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quotes

The Buddha’s Quotes

The Buddha’s words of wisdom and life quotes

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“You will not be punished by your anger, you will be punished by your anger”

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“The way is not the sky, the way is in your heart”

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“Peace comes from within, do not seek it without”
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You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection
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Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment

Buddha 563 – 483BC

Gautama Buddha lived over 2562 years ago as a monk and teacher on which Buddhism has been founded. Born a prince of the Shakya clan in modern day northern India, now Nepal. He became dissatisfied with his life and that of the human condition he left the royal palace in search of truth. After many years practicing with the Meditation masters of the time, learning yoga and other breathing techniques, he still had not discovered the truth he was seeking, leaving these old masters behind he went in search of places of tranquility and seclusion to practice deep meditation. After spending many hours sitting in a one pointed Meditative state for prolonged periods of time Gautama discovered his middle way or the “noble eightfold path” as a way to enlightenment.

For the remaining 45 years of his life the Buddha taught this path, established the Sangha and 100’s of monastery’s through-out his travels through modern day India and Nepal and in so Doing leaving behind a legacy that has endured for over a millennium.

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Motivational Mini Stories

Mini motivational stories

Weekly Moral Short Story Collection

Every week we bring to you a short Moral story that has either inspired or motivated us in some way during our week.

Most of our stories have been loving handcrafted by ourselves into short moral stories that we hope inspire as well as teach a valuable moral lesson in life. A few of our stories are old classics and where the original author is know a credit is always given.

These are a collection of some of our previous Weekly Moral Stories, check back regularly for a new Moral Story every week

The Wind And The Moon

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The Wind and the Moon

Once upon a time, there were two very good friends who lived together in the shade of a rock. Strange as it may seem, one was a lion and one was a tiger. They had met when they were too young to know the difference between lions and tigers. So they did not think their friendship was at all unusual. Besides, it was a peaceful part of the mountains, possibly due to the influence of a gentle forest monk who lived nearby. He was a hermit, one who lives far away from other people.

For some unknown reason, one day the two friends got into a silly argument. The tiger said, “Everyone knows the cold comes when the moon wanes from full to new!” The lion said, “Where did you hear such nonsense? Everyone knows the cold comes when the moon waxes from new to full!”

The argument got stronger and stronger. Neither could convince the other. They could not reach any conclusion to resolve the growing dis- pute. They even started calling each other names! Fearing for their friendship, they decided to go ask the learned forest monk, who would surely know about such things.

Visiting the peaceful hermit, the lion and tiger bowed respectfully and put their question to him. The friendly monk thought for a while and then gave his answer. “It can be cold in any phase of the moon, from new to full and back to new again. It is the wind that brings the cold, whether from west or north or east. Therefore, in a way, you are both right! And neither of you is defeated by the other. The most important thing is to live without conflict, to remain united. Unity is best by all means.”

The lion and tiger thanked the wise hermit. They were happy to still be friends.

A Pig called No-squeal

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A pig called No-Squeal

Once upon a time, there were two calves who were part of a country household. Their names were little Red and Big Red, At the same home there also lived a girl and a baby pig. Since the pig hardly ever made a sound, he was known as ‘No-squeal’.

The masters of the house treated No-squeal very very well. They fed him large amounts of the very best rice, and even rice porridge with rich brown sugar.

The two calves noticed this. They worked hard pulling plows in the fields and bullock carts on the roads. Little Red said to Big Red, “My big brother, in this household you and I do all the hard work. We bring prosperity to the family. But they feed us only grass and hay. The baby pig No- squeal does nothing to support the family. And yet they feed him the finest and fanciest of foods. Why should he get such special treatment?”

The wise elder brother said, “Oh young one, it is dangerous to envy anybody. Therefore, do not envy the baby pig for being fed such rich food. What he eats is really ‘the food of death”.

“There will soon be a marriage ceremony for the daughter of the house, and little No-squeal will be the wedding feast! That’s why he is being pampered and fed in such rich fashion.

“In a few days the guests will arrive. Then this piglet will be dragged away by the legs, killed, and made into curry for the feast.”

Sure enough, in a few days the wedding guests arrived. The baby pig No-squeal was dragged away and killed. And just as Big Red had said, he was cooked in various types of curries and devoured by the guests.

Then Big Red said, “My dear young brother, did you see what happened to baby No- squeal?” “Yes brother,” replied Little Red, “now I understand.”

