When the Moon transits the 6th House

Moon in the 6th house

Back at it!  Blogging the transiting Moon through the 12 houses.  Using my own lunar transit as example but describing the typical energy/ emotional needs and moods common to lunar movement through that house.  Houses, as I’ve been blogging, relate to a particular area of life and the Moon energy relates to yeah, exactly that:  emotional needs, moods and security issues.  So essentially, I’m describing the area of the life that will be stimulated by Moon energy as the Moon moves through that house of the zodiac.

We’re now at house 6 with the Moon-House blog posts and if you’ve been following, every few days the Moon stimulates a different area of life… an area that is common to humanity; a shared reality.  Astrologer Steven Forrest says that we ARE our signs and we DO our houses.  Houses are something we all ‘do’.  For example, we all have a physical self (1st House), we all deal with values and resources (2nd house), we all want to communicate, be heard and satisfy our curiosity (3rd house) and so forth.

Common life themes–that describes the houses.

So now we are House 6 for the purposes of this blog.  And my own Moon is transiting through this house which is ruled by Virgo and Virgo relates to details and thoroughness; thus, the recap above.  My Moon made me do it!  It felt emotionally satisfying (Moon) to give that recap–it made my moody Moon happy.  We say the Moon is moody because it changes it’s location so quickly–I mean just a few days in each sign, in each house; it’s pretty fluctuating.  This should give you insight into anyone you know who has a Cancer (ruled by Moon) Sun Sign or a Cancer Moon sign.  But let’s stick to our topic here–the 6th house Lunar transit and let’s talk about the 6th house some more.

The 6th house area of life (common to all of us) relates to service and finding one’s natural skill.  Mentors is another area that relates to 6th house–you know, those people who will take you under their wings and then eventually you take others under yours.

So in this regard we could naturally see how it would be typical to be sensitive (Moon) to respect at this time (as the 6th house relates to mentor/teacher).

The emotional needs when the Moon transits the 6th is to feel competent and useful (sort of what I’m trying to do here now in writing this blog post).  So the psyche at this time would be sensitive to those issues of usefulness and competency.

Going back to the teacher and mentor part of the 6th house common experiences, it wouldn’t be unusual to experience a spontaneous emotional openness to teachers, role models and mentors during this time of the lunar cycle.  In fact, as I pointed out at the beginning of this blog, when you work with the Lunar transit energy in your own life, you can plan when may be a good time to take particular actions.  This transit would be a good time to connect with teachers and mentors, etc.  And then of course, if you knew when your own teacher was having a 6th house transit of the Moon, you may know when they would feel emotionally connected to their students.

Anyway, the 6th house lunar transit is a time when you want to feel useful and really don’t want to engage in meaningless duties–that could feel like enslavement.

Health and nutrition are also common experiences that are tagged and categorized within the 6th house common experiences of life.  The 6th house is known to be the house of the healer for this reason; so there may be an emotional need for reviewing herbs, medicines visiting the physician (if necessary) and this type of thing.  If you are the healer then you will feel even more like contributing to the health and well-being of others at this time.  This is especially true with small animals too, since the 6th house relates to the common human experience of connections with small animals, such as cats and dogs–pets.  You may find a special connection to your pet is typical at this time of the month.

There is a connection of the 6th house to ‘small community’–like neighbor with and S and the end.   The small neighborhood–doing something that the neighbors may appreciate.

One last thing–and I should have been adding this to every post thus far.  Lunar energy is very PSYCHIC energy and therefore one would tend to be very intuitive or psychic about the area of their life (the house) that the Moon transits.  So for example, more intuitive/psychic about the physical self as the Moon transits the 1st house and more intuitive/psychic about money, what is valued, resources during a 2nd house Lunar transit and so forth and so on.  

small heartPS– once you learn the houses, planets and signs and the archetype associations, its easy to put them together to divine a chart interpretation.

I just love astrology!

