Giving Up Concern for this Life–Can We? Enlightenment Practice #4 of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva

Vajrasattva
Vajrasattva

I asked a vajra teacher, a Lama that I’ve been communicating with, for a 2nd best book to continue my sort of self-made dharma lessons on The Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva.   Oh, maybe vajra teacher is incorrect phrasing according to custom.   I think the word for spiritual teacher in Tibetan Buddhism is vajracary or vajrasattva is probably more technically correct but I can’t say for sure being an American who is trying to pick up where haven left off from previous incarnations—not that I could prove this.  Which actually brings me to the 2nd best book since the 1st best was $150 (totally out of the budget).

I asked a Lama of the Karmapa lineage and was referred to a book by the 17th Karmapa (who I have heard speak on TV and really admired) called ‘Traveling the Path of Compassion’, a book on the 37 Practices, which I’m now reading.

I just finished a passage written by the Karmapa on Practice #4 which was cool because he wrote about death (specifically, there’s no death) and reincarnation—he gently points out how it is almost impossible to feel that a loved one who has died is totally gone and never present in some way!  “Most people”, he writes, “have a feeling that a loved one who has passed away is still somehow still available.”

He says death is not nothingness.   Nor is it a blank state; it is the time when we transfer our light to another way of being.  We are, he says, not a candle that is finished when the flame goes out but instead a torch, a light shining everywhere that can be transferred one bright flame to the next.

Well, I had to include that here and write about that first before I start to write what I’m REALLY writing about today!  HA!  So here we go—the real reason I’m writing today!  And it still relates to Practice #4 which is about attachments.

The teaching is about being attached to this life and of course if you practice the dharma or said another way if you subscribe to the Buddhist philosophy of life and therefore relate to and start to apply the teachings to your own life (in order to increase happiness and decrease suffering first for self and then for others) then what you do in Buddhist language is that you “practice the dharma”.  Which in this case the word dharma means “the teachings” –but the word also translates to “phenomenon” and I’ll write on the correlation there another time.  Getting back to the practice of dharma, he says that we have to release attachments to life if we are going to call ourselves a Buddhist and in particular a Bodhisattva…. [paraphrased].

BODHISATTVA, WHAT?

By the way the word bodhi translates into “understanding the nature of things” or “enlightenment” –the root word “budh” means ‘to awake, become aware, notice, know or understand).   Sattva in sanskrit means purity and reality.  One could say bodhi means enlightened and sattva means existence.  So, a Bodhisattva is one who lives an enlightened existence.  And the 37 practices was written in the 13th-14th century by a highly respected and devotedly compassionate monk instructing others on how to live an enlightened existence.  That could be one way to put it which I think would be a fairly correct interpretation based on what I’ve read and surmised and I offer it to the reader with the highest intentions.

Anyway, the point that I wish to make here is that I was reading a passage written by the 17th Karmapa on the 4th Practice of a Bodhisattva in which he refers to those who turn to the dharma when in a crisis of some sort and the rest of the time their main attraction is to life and the world or the world’s entertainments.  He says that we consider our worldly possessions crucial to our lives and the very source of our happiness.

Personally, I see people who hang to each other in that same way, seeing the ‘other’ as the very source of their happiness as well.  And as he points out, even if we do not think these things consciously, they are at the background of our minds—our unconscious attitudes hold to worldly things as if our happiness depends on them.

Personally, I am guilty of this fault but am, through effort now, working to keep the dharma teachings working at all times in the background instead of my attachments and aversions running the show.  It’s a process!  There are slippery patches and tricky spots but I’m taking those and really more consciously working with them—sometimes I go unconscious and fall back into  the old habitually created karmic patterns.  (There’s an actual word for that; it sounds like “bach-tah” but I cannot seem to find the proper spelling and definition…sigh! I looked thru the glossaries of 3 Buddhists text I have here on the shelf and consulted a number of online Buddhists dictionaries! )  Well, there’s another  lesson in practice #4, letting go and non attachment!  (I’ve been highly obsessed and attached to finding that word for a good while now! ugh! letting go!)

Yeah, so anyway there’s a word for those patterns and I’ve just turned all my writing time into google time instead trying to find that right word and in giving up now must conclude this writing!

Here’s the note from the universe this morning that somewhat resembles what I’ve been trying to convey here to some extent—using life challenges to reach non-attachment and therefore happiness is what I’m trying to say and the thing below that showed up in my email says it better than I could in 10 pages of writing which is why I’m including it.  And with this, will have to wish you a good day—my time is up!

NOTE FROM THE UNIVERSE IN MY EMAIL BOX TODAY WHICH CORRESPONDS TO MY CURRENT BUDDHIST STUDIES:

(www.tut.com)

It’s not that your life totally rocks, Joy, except for a few tricky spots, slippery patches, and challenges.

But that your life totally rocks, in large part, because of the tricky spots, slippery patches, and challenges.

Stranger than fiction,
The Universe

By the way Enlightenment Practice #4 of the 37 Practices reads this way:

Everyone will part from relatives and old friends;

The wealth of long labor will be left behind;

The guest, the consciousness, leaves its lodging, the body behind:

To give up concern for this life is the practice of a bodhisattva.

Oh, and by the way, (in addition to my own personal experiences and the work that I do as a medium), I’ll take the 17th Karmapa’s word on the afterlife and reincarnation since he’s the official incarnation of the 16th Karmapa’s previous life… well, you know what I mean.  He passed the tests involved in determining the lineage continuation–he was the 16th Karmapa in his last life, and now he’s back as the 17th Karmapa!  So I supposed that if anybody should know about this reincarnation stuff, it’d be him.  Or I’d like to think so; and we have to trust, eh?

