile ground for the development of virtue

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