About me

This blog is created by a Buddhist living in Singapore. He embraces the Mahayana spirit of Bodhicitta, deeply respecting all Buddhist Traditions as expressions of Kindness guiding us on the path towards human perfection ~ Buddhahood.

He likes to post stuff that he had read or think is good to share here, sometimes he adds a little comments here and there... just sometimes..

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“Sariputra, if there are people who have already made the vow, who now make the vow, or who are about to make the vow, ‘I desire to be born in Amitabha’s country,’ these people, whether born in the past, now being born, or to be born in the future, all will irreversibly attain to anuttarasamyaksambodhi. Therefore, Sariputra, all good men and good women, if they are among those who have faith, should make the vow, ‘I will be born in that country.’”

~ Amitabha Sutra

When I obtain the Buddhahood, any being of the boundless and inconceivable Buddha-worlds of the ten quarters whose body if be touched by the rays of my splendour should not make his body and mind gentle and peaceful, in such a state that he is far more sublime than the gods and men, then may I not attain the enlightenment.

~ Amitabha Buddha's Thirty-Third Vow

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Teaching on Meditation - by Lama Yeshe

Lama Yeshe gave this teaching at Maitreya Institute, Holland, September 1981. Excerpted from Universal Love: The Yoga Method of Buddha Maitreya, edited by Nicholas Ribush, forthcoming from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, February 2008.

Source: flickr.com

Why does Buddhism put so much emphasis on meditation? It's because our mind is so gross and our memory so poor that we forget things easily and cannot recall our countless lives' experiences. The purpose of meditation, therefore, is to increase, or develop, our memory, or mindfulness, of reality.

Our distracted, fragmented thoughts, which we experience continuously every day, are countless. Nonsense repeatedly cycles through our mind, again, again, again, again.... It's like in the pictures of the wheel of life, whose hub shows a pig, a chicken and a snake going round and round endlessly. Like that, our pig, chicken and snake mentalities continuously reverberate in our consciousness, reducing our memory to almost nothing.

The meditation techniques that stop these three mentalities are very important. Without stopping these deluded minds we can't see the concepts of ego that we spontaneously experience in everyday life. They're very subtle, so without eliminating these gross minds it's impossible to see our ego's activity. That's why we meditate on the energy of our own conscious experience. By quieting and eliminating our gross mentalities we create the space we need to see the concepts of ego, to recognize the entity interpreted by ego, which is non- existent.

Source: flickr.com

Normally, religious people miss the point--we circle around it but don't make much progress because we keep missing it. What is the point? The point is to become revolutionaries and totally destroy our entire concepts of ego. This is a much more revolutionary ideal than any of the theories propounded by Marx-Lenin, Hitler or Mao.

The concepts of ego project an independent, self-existent I totally unrelated to physical matter, time, space, cause, effect or anything else, existing somewhere, untouchable. Our ego holds on to the self-existent I and never lets it go.

Based on the results of his own practice, Lama Tsongkhapa said that by contemplating our conscious experience we can cut our superstitious, dualistic thoughts and thereby discover our ego projections and realize shunyata in a flash. Like throwing a switch, the moment we discover exactly what the false conception is, at that instant we discover non-duality.

The most difficult thing to recognize is the entity held by our ego, and the only way to do this is to meditate. According to Lama Tsongkhapa there's no way to do it intellectually. To prove this, he quoted Nagarjuna: "The person is not of the nature of earth, water, fire, air, space or even consciousness. The person exists only as a conventional designation." Lama Tsongkhapa totally agreed with Nagarjuna: all phenomena exist only in name. So we should just leave things as they are --superficial names projected by superstition--and not try to find some real, self-existent entity beyond that.

Source: flickr.com

Some people think that first we have to study shunyata in order to understand it and then meditate. That's wrong. To realize shunyata, first we have to meditate.

The thing is that the gross symptoms of ego, the three poisonous mentalities I just mentioned, disturb, irritate and shake the mind, so without subduing them to a certain extent--and there are various levels to which they can be subdued --there's no way to see the unconscious levels of ego that hold the notion of an independent self-existent I. It's impossible. And that's the point. Therefore our approach has to be through meditation--the experience of contemplating the energy of mental clarity automatically eliminates those mentalities.

