Tag Archives: Buddha

Kwan-Yin, the Compassionate Rebel

Kwan Yin, Artist Vitthal Das Rathore

“IT is unfortunate that Buddhism’s most enduring (and universal) contribution to the world has been insufficiently translated as compassion. The original Sanskrit word is ‘karuna,’ which holds within itself traces of the fragment ‘ru,’ meaning to weep. While the Oxford dictionary describes compassion as pity bordering on the merciful, karuna is actually our ability to relate to another in so intense a measure that the plight of the other affects us as much as if it had been our own.

“Over centuries, Kuan Yin’s visual depictions have highlighted her lithe, flowing form, much like the willow tree itself, which has the ability to bend during the most ferocious winds and then spring back into shape again. Indeed, who wants to stand rigid like the tall oak that cracks and collapses in a storm? Instead, one needs to be flexible like the willow, which survives the tempest.”

(Kuan Yin, The Compassionate Rebel)

H. P. Blavatsky’s definition of Compassion, in The Voice of the Silence, remains the favorite of Theosophists:

Yet, one word. Canst thou destroy divine compassion? Compassion is no attribute. It is the LAW of laws — eternal Harmony, Alaya’s SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal.

The more thou dost become at one with it, thy being melted in its BEING, the more thy Soul unites with that which IS, the more thou wilt become Compassion Absolute.

Such is the Ârya Path, Path of the Buddhas of perfection.

“Never will I seek nor receive private, individual salvation; never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever and everywhere will I live and strive for the redemption of every creature throughout the world.”

Buddha Fields

(The Mandala Offering)

“First, we need to understand what a Buddha-field or pure land is. It is a place where everything is conducive for being able to study and practice the Dharma twenty-four hours a day.”

The Child State

“You don’t have to work; you don’t have to eat; you don’t have to sleep; you don’t have to pay rent; you don’t have to go to the toilet – you don’t have to do anything except study and practice all the time. It’s not a place that you go, hang around the swimming pool, and play cards all day long.

“Buddha-fields are filled with Arya Bodhisattva, those Bodhisattva who have had nonconceptual cognition of voidness, and there they are taught by Sambhogakaya forms of Buddhas, physical forms that Buddhas manifest in that make full use of the Mahayana teachings. That’s what happens in pure land Buddha-fields.”

Sambhogakaya

The Three Buddhic Bodies:

1. Nirmanakaya.
2. Sambhogakaya.
3. Dharmakaya.

“The first is that ethereal form which one would assume when leaving his physical he would appear in his astral body — having in addition all the knowledge of an Adept. The Bodhisattva develops it in himself as he proceeds on the Path. Having reached the goal and refused its fruition, he remains on Earth, as an Adept; and when he dies, instead of going into Nirvâna, he remains in that glorious body he has woven for himself, invisible to uninitiated mankind, to watch over and protect it.

“Sambhogakâya is the same, but with the additional lustre of ‘three perfections,’ one of which is entire obliteration of all earthly concerns.

Manushi Buddha

“The Dharmakâya body is that of a complete Buddha, i.e., no body at all, but an ideal breath: Consciousness merged in the Universal Consciousness, or Soul devoid of every attribute. Once a Dharmakâya, an Adept or Buddha leaves behind every possible relation with, or thought for this earth. Thus, to be enabled to help humanity, an Adept who has won the right to Nirvâna, “renounces the Dharmakâya body” in mystic parlance; keeps, of the Sambhogakâya, only the great and complete knowledge, and remains in his Nirmânakâya body. The esoteric school teaches that Gautama Buddha with several of his Arhats is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice to mankind there is none known.”

“Although ‘Nirmanakaya’ is technically the name for the body or ethereal vesture of a Bodhisattva – being described on p. 45 of The Voice of the Silence as the ‘Bodhisattvic Body’ – it’s also often used simply as a synonym for the Bodhisattva himself or herself.

“This is the acquirement or attainment of a permanent astral, closely linked with the attainment of unbroken continuity of consciousness. According to Theosophy, this is the true immortality.”

(Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK, “The Permanent Astral”)

Offering the Mandala

Here is the great Earth,
Filled with the smell of incense,
Covered with a blanket of flowers,
The Great Mountain,
The Four Continents,
Wearing a jewel
Of the Sun, and Moon.
In my mind I make them
The Paradise of a Buddha,
And offer it all to You.
By this deed
May every living being
Experience
The Pure World.

Idam guru ratna mandalakam niryatayami.

Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart, author of The Field, explains what she learned from her  intention experiments. These involved hundreds of participants focusing healing intentions towards otherwise complete strangers — and how the healings reportedly healed the healers themselves.

The Intention Experiment: How Healing Healed the Healers:

After participating, an overwhelming majority of our participants not only felt better about themselves and the world; they also tended to get along better with the people with whom they came into contact, most especially perfect strangers.Many made profound changes in their lives and directions, and even sought to radically change direction or careers .Others found it easier to cope with setbacks and downturns in their lives, including their  current financial difficulties. Most of all, they found it easier to accept people or ideas that clash with their own.These preliminary results suggests that using this kind of altruistic intention not only may help to grow your own sense of compassion and tolerance, but also may help you to heal your own life.It accords with much of the research I have studied on intention. Altruistic intention heals the healer as much as the healee.

Thoughts are Things

By Lynne McTaggart

Next are excepts from instructions inspired by the greatest of all spiritual teachers and healers, The Buddha.

Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life

Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life: How to enjoy a life of great meaning and altruism

Course VII: The Vows of the Bodhisattva

Even just wishing you could stop
A headache another person has
Can bring you merit without measure
Because of the helpful intent you feel.
What need then to mention the wish
That you could stop the immeasurable pain
Of every being, and put every one
In a state of measureless happiness?

There are many methods for achieving the “Great Compassion.” Each person strives in his/her own way, but there are useful contemplative truths. In The Voice of the Silence, one finds an important teaching about compassion. It is not an individual “virtue,” but rather a universal law of life.

The Law of Life

The Asian Classics Institute
Middle Way Philosophy (Madhyamika), Level Two
Course VII: The Vows of the Bodhisattva

Reading One: Bodhichitta, the Wish for Enlightenment Tsongkapa

The following selection is taken from the Commentary on the Three Principal Paths, an explanation by Pabongka Rinpoche (1878-1941) of the famous root text by Je Tsongkapa (1357-1419).

The Vows of the Bodhisattva:

To actually gain the wish for enlightenment he must first contemplate it. To contemplate it, he must first learn about it from another. “Loving-kindness” is an almost obsessive desire that each and every living being find happiness. “Compassion” is an almost obsessive desire that they be free of any pain.

Think of how a mother feels when her one and only and most beloved son is in the throes of a serious illness. Wherever she goes, whatever she does, she is always thinking how wonderful it would be if she could find some way of freeing him quickly from his sickness.

Mother Theresa

These thoughts come to her mind in a steady stream, without a break, and all of their own, automatically. They become an obsession with her. When we feel this way towards every living being, and only then, we can say we have gained what they call “great compassion.”

Once you develop great compassion, then you can develop the extraordinary form of personal responsibility, where you take upon yourself the load of working for others’ benefit. And the wish to achieve enlightenment for every living being comes from this.

H. P. Blavatsky 1877

 

We close with H. P. Blavatsky’s inspired reminder to all aspiring student-disciples from her The Key to Theosophy, on how to help others:

The Theosophical ideas of charity mean personal exertion for others; personal mercy and kindness; personal interest in the welfare of those who suffer; personal sympathy, forethought and assistance in their troubles or needs.

We Theosophists do not believe in giving money (N. B., if we had it) through other people’s hands or organizations. We believe in giving to the money a thousandfold greater power and effectiveness by our personal contact and sympathy with those who need it.

We believe in relieving the starvation of the soul, as much if not more than the emptiness of the stomach; for gratitude does more good to the man who feels it, than to him for whom it is felt.

H. P. Blavatsky, The Key toTheosophy

“That Secret Path leads the Arhan to mental woe unspeakable; woe for the living Dead, and helpless pity for the men of Karmic sorrow.”

