Developing a Good Heart

Taking Refuge in the Sangha: Growing into Peace

The prevalence of technology in modern society presents us with a dilemma: the more dependent we become, the more we begin to see technology as a sort of savior, as something that will become our ultimate friend, our source of joy and comfort. Our love affair with technology increases day by day, and we rely on it far beyond its original, practical application; it’s place in our lives is at this point beyond our control. At this moment, human society is at risk of losing its moral and ethical basis as we work less and less with one another as fellow human beings. Unless something changes dramatically in this co-dependence between people and technology, the isolation between fellow human beings will only increase. The prevalence of technology in modern society presents us with a dilemma: the more dependent we become, the more we begin to see technology as a sort of savior, as something that will become our ultimate friend, our source of joy and comfort. Our love affair with technology increases day by day, and we rely on it far beyond its original, practical application; it’s place in our lives is at this point beyond our control. At this moment, human society is at risk of losing its moral and ethical basis as we work less and less with one another as fellow human beings. Unless something changes dramatically in this co-dependence between people and technology, the isolation between fellow human beings will only increase. 

The Basis of Happiness: Confronting the Authority Within

Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness does not come on demand. Even though we may want it, we won't get this kind of happiness or peace by willing it or trying to arrange conditions of life from outside. If you demand the phenomenal world makes you happy, it's very difficult to achieve such a perfect arrangement with the outside world. Secondly, if we demand that people make you happy, it's even worse and just a set-up to make yourself miserable. When the authority of ego who makes the choices and actually picks and rejects, itself is the cause of your suffering, who is going to be the one to raid that authority itself. That authority of ego has no ability to self reflect, because it is the epitome of stupidity. When self reflection begins to happen, it is the beginning of wisdom.

Cultivating Aspiration Bodhicitta: Part 1 - Generating Great Kindness

To cultivate the intention to be of benefit to all sentient beings , we must have an immense amount of loving-kindness and compassion. We are not talking about delivering mundane happiness, although that is not excluded, but here we want to deliver the potential to be enlightened to others, single-handedly through our own effort. It takes a vast amount of kindness to think of all beings’ happiness in this profound way.

Developing Good Heart: Part 3-Avoiding Perfectionism, Not Defending Our Weaknesses

Feeling disappointed or hopeless comes from too high an expectation of oneself. Rather than a willingness to accept where we are and being willing to go step by step.We must ask ourselves, “What is my weakness?” If it is attachment, then admit, “Yes it’s attachment!” without defending that. When you come to the defense of these traits, at that very moment you lose. At that moment you lose your stance as a practitioner. You lose your discriminating self-awareness.

Developing Good Heart: Part 2: Being Addicted to Emotions

We have a problem of being addicted to our emotions. Always searching for certain feeling in our hearts to gratify our existence, and feeling deprived when such feelings are not present. Instead, treat your emotions as a supplementary, beneficial result of your positive mind, instead of being constantly hungry for feelings. Treat clarity and wisdom in your mind as the primary and most important aspect to cultivate. You cannot have faith in your emotions all the time. If your faith and your feelings are all just one thing, you will always need to do the things that your momentary emotions guide you to do, including harm others when you feel that way.

Faith comes from clarity and wisdom of one’s mind, rather than how your emotions are in any given moment. Have faith in that instead, it will resolve a lot of confusion and worry in your mind.

Developing Good Heart: Part One -Clarity versus Emotions

Everyone knows how important it is to have a good heart, yet often there is an inward conflict and sense of resistance with conflicting thoughts and emotions. We know what "good" is and how it will benefit, but there is also a sense of not wanting to be that good also. This inner conflict then becomes our whole life's struggle. Mostly we think that a "good heart" has to do with feelings. But actually it is the clarity and faith in that clarify that is the basis for a good heart.

The Degenerate Age: Part 1 - Society and Values

Consider how social values have changed over time, and become less cherished in peoples’ hearts. A sign of the degenerate age is when people no longer reflect on what is important in their lives. Looking honestly at the modern society we find ourselves in, we can identify the causes of our suffering and gain more sympathy for others in the same conditions.

Healing One’s Mind: Part 2 - Transforming “Junk Pot” into “Flower Pot” Mind

Most of us do not appreciate our minds. There are so many thoughts that pop up and agitate us, like the little pieces of junk we keep in a drawer at home. Firstly, it is important to realize that our junk pot mind can be transformed. And gradually through training, instead of having annoying thoughts about others pop up in our mind, thinking of others can actually become a source of ecstacy and rejuvenation for us, like walking through a flower garden.

The Path of Honesty: Not Deceiving the World or Ourselves

In our everyday exchanges, honesty is often difficult to express. We feel that we always have to keep up some kind of façade. Often there is a fear that if we act honestly, we will be taken advantage of. Walking the path of truth requires the courage to examine our minds and our interactions with the world with complete honesty.

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