Personal Note:  In my own life, as the Moon has been moving through my 6th house.  The Moon may be moving through a different house for you at this time,  and the way you find out is to create a transit chart at www.astro.com and see which of your houses Moon is currently in.  (See the bottom of the MOON THROUGH THE FIRST HOUSE post for  more info. on how to do that.)   More my personal association with my 6th house lunar transit:  I’ve been caring for 3 cats at one daughters home and another cat (and fish) at my other daughter’s apartment.  And doing healing work with one particular cat who has been ill and getting him to eat and drink.  This very much relates to the 6th house archetype of small pets and healing work of the 6th house. He ate very well yesterday and drank water too and my part in helping with that was very emotionally satisfying.  And also knowing that I am helping my daughters.  The feeling that I had went something like, ‘Even if other area of my life may be failing or even if nothing else comes together for me, this is one thing that I can do to be of service and I don’t care about anything else right now’.  I have also had a health concern of my own that has magnified since Luna entered my 6th; and while this is nothing serious, the emotions are tied to it right now.  Enough said.  Anyway, since the Moon entered my 6th, it has been acutely emotionally satisfying to feel how useful I have been to both of my daughters and also to my grandson who I’ve helped by getting him to his high school activities.  It isn’t hard to see the 6th house connection.

The Moon doesn’t move into my next house, the 7th until tomorrow afternoon.  If I can personally relate any more 6th house lunar transit examples, I will come back and post those below.  Otherwise, see you in the 7th house soon!


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Aspiring to the goal of Spiritual Happiness and Wisdom

This picture inspired the words in this blog post!
This picture inspired the words in this blog post!

Some of us aspire to this.  We understand this as the goal, the intention.  And that is the absence of the goal or intention.  Sounds like a Zen riddle.  Pretty much is I suppose. Seeking NO fulfillment!

Recognizing the vain irrelevancy involved in seeking fulfillment, yet finding it everywhere as we giving up endeavors to acquire it.

Un-petrified, un-paralyzed, un-phased and un-dazed–more than comfortable to stand alone and become eccentric in a spiritual and otherworldly way.  

Knowing fully that it is the path itself and not fulfillment of outer world desire that makes the magic.  

Understanding reality for its nature and finding spiritual happiness–some of us value this.

As this value is perceived, adversity faced in the outer world holds less meaning than in the past.

 Friends  disappear but those that remain are high quality spiritual brethren.  (non-religious) 

Both traveling and staying at home are one and the same–aspiring to live this particular wisdom leading to spiritual happiness!

Some of us yearn for this if we do yearn at all, but we do not seek it.

Psychic residue from past lives create our reality! Latent tendencies and Boggarts

Latent tendencies interpret fast moving protons and neurons and project reality
Latent tendencies interpret fast moving protons and neurons and project reality

This whole ground consciousness and latencies or latent imprints is totally fascinating.  That information comes from deeper study of  Tibetan Buddhism which is really, in my humble terms, the study of the mind and the nature of reality.  They say that the imprints are not the experience itself, but more like dormant seeds.

I think about wildflowers when I think of dormant seeds that are not receiving the right conditions to bloom.  And yet, when they do (especially in the northeastern part of the country where I currently reside), they do not last long.  The summer sun and rain bring the conditions for the blooms and then in the fall and winter, they are dormant again.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers

I think the comparison to wildflowers is an okay or and adequate association in that these imprints are positive, negative or neutral depending upon whether they originated from a positive, negative or neutral thought or action.

Some things grow in summer but do not contain flowers—some contain thorns or brambles. As weeds and wildflowers grow, so go our own imprints–positive, negative or neutral.  And we are creating new imprints all the time–reality.

I really like comparing psychological, spiritual, philosophical aspects of ourselves to nature.  The natural world is a fertile ground for this type of relating.

Anyway, we are told by the Tibetan teacher (s) (the Rinpoche) that these seeds or imprints are activated with experiences in the here and now.  Those everyday types of experiences in life are then activated like the Sun and water and soil conditions activate the wildflowers in the summer.

And here’s the kicker!

