Enlightenment Practice #32 of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva Including Divination

My first thought when I drew the paper with number 32 out of the basket today and read the words associated with this practice was to recoil and to think, “Wait, I don’t do that!”  Following which I knew this must be a “biggie” if I had such a strong adverse reaction.  “You’d better look closer at this one Joy!” was the next thought.

I turned to the commentary by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche to help with this.  I think my problem was that I interpreted the wording of the original root text that read, “…if you point out the faults of another Bodhisattva…” That brought to mind the Dalai Lama or Kwan Yin or even someone like the 17th Karmapa or any of the Rinpoche’s or Lamas or even Buddhist nuns—take Pema Chodron and the like.  I revere, admire and venerate teachers of this nature; I can’t imagine ever criticizing any of them.  I honestly sat stupefied and then solemn for a moment and deeply inquired if I’ve criticized other Bodhisattvas.

Well, maybe Christians who still tend to irk the jesus out of me, pardon the pun.  I admit that I’m still healing the wound from prior life religious persecutions—but of course it is just mind latching onto an identity as one who was supposedly persecuted.  I get that intellectually and sometimes emotionally but not when the wound takes a direct hit.  Okay, okay—let’s say I’m working on that.  It’s a little bit difficult for me to see a Christian practitioner as a Bodhisattva but maybe I need to reconsider that.

Meanwhile, back to  what Khenpo Tsultrim  says about practice 32… he links this to The Seven Points of Mind Training.  The Buddhist seem to have a lot of numbers associated with their teachings:  the 3 this, the 4 that, the 6 this and the 7 that.  Probably a good way to memorize teachings!

Anyway, Khenpo Tsultrim says that one stanza in The Seven Points of Mind Training directs the reader to think that all positive qualities belong to other sentient beings and that all faults are one’s own. This is the correct attitude. [that will develop humility for sure!] Generally, most people think just the opposite: someone else is always wrong, while they are always right. This attitude is to be given up.  Patrul Rinpoche advises students to acknowledge their own deficiency first; and then, when they recognize it in someone else, to pray that the guru grants blessings to them both. It is always beneficial to see that the perceived fault in yourself is greater than it is in the other. Then you know that person is no different from you. [I highlighted what I felt where the most important points there.]

Oh Lordie, I do see how I worry/am concerned about one of my family members and their relationship to money and that this fault is greater in myself.  

The Dalai Lama spoke on each of the 37 practices of a bodhisattva and he wrote one line very succinctly which says it all, “We must try to conquer our own illusions rather than those we ‘think’ we see in others.”—pg 101, Essential Teachings

Most of what I come up with while investigating the meaning of practice 32 relates to infighting amongst various schools of Buddhism criticizing each other or student’s critiquing other students or teachers.



Through examining this practice as it applies to my own life experience I can see how I am repulsed and disgusted with Christians to are always quoting scriptures.  Yet, am I not right here and now quoting Buddhist scriptures in the same way?

Buddhist teachings are helping me a good deal but I must remember that Christian teachings are in the same way helping those humans who, like me, are only hoping to be better humans and grow and evolve and become a better compassionate and loving soul—a bodhisattva!

Oh, and on that relationship to money thing… better go look at the bills I’ve been avoiding looking at and work on ‘my own’ illusion!


Daily Divination 10-7-11 New Job? New Town? Is it a Pattern? When in Rome, Are You… ? I-CHING Kua 56 The Wanderer

You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer~Byron Katie

As soon as I saw the image [to the left], I thought of Sagittarius – that gypsy and travel part of Sag.  The other thing that came to mind was that famous phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” 

Today I learned about someone I know who has lost her job–again!  It’s not any one who turns to me (my services) for advice or guidance; in fact its someone who is rather convinced that my psychic work is associated with the devil.  Sigh!  And its someone who believes (factually in her own words) that trials and tribulations come from the christian jesus and is asking jesus to stop the pattern of giving her life these repeating problems. Yeah, right?  I know!  I’m saying wow and shaking my head too.