Life After Death, the Persistence of Consciousness

The invisible physical.

ANYONE who believes in reincarnation accepts that life can continue to exist without a visible physical form. And that consciousness can exist without a neuron filled physical brain.

Both concepts are still a challenge for the standard model of modern science which “believes not in the soul of things,” as H. P. Blavatsky declared in her monumental work The Secret Doctrine, (1:272)

The problem is directly related to the controversial “hard problem of consciousness,” formulated by the philosopher David Chalmers.

Mme. Blavatsky had already unveiled the problem by declaring that “the whole issue of the quarrel between the profane and the esoteric sciences, depends upon the belief in, and demonstration of, the existence of an astral body within the physical, the former independent of the latter.” (The Secret Doctrine 2:149)

“This astral body is the prototype, or design, around which the physical body is built, and which, considered from the point of view of the powers, is the real physical body. Without it the physical body would be nothing but a mass of matter—” 

Our Real Senses

“It is the astral body which contains the organs, or centers from which the organs have been evolved in accord with the needs of the thinker within. The real senses of man are not in the physical but in the astral body. The astral body lasts a little over one lifetime. It does not die when the physical body dies, but is used as a body in the immediate after-death states.”  – Robert Crosbie, (Universal Theosophy)

Thus, most mainstream scientists will not even approach the possibility that consciousness might exist as a separate entity from the physical brain and body, because they believe that mind and thoughts can only arise from activity within the visible physical. A kind of dogmatic religious belief.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson refers to this position as a “pathological disbelief” within the scientific establishment. Cell biologist Bruce Lipton in his “The Biology of Belief,” describes their position as:

“I wouldn’t believe it
even if it were true!”  

In contrast Theosophy teaches that life and consciousness cannot be created or destroyed. And further that the duration between lifetimes of the same individual immortal consciousness is not just the 15 or 20  minutes of some near-death studies.

Reincarnation into a new physical body varies from a few hours or weeks, up to 1, 500 years or more (or less), depending on the spiritual, mental and emotional development of the Soul, and also especially the age of the person.

“If our physiologists find the cause of dreams and visions in an unconscious preparation for them during the waking hours,” Mme. Blavatsky asks in The Key to Theosophy p. 165, Section 9, “why cannot the same be admitted for the post-mortem dreams? I repeat it: death is sleep.”

Children who have died early, as a rule tend to be reborn quickly, Blavatsky says, as they do not have many current life experiences that would hold them in the after-death dream state. 

The after-death dream lasts, according to the Master K.H. (Notes on Devachan, 249), only “until Karma is satisfied” and  “is proportionate to the unexhausted psychic impulses originating in earth life.” (W. Q. Judge, How Soon do we Reincarnate?)

But, who knows for certain, and how to they know? According to The Secret Doctrine, Summing Upknowing hidden truths is acquired using the power exercised by initiated Seers, which includes all the great Masters of Life such as Buddha, Krishna, Jesus,Lao Tsu, etc. Blavatsky explained:

“The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated
into the very kernel of matter, and recorded
the soul of things there.”

Further: “It is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of Seers,” (The Secret Doctrine 1:272), “whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the childhood of Humanity.”

(For more info see: How Soon do we Reincarnate?)

lineofmanybuddhas

Line of many Buddhas.

Now a team of psychologists and medical doctors associated with the Technische University of Berlin announced they had proven, by clinical experimentation, the existence of some form of life after death.

“This astonishing announcement is based on the conclusions of a study using a new type of medically supervised near-death experiences, that allow patients to be clinically dead for almost 20 minutes before being brought back to life.

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Karma and Reincarnation Alone Can Save Humanity

lotus-girl

Symbol of Rebirth

LOOKING beyond our relatively short physical lives on Earth, Theosophy teaches that the soul and spirit alone are eternal.

Further, the perennial wisdom tradition declares we don’t just ‘have’ a soul, we are Souls. (The Ocean of Theosophy, Chapter One)

Yet, there are many human beings who live physically to a ripe old age, and according to Wikipedia, the United Nations estimated in 2012 there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide.

