Buddhist Sutra & Tantra on Vajrayogini Day

 

The universal compassion accomplished through the practice of Sutra teachings and the wisdom accomplished through the practice of Tantric teachings are like two wings of a bird.

Just as both wings are equally important for a bird to fly, so both Sutra and Tantra are equally important for practitioners seeking enlightenment.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Sutra

Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, a poem written by the 7th Century Buddhist master, Shantideva:

“A Bodhisattva is a friend of the world who, motivated by compassion, spontaneously seeks enlightenment to benefit all living beings.”

Verses from Shantideva's Guide, GKG

✿ڿڰۣ(̆̃̃

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Equalising Doctor Who & The Daleks with Buddha’s Wisdom (pt 1)

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The Doctor suffering from Dalek aversion

Equanimity

Equanimity a balanced mind free from strong attachment and aversion, based on the ignorance of not knowing how things are.
This blissfully peaceful mind unfortunately doesn’t come naturally. It takes practice to see our way through deluded minds like attachment and aversion, which are distinctly lacking in happiness or peace. These states of mind are based on the ignorance of not knowing the truth of how thing really are. They cause us to grasp at some people and things, and reject others, causing all manner of problems.

Equanimity on the other hand, is a feel-good mind. It comes from holding others with a gentle, tender regard (Geshe Chekhawa). As we practice this, it naturally develops into what Shantideva describes as seeing “all beings equally with the eye of compassion.

That’s rather than the angry mind viewing others with the wish to vaporise them. That doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t matter how many planets the Daleks destroy, or how many people they re-format – it’ll never make them happy.

¸   . •   *   ¨

As Shantideva says, “selfish desires are a bottomless pit.”

Equalising the Doctor and the Daleks

The understanding that we all want to be happy and free from suffering, leads to understanding the equality of self and others – that there really is no difference between any of us – we all want to be happy and free from suffering. Even the Daleks and the Doctor – they’re just going about it the wrong way. As long as they remain alien to each other, there’s little hope.

I love the Doctor to bits. He’s been one of my heroes since I was a kid. But this is his 11th regeneration, and he’s still suffering in similar ways to us humans on earth. How many remembered lifetimes does it take to work out that brilliant as he is, his methods just don’t work? Each time he saves the Universe, or just the Earth from annihilation from one heinous threat, another one comes along. There has to be another way, doesn’t there?
The problems just keep on coming.

You don’t have to be a fan of the Doctor to know he’s got history with the the Daleks . They’ve got generations of enmity between them.
It’s understandable really – The Daleks are “a powerful race bent on universal conquest and domination, utterly without pity, compassion or remorse.” (Wikipedia) And the Doctor caused the mutual genocide of both the Daleks, as well as his own race of Time-Lords.
Doesn’t seem like much there’s much room for finding common ground there.

But this is science fiction, set in space!
There’s lots of room for improvement in space.

The potential for these peaceful, powerful minds is found in Asylum of the Daleks.
(nb. ** 1st episode SPOILERS. I’ve not got a T.V, so I’m only just catching up with the new series myself)

Briefly, having been kidnapped by the Daleks and forced to help them; the Doctor and his companions are helped to navigate through the Dalek asylum by a ‘slightly sexy genius’ called Oswin. She’s immediately likeable, pretty, brave and perky. She’s trapped in a shipwrecked cabin and surrounded by Daleks. She’s only got a dictaphone and the Daleks’ hive mind that she’s hacked into for company.
Not best.
As Oswin says, she’s “keen to move on.

cult_dr_who_jenna_oswin_1

The Doctor and Rory feel affinity for Owin and don’t want her to suffer. These are the loving minds loving minds of compassion that Buddhism promotes, and the ones that will bring us peace and happiness. They’re the ones to work on.
Definitely preferable to vaporising people.

Continued in Equalising Doctor Who & The Daleks with Buddha’s Wisdom (pt 2)
Meditations on
Equanimity  from Daily Lamrim on Equalising Self and Others and Equanimity
Asylum of the Daleks ep 1, series 7 on BBC1 iPlayer
(so it’s good for the UK until 6th Oct, not sure about anywhere else)
Shantideva quotes from Meaningful to Behold, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
 

Shantideva on Patience

the Supreme Medicine of Dharma
~ Shantideva on Patience

“Patience is a mind that is able to accept, fully and happily, whatever occurs. It is much more than just gritting our teeth and putting up with things. Being patient means to welcome wholeheartedly whatever arises, having given up the idea that things should be other than what they are. It is always possible to be patient; there is no situation so bad that it cannot be accepted patiently, with an open, accommodating, and peaceful heart.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in How to Solve Our Human Problems

As mentioned above, the main reason we become unhappy is because our wishes are not fulfilled or we have to deal with an unpleasant situation. However, as  as Shantideva says in Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life:

If something can be remedied,
Why be unhappy about it?
And if there is no remedy for it,
There is still no point in being unhappy.

If there is a way to remedy an unpleasant, difficult situation, what point is there in being unhappy? On the other hand, if it is completely impossible to remedy the situation or to fulfil our wishes, there is also no reason to get upset, for how will our becoming unhappy help? This line of reasoning is very useful, for we can apply it to any situation.
Patient acceptance does not necessarily mean that we do not take practical steps to improve our situation. If it is possible to remedy the situation, then of course we should; but to do this we do not need to become unhappy and impatient.

There are many benefits to be gained from patiently accepting suffering. Not only does it enable us to maintain a peaceful and positive mind in the face of distressing circumstances, but it also helps us to gain a clear and dispassionate view of the nature of our samsaric situation. There is a certain mental stability to be had merely from recognizing that every experience of pain or discomfort is the fault of our being caught up in samsara – of our being born, living, and dying in a state of unknowing and confusion.
Our real problem is not the physical sickness, difficult relationship, or financial hardship that we might currently be experiencing, but our being trapped in samsara. This recognition is the basis for developing renunciation, the spontaneous wish to attain complete freedom from every trace of dissatis- faction, which in turn is the foundation of all the higher spirit- ual realizations leading to the boundless happiness of liberation and enlightenment. But this recognition can only dawn within the clear and open mind of patient acceptance. For as long as we are in conflict with life’s difficulties, thinking that things should be different from the way they are and blaming circumstances or other people for our unhappiness, we shall never have the clarity or spaciousness of mind to see what it is that is really binding us. Patience allows us to see clearly the mental habit patterns that keep us locked in samsara, and thereby enables us to begin to undo them. Patience is therefore the foundation of the everlasting freedom and bliss of liberation.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in How to Solve Our Human Problems”

Source:
from Amitabha e-news May by Gen Kelsang Chönden
Shantideva flowchart by Vide Kadampa 

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