Ever meet someone who you so much wish to help while knowing you must be asked, you cannot take over their free will?  Someone who believes that god is punishing and victimizing them?  It’s so frustrating.  What can we do?  We can only envision them healed, whole and happy and try to energize that picture for them I suppose. (And like I do often here, take my frustrating moments and use them as teaching moments.)

And then ask what is the lesson in this for me personally?  Why did this come before me and frustrate me?  And so, until I figure it all out, I use these things as teaching moments especially when they align so perfectly with the I-CHING Kua draw of the day as so happens today.

I came across a quote recently by David Hawkins that sort of sums up religious distortion.  He wrote the following about the fundamentalist sects of any religion about the jealous, vengeful and angry god:

The god of righteous negativity represents a glorification of the negative, and provides for his followers a disavowal of responsibility through justification of human cruelty and mayhem. — Power vs. Force, The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior by David Hawkins

New in town? New on the job? It can be destabilizing and trigger all of our insecurities—change really does trigger self-doubt or anxiety.  Sometimes, in error, we can overcompensate when we feel out of place—we really want to keep it all together but go about it the wrong way; therefore, we can sometimes try too hard and come off  appearing like a misfit instead.   This comes from our own inner insecurity malfunction.

There is wisdom in the advice of the I-CHING Kua 56 called “The Wanderer” or “The Traveler” or as I’d like to call it the gypsy part of Sagittarius.  And that advice is to do as the Romans do and for goodness sake when you’re new to town or to a job,  don’t ‘put down’ the unfamiliar in order to compensate for your own insecurity by trying to feel superior.

Whether it is being a newcomer to a town or  a job or a family (whatever it may be), it is always wise to create a respectful and friendly atmosphere by being sincere in unpretentious—just be yourself in sincerity and hang back to learn the new environment while being respectful to yourself and to others.  Give yourself and other people the gift of grace and time.

Many of the readers of this blog already know this (preaching to the choir I’m sure)  but I am thinking about a particular person/ situation as I write this.  Besides, there might be someone else who can relate to this in a helpful way—so I will continue in that spirit, if I may.

Sometimes, when we are new to town or to the apartment building or to the job, we will be a curiosity to others and maybe even one or two humans could pick on us a little bit to see what we’re made of—that’s human nature.  Avoid challenging established order,  but of course if your boundary is transgressed speak up while respecting others.

We are all wanderers in one way or another on the journey of life.  Seasoned travelers know how to adapt and keep to themselves in the right timing and how to blend with others in the right way.  They also have learned the value of a sense of humor and about the avoidance of arrogance at all costs.  A very valuable took that I read in my teenage years was, “How to Win Friends and Influence Enemies“.  I’d bet there are still copies around.  I can’t remember the context of the material in that book after all these years; however, I do remember it helping me out a great deal regarding human interactions.  I think I was in high school when I read it or maybe age 17 or 18 years old.

Personally, I think that a good way to move through life is to do so in such a way that when you have moved through the town, the relationship, the job or even this lifetime, others will speak well and kindly of you (about you) when you’re gone. 

When in Rome... etc. Also, do others speak well of you after you've left?

Also,  I think that to meet others more than half way (giving more than half) when possible is a good idea. People can feel where your heart is even if you’re words are not spoken aloud.  Of course, I shouldn’t even have needed to type that last sentence— apologies to the reader for the redundancy and overstating the obvious. Some people, however, don’t know about any of these simple common sense concepts and they are having difficulty on their travels.