Methuselah is mentioned in the Bible as living 969 years. “But I have never heard of mortal man, layman, or Adept,”  H. P. Blavatsky wrote  in The Key to Theosophy, “who could live even half the years allotted to Methuselah.”

“Some Adepts do exceed, by a good deal, what you would call the ordinary age,” she said, “yet there is nothing miraculous in it, and very few of them care to live very long.” Mme. Blavatsky refers here only to the outward earthly physical body.

But the Spiritual and Astral Bodies that wise adepts have learned to occupy and control — achieving what is termed self-conscious immortality — have no expiration date.

Such Masters as Buddha remain fully alive while occupying their spiritual form (or Bodhisattvic Body). They are called Nirmanakayas, and remain invisible to the uninitiated. Such enlightened masters live a “secret life” of service to humanity.

One who selects the Path of Renunciation is described as a Bodhisattva, a “Buddha of Compassion.” The term literally means “one whose essence is wisdom” or “one of enlightened essence.”

A Buddha of Compassion

The Buddhist sage Aryasangha refers to Gautama Buddha as “the Supreme Nirmanakaya.” H. P. Blavatsky echoes his assertion, writing in a footnote: “The Esoteric School teaches that Gautama Buddha, with several of his Arhats, is such a Nirmânakâya, higher than whom, on account of the great renunciation and sacrifice for mankind, there is none known.”

(The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

Gautama, the Buddha, after reaching the goal of enlightenment, refused its rewards and remained on earth as a Teacher-Reformer, it is explained, and esoteric tradition teaches that

“he remains in the world, invisibly watching over and protecting mankind.” 

And the Buddha is not alone. What is called a living, spiritual Wall of Protection still exists established to protect humanity, built by the “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts …

The Watcher

“… those  Buddhas of Compassion who have woven for themselves glorious bodies in which they remain invisibly in the world, contributing towards man’s salvation.”

The “Guardian Wall” may also be called the “Wall of Protection.” 

Those Masters are likened to ‘stones’ which go to form this spiritual Wall: “Built by the hands of many Masters of Compassion, raised by their tortures, by their blood cemented, it shields mankind, since man is man, protecting it from further and far greater misery and sorrow.”

The “Guardian Wall”

The “accumulated efforts of long generations of Yogis, Saints, and Adepts, especially of the Nirmanakayas, have created, so to say, a wall of protection around mankind, which wall shields mankind invisibly from still worse evils.” (Voice, fn 28)

These advanced beings assist suffering humans “by influencing them to follow the Good Law and to tread the Path of Righteousness.” Silently they impress the invisible atmosphere of our earth with their Ideation, thus keeping the balance on the side of right.

 (The Voice of the Silence, fn 34)

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This is Your Brain, Infinitely Elastic

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

BREAKING up is hard to do especially when it comes to ingrained scientific worldviews.

Even after they have betrayed us, dogmatic style beliefs still cling like burrs to our psyche, and our brains, despite all logic.

Recall the insistent flat earth and geocentric crowd, and creationist belief that the Earth is only ten thousand years old.

The list is very long. Science is littered with the remains of once sacred cows.

Until only a few years ago, for example, it was asserted that the brain cannot grow new cells —

when they are gone they
are gone for good?

Challenging the cliché that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, neuroscience now confirms that, in fact, adult brain cells can regrow after all — they can and do replace and even increase themselves as necessary!

H. P. Blavatsky explained: “The brain is the instrument of waking consciousness and every conscious mental picture formed means change and destruction of the atoms [neurons?] of the brain.” Yet, “in ordinary intellectual activity, moves on well beaten paths in the brain, and does not compel sudden adjustments and destructions in its substance.”

neurofeedback

She then noted that a “new kind of mental effort calls for something very different — the carving out of ‘new brain paths’, the ranking in different order of the little brain lives.”