Big Red continued, “This is the result of being fed such rich food., Our poor grass and hay are a hundred times better than his rich porridge and sweet brown sugar. For our food brings no harm to us, but instead promises long life!”

Don’t envy the well-off, until you know the price they pay.

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Emotions meditation

Meditation practice and thoughts on Anger and Hatred

Anger and Hatred 

Of all the mental poisons Anger and hatred are by far the worst, a daily diet of hatred and anger can only lead to dissolution, self pity, Depression and loneliness. Anger and hatred are the driving force behind violence, human genocide and every war either religious or political. So what is anger and hatred? Where does anger come from? Why do some people get more angry than others? And what are the triggers for anger and hatred?

Anger and hatred, learn to change, mindset reset, meditation, mindfulness
Anger and Hatred

Everyone, if totally honest with themselves, has experience and suffered form bouts of anger and hatred at some point in their lives. Anger and hatred are the equal opposite of love and peace, with the American Psychological Association stating that “anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion” however Wikipedia tells us that “A person experiencing anger will often experience physical conditions such as increase heart rate elevated blood pressure and increase levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline.”

Where does anger come from?

Anger is born out of frustration or injustice usually because of an illogical idea that something/someone, we have no control over, should be, or be happening or has happened differently than your personal requirements.

There are a few websites out there, American Psychological Association and Medical News Today, as examples, claiming that anger is a natural emotional state. I would like to disagree wholeheartedly to this and state that, Anger is an emotional response to a given set of circumstances, anger is a choice not a natural state of consciousness.

This may sound controversial but let me explain.

Now a bit of science

We in the west are scientifically minded. If an experiment using the same formulas is repeated anywhere in the world it must have the same results before it is established as fact.

If we take this synopsis and apply it to anger and hatred and on a hot day pour cold water over 10 individuals the results will become clear. 

The facts of the experiment is the water is cold and the day is hot. The reaction of the individuals won’t be the same, the majority may well scream blue murder resulting in anger, however one may very well react differently, perhaps a feeling of being cooled or refreshed by the water may be the experience. Because of these variations in our human reactions, anger is present but it a choice what makes us angry, and what may make you angry doesn’t necessarily make another angry. 

Yes I hear some of you cry, but that is just one trigger for anger what about other situations, like road rage, or being robbed. In each situation the individual reaction can and will be different depending on the individuals past experiences and memories. 

Let’s choose differently

There are so many examples where an individual has chosen love and peace instead of hatred and anger. Etty Hillesum wrote a few months before she died at Auschwitz concentration camp that “I can see no way around it. Each of us must look inside himself and excise and destroy everything he finds there which he believes should be excised and destroyed in others” the Dalia Lama had a visit from a Tibetan monk who had be imprisoned and tortured for twenty five years in a Chinese labour camp. When asked was he fearful, he responded “I was often afraid of hitting my torturers, for in doing so I would have destroyed myself”. After the bomb attack that killed hundreds in Oklahoma City in 1995, the father of a three year old daughter lost in the attack was asked if he wanted to see the instigator executed, he replied “Another death isn’t going to bring my daughter back” 

The Dalia Lama says it best “Even if we allow our rage to go all the way, we will never eliminate all our enemies”

Anger and Hatred, learn to change, mindfulness, meditation, mindset reset

Anger in other Animals

One fact about anger and hatred that is typically common to humans, is that we can spend prolonged periods of time in rage, anger and hatred. As humans we can wallow in anger and we can carry hatred with us for hours, days even years, 

If we look at the other animals we share this magnificent planet with, we won’t find an angry elephant or a lion spending its day wallowing in a sea of anger, yes there are moments and displays of aggression and dominance and you may well find a grumpy elephant but never for a prolonged period of time, that seems to be reserved as a human animal trait

My Experience

My most profound experience with seeing anger manifest within my own mind and then my subsequent analysis of this most dangerous of disease was when I was a Buddhist monk in north an Thailand. 

We were all lined up in an orderly line for our one meal of the day. The food was all arranged neatly on the table and each monk was taking it in turns to fill his bowl, when one of the senior monks turns around to me and calmly states 
 “you have a lot of anger in you!” 

I smiled the sweetest smile I could and calmly said

  “no I don’t” 

all the while inwardly I was thinking how rude! How dare you say such a thing! And generally reacting with anger. It was at this moment I caught myself, caught my mind at work.