Some of us may be meant to wanderers as part of our karma or choice —some of us go from one job (or relationship or town) to the next continually–who are we to speculate as to why this might be?   Perhaps there is a divine plan of which we are unaware.  Maybe you have chosen an accelerated path and part of that is to have many changing experiences.  HOWEVER, if you are continually being asked to leave jobs and as a result you are not able to function or meet your  survival needs, and if this happens over and over again, ask yourself if  you are repeating patterns.   And when you are escorted out the door of employment (being fired from your job for the umpteenth time) while you blame jezuz or god (or whomever) for being tough on you (“blessing you with trials and tribulations”) and if you are not taking any responsibility, playing the victim… can you not see there is a pattern there for which your own behavior or decisions (free will) could be playing a part?  I’m just sayen’. Is it really fair to always blame god?  What about self-responsibility?

Not all people who move frequently or change jobs often have done something wrong.  Perhaps you are someone who enjoys such change, seeing it as an adventure and an opportunity for another new experience, then so it is.  I guess it’s all in the attitude.

However, if you feel victimized, consider your role in the plot.  The bottom line is that when any of us finds ourselves in changing conditions (no matter how they came about), it is best to do as the Romans do (at least at first) when in Rome.   When first in Rome, release arrogance, be honorable, respectful and modest and if you want to be a permanent resident, smile and don’t put on any airs.  Journey with your eyes open and take responsibility and make corrections rather than blame the gods.

PS– and should the reader assume that I claim to be in any state of enlightenment … (not hardly).  Someone asked the Dalai Lama that question once (if he is enlightened) and he at first laughed and then said if that was true he wouldn’t be here.  (I’m just repeating what he said.)  Anyway, the point is that I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and have (hopefully) learned from (some of) them.  I’ve seemed to attained my best learning the hard way many times. And like you, am a work in progress.

But… you want to hear something strange on that topic?  It’s not me who is doing any of it really, I’m just watching while agreeing to participate and finding the humor and the irony and the anguish sometimes to–but none of it is really me.  That is, unless I make it too real; do you know what I mean?  How real do you make your life?  And how well do you hold it lightly in balance?  This paragraph is about a few random thoughts that may have nothing to do with Kua 56, The Wanderer–or maybe they do?  After all, I just wandered!

Kua 56 of the I-CHING, The Wanderer, brings a message about how to travel and that is with grace and with humor.  When you are a stranger in a strange land, it is you who must take some responsibility for your behavioral actions; don’t be blaming it all on a punishing god somewhere outside of YOU.  I’m just sayen’.

See you next time…

Hope your weather is good; here the mountains are starting to have deeper color (leaves changing) and it is quite beautiful. 

Daily Divination May 2, 2011 Individuated Spirituality, Jung, The High Priestess, the Moon, Intuition—can that blend with religion?

I shuffled and pulled a tarot card for today, barely looked at it, setting it aside to answer a phone call from my sister.  Our conversation eventually led to the subject of guilt and catholic confessions to a priest; she’s a practicing catholic—me, not. I just returned to my desk and realize now that the card I pulled for today was The High Priestess! 

Part of our talk included Jung’s view of Christianity, something that was refreshed in my consciousness yesterday after viewing a video.   Roger Woolger, Ph.D. who is a Jungian analyst and past life regression therapist was commenting on Carl Jung’s Red Book and according to Woolger, after Jung deeply studied world religions while residing countries in the East, he drew some dramatic conclusions regarding the divine feminine being left out of western Christianity, to its demise.  If I remember correctly, he quoted Jung as stating that western Christianity is diseased because of its lack of recognition of the feminine form of divinity (or the demotion thereof). 

My thought is that it is hardly an accident that the High Priestess card—the card of  The Divine Feminine–aligns with my recent connection with Woolger, Jung and conversation with my sister on this very topic.  The divine messengers broadcasting today seem to be sending me a signal to correlate this for today’s cosmic communiqué (or so goes my illusion).

I note on the image of this card the symbols of the Moon on the priestess’s headdress as well as the cross on her chest, but most especially am drawn to the scroll in her hand.  Looking at the scroll which keeps catching my eye, it’s speaking to me of  the missing esoteric gospels that I’m thinking of—the gospel of Thomas and the gospel of Mary Madeline. 