These activated imprints are what give us the impression of solid reality (it is all energy vibrations and reflections in actuality and a quantum physicist will agree that a table or a wall is nothing more than very faSt moving neutrons, electrons, protons.  Horray for physics!  Anyway…

Back to latencies…. these are associated with external sensory experiences and give rise to the belief in dualism.  What that means is a belief that I am separate from other or interpreting everything in terms of “I” and “other”.  It is these sensory experiences provided by the dormant seeds come to bloom (so-to-speak) that give rise to a sense of individual ego or separation from All That Is.  And then we create actions based on that belief in dualism that create more and this is how we go round and round in the world of illusion.

There are those who believe that if there is a self that it is a conceptual stream of consciousness that receives these latencies and projects them as external phenomena.

Just consider that a moment as you contemplate your reality!  your life!  A stream of consciousness projecting latencies!  And in every moment we are creating more latencies based on how we respond to any ‘now’ moment!  Mind blowing!  🙂

Well, it has to be extremely more complicated than this;  but what if it’s not?

Sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, body) receive input and then process and transmit it to the brain–and when reading the word ‘input’, think energy vibrations.  The mental consciousness receives something like, “red, round, moving to the left, sharp edges” and then interprets it.

When you think that this has been going on in our stream of consciousness for eons of lifetimes, consider the amount of latent tendencies we have stored which create our reality as we experience it!

No wonder we have developed a belief that external objects are solid and real…  and no wonder we perceive what the latent tendencies tell us,  which is that the external phenomenon is solid and real rather than empty.

Psychic residue containing diverse thoughts rooted in past lives creates the forms.  The mind is transitory (fleeing, passing through, temporary, brief, in flux and in movement)–such is our life .  And eternal reality is actually nonexistent.

Conventional Reality vs Ultimate Reality

But then again, conventionally it is, meaning that conventional reality does exist.  Especially when you think of explaining to your landlord or mortgage holder that your external reality does not it exist and therefore you don’t need to pay your rent or mortgage!

We have all agreed upon this reality due to these latencies and karmic actions and therefore conventional reality exists but ultimately, as just explained, it does not.  So it’s a paradox that the Buddhists call “The Two Truths”.

One reason I believe all of this is that of my personal experience of it  in meditation is just as  has been as described by the Buddhist teachings and long before I read the Buddhist teachings–so, therefore,  I know the truth of  this via my own meditative experience.  Not intellectually.

There is what the Buddhist call shamatha meditation and this will show you the true nature of reality as one turns to look at one’s mind directly.

Well, enough for now.  Understanding these latencies and even just a wee bit can help a good deal in relieving ourselves or releasing our grasp on our attachment s and aversions.

Contemplate this and fear dissolves and aversions become laughable and attachments,  too,  seem ridiculous.

And the last word in the paragraph above reminds me of the brilliance of the scene in the Harry Potter movie (The Prisoner of Azkaban)  when the witches and wizards in-training worked with the spell to transform the Boggarts.  The word of the spell used was “Riddikulus”.

(A Boggart, by the way, is a shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of the viewer’s worst fear.)

The image to the left is the result of a wizard student projecting an image of his grandmother onto a Boggart ,transforming the professor he fears into a comical image of his grandmother.

Learning about the mind and nature of reality from the Buddhist perspective helps us to transform our own Boggarts realizing they are no more than mind projecting  latent tendencies… what transforms a Boggart after all is humor, laughter!  (according to author J.K. Rowling anyway)

So, keep it Light!

Aspiration:   May this post help someone in cyber world who comes upon it at a time of need to help ease suffering, enhance happiness and renew their sense of freedom and true liberation!  

Examining beliefs about reality and taking refuge, July 1/2 price 30-min. Psychic Readings

July 2 2014 sunrise

Hello to you and hello to July!