I didn’t eat that day, I walked off and sat in meditation analysing my anger and its root causes, what was it? where did it came from? why had such a simple sentence effected me so much, where in my body was I feeling anger? The answers surprised 

Anger is a choice, just as we choose to be happy or sad, optimistic or pessimistic, anger is a choice only you can make.

Mahatma Gandhi once said

 “nobody can walk with dirty feet through my mind without my permission” 

Generally however we react with a conditioned response, learned over time by experience and memory. To respond differently takes courage and wisdom. To respond differently requires compassion and patience, to respond differently we need to see anger and hatred for what they truly are!

The Story of The Flea

Now I’m going to change the pace a little and tell you a story, the story of the common household flea. The remarkable facts of the common flea demonstrate how we too can become pre-condition in our way of thinking.

The common flea has the ability to jump 200 times its own height. If you then trap that same flea under a glass jar he will soon learn that there is an upper limit, a glass ceiling, to his jumping ability. Try as he might to reach his full potential he will now hit his head every time. After many attempts the flea will now adopt a new jumping height so as not to hit his head.

The remarkable thing is when you take the glass jar away. The flea has now been conditioned by experience and memory that if he try’s to jump any higher than his previous glass jar prison he will bang his head. He will now only jump to that pre-conditioned height of just under that ceiling level.

Story of the Baby Elephant

The same story is to be found in elephants, from a young age the baby elephant is shackled by a chain around one leg, this is then attached to a large metal stake that is hammered deep into the ground. Try as he might that elephant won’t budge or pull the stake out of the ground, over time he is conditioned by experience and memory that is is useless to pull at the stake it won’t come out, and it cannot free itself. Now that same elephant only needs to be lightly staked to the ground and it won’t even attempt to pull itself free, it has learnt from past experience and memory. Even the mighty elephant can be conditioned.

If you feel sorry for the elephant in the last story, may I ask is it because you notice the same conditioning in your own life, that same conditioning that is the cause of your anger, the same conditioning that now controls so much of our lives.

Our Conditioned Lives

We have all conditioned ourselves through our experiences and memories, maybe it’s time we pulled our own steaks out the ground, maybe today is the day we dare to jump just a little higher. 
So how do we dare to jump higher, how do we gain the courage to pull our conditioned steaks out of the ground, how do we notice what conditions are limiting our abilities, and how do we change our natural response such as anger to certain given circumstances or experiences.
So now we have come full circle, We have all suffered form bouts of anger at some point in our lives, remember that anger is born out of frustration or injustice usually because of an illogical idea that something/someone, we have no control over, should be, or be happening or have happened differently to meet your personal requirements.

We also now know that anger and hatred are a choice, it is also because of our pre-conditioning that we react the way we do, we have also seen how humans can carry anger for prolonged periods of time, a trait only found with us. We have also seen different triggers for anger but that each is responsible for his or her own reaction. The question now is, how do we stop reacting with anger? How can we change our pre-conditions response?

How Meditation can help

Meditation is the only real way to notice those pre-conditioned responses, to see first hand the destructive nature of anger not to the person or object it’s directed towards, but the real deep and lasting harm it is doing to ourselves. So what is meditation?

Meditation as cited by the Oxford English Dictionary is “The action to focus one’s mind for a period of time, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation” and Wikipedia describes it as “is a practice where an individual uses a technique of focusing their mind on a particular object”. 

Meditation in days of old was a passage to gain spiritual enlightenment, however today the usage of the word meditation and mindfulness can be over used by a commercial industry selling self help, relaxation and stress reduction.

The Benefits of Meditation are far more than just relaxation, yes it produces results of calming, compassion, equanimity and a general feeling of contentment, but if used as a regular practice true everlasting peace, contentment and wellbeing can be achieved through dropping our pre-conditioned ideals, relieving us from Depression, Anxiety, anger and hatred.

By following some of the simple meditation exercises and guide lines within these webpages you will start to see the destructive nature of anger and hatred first hand. One of the best places to start with meditation and mindfulness is Breathing Meditation also known as Samadhi Meditation. Using our breath as the focus point of out meditation will build our levels and powers of concentration along with the other Benefits Meditation brings.

All the meditations given in these pages have been handed down generation after generation for over 2500 years and were passed onto me by meditation masters when I was a Buddhist monk in Thailand.

Once you see for yourself how anger eats us inside, creating hatred and desires for revenge, how it can consume us wholeheartedly taking our valuable life’s energy, then anger can be truly conquered. It takes great courage and wisdom to meditate, but meditation will take us to places you never thought possible.