Otherwise, it's like Lama Tsongkhapa said --our enemy's hiding out in the jungle but we're looking for him in town. That's us--we practitioners are always busy doing something religious but never get anywhere because we miss the point and look for our ego in completely the wrong place.

Therefore it's very important to stop our "that-this" superstitious thoughts and we're capable of doing so. By simply remaining mindfully aware of the experience of our own energy without getting involved either subjectively or objectively in that-this thinking, focusing our mind and letting go, we'll no longer have a problem with distraction.

It's similar to our present situation. We're here in this peaceful Dharma center knowing that there are disasters and bloodshed happening all over the world but not getting emotionally disturbed. It's like that.

Source: flickr.com

When I say "let go" I mean to focus on the clarity of mind and just remain there without expectation or emotional conversation. As I mentioned before, when the full moon shines it doesn't have any expectation or thoughts such as "I'm illuminating the Earth." It doesn't think anything; it just illuminates. The fewer dualistic thoughts you have, the greater the peace, tranquility, satisfaction and bliss you experience--and satisfaction and bliss are antidotes to dissatisfaction, depression, aggression, distraction and all other emotional disturbances.

When we meditate on an object with continuous, focused attention, our sense perception no longer functions. In other words, we go beyond sense perception. Sense perception has a bad reputation in Buddhism because it's the door to delusion and superstition. Whatever our senses perceive is always an optical illusion; the nature of sense perception is such that it produces more ego and superstition.

Therefore meditators deem the sense world unimportant. Since whatever appears to their sense perception is illusory, they no longer trust or use it much, but Maitreya also emphasizes in his writings that the mind the meditator uses is the sixth, or mental, consciousness, which is not sense perception or sense consciousness.

When a fighter pilot first sees an enemy plane it might be a long way off but as that self-existent plane gets closer and closer he sees it more and more clearly and at a certain point can shoot it down. The moment it disappears he experiences a kind of emptiness, shunyata. Similarly, when our clear wisdom first tries to find our ego, it's not very obvious; it's hiding. But as our concentration deepens our ego finds it increasingly difficult to remain out of sight and eventually it appears right there in front of us. As soon as we recognize it we should destroy it, and the moment it disappears we experience shunyata. The nuclear missile we use to shoot down our self-existent I is mindfulness, the wisdom of intensive awareness, and we don't need dualistic thought to pull the trigger; the moment our ego appears, we shoot it down.

Source: flickr.com

When we reach the point of experiencing the non-dual I in this way, we should just let go and focus on our mind with clear comprehension. Also, the "non" in non-dual shouldn't make us feel lonely: "I feel so empty, I have no dear friend." To experience non-duality is to experience the universe. We should feel, "I am the reality of all universal phenomena," or "The reality of all universal phenomena is me."

But again, these are not conceptual thoughts. What I'm talking about is pure experience, what we call the enlightened, or dharmakaya, experience and, in a way, we can say it's the experience of the omnipresent love and wisdom of Maitreya.

However, the dharmakaya experience is invisible, and in order to communicate with sentient beings we have to emanate in a visible form.

Lama Yeshe gave this teaching at Maitreya Institute, Holland, September 1981. Excerpted from Universal Love: The Yoga Method of Buddha Maitreya, edited by Nicholas Ribush, forthcoming from the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive, February 2008.


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Monday, November 12, 2007

The Way to Nirvana

Source: Dharmapala Thangka Centre

1st Stage: Stabilizing in the Mind [Cittasthapana]

The first stage is attained through study and listening to the Dharma as well as understanding the nature of cyclic existence. It is essential that the seeker come to realize the importance of the First Noble Truth taught by the Buddha. This is the Truth of Suffering, and the reality of this Truth as a fact of life, has first to be intellectually comprehended and then further appreciated as a result of successful contemplation. Through an emotional intuition gleaned from this pondering one must thoroughly and deeply connect with this Truth.