The Secret Knowledge is always what I think of when I see this card–the ancient teachings from Egypt, etc.   I also think of  the Divine Feminine as the intuition that is within all of us which is our personal connection to divinity, which I personally see as lying outside of the pope in Rome and the local parish male authorities.  Of course, that is my own opinion and judgment and how it is  for me (and many others, I’ve noticed—an understatement).  Many agree that our personal connection to the divine remains dormant until we awaken it deep within through personal effort.  Religion, if used properly, can be like scaffolding around our personal spiritual growth.

That’s the High Priestess archetype–personal spiritual effort via meditation and other personal devotions which part the veil to the world of the subconscious and divine levels of mind.  A priest and church cannot do that for you, although they might facilitate it,  providing the atmosphere.  That’s what I see the purpose of any church to be—a quiet place to gather one’s thoughts and to be devotional until one can achieve that state on one’s own. 

 Of course, I’m not talking about hell and brimstone preachers or screaming jezuz-freak churches—the catholic mass (church service) is much more passive,  muted and quiet than those types of churches (I think).  I’m no expert on churches per se, so I can only half-speculate about that.  Anyway, searching deep within is what the High Priestess archetype is about and some organized religion may be able to aid in the initiation of that  search if one can release attachment to dogma or move beyond it to true personal spirituality.

In astrological terms, The High Priestess relates to Moon energy and the feminine principle, intuition.  Males carry Moon energy as well as females, of course—we all have a Moon somewhere in our psyche and natal astrological chart.  The Moon rules the 4th house and is often associated with “emotions”.  We often say that men who are able to allow themselves to be emotionally sensitive and compassionate are “in touch with” their feminine side.  Women have a male side as well and when the male/female energy is balanced-within  in either  men or women, we are said to have attained  “the marriage within”, merging the anima and animus, as Jung would call it.

Jung identified the anima as being the unconscious feminine component of men and the animus as the unconscious masculine component in women. Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding steps in psychological and spiritual growth. Jung reported that he identified his anima as she spoke to him, as an inner voice, unexpectedly one day. 

The High Priestess and the Moon itself represent the archetype of knowing that there is a uniting consciousness to all of life—this unity consciousness includes the subconscious and intuition.  We find that many religious institutions (i.e. patriarchal religions) fear this unity part of individuation—thus the purpose for dogma.  Why? I don’t have time today to list all the reasons–I defer to history which speaks for itself.

My sister mentioned reading some catholic religious propaganda over the weekend which outlined the types of sins to confess to a priest in a confessional—one of those being having used tarot cards.  This troubles her a great deal and we talked about it; she is right on the verge of individuation and truly spiritualizing, yet the dogma still has ahold of her.  Of course, most people who read this blog would know what The High Priestess would say about what my sister read! 

The deeper wisdom is within my sister and she will gradually tap into it and her own High Priestess; she may then find the role of the catholic priest and confessional less important and have a more joyful and uplifting guilt-free experience in her church-going efforts.  She’s not quite ready to cut out the middle-man and stand on her own spiritual feet, so-to-speak.

When the subconscious is allowed to move and flow, we can get in touch with our true nature.  Guilt and fear (two major religious power and control mechanisms)  keeps us from being in tune with our inner knowing.

Today’s message is not about christian-bashing; it’s more to do with getting in touch with the feminine Moon energy, the emotional side, so that a heart opening can occur, the unity of life can be revealed, and the answers within can be revealed.  One needn’t call upon a catholic priest for this, but The High Priestess within.

Oh, I tell you!  An entire book could be written on this subject/topic, and many already have been.  The few paragraphs above are not all-inclusive on this subject matter, of course, nor intended to be.  For now, this is just a wave and hello from The High Priestess and the Moon reminding you that the feminine is just as important in spirituality as the masculine or patriarchal.  Balance the two and the veil is removed and the “bride and bridegroom within” become one.   

Bottom Line:  Be receptive to your intuition, trust your inner voice, let what is within flower–go beyond dogma, go deeper and be still!