Her idea was, unmistakably, a preemptive nod to our modern science’s newly understood doctrine of “neuroplasticity” —

“… the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.”(Wikipedia) This fact of occult science began to be recognized thanks to the findings of Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita, called “the father of sensory substitution and brain plasticity.”

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Now is the Only Time We Have

“THE idea that things can cease to exist and still be, is a fundamental one in Eastern psychology.

“Under this apparent contradiction in terms,” wrote H. P. Blavatsky in The Secret Doctrine, “there rests a fact of Nature to realize is the important thing.”

“A familiar instance of a similar paradox is afforded by chemical combination,” she pointed out.

“The question whether Hydrogen and Oxygen cease to exist, when they combine to form water, is still a moot one.”

“Some [argue] that since they are found again when the water is decomposed, they must be there all the while—others contending that as they actually turn into something totally different, they must cease to exist as themselves for the time being.”

“Neither side is able to form the faintest conception of the real condition of a thing, which has become something else, and yet has not ceased to be itself.”

“Existence as water may be said to be, for Oxygen and Hydrogen, a state of Non-being which is ‘more real being’ than their existence as gases. And it may faintly symbolize the condition of the Universe when it goes to sleep, or ceases to be — “to awaken or reappear again, when the dawn of the new [Universe] recalls it to what we call existence.”

This masterful treatise on reality and illusion by Mme. Blavatsky might have been written by one of today’s  quantum physicists or frontier cosmologists.

Instead, they are her words, the ideas of a master Theosophical thought leader, excerpted from the Fundamentals of her magnum opus  The Secret Doctrine [1:54-5] — the  quintessence  of physics, metaphysics and ethics.

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Wings to Fly, a Mother’s Love

WHEN our mother welcomed us back in the house after a long day outside at play, we knew there was caring and love inside.

There would  be a warm meal, soothing bath, a bedtime story. Clean pajamas and sheets were as much mother’s rule as was her unconditional love.

There is a perfect analogy “between the processes of Nature, in the Kosmos, and in the individual,” according to The Secret Doctrine (1:173.)  We learn, too, that analogy “is the surest guide to the comprehension of the Occult teachings.”

We are protected by a natural healing force in our bodies, the ever watchful immune system, surely a proof of a natural built-in ‘mother effect.’ There must be hundreds of examples of this built-in restorative force at work.

Cuts and scrapes are healed, harmful microbes are stopped in their tracks, and every day worn out parts all over the body are repaired with fresh new cells.  Nature knows how to care for her children, if only we obeyed her few basic rules, and didn’t derail the natural order.


But in these hectic and distracting times find many of us straying from nature’s tried and true ways. With increasing financial and psychological pressures on parents, children’s natural lives can be less than ideal. Maybe some parents have stopped paying attention.

This is shown by an upwelling of separation anxiety in our children, a serious state leading to numerous mental, emotional and physical disorders.

But there are proven ways to recover from the effects of a missing or hurtful parent as will be seen and heard later in this blog in a ground-breaking talk by Clancy D. McKenzie, M.D describing these problems, and revealing an unexpected solution. 

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The Perpetual Motion of the Universe

“IT is the one life, eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent, without beginning or end, yet periodical in its regular manifestations, between which periods reigns the dark mystery of non-Being.

“. . . unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; unrealisable, yet the one self-existing reality; truly, ‘a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason.

“Its one absolute attribute, which is ITSELF, eternal, ceaseless Motion, is called in esoteric parlance the ‘Great Breath,’ which is the perpetual motion of the universe, in the sense of limitless, ever-present SPACE.

“That which is motionless cannot be Divine. But then there is nothing in fact and reality absolutely motionless within the universal soul.”

“From the beginning of man’s inheritance, from the first appearance of the architects of the globe he lives in, the unrevealed Deity was recognized and considered under its only philosophical aspect —

“universal motion, the thrill of
the creative Breath in Nature.”

“Occultism sums up the ‘One Existence’ thus:  ‘Deity is an arcane, living (or moving) fire, and the eternal witnesses to this unseen Presence are Light, Heat, Moisture,’ — this trinity including, and being the cause of, every phenomenon in Nature.”

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