So then, with this turning-about experience, we begin to see and feel the need to steadfastly focus and engage our mind in meditation. To do this we start by concentrating on the rise and fall of the breath at the abdomen.

In the illustration the monk, the meditator, chases after the elephant, the wildly untamed mind. In the first stage our mind is completely under the sway and allure of the five sense objects and mental-emotional events. The rope and the hook carried by the monk are hardly any help at this point. When the object is not steady, disturbances are plentiful. The "elephant" is not even looking toward the rope and hook and the monkey runs wildly, leading the elephant. At this first stage, the flame of the fire of effort must be very strong.

2nd Stage Continuous Stabilizing [Samsthapana]

The monk fixes his mind on the breath. Hope of success commences here. [The monk holds up his hands.] The rope and hook are needed to bind and tie the elephant. One must use remembrance and watchfulness to bring the object of meditation close. The hook makes it possible to drive the elephant in the right direction.

The white spot on the heads of the elephant and monkey indicate that the mind begins to become a bit calmer, with progress in staying and resting the mind on the breath, fogginess and weakness lessen slightly. However the five senses still distract: touch [cloth], taste [fruit], smell [perfumed conch], sound [cymbals], and sight [mirror].

This second stage is attained through the power of and motivation from pondering the Dharma. This contemplation forges concentration on the anvil of a certain faith and lengthened periods of concentration.

3rd Stage: Habitual Stabilization [Avasthapana]

The rope represents the power of recollection [smrti]. This power comes from the "memory" nature of mind. Remembrance is like the rope, which is now on the elephant's neck and you see in the picture that in response the elephant gazes toward the monk, the meditator.

Now the rabbit makes its appearance. The meditator can distinguish the subtler forms of distraction and weakness. The rabbit represents the presence in the mind of passivity. Here, especially, the meditator seems to enjoy the state of "spacing out." She or he thinks that they have attained an ideal calm. Everything feels good. In fact, this is really a distraction, a subtle daze. The knowledgeable meditator knows that there are two levels of "passivity": a basic form of 'spacing-out,' which seems very pleasant but is obviously a distraction, and a far subtler form, which seems a very peaceful state of mind, but which is really a disguised form of depression. This must be watched for by careful introspection.

Like a rabbit using camouflages well, this stage can be is mistaken for progress, and since this subtle weakness does not disturb concentration, it relaxes the meditator, and seems pleasurable. Yet it is a disturbance nevertheless. For later it will make our mind weak; and suppress desire to be energized with sufficient effort. Like a slow leak in a punctured balloon, this subtle weakness makes the mind weaker and weaker, very slowly.

4th Stage: Near Stabilization [Upasthapana]

At this stage, the dark and white colors are almost half and half, showing that distraction and fogginess have diminished by half. With the power of watchfulness and alertness the meditator firmly understands what is being done and what is occurring. The rope on the elephant's neck is loose, because the mind is quite obedient.

The elephant, monkey, and rabbit look back; showing that having recognized these mental distractions, the mind turns back to the object of contemplation. At this point concentration on the breath is possible for about fifteen minutes.

5th Stage: Habituation [Damana]

The rope of remembrance is not so necessary now, but since subtle distractions grow stronger, the power of diligence / perseverance must be applied. The long effort against the invasive distraction of the five senses and any inner events may too quickly relax the effort of the meditator, and the subtler forms of distraction would wax stronger and thereby the intensity of clarity diminishes.

Pictured as another monkey eating from a tree on the periphery, and not on the path, means that while one is developing Calm-Abiding, no other thoughts, even those of Dharma or meditations on Samsara etc., can be allowed to interfere with concentration!

One experiences steady concentration for a half an hour, and the breath-object is very "close" to the mind; the mind is peaceful with no distractions.

6th Stage: Pacifying [Shamana]

The allure of the five senses are now gone. Gone also are the other distractions of the inner emotional and mental events. An energetic concentration arises, shown as no hook and rope needed, though ever at the ready. The monk is not even looking at the elephant.

Concentration without any disturbance is possible for at least one hour. The monk hooks the elephant with his goad; the mind is stopped from wandering by clear understanding.

