Why Cosmic Loti?

I s’pose the theme, title, and avatar are things you’re meant to work out before you start a new blog.
Well, that’s the ideal.
But life is rarely that, is it.

¸.•*¨✰

This blog started with a post on Transforming adverse conditions into the Spiritual Path (or just a bad day to a better one)

late last November, and has continued on more or less the same theme. Folk seem happy with that, and I think it’s a useful trick to know.

But I’ve got that bloke-ish tendency to make something; then read the assembly instructions to find out why it isn’t working.
Hence the name changes. It’s like the site has a personality disorder or something; her distinctive character being malleable and vulnerable (as we all are) to change, developing as a reaction to her experiences of the world around her. So it’s taken a bit of time for a proper name to evolve, as honestly and meaningfully as it can.

“Shariputra, know that all phenomena are mere name.”

By this, Buddha was telling his disciple that a name is much more than a label; it’s how we create and define our world.
‘The Muddy Lotus’ symbolizes how we can grow through adverse conditions to become beautiful, strong beings. Just like the Buddhist symbol of a lotus:

Lotuses grow in mud ~ just as we start off buried in the mud of our worldly concerns. But we can use Buddha’s advice to grow through the mire of ordinary life, and emerge sparkly clean and pure in the sunlight. Even the lotus’s leaves are self-cleaning ~ the rain naturally washes the dirt away! And so Dharma revitalizes all areas of our life. The stalk of the lotus is strong, just as we are strengthened by the Dharma.’
(from the About page)

And ‘Muddy Lotus’ was an oxymoron! A name to make people think. I love the lotus symbolism, but I always felt vaguely embarrassed telling other Buddhists the name of my blog, I don’t think that many got it.  And we’re getting more popular now, so it had to change.

¸.•*¨✰


¸.•*¨✰

I like that Geshe Kelsang always gives the newly ordained names to aspire to. They’re normally far from the present character of the novice. Really, ask what a newbie’s name means, and they’ll often give a little smile and a shrug as they say it.
But over the years as monks and nuns grow into their names, Geshe la’s wisdom becomes clear. Even after a couple of years, it can often be seen that someone given a name by Geshe la is growing into it. It’s a pleasant surprise when we can see that that’s happened.

☆*⋆ So it’s like we’re stood in the mud reaching for the stars on this blog – via the mind-set that it’s really just a little stretch – standing on tippy-toes.

¯\(°_o)/¯

What do you think? We’d love to hear from you.
Share your thoughts in box down there ⤵ (on page with article)
Help others – use the share button below.
Vote ☆☆☆☆☆ at the top 

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Winds of Karma

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“When the winds of karma blow… we have no freedom to remain, and no choice about where to go.”

Geshe Kelsang
good

or

bad

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The winds of karma never stop blowing.
Thing is, do we react from a place of rejection; feeling anxious or angry, and battered by the wind; trying to build up walls to stop the changes taking place.
Or are we able to accept with a positive mind, building windmills and flying kites?


“No matter how windy, the reed can survive well as it’ll bend by following the direction of wind.” Reeds by lijiun


Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, The New Meditation Handbook 
Flying Kite by 
Peter Griffin
Tumlr images via babydoll1976
(Click on pictures to make big)


Karmic Prelude

This is a commonly held belief. 
But is it true? 

¯\(°_o)/¯


What do you think? We’d love to hear from you.
Share your thoughts in box down there ⤵ (on article page)
Help others – use the share button below.

And look!! Our first poll!
←  

 

Waiting is

‘Waiting is’ an antidote to the stress of impatience

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Dharma Wheel and Deer

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Reblogged from Inviting the Bell – engaging the community of mindfulness practitioners

In Robert Heinlein’s science fiction classic, *Stranger in a Strange Land*, the Man from Mars uses the mantra, “Waiting is” whenever faced with having to wait or doesn’t get what he wants. My sense of the phrase’s meaning is that events will unfold naturally, and waiting is an activity that leads to the unfolding. In many situations, waiting is more pleasurable than fruition. Much of the unhappiness that occurs during the day is caused by impatience.
When impatience is noticed, a simple “Waiting is” is an effective tool to remember the value and pleasure of waiting.

Matt W
Photo Jokhang temple, Lhasa (Erik Tˆrner, Tibet 2003)

Sit in Peace 2 – Bristol Meditation Flash Mob · By Sit in Peace Bristol

    • Sit in Peace 2

       – Bristol Meditation Flash Mob

      · Saturday, 28 July 2012

    • 14:30 until 15:00

  • Sit in Peace Bristol ~ looking forward to the next Meditation Flash Mob in Bristol 🙂
  • Anything underlined here is a link, so click away!
  • If you don’t live in Bristol, Meditation Flash Mobs are organised worldwide:
    Med Mobs and Meditate for World Peace

  •  
    · From Sit in Peace Bristol on Facebook:
     
    We warmly invite everyone and anyone to come together once again in a precious opportunity to meditate or sit in silence. We shall be offering this 30 minutes of tranquility to our beautiful and often busy city of Bristol at 2.30pm on Saturday 28th July 2012 on College Green.
     