As the curtain opens on the 2nd day of July 2014, life is but a dream.  I’ve been saying this a lot lately, doing my very best to instill this truth more deeply into the psyche.  My new living arrangement with my sister and niece is going very well; we all agree.  It seems a type of  heaven to me not to hear human voices or guitars in my space but I remind myself that life is changeable, constantly changing and shifting and not to become particularly attached to or have aversion toward anything whatsoever.
Finances.  Always it is the finances!  Warning!  Astro babble:   Saturn is conjunct my lunar nodes and squaring my natal Saturn really challenges me to look closely at reality and deeply questioning some aspects of my life where I have been treading water.  If this sounds vague, it’s meant to.  I share way too much personal information here… TMI as they call it.  :0

Jupiter is trining (making a trine aspect to) my natal Jupiter — and I’m examining my goals, my beliefs and ideals, looking at what is really important.  And today while there is a huge lack in one area, the challenge is to feel balanced, peaceful and secure despite that, taking refuge in my Jupiter/beliefs–the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.  (Always when saying the combination of those words the image of the Dalai Lama appears before me.)

The month of June was quite the blur with the moving frenzie;  but I’m so happy to be settled into the new apartment that I share with my sister now.  It’s nice to have companionship for a short while in the evenings as we tell about our day in the shade of the back porch near the pine trees.  And there’s the company of her cat all day long (my niece is gone a lot and my sister has a job outside of the home so it’s me and kitty).

I’m considering some sort of reduced rate or special for readings in July.  Several people have asked me about having another reduced rate reading special lately, so I will take that as a “hint” from the universe.

Physically I am not ready to go back to the Y for a workout yet… well, I’m toying with the idea of a treadmill workout later today at the Y if I get some things done that need doing…  I’ve some clients to contact and student communications to reply to.

Anyway Happy 4th of July 2014 to America!!

If you see this blog but do not receive my newsletter and would like the half price 30-minute phone reading or mp3 audio reading, you can email me, joystar777@gmail.com or I will come back to this blog post and add the paypal button for the reduced rate later.

We can make the appointment for you anytime throughout the month of July; you won’t have to have the reading this weekend.

Cheers!

Wishing you a happy July 2014 and amazing day today!

I came back to insert the paypal order buttons:

button (13)

button (14)

Regular price for years has been $65 for half hour sessions; so I made the half price amount $33 because 33 is a Master Number (numerology).  The MP3 audio session is handled this way:  you email me your questions (3 to 5 in number) by email or by filling out the form you are directed to after the purchase.  I record the reading and send you an email with a link download from the FTP server… you simply click, save, listen.

Fear can be the guru that helps awaken but will it ever go away? Dealing with fear and The Two Truths

What if it doesn't work out?
What if I don’t have enough?

Last evening after a ‘house-tidy’ and a glance at the bills and monies, that last part tickled and awakened ‘the familiars’ that rest in the stomach pit area; and while they are definitely weakening as I age, they don’t seem to cease entirely.  And maybe they never will.   I’ve learned to live with their now-and-again visits, those familiars!

What do those fear-familiars want?  I think to be acknowledged, recognized for the purpose of deeper realization and awakening.

“Okay”, I say, “but just for a little while and then I’m going out the door for a walk.”

I knew it would work–the walk. That was my intuition, my inner guide making that known.

It was a brisk, windy October night and it could not have been clearer to me that I needed to walk out the door after I dealt with them.

I think it was teacher Ajahn Chah who said that it is okay to get some control of where your mind goes by shouting at yourself.  I’m not into that exactly,  but I get the point he was trying to make about discipline of the mind–in fact I’ve been writing about that in my blog and newsletter lately.

What’s the point of being here in this reality in these (many times) trying circumstances?  And don’t’ forget we have beautiful experiences too which balance them out.   And actually the idea overall or what is recommended by the spiritual teachers is to take neither polarity too seriously, meaning the good or the bad–not getting attached to either one.  Good times, bad times—attach to neither.

Oh, here’s another example.  For instance, we can take love and hate–those polarities too.  We suffer if we attach too greedily to either emotion.  If we attach excessively to family, lovers and friends, when there is death or change (and there inevitably is—remember about impermanence?), this turns to suffering.  So that’s what I mean.  Not saying we shouldn’t love one another but not in extreme ways.

Well, getting back to it now….  the point of or purpose of these fear guru’s in our lives  (and yes, fear can be our teacher)  is to teach us—remind us really because we already know this but forgot—about the impermanence of life and those things that we over-identify with  which aren’t real yet when we think they are.  And that, in a nutshell, causes our suffering.