7th Stage: Thorough Pacification [Vyupasthamana]

After long persevering practice, the meditator reaches complete pacification of the mind. The monk is behind the elephant and allows the mind to 'rest' naturally. It concentrates on its own. The hare disappears and, because no energy is needed; concentration comes immediately. But still, the monk observes! There still remains subtle weakness and distraction, but [because they totally lack dark color] there is no disturbance at all. Concentration is possible for about four hours.

We see that the monkey leaves the elephant and now squats behind the monk in complete obeisance. However there are still slight traces of black; this shows that even the subtlest sinking and scattering may continue to arise. Should they begin to arise they can be eliminated with slight effort.

8th Stage: Becoming One-pointed [Ekotikarana]

Spontaneous concentration is now present until the meditator wishes to stop it. As the concentration progresses, so does the clarity of the object concentrated upon Ones sense-media are not needed and do not intrude.

The monk doesn't even need to look at the elephant; the elephant just comes and obeys. Concentration for one or two days without a break is possible. In the drawing the monkey disappears and the elephant becomes completely white. The mind can now remain continually in absorption on the object of concentration.

9th Stage: Entrance Into Samadhi [Upacara-samadhi]

The monk meditates, and the elephant just sleeps. The meditator is totally non-dependent upon the senses and in perfect equanimity. The path has ended and the elephant is at rest. At this stage there is no limit to the length of fixed concentration. According to the meditator's feelings, his mind and the object become one. The ninth stage of samadhi or mental absorption is attained through the power of total habituation, a familiarization and integration in Calm-Abiding.

Beyond the 9th Stage

After the 9th Stage of Calm-Abiding is attained, many new and extraordinary experiences come, which have never been experienced before. When these experiences come, this is the sign that Calm-Abiding has been attained. From the heart of the meditating monk emanates a rainbow. The monk is shown flying alone; this is bodily bliss.

Riding the elephant is the attainment of Calm-Abiding, across the rainbow is mental bliss.

Wielding the flaming sword of perfect insight, the monk returns triumphantly along the rainbow; for samara's root is destroyed in union of samatha and vipasyana, now with emptiness [sunyata] as the object of contemplation.

Control of the flame of supreme remembrance and clear comprehension represents the ability to examine the sublime meaning of sunyata: the knowledge of the ultimate reality of all phenomena.

From the monk's heart emanate two dark rainbows, which the monk is just about to cut asunder with his flaming sword of wisdom. These two rainbows represent karmic hindrances and mental illusion [klesa-varana], and the obscurations of the instincts of mental distortion [Uneyavarana].

Not only when in meditation, but in all actions, the one possessed of accomplished Calm-Abiding is at this stage fully concentrated. The body feels light as the wood-wool flower [like the mimosa blossom]. Having achieved this goal, the meditator gains all other supernatural powers [such as reading minds, disappearing, and transferring his consciousness into other beings].

Like someone who has "sharpened the axe to cut all things," he is capable of doing any other meditative practice.
After sharpening an axe, so a person must use it.

Therefore from taming the mind in Calm-Abiding, one must use it for attainment of Illumination! We must ourselves become Buddha! The miracle powers are not important things. The important thing is developing the mind! One has to free one's mind from the "trap of delusion."

