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    Modern version of the Eternal Knot by Charles Huttner
A View on Buddhism
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The Buddha

Attention leads to immortality. Carelessness leads to death. Those who pay attention will not die, while the careless are as good as dead already.

Foolish, ignorant people indulge in careless lives, whereas a clever man guards his attention as his most precious possession.

Ajahn Chah

Try to be mindful, and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha.

If you have time to be mindful, you have time to meditate.

The Buddha said that we should completely subdue our minds. Whatever we do, for good or ill, it is our mind that is the true agent. In the very depths of our being, we all desire one thing: we want to be happy. We don't want to suffer. But because of this - this wanting - the three defilements of craving, aversion, and ignorance arise, and suffering is what we get. It is because of these defilements that we accumulate actions that prevent us from escaping from Samsara.
So it is important right from the start to see the difference between a good motivation and an evil one. Our own mindfulness should be our teacher. We must examine what is positive and what is negative with mindfulness. If positive thoughts arise, we should go along with them. If nonvirtuous thoughts arise, we should put a stop to them. A virtuous mind is the source of happiness. An unvirtuous mind is the source of pain.
Dudjom Rinpoche, Counsels from My Heart

Thich Nhat Hanh

A friend of mine drinks a lot of whiskey and is concened about how this will affect his path.
Thich Naht Hahn replied: "Thats OK if he drinks mindfully, he will realise what it is doing, and will gradualy stop drinking

One day the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1,250 monks and nuns. he did not say anything for quite a long time. The audience was perfectly silent. Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha's gesture. Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled. He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower.... To me the meaning is quite simple. When someone holds up a flower and shows it to you, he wants you to see it. If you keep thinking, you miss the flower. The person who was not thinking, who was just himself, was able to encounter the flower in depth, and he smiled.
That is the problem of life. If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.
Peace Is Every Step

Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to be truly present. When you are truly present, you are more in control of situations, you have more love, patience, understanding, and compassion. That strengthens and improves your quality of being. It can be very healing to touch your true nature of no-self. Psychotherapy can learn a lot from this teaching.
Answers from the Heart: Practical Responses to Burning Questions

In Asian languages, the word for ‘mind’ and the word for ‘heart’ are the same word. So when we hear the word ‘mindfulness’, we have to inwardly also hear ‘heartfulness’ in order to grasp it even as a concept, and especially as a way of being.
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is not just a word or a discourse by the Buddha, but a meaningful state of mind. It means we have to be here now, in this very moment, and we have to know what is happening internally and externally. It means being alert to our motives and learning to change unwholesome thoughts and emotions into wholesome ones. Mindfulness is a mental activity that in due course eliminates all suffering.
Ayya Khema, 'Be an Island'


Mindfulness is the root of Dharma
Mindfulness is the body of practice
Mindfulness is the fortress of the mind
Mindfulness is the aid to the wisdom of innate wakefulness

Lack of Mindfulness will allow the negative forces to overcome you
Without Mindfulness you will be swept away by laziness
Lack of Mindfulness is the creator of evil deeds
Without Mindfulness and presence of mind, nothing can be accomplished
Lack of Mindfulness piles up lots of shit
Without Mindfulness you sleep in an ocean of piss

Without Mindfulness you are a heartless zombie, a walking corpse
Dear Dharma friends, please be mindful!
By the aspiration of the holy lamas, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and lineage masters,
May all Dharma friends attain stable Mindfulness and ascend the throne of perfect Awakening.
Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

These are the difficult practices of mindfulness, of expulsion and of 'interrupting the flow.'
As for the first of these, the difficult practice of mindfulness, it is necessary to recognize afflictive emotions as soon as they arise and it is hard, at first, to remain sufficiently aware to be able to do this. However, when negative emotions arise, we should identify them as anger, desire or stupidity. Even when emotions have been recognized, it is not easy to drive them out with the antidote. If, for instance, an uncontrollably strong emotion comes over us, so that we feel helplessly in its power, we should nevertheless confront it and question it. Where are its weapons? Where are its muscles? Where is its great army and its political strength? We will see that emotions are just insubstantial thoughts, by nature empty: they come from nowhere, they go nowhere, they remain nowhere. When we are able to repel our defiled emotions, there comes the difficult practice of 'interrupting the flow.' This means that, on the basis of the antidote described, defiled emotions are eliminated just like a bird flying through the air: no trace is left behind. These are practices in which we should really strive.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Enlightened Courage: An Explanation of the Seven-Point Mind Training