     
     
     

Previous feedback:

“Beautiful being part of Sit in Peace meditation today in Bristol. Wonderful energy and special time.”
“Just back from this…totally blissful vibe, radiating peace put to Brizzle and beyond.”
“Just back from the Flashmob meditation outside the cathedral in Bristol City. Such a beautful, rich and full experience of depth, quietude, gentleness and love. Seeing beautiful faces I ‘know’ and meeting some new friends too. Thank you to all x x x Sublime…”
“I’ve just got home after participating in a flash mob meditation event! Silent and more static than the usual dancing and stuff of course – but fabulous. At College Green in Bristol, just sitting and meditating for 30 minutes, connecting up with some global spiritual leaders doing the same.”
“Medmob 31 March 2012, College Green, Bristol. Stillness and contemplation in the heart of the city. Extraordinary”
“Thanks, this felt very meaningful, may everyone experience lasting peace!”

College Green, BS1 5SH Bristol, United Kingdom

Meditation Flashmob in Bristol City Centre, Spring 2012

… of interest on here:
See how completely, brilliantly, meaningful the last flashmob was:
photos of Sit in Peace Meditation Flashmob on College Green, Bristol
Inspired by Tich Nhat Hanh “sit together in silence, generating the energy of peace, solidity, and freedom”
Hundreds of like-minded people across the UK, sitting for a better world.

… on Facebook:
Wake Up Bristol
Love Movements

This is a public event ~ would love to see you there.
And if you go to a similar event where you are, let us know! I’d happily publish any photos, illustrations or write-ups of your experiences.
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+ ❤  = 🙂

When i see phenomena like this being created, it gives me hope that together we can really make a better world.
Ɲαɱα§ɫé
Photo by Duncan Maybury

Karma – the Cosmic Boomerang

It’s easy to define karma

Through the force of intention, we say, do and think things. All these actions produce effects. There are many shades, but basically, good actions lead to good results of a similar nature for us; and bad actions cause us to experience bad things in a similar way. Neutral actions have fairly mediocre effects. As Bob Marley said “what goes around comes around”.

Actually understanding the intricacies of which cause led to what effect is beyond ordinary understanding.
But details are unimportant.

What matters is the now

Because what’s happening for us now is an indication of the karma that we created in the past; and what we’re doing now is creating our experiences in the future.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Most people, whether they or not they are religious, believe that we should engage in virtuous actions, and avoid actions which are harmful” (GKG JP)
It just seems like common sense that what goes round comes round. (Not that common sense always is)

Geshe la tells us “we always have choice“. It’s helpful to know what karma is, and how it works; because now is really the only time that really exists for us. In relation to karma, that means every moment is another chance to turn it all around. That’s why knowing about the law of karma in relation to our lives can be so empowering.

It’s not about punishment or reward, there’s no Karma Police or Judge Dredd out there. Karma’s just “a special instance of cause and effect” ((GKG JP); one that works through our mind stream.
Just about everything is an example of cause and effect, from gravity to grass.

On one level We all know about this ~ drop a glass and it’ll most likely break. Breaking the law will probably lead to some kind of punishment. Being happy for others’ happiness brings us joy as well.

Atisha on the front cover of Joyful Path

But on a deeper level some faith, or at least an open mind is required.
Misbehaving when we’re kids can result in having disruptive children of our own. Giving when we’re younger can lead to living comfortably enough in our old age. Giving now will lead to abundance in later lives. (Just as stealing will result in us not having enough of what we want).

What has been your experience? Does whatever awareness we have of this change the way we do or think about things? Do we think it should?

It’s worth contemplating karma

Even on a mundane level, you can see the law of cause and effect in action; but are you able to see karma in action? Consider this life ~ by connecting things you did previously to experiences you’ve had later in life, a pattern can be formed. I know other Buddhists and myself can trace effects back to their causes. Keeping an open mind to it, or wishing to increase our faith – it’s an interesting thing to do (and can be very powerful).

Vide Kadampa gives some brilliant meditations on karma in his blog*

of interest:
GKG JP – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Joyful Path of Good Fortune
(p227 & p569 in my book)
* Buddhist meditations on karma from Daily Lamrim
* Article from Luna Kadampa asking What’s karma got to do with it?
A bit more here on the karmic effects of giving in an economic crisis ~ What Would Buddha Do? 

¯\(°_o)/¯


What do you think? We’d love to hear from you.
Share your thoughts in box down there ⤵ (on page with article)
Help others – use the share button below.
Vote ☆☆☆☆☆ at the top 


 



There is no Way to Peace, Peace is the Way

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Find peace in your mind to create peace in the world.

