On Observation

TranquillityThe advent of each day brings us joys and challenges, each of which have the ability to alter our life-state in some way. Joys tend to raise our life-state, challenges may lower it if we let them, and therein lies the conundrum. We need to be vigilant, to observe our life-state from moment to moment, but in doing so, we affect that life-state.

Just as in quantum physics, the mere act of observation affects the phenomenon being observed, self observation of our life-state can, and most likely will affect it too. Imagine a situation where you become angry because something has not gone the way you would like. Initially you may be reacting instinctively, in an animalistic fashion. But as soon as you realise that you are reacting in such a manner, in other words, you observe your life-state, there is a large chance that you will change to that of a more calm and reflective mood, even into a state of tranquility.

So we have this little test for ourselves. We must be, as far as possible, aware of our life-state. Ideally we want to be in one of the higher states, not grubbing around in the worlds of Hell, Hunger, Animality or Anger, but in Learning, Realisation, Bodhisattva or even Buddhahood. The act of testing can help us raise our life-state through awareness, which is a good thing. But be warned, when the results come back, and you find you are in one of the lower worlds, that can be a sobering moment, when you realise that you are not as far along the path to enlightenment as you would like to be.

An All Round Better Way

Stop That Finger PointingWhen you become submerged in difficult situations, when the way forward looks bleak and less than inviting, it can be tempting to start pointing a finger at others to lay the blame at their door.

But there is an old Buddhist saying about pointing. When you point, one finger points out, away from you, towards the one you are blaming.

But look at your hand, three fingers are pointing back, at you, towards the person who is also to blame. Meaning that for each inference you point at others, three will be pointed back at you. But there is another way.

If you are honest with yourself, really, truly honest, and you examine the situation from all angles, you will almost certainly find that you are indeed responsible for making some of the causes that, in conjunction with another or others, has contributed to the outcome in which you find yourself.

Rather than trying to apportion blame, take responsibility for your own mistakes, you will find it a very cathartic experience, I know, I’ve been there. The unsurprising side effect is that it will also change the way in which others perceive you. They will recognise the Wisdom, Courage and Compassion in your new found attitude, and will respect you for all it represents.

Failure To Transmit?

Errr Hello !!!Sometimes it feels as though nobody is listening to us. No matter how important our message may be, it is falling on deaf ears, or so it seems. So maybe we speak a little louder, make our words a little more pronounced, like we are speaking to a child, nothing happens.

Actually, we may be right, maybe our message really isn’t getting across, but speaking louder, even shouting, still won’t make people listen. So what is really going on here? Well, the problem is that we are transmitting on the wrong frequency, or using the wrong type of media, or language.

Of course I am being metaphorical, we all speak within a frequency range between about 60 and 7000Hz, varying slightly person to person. But unless someone is ready to hear something in particular, they may not respond to you at all.

We have all had the experience of being in a noisy room, at a party or on a busy street where all conversation is a jumble, until someone calls out our name. We hear it, we can pick it out from all the background chatter and clatter, we are programmed to do exactly that, almost from birth.

So if you want to get a message across, say the name of the person with whom you wish to converse. Then, when they have stopped saying whatever they were saying, or doing whatever they were doing, they will be ready, and most likely willing, to listen to what you have to say.

If, having got their attention, you can deliver the message in a positive and friendly manner, there is even more chance that they will take in the content of the message. If you can actually make those contents helpful to the recipient, you really have got it cracked.

Use All Your Courage

Use All Your CourageWe all have choices to make in life. Everything from whether to take tea or coffee to the major life-changing decisions regarding money, relationships, children and careers.

Whatever the choice you have to make, make it with wisdom, courage and compassion.

If you summon your courage to challenge something, you will never regret it. It would be so sad to spend your life wishing, “If only I had a little more courage.”

Whatever the outcome, the important thing is to take a step forward on the path that you believe is right.

Do not worry too much about what others may think. It is your life. Be true to yourself.

Winning, But With The Right Goals

Winning, But With The Right GoalsI had a resounding victory today, and my future will not be the same for it. But we must all take care to set the right goals for ourselves.

Set your goals with care. Whether they are big or small, work towards realising them.

You must be serious and dedicated to your goals – you will never get anywhere if you set them on a whim, or just treat them like a joke.

An earnest, dedicated spirit shines like a diamond and moves the hearts of people. That is because a brilliant flame burns within.

If we are sincere, people will understand our intentions, and our positive qualities will shine forth. It is pointless and destructive to be overly conscious about outward appearances.

As the German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote,

“How may one get to know oneself?

Never by contemplation, only indeed by action

Seek to do your duty, and you will know at once how it is with you”

Goals are at the heart of our success, in fact they are the Kyo, and indeed the very basis of Kyo Chi Gyo I. Set your goals with care, and once they are set, aim for them with vigour passion and determination in equal measure.

The 1500th Post Has Arrived

Another milestone on my path to BuddhahoodBlogging is a labour of love, fun at times, less so at others and rather reminiscent of my Buddhist Practice.

I’m not saying that the Practice itself is a chore, but take today as an example. I seem to have contracted this bug that’s been going round for a few weeks, so chanting while trying not to cough, and concentrating while feeling less that 100%, was not as easy as usual.

So the fifteen hundredth post is here, and it marks another milestone on my path to Buddhahood. I started the blog as a record of that path and I’ve enjoyed revealing the rough and the smooth with you all.

Thank you to all those people who have commented on the posts and I look forward to writing the next couple of hundred. Who knows where we will all be then, geographically or spiritually.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

On Remaining Strong

The Reflected MoonSome days we are strong, some days not so strong. Remaining strong requires understanding our faith, Nichiren explains …

When water is clear, the moon is reflected. When the wind blows, the trees shake. Our minds are like the water.

Faith that is weak is like muddy water, while faith that is brave is like clear water. Understand that the trees are like principles, and the wind that shakes them is like the recitation of the sutra.

                                                   ~ Nichiren

On Inner Happiness

develop within ourselves a brilliant inner palaceSuch things as money, fame, and material possessions offer a fleeting satisfaction, something that can be called relative happiness.

However, when we transform our lives internally, when we develop within ourselves a brilliant inner palace, then we can be said to have established absolute happiness.

If we develop a state of mind as vast and resplendent as a magnificent palace, then nothing—no matter where we go or what we may encounter in life-can undermine or destroy our happiness.

~ Daisaku Ikeda

About Illusion

About Illusion - What do you really see?We are weird creatures aren’t we? We see the world through amazing eyes, and still we manage to put our own spin on reality. Let true reality find its way into your consciousness.

Illusion about the true nature of existence is literally illusion about the nature of one’s own life. This is the fundamental source of all illusions.

If we are ignorant about the nature of our own existence, then we will be ignorant about the nature of other people’s lives too.

On the other hand, when our lives are free from illusion, we perceive the treasure that shines resplendent in all people. in all beings.

On The Happiness Of Others

HappinessI think I’m a pretty happy sort of chap, always joking around and generally enjoying life.

Being happy is actually a frame of mind. It is also a choice that we can all make, by seeing the glass as half full, rather than half empty.

The happiness of others is important and is something we should always try our best to promote.

Whilst their happiness is not our responsibility, using our wisdom, courage and compassion will go a long way to helping them achieve that goal.

So next time, during diamoku, concentrate on praying for the happiness of someone you know who needs a bit of cheering up. Fill your lungs, chant your heart out and you too will feel your spirits lifted.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

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