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Daily Divination 7-15-11 Societal Judgments Towards Psychics; Leading and Following with good intentions; Kua 17 – Taurus, Gemini, Aquarius, Pisces, The Lovers, The Fool, The Star

I regret saying that I feel a vent coming on! I’m going to try to keep it in check—that ole’ ego stuff, you know? The ego took a hit this morning while I was talking to my sister. It’s her boss and his judgments about me and my work as a psychic.

According to what my sister said, he pretty much has me pegged as some kind of freeloader and someone who takes advantage of others—it his own paranoia; but it still triggers that old stuff of my own wounds.

He doesn’t believe in psychics (you see?) and has some judgment that psychics take advantage of weak people—this sets my tail spinning!

My clients are the most educated, intelligent, professional and brilliant people who happen to believe that there are higher levels of mind! Teachers, nurses, psychologist, people who work on Wall Street even; to name a few! Hold on a second, I have to unwind my tail.

Yeah, I can get worked up about someone who doesn’t even know me making these types of judgments when they don’t know anything about me or my work! Baaaaah, Humbug to him!

Yes, it is parasitic to prey on others in order to fulfill one’s own ambitions. That’s true but this is not even close to who I AM; as a matter of fact, if I feel that a client is contacting me too often, I discourage co-dependency.

My sister’s boss has no idea how many hours I’ve worked to build my website and teach and share knowledge—NOT AT ALL for the purpose of preying on other people. Humbug to him again!  But this vent does relate to today’s Kua 17 believe it or not.

Today’s I CHING draw is Kua 17 and it relates to leading and following. It is about loyalty, adaptability, cooperation, trust, sensitivity to others, service and receiving guidance.

But it goes deeper…. The message today is about teaching or leading in a way that always keeps in mind that the ultimate goal is to set people free (not create co-dependency) so that they can follow his or her own course.

This is the highest calling of my work both as a psychic, soul astrologer and as a psychic educator–teaching and leading in this way is also what is pulling me toward offering services in past life regression in future.  It’s about setting people free or helping to facilitate that process.

It’s all about helping to liberate others and has nothing at all to do with anything else self-serving. This is also why the people take my psychic class–to evolve spiritually and to be able to help others.

Like everyone else I have bills to pay and societal obligations and responsibilities, but that is secondary to what I do. I feel this gentleman of the ‘corporate world’ who was born with “a silver spoon in his mouth”—an expression referring to being born into wealth—has never been in a situation where he left a bad situation with $6 in his pocket to start over (as I have). Humbug! Got to grab my spinning tail again—hold on a second. Deep breath!

My sister asked him for hotel points (or something  like that) for an upcoming family reunion and he asks if I’m going to pay my share of the hotel (of course I will!) He assumes that I’m a freeloader simply because I was helped in the past with housing assistance! There goes my tail in a spin again!

Back to Kua 17. Here we look at the opposites of a leader or teacher who exploits people for their own end and followers who avoid responsibility for their lives. Gathering followers for self-aggrandizement and personal power is the worse side of the polarity. The positive side is stretching and growing realizing one’s full potential as a teacher or leader and giving good example in that role in order to give others the courage they need to make the stretch for themselves. Also, being willing to learn from students; we are all students and teachers.  I continue to remain inspired by my students and learn much from them–a fantastic group of spiritual individuals for whom I am very grateful.

I’d like to think that this is where my heart is and what I am actually doing—encouraging others to make the stretch to connect with higher mind in order to affect their liberation from fears and old wounds. I guess that is strange to say as I am, through these paragraphs, airing mine—my old wounds visa vie my sister’s boss. The ego, the pride—becomes offended and this we battle all the time, don’t we?

But back to Kua 17; a good leader or teacher must also be a good follower and student. I am continually learning and following higher teachings as most readers of this blog are doing. Without the teachers and guides that I look up to—without those role models—higher aspirations would be more difficult to attain. The teachers and leaders that I tend to follow are those who are selflessly devoted and this is what I wish to emulate in any role that comes before me to teach or lead in any way, as humble as that may be.

That is the core message of this Kua. Experimenting with different philosophies and teachings while taking different approaches to life is the only way to evolve and grow spiritually. It has nothing to do with any type of manipulative sales pitch and all to do with following one’s heart.

Today’s message is about service and being sensitive to others with a pure heart. The best way to know that you are following the truth in your life is to check out whether what you are doing provides a deep sense of meaning and purpose to life—even if you are challenged at times by the prejudice and judgment of your sister’s corporate boss!

To thine own self be true, as Shakespeare once wrote. Cooperate with others, with society and be adaptable but always true to YOU! (Despite criticism and judgment from society.) That is the lesson of the psychic’s path!

Another lesson for me, received today, via my sister’s boss!

Of course, he did not speak this to me directly but behind my back to my sister as cowardice and judgments go.

The Astrological Correlations to Kua 17 are:

Taurus –self-reliance, being true to self

Gemini –communication and truth

Aquarius –liberation and freedom; working on one’s own (as in being self-employed)  in a unique-to-self  kind of way

Pisces –Universal Mind and Spirituality

 

The Tarot Correlations to Kua 17 are:

 The Lovers –separating from dependent situations; balancing the male/female energy within; staying true to YOU; refusing to let the end justify the means; determining what you truly care about

The Star –optimism, hope, inspiration; reaching a higher level; generously giving to others; sharing with others in good will

The Fool –proceeding with joyful innocence; being true to yourself (similar to The Lovers card in that respect); being willing to follow different rules and standards than the majority of society; taking the path of personal growth; believe in yourself even if the majority of society doesn’t because a good minority will believe in you; follow your heart

With the astrological correlations combined with the tarot, hopefully this gives a deeper (greater) feel for today’s message from the I CHING Kua 17.

It is up to you to see how this message applies in your life today—with my ‘tail spinning’, I’ve given you my own personal example.