The best advice to give anyone in life is to meditate, follow the breath and our Breathing Meditation also known as Samadhi Meditation and start becoming more grounded and present in this moment. For in the present moment there cannot exists hatred, anger, discrimination or prejudice, for in the present moment only lives love, compassion, happiness, and contentment.

kind regards

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Motivational Mini Stories Zen Stories

Motivational Mini Stories

Every week we bring to you a short Moral story that has either inspired or motivated us in some way during our week.

Most of our stories have been loving handcrafted by ourselves into short moral stories that we hope inspire as well as teach a valuable moral lesson in life. A few of our stories are old classics and where the original author is know a credit is always given.

These are a collection of some of our previous Weekly Moral Stories, check back regularly for a new Moral Story every week

Four Monks

Four monks decided to meditate silently without speaking for two weeks. By nightfall on the first day, the candle began to flicker and then went out. The first monk said, “Oh, no! The candle is out.” The second monk said, “Aren’t we not suppose to talk?” The third monk said, “Why must you two break the silence?” The fourth monk laughed and said, “Ha! I’m the only one who didn’t speak.”

Motivational, short stories, inspirational, mindfulness
Hindu master

The Hindu Master

An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, he sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.

“How does it taste?” the master asked.

“Bitter,” spit the apprentice.

The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”

“Much fresher,” remarked the apprentice.

“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.

“No,” said the young man.

At this, the master sat beside the young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, “The pain of life is pure salt, no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things… Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”

Motivational, short stories, inspirational
Salt in the lake

The Beautiful Metaphor

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.

The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and poor, compassionate and cruel — the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last, “I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.”

The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that current will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!”

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, “See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!”

And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.”

But they cried the more, “Savior!” all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone, and began making legends of a Savior.

Short stories, Zen, Buddhism, motivational, mini stories, koen
Zen Buddhism

Teachings of Zen

The Zen teacher’s dog loved his evening romp with his master. The dog would bound ahead to fetch a stick, then run back, wag his tail, and wait for the next game.

On this particular evening, the teacher invited one of his brightest students to join him – a boy so intelligent that he became troubled by the contradictions in Buddhist doctrine.

“You must understand,” said the teacher, “that words are only guideposts. Never let the words or symbols get in the way of truth. Here, I’ll show you.”

With that the teacher called his happy dog. “Fetch me the moon,” he said to his dog and pointed to the full moon. “Where is my dog looking?” asked the teacher of the bright pupil.

“He’s looking at your finger.”

“Exactly. Don’t be like my dog. Don’t confuse the pointing finger with the thing that is being pointed at. “All our Buddhist words are only guideposts. Everyman fights his way through other men’s words to find his own truth.”

Categories
meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking Meditation

Walking meditation is one of the nicest ways to meditate, the body naturally walks and to experience being both aware of the body’s movements at the same time as being present in the immediate environment can keep us centred and relaxed. The recommended setup for walking meditation is a level, straight path of 20-30 paces, free from debris and somewhere quiet and secluded. The practice is to walk from one end to the other being mindful of each movement, when you reach the end you stand still for a few moments, turn and repeat the exercise to the other end. Walk at a pace that feels comfortable for you, this could be a calm or composed walk or a walk with ease or vigour, feel what is comfortable and as your mind settles your pace will slow accordingly.

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Walking meditation

Although many people may not have access to the the kind of level path that we recommend for walking meditation, it is still advisable to cultivate this as best as possible within a room, in this instance circumnavigating the room either clockwise or anti-clockwise would be suitable. The ideal location would be a straight path of 20-30 paces in a forest, park, beach or grassland, somewhere you feel safe and secure. The attitude of mindfulness to walking doesn’t have to be confined to just your meditation sessions and once the methods explained hear have been practiced it is possible to be mindful while walking in busy streets or places where there is a lot of footfall. 

The first step begins with composing are attention while standing at one end of your chosen path. Bring your attention to your breath and become present in the moment, spend at least half a minute relaxing and watching the breath. Stand in such a way you can very clearly feel the soles of your feet spread over the ground and rooted to that particular point. Breathing in be aware you are breathing in. Breathing out be aware you are breathing out. Once your calm and you feeling more relaxed and centred, slowly begin, first by gently raising your foot from the ground.