For me it always brings me back to the two truths of conventional and ultimate reality–with that understanding the mind becomes comfortable and at peace.

We, in our conversations with our fear, realize that we become attached to seeing our life a certain way and then we become attached to that view, you see?  We can explain that to our fears and they say, “Thank you, we simply forgot.”

Circumstances that are difficult help us to awaken; otherwise we would remain in blissful sleep.  Life difficulties help us to work through and work out those issues that keep us from developing virtue.

Yeah, and that reminds me of it.  Of what?  One of my early channeling sessions my communication was spirit involved my question—why are we here?  What’s the purpose?  And the answer I received seemed too simple then and I nearly discarded it but always kept it on a shelf in my mind and over the years with all my spiritual study and life experience (today I have reached my double 6 birthday, so I have a little of that)… anyway, in all that I’ve studied and lived that answer, being here to develop virtue, makes more-and-more sense.  It gets clearer every year—virtue.  Like what?  Well, patience is a virtue and what are some of the rest?

Well, here’s the great Benjamin Franklin’s list of virtues:

  1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
  11. TRANQUILITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Well that gives you one idea–there are many virtues.

Developing the virtues is basically about being the best human you can be–which isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Anyway..,.

Going back to the topic here, let me add that it helps for me to think in terms of the reasons for what is happening; and so then I think difficulties are there to help awaken us to the ultimate reality, otherwise we may never get it.

So my glance at the bills and money situation ultimately caused a moment of remembering and deeper awakening thanks to the tea with the fear gurus.

And then I bounced down the steps and out the door into the night air, breathing deeply into the wind, shaking my shoulders.  I shook my head too in order to wobble and jiggle away the tears that had been forming behind the throat and eyes.

I walked into the darkness having another conversation…. this time with my inner guide, my wisdom guru.  Although I remained a bit unsteady emotionally for a while, that was further remedied by my guide (after our talk) then suggesting a pop-in surprise visit with my sister and niece.  So I walked to their door and knocked.   We caught up with things and then ordered pizza (which was not that good for my trim and slim goals) yet was totally and completely soul-satisfying.  I must say the Pizza Hut pineapple pizza was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed each bite!  So…
What’s the moral of the story?

I think that the old seeds and old fear habits are always there, but that’s not  “who we are” since essentially there is no self.  And because that is so, those seeds and habits are just life being what life is—the nature of human existence.

Our body and emotional nature contain those habits because we are human, but we don’t have to over-identify with it all.

Why?  Because ultimately there is no self.

But while we are here in human form we still make efforts to be the best human we can be.  How do we do that?  Where and when distress appears we do our best to transcend it.  It is called transcending the world and destroying delusions. 

“No mud, no lotus”—this is a saying that we could translate into “No fear/distress, no awakening”.   You disagree?  You say your life is nothing but total bliss and you’ve reached enlightenment 24-7?  Hmmmm….. give that one a bit more thought because you may be simply asleep.  Just sayen’.

Earth living and it’s downers are what keep us having realizations, keep us awake, help us to learn to breathe in and out in the present moment, releasing attachment, aversions, fears.  One does get to have time-outs, rest periods, of course; but then it seems to come again for us on deeper levels like peeling layers of an onion.

Don’t get too full of ego and mistake the rest and recovery period for enlightenment–through observation it seems to me that the universe loves nothing more than to crush smug ego’s.

Maybe that’s why those ‘familiars’ don’t seem to completely ever go away, they’re always there lurking–to help us stay aware, remain humble, and so that we do not fall into lazy patterns (see above paragraph).

But none of this is who I am… the “I AM” that is beyond, beyond, completely beyond just observes this and smiles.

Further, I don’t need to become attached either way and that’s where the peace is located–in that place of non-attachment.

No aversion, no attraction.

Yes, yes, we have to deal with that which everyone else (and a part of us) agrees is conventionally real, but ultimately none of it exists.  Outwardly we have to agree; after all, when my rent is due (which is the thought that started this blog post!), I cannot go into the rental office to tell the Lords of the Land that ultimately neither they, nor I, nor the apartment itself exists and therefore, I don’t need to pay my rent.  Outwardly I have to agree, but inwardly I know the truth.  That’s the “pickle” (as the saying goes) that many of us light-workers (as they call us) live within.

