Recommended Foundational Teachings

Remedying A Shaky Mind: Part 3 - Acknowledging Our True Strengths

Pain is all about non-acceptance. Sometimes what you truly desire one day, is painful another. We go to movies to feel the emotions of dramatic tension and brokenhearted, other times we dread those feelings. We are always preoccupied with this "wanting" and "not wanting" of sensations and emotions. It is important to always remember who is picking and choosing and acknowledge our true strength lies beyond all of that.

Shenpa: Part 1 - The Juice of Self-Centered Emotions

What does it feel like when we cling to the self? When we examine the raw, visceral experience of self-clinging and the suffering it produces, it can be a subtle and vague discomfort with an underlying sense of “I, me and mine." When our ego is challenged, the painful charge of negative emotions that comes alive from that self importance is known as shenpa. Like a sour note that plays throughout the day.

The Practice of Loving-Kindness and the Greatest of All Offerings

When you make your thoughts and feelings towards others more genuine and sincere, you must aim to let go of the self-importance and self clinging which is present there. Then, regardless how volatile and confused you felt a few minutes before, see how your state of mind changes. When you remove the obstacle of darkness, the light and positive qualities of ones mind come alive immediately without any difficulty.

Finding Freedom from Lenchak: Examining Our Obsessive Attachments

In the end, the main thing is that we need to become free. People have different problems and issues, but all in all, we all lack freedom. This lack of freedom and feeling stuck that is created by our own mind, is due to the attachments we have towards the world, beings, material objects, ideologies and ultimately towards ourselves.

Longing for Happiness

We all want happiness. That’s a noble thing. We all want freedom from suffering. That’s a noble thing. But how will we achieve this happiness and this freedom from suffering? This is what we have to understand. Even though we constantly fantasize and are fully occupied with our attempts to fulfill this desire for happiness and freedom from suffering, we see that it doesn’t work for others, and hasn’t worked for us in the past. Happiness didn’t come from our earlier attempts or didn’t last for long even when our desires were fulfilled. So we need to have another alternative, another approach. To have no alternative when we’re constantly failing in our endeavor is just indulging in something fundamentally hopeless, and not a good reflection on our intelligence.

Taking Refuge: Buddha as the Guide

What does it mean to take refuge in the Buddha as a guide? The confusions and chain of emotions that take over our mind can make it difficult for us to have confidence that it is even possible to go beyond. At first we rely temporarily that there is someone who sees our confusions and understands our mind, then this gradually develops into having the self confidence that we can understand our own mind and overcome our own suffering. When we talk about liberation, we are not talking about liberation from outside.

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