Raising one of your feet try to walk as slowly as you can but at your own body’s comfort. I want you to really feel each and every movement, explore the sensations in your body. Explore the tensing and relaxing of each muscle as it’s being used. Keep everything simple, walk from one end to the other, keeping in touch with your body sensations. 
The minds tendency may be to go into thinking or to get involved with what you see, in either case be gentle and kind towards yourself and bring the attention back to the body as you move each muscle.

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Walking Meditation infographic

When you are walking you can gather your arms either behind your back or in front of you, gently resting the palm of your hand on the opposite wrist. Recognise the repetitive pattern that goes with walking, feel the sensations as your feet press into the soil, then feel the release of pressure as you raise that foot again. Feel the sensations in your hips and lower back, feel each muscle tense as it moves when required, then relax when not.

Walking mindfully slows the minds rhythm, eventually settling into the physical sensations, the mind becomes calmer and clear. This calmness brings with it a regenerative energy that makes walking meditation feel tireless.

The difficulties that can arise form walking meditation can be a general agitation as the minds wanderings are bought into check and back to the exercise, typical with all meditation. If you feel this agitation start to build, pause and take some deep breaths, always be kind towards yourself, don’t scold, breathing in be aware your breathing in, breathing out be aware your breathing out. Do this for a few moments then resume. You may find yourself standing at one end of your chosen path and go stomping up the other end with little or no regard to mindfulness, or the practice at hand. Once again pause, long deep breaths and return to breathing in and breathing out, after a few moments, feel yourself relax, and start again. 

Walking meditation is a simple and beautiful meditation that is very easy to pick up and understand, it has the ability to centre us and keep us focused and relaxed. You can do this meditation for as little as ten minutes and feel the benefits, it is best to try and build on that and work up to half and hour and maybe even an hour.

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quotes

Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom, Ajahn Brahm, Quotes, quote, sayings, life quotes, mindfulness, meditation, spirituality
Words of wisdom Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm 1951 – present 

Is a British born Australian Buddhist monk from the Thai forest tradition and tutored under the auspicious Ajahn Chah. Born Peter Betts in London, England to a working class family, he was to have a normal upbringing for the time but whilst at school he showed exceptional abilities and won a scholarship to Cambridge university to study theoretical physics. It was at Cambridge university that a love affaire with Buddhism, eastern mysticism and meditation began and after graduation and a brief one year stint as a teacher he followed the hippy trail overland from England to the east finally finding his way to Thailand. At the age of 23 peter was ordained as a Buddhist monk in Bangkok. It was a chance encounter with Ajahn Sumedho that led him to the Thai forest tradition, where he settled and under the guidance of Ajahn Chah he would stay and study for 9 years. It was Ajahn Chah who asked him to help with teaching duties in Australia and together with Ajahn Jagaro they set up Bodhinyana monastery in Perth, Western Australia. This was the first Buddhist monastery in the Thai Theravada linage in the Southern Hemisphere, and still the largest today. In 1995 Ajahn Brahm took over as Abbott of Bodhinyana Monastery which is where he still resides today.

An amazing public speaker selling out concert venues across Singapore and Malaysia, author of two excellent books and credited with translating the Vinaya, the monastic code, into the English language. His easy going nature has earn’t him a large following and his down to earth style and approach make him one of the greatest living teachers of today. 

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Words of wisdom Eckhart Tolle

Elkhart Tolle 1948 – present

Is a German Canadian spiritual teacher and author, best known for his work “the power of now”. He has been heralded as one of the most influential people living today. Born in a small town just outside of Dortmund, Germany, Tolle himself describes his childhood as depressing. His parents would fight a lot which led to them finally splitting up. He also grew up in a war torn Germany and experienced the devastation left, not just on the surface of bombed out buildings but deep scares it leaves within a nation. He suffered from depression, fear and anxiety from as early as he can remember, that is until the age 29 when living and studying in London, he was to experience an inner transformation that left him with an ever lasting inner peace and tranquility. He describes the experience as a discovery and dissolution of the self. After this awakening he spent a few years wandering in total bliss around London and was at this point he changed his name to Eckhart. He started to write “the power of now” and soon became a spiritual teacher with people seeking out his advice and wisdom. He moved to Canada in 1995 where he still spends most of his time teaching and living a simple life. Eckhart Tolle is not associated with any religion but has been influenced by Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism and the bible. 