Fear guru’s help us to remember these things.  My personal fear guru?  Oh, he’s much gentler and kinder than he used to be; but still I don’t like his presence at any time whatsoever!  Yet, the tea and cookie that I give him and little talk we have seems to comfort him (and me too-wink!) so that then we can resume the life-game here with greater ease!

Let the games begin!—that is what I say to myself when I wake up in the morning sometimes, mostly when I’m not so afraid.

Tuesday September 3, 2013 Reality, Karma, Spiritual Strength

FlowerAll is very quiet again this day, Tuesday the 3rd and gratitude swells in my chest and pulses out to toward the Sun which has already warmed us up to 80 degrees in the shade. The desire to go out anywhere yesterday was null as I wanted to employ the peace and quiet as long as possible while the neighbors were away. And so in in celebration I switched around the loveseat and chair and put up a large cloth wall hanging of the Sun and Moon.

Coffee this morning is especially good again and now that I moved the large Sathya Sai Baba picture which is a large—doubled a poster size–he looks directly at me when I glance up from my computer to have a sip of espresso.

It will be a full day today and the bright pink impatience flowers blooming in a pot out back remind me of an art project which I’m making as a gift that needs attention today and a secret smile dons as I think of swimming my laps first.

The transiting lunar North Node of the Moon is quite close to my 3rd House Saturn.  When we think of nodes we think of karma and evolutionary purpose and in that the node is applying intensely now and will cross over Saturn in two weeks, I’m hoping that this is a sign that my neighbor karma is about to end or is ending.

Well, there are clients on the schedule here so this will do for now, but in ending….  I came across a quote from a Zen Buddhist Monk that really spoke to me last night regarding spiritual practice and it is still sticking with me.  Suzuki Roshi said that the way to acquire spiritual strength is by practicing through a continual succession of agreeable and disagreeable situations.

Then I came upon this other quote:  “To change reality, let reality change you.”

Hope your Tuesday reality will be very, very agreeable! 🙂

Life’s Frustrations? Pretending I Planned It That Way! Karma and Co-Dependent Arising

... and whatever it is, i planned it that way!  (On losing the humor factor)
… and whatever it is, i planned it that way! (Don’t forget  the funny factor)

I was thinking today about how once I fell of a clinician stool in a clinic full of patients and other physical therapists.  I was moving from point A to point B while rolling on the stool between my two patients and caught the wheel on a towel on the floor.  I laughed along with everyone and announced that I’d planned that!  No embarrassment—okay very, very minimal.

So could I feel that same way about my life today?  Could I look at some of the “revolting developments” like my mother used to call them – those frustrations of life and act like I planned those and laugh about it?  Hmmmmmmmm….. really, did I and could I?

I’ve been learning about co-dependent arising of energy and it’s complicated but we could say it has to do with that k word that everybody cringes about—karma.  There’s good karma too and lots of it and I’ve got a lot of that going and I think we all do, so why do we tend to be focused on the opposite?  Good questions to contemplate in meditation to get a personal view.  But Buddhism already has some of the well thought out and logical insight already there on the plate but fair warning—there “ain’t” no savior in Buddhism; it’s all you and if you can’t handle that one, best not go there. 

But one part of Buddhism has to do with just looking at what we think of as reality and not arguing with it and just seeing it as the illusion it is.  When we energize the illusion by getting all excited about it, we create all those “arising’s” as we drift farther away from …. What’s the best word to use here?  Tranquility Base!  Yeah, I know, it’s a 60’s reference to the Moon landing but I like it. 

Tranquility Base
Tranquility Base

To me that’s the core and base still mind that simply just IS and there is no thought there on tranquility base, simply tranquility.  The more we drift away from tranquility base and play in illusion and energize the thoughts that create the illusion, the less tranquility we have and the more cause and effect, ugh, that K word.  With positive karma in mind and realizing we can’t just sit in tranquility base 24-7 (we do have to engage in certain functions), the more we energize the most positive illusions, the better.