 

We gotta find peace within before there’s any chance of peace out there.


Peaceful Mind Peaceful World, isn’t it. 

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via self-assassin, babydoll1976, and dancingdakini
(Click on image to view in a larger format) 

¯\(°_o)/¯


What do you think? We’d love to hear from you.

Is ‘Peace the Way’?
Vote ☆☆☆☆☆ at the top 
or share your thoughts in box down there ⤵  (on page with article)

 

Local News – Wisdom and Compassion in Harmony, Day Course with Gen Chönden

Wisdom and Compassion in Harmony

Day Course with Gen Chönden
Sunday 13 May, 10:30am – 5pm  

The supreme good heart holding the true nature of all phenomena is the universal panacea for all our suffering and problems, and swiftly takes us to enlightenment.
This is the transforming Sutra path of compassion and wisdom at its most powerful.
Everyone who is now a Buddha, followed this path of relying upon and abiding in the perfection of wisdom.

_/\_

Courses include teachings, guided meditations and discussion, with breaks for refreshments and lunch (vegetarian).
Everyone is welcome to any course.

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the two wings of wisdom and compassion fly us to enlightenment

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Economic Crisis ~ What Would Buddha Do? (Guest article by Dawa at MKMC)

According to a brief Google search

2012 has begun badly from a fiscal point of view

The UK Office for National Statistics says the economy has slid into its second recession since the financial crisis. Apparently it’s only a ‘a technical recession’, but that’s cold comfort for many of us.

Blues singer in the Evening Post and other sad news

Sengé just told me that Bristol (where we live) is the 3rd richest city in Britain.

He added that the Evening Post was reporting on a local Blues singer who “strangled his wife on the day they were due to be evicted from their home in St George, as the florist business they ran faced ruin.”

What?! I was just proof-reading this post, and wondering if it was going a bit far (My bad ~ the article started with a conversation that I’d prompted), when the doorbell rang.
…OK, so prices are generally rising, but ‘economic crisis’?!

Sengai has a unerving habit of visiting and
conversationally coming up with revelations

that perfectly fit with the question in mind. For some folk it has got to crisis-point.

Our Buddhist mother centre MKMC have had to put festival prices up this year; pulling even more at already taut purse strings, and putting priorities into question. After discussing a global economic crash while at MKMC; Dawa sent me this article on keeping a good heart while getting through the tough times. Having lived through Latin America’s “the lost decade” (their financial period of crisis), her thoughts are worth sharing:

from giving comes wealth

Buddha’s view on economic crisis

“The thought of economic crisis may initially generate worry and fears. But in the Dharma context we can use this worry as a reminder of how important is to practise giving and generosity, which is the real cause for having resources.
Trying to hold on to resources with a mind of attachment only gives rise to negative minds, so is bound to bring about the opposite effect we are looking for.

.We need to watch our intentions for saving.
In practical terms we could think of many ways to prepare for the crisis – like storing cans of food in our cupboards, or turning our savings into silver coins which are easier to trade and don’t lose so much value.

Buddha taught that the only safe way to practise though, is by giving generously and making prayers so that in the time of crisis our good seeds of generosity sown in previous lives and earlier in this life can ripen. *

In that way, we won’t have to endure lack of the essential things, such as food, heat, electricity, and especially the ability to get to Dharma courses. It’s also important not to forget our all kind mother beings.
Pray that no one has ever to endure the physical and mental suffering that arises from lack of resources; and make every effort to help others in practical ways, especially in helping others receive pure Dharma.

_/\_

Remember this is only a short life

amongst so many other lives that will appear in our mental continuum (hopefully not too many ;-@), so it’s not as big a problem as it may at first seem. Thinking like this is taking sincere refuge in the three jewels. We can reflect on the sad state of samsara and increase our renunciation. Also remember the emptiness of all things ~ it’s all an appearance to our impure mind in the end!

We are so lucky to have teachings can help us prepare for economic crisis.
So my advice would be don’t save, but instead give, help – abundantly and generously – and wealth will abound today and at times of crisis.”

(O_o)

Dawa’s onto a good thing here. This is what a Triratna Buddhist Centre leader has to say on the subject:
People are very aware that the things they relied on for security aren’t as stable as they thought they were and so are looking for other ways of security that doesn’t depend on material things.”
‘Recession driving people to meditation’ says Croydon or for original article
via seanrobsville.blogspot.co.uk
* For further explanation on karma, see our guest article,  the Cosmic Boomerang
“from giving comes wealth” (the Protector Nagarjuna)

¯\(°_o)/¯

This is challenging stuff, but is it true? We’d love to hear from you.
Share your thoughts in box down there ⤵ (on page with article)

Coming soon…

part 2 of Let Go to Become, and a Guest article by Dawa ~
the Buddhist take on Economic Crisis

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