Words of wisdom, quotes, life quotes, quote, sayings, wisdom, Ram Dass
Words of wisdom Baba Ram Dass

Baba Ram Dass 1931 – present

An American born spiritual teacher, author, charity founder and clinical psychologist. He wasn’t know as Ram Dass until later in life and was born as one Richard Alpert into a Jewish family from Massachusetts. Studying hard as a child would see the young Ram Dass complete his education with a Bachelor of Arts, Master and doctorate all specialising in psychology. He took a professorship at Harvard university where he was to write and publish his first book. It was also at Harvard he was to research the potential therapeutic effects of hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and Psilocybin. The young Ram Dass was dismissed from Harvard just over a year later where he then moved to New York setting up a commune still experimenting with hallucinogenics searching for a route to the higher consciousness. It wasn’t until a trip to India in 1967 where he would meet his spiritual guru Neem Karoli Baba. He was given the name Ram Dass by his guru which means ‘servant of god’. Ram Dass learnt and studied with Neem Karoli Baba until his return to the untied states where he stayed at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico. It was hear that Tolle presented his manuscript entitled ‘From Bindu to Ojas’ to the foundation who would edit, illustrate and lay out the text to what would ultimately become the internationally best selling “The Power Of Now” a personal spiritual journey from psychedelics to enlightenment.

During the 70’s, 80’s and some of the 90’s Ram Dass focused on teaching, writing and founding numerous charitable non profit educational foundations ranging in diversity but all for the welfare of humanity. After a stroke in 1997 he has spent most of his time in residence on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where he still teaches and regularly gives a podcast. In summing up his life he is quoted as saying “I help people as a way to work on myself, and I work on myself to help other people” 

Words of wisdom, quotes, quote, life quotes, sayings, Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts
Words of wisdom Alan Watts

Alan Watts 1915 – 1973

British born American philosopher, teacher, author and commentator he was to popularise eastern culture, philosophy and mysticism with a western audience. Born into a middle class family in Kent, England, where growing up he is said to of always been fascinated with the east, its mysticism and enchantment. From an early age he discovered Buddhism and meditation and at the age of 16 became the London Buddhist lodge’s secretary, at the time the Buddhist Lodge was run by Christmas Humphrey considered to be one of the forefathers of bringing Buddhism to the west. After his marriage to Eleanor and successful publication of his first book “Spirit of Zen” Alan moved to America where he had an eventful and fulfilling life, spending time as an episcopal priest, training in the ways of Zen Buddhism, had 3 marriages and seven children, he produced numerous works on the human conciseness and its experience all relating themselves through Zen, Buddhism and Hinduism. His later life was spent teaching and public speaking touring America and Europe he captivated audiences wherever he went with his philosophical and mystical insights which would have a great lasting impact on the audiences. Still today you can find Alan Watts talks on YouTube, and his talks still resonate truth in today’s world.

Words of wisdom, quotes, life quote, sayings, Buddhism, Ajahn Chah
Words of wisdom Ajahn Chah

Ajahn Chah 1918 – 1992

Was a Buddhist monk of the Thai forest tradition, respected and well loved in his own country as a man of great wisdom, it wasn’t until the arrival of the hippies of the 1960’s that the west finally got to hear of this great spiritual master.

He was born into poverty in the northeast region of Thailand, his parents were rice farmers surviving from day to day. With no real education to be had in the region the young Ajahn would start his monastic training a the age of nine. He spent three years in the monastery where he learnt to read and write. He returned to work on the land of his parents but returned to monastic life at the age of 17. He was ordained at a local monastery where he stayed and practiced meditation until 1946 when he decided to become a wandering ascetic monk, a practice called dutong. He wandered learning from teachers of the time, by far his biggest influence was Ajahn Mun a renowned enlightened meditation master. He spent this time of his life meditating in caves and forests until finally establishing a monastery near his home town where he taught his simple meditation techniques and started to gain a large following of disciples and lay people alike. The arrival of the first western disciple, Ajahn Sumedho saw the development of a new monastery focused purely for the western mind filled with knowledge, the first of its kind in Thailand. A few years later Ajahn Chah was invited to give talks in England where he was to form the very first monastery in the Thai forest linage, called Chittaviveka. Ajahn Chah’s health was in decline by the early 1980’s and he was to suffer a massive stroke leaving him bedridden and unable to speak for ten years. Still in this condition he transmitted the teachings of the Buddha using his own body as evidence enough of impermanence and the importance of seeking refuge within ourselves. Ajahn Chah’s legacy of students continues today with Ajahn Brahm, Jack Kornfield, Ajahn Summadho and Ajahn Amaro to name just a few. 