Both mindfulness and discriminative alertness are needed in responding to sensory input of the three types--attractive, unattractive and neutral. Once again, in this tradition mindfulness does not mean simply to witness. It is a more discriminative kind of thing. You are asking yourself, "What is my response?" and then actively responding by applying the antidotes to attachment and hostility. The word mindfulness is a little bit different in different contexts. Here, Mindfulness refers to the mental faculty of being able to maintain continuity of awareness of an object. Vigilance is concerned with the quality of mind, watching to see, for example, if the mind is veering off to other objects.
Gen Lamrimpa (Ven. Jampal Tenzin), Calming the Mind: Tibetan Buddhist Teachings on Cultivating Meditative Quiescence

Ani Tenzin Palmo

While I was in Malaysia, I saw a T-shirt depicting a surfboard aloft huge waves. Sitting on the surfboard was a figure meditating cross-legged. The slogan read, "Riding the waves of life, be mindful, be happy." That's it. Awareness. Being present. Knowing thoughts as thoughts, emotions as emotions. It's just like riding a surfboard. You gradually develop the poise to cruise along on the roughest seas until, no longer immersed in the waves, you are riding on top of them. Of course you have to start with small waves until you get your balance. Then the higher the wave, the better! Likewise, when we begin to train in awareness, it is better if we have an atmosphere which is nonthreatening and peaceful. That's why people go on retreat. That's also a reason why people set aside regular sitting periods. But once we learn how to be balanced, we become like a surfer who finds that the bigger the wave, the greater the fun.
Reflections on a Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism

When we rush in with this mental chatter, we are no longer being mindful. We are just thinking about being mindful. Mindfulness is not thinking about, it is being present and actually knowing in the moment without any mental commentary. If commentary begins to happen, we simply ignore it and return to being present in the moment. Think about this. There are so many things happening in our lives that we never really experience. We experience only ideas, interpretations, and comparisons. We dwell on things that happened in the past or anticipate future events. But we almost never experience the moment itself. It is for this reason that we often find our lives boring and meaningless. What we need to realize is that this sense of meaninglessness does not come from our lives, but from the quality of awareness with which we live our lives.
Reflections on a Mountain Lake: Teachings on Practical Buddhism

Mindfulness is the root of all the methods that tame the mind. First it focuses the mind. Then it eases the mind. Finally it is the luminous nature, beyond thoughts.
Patrul Rinpoche

Bare awareness is not easy to develop and maintain because of the mind's disposition to be constantly preoccupied by thoughts. We easily lose attention because our mind is so busy. When we do, our emotional life can creep up on us and take us over. Without mindfulness, the capacity to maintain attention, disidentification is very difficult, and bare awareness even more so. Through meditation it is possible to cultivate a quiet, unintrusive awareness that greatly strengthens our capacity to remain with our feelings. We simply allow their presence without judging them, or needing to make them different.
The early stage of meditation focuses attention and cultivates mindfulness. Mindfulness is our capacity to watch and remain conscious as emotions, feelings, and thoughts arise. We may begin in meditation by observing the breath and gradually quietening the mind from the constant discursive chatter that interrupts our attention. In time a quality of bare awareness is established free from the conceptual confusion that discriminates and evaluates what arises and parcels it up in conceptual boxes of good or bad. Furthermore, this quiet awareness does not become pulled into the contents of mental activity and drown in their confusion.
Rob Preece, The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra

If this elephant of mind is bound on all sides by the cord of mindfulness,
All fear disappears and complete happiness comes.
All enemies: all the tigers, lions, elephants, bears, serpents (of our emotions);
And all the keepers of hell; the demons and the horrors,
All of these are bound by the mastery of your mind,
And by the taming of that one mind, all are subdued,
Because from the mind are derived all fears and immeasurable sorrows.

Mindfulness of oneself cultivates wisdom.
Mindfulness of others cultivates compassion.

At certain times, a silent mind is very important, but 'silent' does not mean closed. The silent mind is an alert, awakened mind; a mind seeking the nature of reality.
Lama Yeshe

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Last updated: December 11, 2016