All of this is another way of saying what all the modernized teachers are saying which are the ancient teachings of Buddhism. 

Anyway, I’m going to pretend just for today that no matter what has happened recently and what is happening now that I planned it like that; I’m going to agree with it just like when I fell off the stool.  No resistance, no trying to make it any different—these frustrations, these “revolting developments”… I planned it that way and let me laugh at it all like I did when I fell off the stool.  No need to take it all so seriously—right? 

However these things arise, these developments, some have to do with me and others don’t—life is as life is.  I can’t take credit for everything and I can’t be blamed for it all either; I am only a part of it as I breathe in and breathe out… it’s an illusion and what affects me personally, I planned it that way and it’s funny.  Why?  Because it’s all an illusion and it’s only as serious as my mind makes it! 

I had quite a laugh earlier today reading an email from a Buddhist friend of mine who, like me, just made it through another x-tian holiday with x-tian family members and reading it had me laughing out loud!  It so helps to have others who get the illusion and find humor in it!  Hey, I planned it that way!

Enlightenment Practice #30 of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva Including Divination

Shantideva (who wrote A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life AKA Bodhicaryavatara
Shantideva (who wrote A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life AKA Bodhicaryavatara

The humble monk (Ngulchu Thogme) wrote the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva it in a cave in the Himalayas around the 13th century.  It’s a guide for travelers on the path to enlightenment—practically advice on how to actually live day-to-day.  Are you trying to consciously travel this path?   Me too; c’mon let’s figure this out!

So like I’ve been saying how I’m going to write about the 37 practices of a Bodhisattva (guidance to live by). You know the Dalai Lama? He is said to be the Bodhisattva of Compassion incarnate. Oh, to be like him! Anyway, I’ve got (like most of you) about 1,000 coals-in-the-fire-of –life’ as the saying goes (busy/whatever) but I want to get started here. So I’m writing numbers from 1 to 37 onto 37 small slips of paper and have now put them in a small basked. I will draw one at a time and write about that one while asking that it bring importance guidance for something currently relating to my life on the day the number is drawn!  Ready?

Divination Message 3/16/13 from the Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva:  Today I’ve drawn Practice Number 30!  I don’t know these by heart, so I’ve got to grab the book and have a look; let’s together see what it says.  I guess you already know that a bodhisattva (essentially) is someone who wants to work for enlightenment not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of others in order to end suffering.  You probably already knew that.

Bodhisattva Practice #30

Reading and typing and divining as we go along here… right away I see it’s about virtue with heart.  Maybe this is about putting our whole heart into attempts to be virtuous?

Gosh, I’m remembering (flashing on) something my “spirit-guides” (as it goes) conveyed and at the time (as I did with many things then), I shrugged and felt it to be too simplistic.  You know, I was looking for something more profound after all—I was looking for something really sensational when I asked why I was here and what my purpose is.  I was told we are here to develop and practice virtue—I completely blew that off back then.  Yet, divine irony of irony, here I am studying the 37 Practices and Buddhism and that’s exactly what it’s about!

As I look at this little book of Essential Teachings (the one I carried unknowing with me for 6-weeks –see previous blog—which is the writing of the Dalai Lama himself), he’s talking about having the “right view”.  The word “view” in Buddhism (email me if I’m wrong if you’re a Buddhist monk or someone more expert than myself a humble student) has to do with understanding the nature of reality and the 8-fold path.

“Right View” as they call it has to do with the type of wisdom that has to do with understanding of things as they are which of course has to do with those 4 main truths:  there’s suffering, get real about it and then understand what causes it and the good news is that there’s a way to end it *(yay!) and following the 8-fold path enables us create that cessation.  And back to the 8 fold path again of which right view is a part.  Didn’t we just make a circle, a loop—right view leads back to right view. Ingenious!

Hey, by the way, thanks for being patient while I work through this.

Not to let all the cats out of the bag at once creating confusion but the 8 fold path (just as a preview and curiosity satisfy-er) and no, I’m not going into all this right now but they are as follows:  right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.  But hey, let’s just stick with the view for the moment—right view.  And let’s get back to the #30 practice of a Bodhisattva.

