Buddhism Today 31 | Spring/Summer 2013

The Empowering Resilience of Elderly in Eastern Economic Corridor According to Buddhist Principles
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Tokyo bar offers cocktail of booze and Buddhism

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So is the 15th-century Tibetan teacher Tsang Nyon Heruka, who would publicly appear in deity garb and mimic his behavior. But, similarly to how mahasiddhas do not necessarily take on mahasiddha appearance, not all with mahasiddha appearance are mahasiddhas. Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available. Subscribe now for immediate access to the magazine plus films, video dharma talks, e-books, and more. Tricycle is a nonprofit that depends on reader support.

Help us share Buddhist teachings and practices by donating now. Tibet, — Gelug lineage. Ground mineral pigment on cotton. Collection of Rubin Museum of Art. So let's explore these refuges. We Take Refuge in the Buddha As we abandon our shopping carts and gain a little distance from the bargain hunters, we are invited by the Buddha to contemplate being in and of itself.

This means becoming aware of what we are left with when we drop the belief that true peace isn't available right here and now. We're asked to finally put to test the delusion that we're something missing important, or there's something wrong with us we need to fix. In cultivating a receptive, curious mindfulness, we release our fixation from the regime of improvement in favor of opening those vast wonders already available within.


Being alive is an amazing experience, filled with interwoven processes of breathing and movements that are all too easy to overlook. In meditation we lie down not to sleep, nor do we walk to get anywhere; we lie down, sit, stand or walk simply to experience those states for the depth, beauty and wisdom they contain. Having a brain gives us more processing power than all the world's computers combined; as the Buddha noted, we develop capabilities more astonishing than traveling the universe when we explore the inner resources of the mind.

In this journey we awaken to the intrinsic marvels of life itself. Breathing in and of itself is astonishing if we observe it with enough persistence. Under close inspection, each inhalation and exhalation are different than those which came before or may come after. It's as revolutionary as the insights of Marx, Freud or Darwin: taking a break from mundane narratives and dramas, we open to the unavoidable experiences of life; yes, we will have the pains and losses felt by all beings, but we can actually enjoy the ceaseless parade of perceptions, feelings, thoughts and moods, as we learn to rest in our seat of non-reactive awareness.

In opening to this wonder, we find refuge in the Buddha, whose name means nothing other than the state of being awake. We Take Refuge in the Dharma In the search for that which doesn't abandon, we note that certain skills in life never go away. Neurally ingrained in the innermost mechanisms of the brain, the learned competence to swim, draw, play an instrument invariably remain intact, despite the passage of time.

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Implicit memories and behaviors require little cognitive oversight and can be universally learned independent of our personal history, abilities or lack thereof, even despite numerous disadvantages or traumatic experiences. Through patient repetition, we encode in our neural pathways the ability to pause rather than react defensively, to risk intimacy rather than avoid the unknown, to know that all conditions will eventually pass, to examine our own thoughts and behaviors when we hope to identify the cause of our suffering. It has been written that it takes thousands of hours of practice to complete the transition from awkward dabbling to consummate expertise.

As someone who's been meditating for 30 years, I believe it takes longer, at least in my case. And spiritual progress does not always grow easier, for their are times when depression, fear, or uncertainty may feel overwhelming.

Losses of all kinds will test our conviction. Yet we continue the practice of letting go of distractions, developing some healthy doubt about the veracity of our inner autobiographies, we can trust instead in the simple wisdom of karma. As the Buddha explained about awakening: "Ignorance will be destroyed, and all that is true revealed to one who is aware and persistent. We Take Refuge in the Sangha It should be noted that true refuge doesn't come entirely from inner resources.

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Meaningful, secure, empathic connection to others is an absolute requisite for developing any regulation of our emotions, respite from our feelings of uniqueness and separation. In the reassuring glance of another spiritual practitioner, received as we disclose our most challenging urges and emotions, we locate a bond and care that heals even the deepest wounds inflicted when shamed, abandoned, rejected.

As the buddha taught, "I do not see any quality by which the skillful arises and the unskillful subsides than friendship with admirable people The spiritual life is one of mutual dependence, for together we can cross over the flood of ignorance" by which he means the craving and influences that push us in the wrong direction.

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Connecting with others is the most challenging of the refuge, for it requires a risk even greater than sitting and observing the inner horror shows and ludicrous fantasies the mind can project. In opening our hearts to others, we risk once again being deserted and shunned, that which we fear the most. But there's really no alternative; openness and honesty are the foundations of trust, and so resilience, even if its born of the desperation of loneliness, is key. We can develop this skill incrementally, taking calculated risks, that's fine, but take the plunge, its worth it.

For the Purposes of Training We Take the Precepts In entering the spiritual journey its not enough to commit ourselves to the destination, we have to 'seal the deal' as it were by renouncing actions that sabotage our pilgrimage, loading us down with the heavy baggage of guilt, shame and unworthiness. To use the analogy of climbing a mountain to attain a beautiful vantage, the trails are often difficult and require relinquishing that which is slows us down; some trails may even lead us in the wrong direction. So the refuges do not appear merely by belief, as in other spiritual faiths, they result from actively letting go of what derails and detracts.

In leading peaceful, ethical lives, the relationships necessary to sustain harmony with others and gain strength from our peers would only be scarred by aggression, addiction or careless impulses. And so together we undertake the most basic tenets found in the Buddha's teaching of Pancila, or precepts. For the purposes of training, we abstain from taking life, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, harmful speech aor heedless intoxication.

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Nirvana and Other Buddhist Felicities. Short of attaining enlightenment, in each rebirth one is born and dies, to be reborn elsewhere in accordance with the completely impersonal causal nature of one's own karma. Chelsea marked it as to-read Aug 14, World News. Scholarly research concerning Esoteric Buddhism is still in its early stages and has a number of problems that make research difficult: []. The local hospital said it had attended to five dead and 25 wounded.