~End post~


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Thursday, November 08, 2007




身膺宰輔與朝廊 蓋世功名世莫量
自性彌陀如不念 未知何以敵無常


~End of Post~


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Sunday, November 04, 2007


Source: flickr.com


讲道容易体道难 杂念不除总是闲

世事尘劳常挂碍 深山静坐也徒然

出家容易守戒难 信愿全无总是闲

净戒不持空费力 纵然落发也徒然

修行容易遇师难 不遇明师总是闲

自作聪明空费力 盲修瞎炼也徒然

染尘容易出尘难 不断尘劳总是闲

情性攀缘空费力 不成道果也徒然

听闻容易实心难 侮慢师尊总是闲

自大贡高空费力 聪明盖世也徒然

学道容易悟道难 不下功夫总是闲

能信不行空费力 空空论说也徒然

闭关容易守关难 不肯修行总是闲

身在关中心在外 千年不出也徒然

念佛容易信心难 心口不一总是闲

口念弥陀心散乱 喉咙喊破也徒然

拜佛容易敬心难 意不虔诚总是闲

五体虚悬空费力 骷髅嗑破也徒然

诵经容易解经难 口诵不解总是闲

能解不依空费力 日诵万卷也徒然


1. 講道容易體道難 雜念不除總是閑 世事塵勞常掛礙 深山靜坐也徒然

2. 出家容易守戒難 信願全無總是閑 淨戒不持空費力 縱然落髮也徒然

3. 修行容易遇師難 不遇明師總是閑 自作聰明空費力 盲修瞎煉也徒然

4. 染塵容易出塵難 不斷塵勞總是閑 情性攀緣空費力 不成道果也徒然

5. 聽聞容易實心難 侮慢師尊總是閑 自大貢高空費力 聰明蓋世也徒然

6. 學道容易悟道難 不下功夫總是閑 能信不行空費力 空空論說也徒然

7. 閉關容易守關難 不肯修行總是閑 身在關中心在外 千年不出也徒然

8. 念佛容易信心難 心口不一總是閑 口念彌陀心散亂 喉嚨喊破也徒然

9. 拜佛容易敬心難 意不虔誠總是閑 五體虛懸空費力 骷髏嗑破也徒然

10. 誦經容易解經難 口誦不解總是閑 能解不依空費力 日誦萬卷也徒然

~End of Post~


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Source: flickr.com


红尘白浪两茫茫 忍辱柔和是妙方

到处随缘延岁月 终身安分度时光

休将自己心田昧 莫把他人过失扬

谨慎应酬无懊恼 耐烦作事好商量

从来硬弩弦先断 每见钢刀口易伤

惹祸只因闲口舌 招愆多为狠心肠

是非不必争人我 彼此何须论短长

世事由来多缺陷 幻躯焉得免无常

吃些亏处原无碍 退让三分也不妨

春日才看杨柳绿 秋风又见菊花黄

荣华终是三更梦 富贵还同九月霜

老病死生谁替得 酸甜苦辣自承当

人从巧计夸伶俐 天自从容定主张

谗曲贪嗔堕地狱 公平正直即天堂

麝因香重身先死 蚕为丝多命早亡

一剂养神平胃散 两种和气二陈汤

生前枉费心千万 死后空留手一双

悲欢离合朝朝闹 寿夭穷通日日忙

休得争强来斗胜 百年浑是戏文场

顷刻一声锣鼓歇 不知何处是家乡


1. 紅塵白浪兩茫茫 忍辱柔和是妙方 到處隨緣延歲月 終身安分度時光

2. 休將自己心田昧 莫把他人過失揚 謹慎應酬無懊惱 耐煩作事好商量

3. 從來硬弩弦先斷 每見剛刀口易傷 惹禍只因閒口舌 招愆多為狠心腸

4. 是非不必爭人我 彼此何須論短長 世事由來多缺陷 幻軀焉得免無常
其實,何必時常強分你非我是、我長你短呢?世間從來就沒有完美無缺的事物,緣 起如幻、無實自性的軀體,又怎可永存不朽呢?

5. 喫些虧處原無礙 退讓三分也不妨 春日纔看楊柳綠 秋風又見菊花黃

6. 榮華終是三更夢 富貴還同九月霜 老病死生誰替得 酸甜苦辣自承當

7. 人從巧計誇伶俐 天自從容定主張 諂曲貪瞋墮地獄 公平正直即天堂

8. 麝因香重身先死 蠶為絲多命早亡 一劑養神平胃散 兩鍾和氣二陳湯

9. 生前枉費心千萬 死後空持手一雙 悲歡離合朝朝鬧 富貴窮通日日忙


10. 休得爭強來鬥勝 百年渾是戲文場 頃刻一聲鑼鼓歇 不知何處是家鄉
請盡快停止爭強好勝吧!人生百年,就像做戲一場,不久鑼鼓聲竭,散場閉幕, 又不知隨業流轉至何方所了。

~End of Post~


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