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loving kindness meditation

Loving kindness meditation or Metta Bhavana meditation

Loving kindness or Metta Bhavana meditation 

There are a few methods and ways to practice loving kindness, the method I describe below I find works wonderfully for me. It is one of visualisation, I was a Buddhist monk in Northern Thailand and after many years of meditation practice and guidance I find this is the most suitable way for my western mind.

Loving kindness meditation, compassion, spiritual, spirituality, mindfulness, happiness, generosity, wellbeing
Loving kindness Metta meditation infographic

This method however is just one of the three ways to practice which will achieve loving kindness in the heart. Reflecting and auditory are the other two methods used to create the feeling of loving kindness. Reflect on the positive qualities of yourself or a loved one will ensure loving kindness to flourish with in the heart. Using a mantra is the auditory approach and an example could simple be the words loving kindness.

The First thing we need to do is find the love from within ourselves. Now I understand that may sound a little scary to some. Visualisation is a great way to achieve love inside, we all have something we love, something that will bring that feeling back when you start to think deeply enough about it. For me this is my adopted stray dog Marley and the crazy fun things he gets up to. If your still finding difficulty thinking of something that your really love this much, then try hitting this link 7 wonders of life, it will help you find something wonderful in your life to feel that loving kindness and to help with the practice. Now that we have our object of focus, it time to relax.

Loving kindness Meditation, mindfulness, spirituality, spiritual, wellbeing, happiness, compassion
Loving kindness infographic

Find a comfortable place somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Now sitting in a comfortable position with a straight spine, gently relax your shoulder and neck muscles and slowly close your eyes. Take a few long deep breaths and feel yourself relaxing.

Let’s start by calmly watch your breathing, don’t disturb your breathing, just let it be natural. Breathing in, be aware your breathing, breathing out, be aware your breathing out. Count one.

This is a great link to learn how to practice Breath Meditation. Relax and do this for a count of ten.
Now bring your object of love to the forefront of your mind and begin to feel the love you have. really start to explore that feeling, the feeling of love. Don’t worry if you feel a little resistance at first, be kind to yourself and be patient. Try to find where the feeling is coming from, do you notice how the feeling grows the more you explore it. Again don’t panic if you feel resistance to this, it is all ok, it just means a little more patience and kindness towards yourself is needed. Now feel that love start to consume you, feel it’s warmth, is your smile hurting you cheeks yet.

If you are having trouble visualising, please still use loving kindness with yourself, this is not going to be easy for some. Tell yourself it’s ok we can have another go later, always be patient and kind towards yourself and even that is practicing loving kindness.
Loving kindness meditation, compassion, spiritual, spirituality, happiness, positivity, mindfulness, generosity, wellbeing

Loving kindness informative graphic

Once we have the feeling of love flowing within ourselves, it’s time to send out our love to others. We now use a mantra with our loving kindness, to truly send out our positive vibration to the chosen person. First we start with ourselves. Repeat this ten times to yourself, or out loud that’s entirely up to you.

May I be happy 

May I be free from metal suffering and distress

May I be free of physical pain and suffering

May I be peaceful and at ease

Now we are going to give that love from our heart, that loving kindness to someone other than ourselves.

The Four Types of Persons to develop loving-kindness towards are 

  • A respected, beloved person – such as a spiritual teacher
  • A dearly beloved – which could be a close family member or friend
  • A neutral person – somebody you know, but have no special feelings towards, e.g a person who serves you in a shop
    A hostile person – someone you may be having difficulty with
  • Starting with yourself, then systematically sending loving-kindness from person to person in the above order will have the effect of breaking down the barriers between the four types of people and yourself. This will have the effect of breaking down the divisions within your own mind, the source of much of the conflict we experience
  • May (insert name) be happy
  • May (insert name) be free from suffering and distress 

    May (insert name) be free of physical pain and suffering 

    May (insert name) be peaceful and at ease 
    Loving kindness meditation, compassion, spiritual, spirituality, mindfulness, happiness, positivity, love, generosity, compassion

    Loving kindness graphic

    If you find your mind wanders or you notice your loving kindness looses it ferocity, at this point always be kind and patient with yourself, slowly return to the original object of focus, take a few deep breaths and start again. once you have established the feeling again in your heart, continue with the mantra. 

    For a more in depth analysis of loving kindness and it benefits click hear.