9 Bits of Wisdom from the Dali Lama

1. “Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.

2. Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.

3. The universe that we inhabit and our shared perception of it are the results of a common karma. Likewise, the places that we will experience in future rebirths will be the outcome of the karma that we share with the other beings living there. The actions of each of us, human or nonhuman, have contributed to the world in which we live. We all have a common responsibility for our world and are connected with everything in it.

4. It is under the greatest adversity that there exists the greatest potential for doing good, both for oneself and others.

5. The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.

6. To develop genuine devotion, you must know the meaning of teachings. The main emphasis in Buddhism is to transform the mind, and this transformation depends upon meditation. in order to meditate correctly, you must have knowledge.

7. Anything that contradicts experience and logic should be abandoned.

8. We humans have existed in our present form for about a hundred thousand years. I believe that if during this time the human mind had been primarily controlled by anger and hatred, our overall population would have decreased. But today, despite all our wars, we find that the human population is greater than ever. This clearly indicates to me that love and compassion predominate in the world. And this is why unpleasant events are “news”; compassionate activities are so much a part of daily life that they are taken for granted and , therefore, largely ignored.

9. The fundamental philosophical principle of Buddhism is that all our suffering comes about as a result of an undisciplined mind, and this untamed mind itself comes about because of ignorance and negative emotions. For the Buddhist practitioner then, regardless of whether he or she follows the approach of the Fundamental Vehicle, Mahayana or Vajrayana, negative emotions are always the true enemy, a factor that has to be overcome and eliminated. And it is only by applying methods for training the mind that these negative emotions can be dispelled and eliminated. This is why in Buddhist writings and teachings we find such an extensive explanation of the mind and its different processes and functions. Since these negative emotions are states of mind, the method or technique for overcoming them must be developed from within. There is no alternative. They cannot be removed by some external technique, like a surgical operation.”

H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama in ‘Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection‘, Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, 2004

Advertisements

Taiji Fajin, Hermetics & Metaphysics

The following modest wooden house is where I stayed in Chiang Mai, Thailand when I trained with Sifu Rasmus. Sifu Rasmus teaches Taji Fajin, Hermetics and Metaphysics in this idilic setting nestled at the foot of a mountain and within ear shot of a buddhist retreat.
Leaving the cold and smog of Beijing behind I headed to Chiang Mai for 1 month of intensive training.Sifu Rasmus courses run from 1 to 12 weeks or longer depending on the content. His students tend to be instructors or masters who are looking to add greater depth to their knowledge or a more internal flavour to their art.
During the training period Sifu Rasmus would from time to time hold his class in the grounds of some of Chiang Mai’s most spectacular temples. In this visual blog I share three of my favorite. Below you will see a picture of an impressive nagga (Nāga, a group of serpent deities in Hindu and Buddhist mythology).

Wat Umong

A place were I began training the air element, metaphysics and meditation.

Wat Umong was built in 1927 by King Manglai of the LAN dynasty underneath the stupa above there are caves and shrines, and in the grounds you can find a garden of broken sculptures and a fasting bodhisvista. A place of tranquility where resident monks provide willing students a meditation retreat.
“Where talking trees have words of wisdom”
The hidden jungle temple of Wat Palad below has a special energy and was overall my favorite temple in Chiang Mai.
“The monastery at the sloping rock, visited by the God of the Earth”

3 transformations at Wat Chedi Luang.

“Please, come to the monk chat”
The ancient temple of Wat Chedi Luang in the centre of Chiang Mai’s walled city is one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai. It houses the ashes of the 14th century King Saen Muang Ma’s father. The big stupa is guarded on each of its four sides by two mythical serpent naga’s at the base and further up by rows of elephants. Peaceful in the evening the stupa vibrates with energy. Monks and nuns chant sutras and welcome conversation with travelers.

Climbing to the top of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.

“Wat Phra That Doi Suthep’s Emerald Buddha overlooking Chiang Mai”
I visited this temple on the festival of Makhachkala Bucha. The festival honours the event when 1,250 of Buddha’s disciples congregated to hear an important sermon.Buddhists carry flowers, lightened candles and joss sticks while walking around the stupa three times on the day and night of the full moon in February.
Although this visual bog focuses on the temples I visited while training in Chiang Mai. It would be a miss of me not to say something of my training time with Sifu Rasmus. So I’ll keep it short and simply say that training with Sifu Rasmus was an excellent decision that helped demystify some of the secrets of Taichi fajin, as well as principles and themes explored in hermetics and metaphysics. Overall the course has been a great help for my own practice and I’d like to say a big personal thank you for Sifu Rasmus, guidance, welcome, coffee and of course friendship. Sifu Rasmus’s YouTube Channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/SifuMarkRasmus

Etiquette for visiting Buddhist Temples

When traveling to Buddhist temples why not prepare yourself and learn about Buddhist temple etiquette?

While traveling its important to be respectful of other cultures and traditions. Being, humble and modest were travel is part of the journey to greater levels of awareness. We hope this information will be helpful to any www.StudyMartialArts.Org students wishing to pay their respects at the Shaolin Temple or any other Buddhist Temple they may visit on there journey.

Below are some top tips.

Buddhist temples

  • Take off your shoes and hats before entering. There will almost always be a sign outside of the temple pointing visitors to the designated area for shoes and hats. The many pairs of visitors’ shoes clumped together will tip you off.
  • Cover your shoulders. Since it gets very hot in Asian countries during the summer, many tourists forget to cover their shoulders and legs before entering places of worship. One way to plan ahead is to dress in layers and bring a scarf or shawl along, no matter where you go. When visiting temples, capri pants and long skirts are preferable to shorts, although men can sometimes get away with wearing long shorts.
  • Stand when monks or nuns enter. Just as you would stand to greet someone in any formal setting, try to remember to stand up when a monk or nun enters the room.
  • Ask permission before taking pictures. Make sure it’s okay to use your camera, especially when taking photographs inside a temple with statues. If you do take pictures, it’s always nice to leave a donation.
  • Use your right hand. When handing a donation (or anything else) to a person, use your right hand.
  • Don’t point. Instead, if you wish to point something out to a fellow traveller, use your right hand, open, with the palm facing the ceiling.
  • Don’t touch Buddha statues. Remind your kids before entering not to touch or climb on top of the Buddha statues.
  • Don’t touch Buddhist monks, especially if you are female. Women are not supposed to hand items to monks, either. Men who need to hand something to a monk, or take something from a monk, should try to use their right hands.
  • Don’t turn your back to Buddha statues. You may notice people walking backward away from the Buddha. Follow their lead, turning around only when you are a few feet away from the statue.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE http://www.bbc.com/travel/blog/20110616-travelwise-religious-tourism-etiquette