The Dalai Lama the guru teacher here says that this view in practice #30 has to do with realizing that the person who acts in any kind of way to do any kind of thing or who takes any action +plus the action itself that is taken +plus the person who may receive the action that we take don’t (in the right view) actually inherently exist.  Wow, that’s a tough one to explain to the average bear on the street human if you know what I mean!

This IS samsara after all, don’t you know?  This is a dream-like state of reality.  That is what we’re being asked to remember.  Things exist on a conventional level but ultimately—no, they don’t.  It’s really not that hard to understand with the new science where we look at atoms and the core of the atom itself doesn’t even exist only if we put our mind on it.  You know what I mean!?  You’ve heard this!  The chair you sit on or the table or any object is solid according to our perceptions but it is because the vibration is very, very, very slow.  On the quantum physics microscopic level (hope I said that right), it’s nothing but energy molecules vibrating—just a bunch of atoms which are empty at their very core!

So, let’s say you give someone a gift, you could say something like, “There is no giver, no action of giving, no gift, and no receiver of the gift”—that’s ultimate truth.  Conventionally, there is all that, but ultimately NO.  So that’s the right view of things which, if you think about it, is quite liberating and there’s a part of us that says, “Okay, I get that and now I can tell myself to stop worrying about every little thing!”  Or  that’s one view you could take and it would be ‘ultimately’ right, correct, on the quantum or ultimate level.

Whew!  Hope that makes sense.  The bottom line of this practice is:  No subject, No object.

So, what do we do?– we practice this.  We hold this in our mind and remember it and function in life with this view right alongside conventional reality—to practice this it changes our behaviors, our attitudes, and we become a teacher of the dharma (phenomenon and the truth of phenomenon) by our very being via our life being witnessed by others.

Right view is called the word “prajna” in Buddhist teachings.   If we get this one thing, in my humble opinion, it is the best thing we can understand and it really answers most any question we have about life and addresses any concern.  Upset? Worried or fearful?  Remember practice #30 of The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva – understand the emptiness of reality and shazam, this right view just calms it all right down for ya’!  Totally and fer’ real as they say! What is real isn’t real—totally dude! Samsara is an illusion.

Another way of saying it since this practice #30 is the 6th of the Six Paramitas (more on that another time)… the 30th is about cultivating  “non-conceptual superior knowledge” and in the words of the monk himself or at least one common translation:


Without superior knowledge,
it is not possible to attain perfect enlightenment through the first five paramitas alone. Therefore, joining it with skillful means and not conceptualizing about the three spheres is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

And another translation:

Since five perfections without wisdom cannot bring perfect enlightenment, along with skillful means cultivate the wisdom that does not conceive of the three spheres [as real].

Note to reader:  the three spheres in Buddhism are 1) self 2) other and 3) connecting action.

divider3-15-13

THE DIVINATION

Now.  How can I apply this personally in my own daily life?  Ha!  I’m reminded lately of the story of the monk who, so inspired by teachings on generosity, gave away his worldly possessions, two of which included his food bowl and his shoes!  Since his generosity was not accompanied by wisdom he had to ask for them back when it came time to eat and then to go somewhere!  I was very inspirit-ed to work with generosity yesterday in my efforts to be an ‘active’ Bodhisattva!  In other words, it is one thing to wish all beings be relieved of suffering and I do that plenty but what about “putting one’s money where one’s mouth is?”—as the saying goes.

I did that to the point of pain yesterday—giving when it doesn’t hurt really doesn’t count in my book.  If you’re going to give, make it a bit of a sacrifice at least!  So with that attitude, I did so in a fairly large way; in fact, I gulped hard several times in the process thinking, “Yike, I hope I’m not being like the monk who gave away his bowl.”–!!

And today’s Bodhisattva Practice 30 is a great message for me (using the 37 practices as divination messages here)!

I’m being reminded that the 3 spheres of giver, gift and receiver are not ultimately real; self, other and connecting action don’t exist;  and to remember this and embrace it is a practice of a Bodhisattva!