Join Lama Surya Das – Recognizing our collective interdependence.

Buddhist thought and practice has always emphasized nonviolence, especially protecting and cherishing of all forms of life. This is based on the interwoven interdependence of all things–all of us, and all creatures great and small. Today we celebrate Earth Day, and I ask you: What may inspire, motivate and sustain your feelings of connection and universal responsibility, intentional altruistic actions, and the recognition that we must move from me to we if we are to survive and flourish on this endangered planet?
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I find it by going mindfully outside, interbeing with the beauty and richness of nature, and observing directly the inseparable unity of doing and being in moments of inter-meditation, co-meditating with water, sky, wind and trees; and thru the inseparable unity of contemplation and action, faith and deeds, on the path of awakened living.
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Recognizing our interconnectedness and collective interdependence allows us to appreciate, respect and accept our undeniable responsibility to protect all the flora and fauna of this earth, and all the habitats, oceans and rivers too. Unfortunately, we seem unable to recognize the interdependence of all.
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A sage said: “The light by which we see is the one by which we are seen.” You can see this at many levels, human and divine. We do need genuine change and transformation, each and all of us. And our broken social systems also need transformation. I know now that we can’t just ask what needs changing without sincerely striving to know and transform ourselves.
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The future begins now, starting with one step. It’s time to open our wisdom eye and good heart, and grok this world, clear and open. Considering trends, problems, challenges and opportunities we face, I believe we must ask ourselves and each other: “What can we do to contribute to a better world and planet? What can we do individually and collectively toward alleviating suffering and edifying and awakening the world through our noble-hearted and compassionate, all-inclusive bodhichitta (innate enlightened mind), thru love in action, for the benefit of one and all?
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As a tantric Tibetan song of enlightenment goes:
“The whole universe is my body, all beings my heart & mind.”
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With Love and blessings,
Lama Surya Das

Original Source – http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Our-Collective-Interdependence-.html?soid=1103289318709&aid=H7sqwXMPkzo

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Six Steps to Freedom and Intentional Responsiveness

I have found that fear, anger and irritation are like an affliction, and a serious impediment to open communication and healthy relationships of all kinds. Discovering methods to deal with these challenging emotions is essential in leading a healthy well-balanced, harmonious life. It is important to realize that anger has its own function, intelligence and logic and so we should not entirely try to eradicate it. After much trial and error, I have come up with my own practice for regulating strong emotions and being patient and more authentically responsive through these six steps to mindful anger management and intentional responsiveness. Spirituality can be the medicine for all that afflicts us.

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1. Recognizing: Notice with equanimity a familiar stimulus which habitually pushes your hot buttons and triggers an unfulfilling, retaliatory response such as harsh words or unfair treatment, which might very well provoke retaliation in kind. Stop for a moment, however brief, to breathe, reflect, and simply relax.

2. Recollecting: With remindfulness, remember the downsides and disadvantages of returning hatred with hatred, anger with anger, harm with harm. Buddha said, “Hatred is not appeased by hatred. Hatred is appeased only by love.” And recollect the upside—the significant advantages – of practicing patience, forbearance, tolerance and stoic acceptance of karma and its repercussions. In this second step, find and mine the sacred pause. Rest in it.

3. Refraining and restraining, through reframing: See things through the other’s eyes/point of view; cultivating feelings of genuine compassion for those who harm you, knowing that they are merely sowing the seeds of their own unhappiness and bad karma. Examine things from the others’ perspectives: turn this over like a stone to see all sides, recognizing others’ suffering. To take it one step further, practice recognizing the adversary or critic as a teacher, a friend, an ally in helping us develop patience and overcome unconscious, habitual, and unproductive reaction patterns. The most difficult person or situation can become our greatest teacher, our greatest opportunity.

4. Relinquishing: Give up habitual conditioned reactivity and let go of impulsive urges in favor of more consciously chosen intelligent responsiveness. Accept the fact that such urges arise, don’t suppress or indulge them. Let them be without acting on them and you will find that they ultimately dissolve.

5. Reconditioning and deconditioning habitual reactivity through remindfulness: Recall the entire situational dynamic you have now reviewed, while refraining, relinquishing and reflecting on how little it will matter in a few months and years; letting go of unwholesome reaction patterns.

6. Responding appropriately, intelligently, consciously, choicefully–proactively, rather than reactively: In some cases, this may translate into doing nothing or in other cases responding with equanimity; ultimately making wiser, more skillful decisions based on conscious awareness and experience.

Original Source – http://www.surya.org/six-steps-to-freedom-and-intentional-responsiveness/

The Essence of Spirituality by Lama Surya Das

Spirituality – Spirituality isn’t concerning convictions – it’s concerning the method we tend to live and direct our everyday lives. Spirituality is concerned with those qualities of the human soul – like love and sympathy, tolerance, forgiveness, enjoyment, a way of liability, a way of harmony – that brings happiness to both self as well as other people. Spirituality is an important part of faith. Spirituality is often outlined as the in progress endeavor to grow in our relationship with God.

Buddhism Spirituality – Buddhist spirituality is concerned with the top of suffering through the enlightened understanding of reality. The spiritual practices of the Buddhist tradition vary considerably among its many major varieties, however all of them are unit orientated towards final freedom from suffering and therefore the cultivation of insight and empathy.

The essence of spirituality

The essence of spirituality is one that permits the mind to be at oneness with all of creation. They are able to let go of judgments that make disharmony between beliefs, in this way permitting everyone to experience their true path while not battling negativity.

When one comes with pure source energy with true love vibrations they’re spiritually connected. They believe the divine power that lives inside all of creation. To completely perceive Spirituality one should become connected to the present pure source energy and inhale it in with each breath.

According to Lama Surya Das – The essence of spiritual healing is love. Surya Das believes we are able to heal ourselves through adoration and discover fulfillment in love. Which might not involve another person? It’s going to be between my true self and I or in the middle of me and God, to place it in theistic terms. Obviously, we are able to expertise by being transported by the excellence of nature or a sunset. I feel the arts are an extraordinary method of awakening the heart today. Service and generosity, giving of ourselves is one of the best ways, one of the high roads to Enlightenment. It always has been. Kabir, the poet saint of India sang “Try to live the Path of Love.”

The importance of spirituality –

Many people see spirituality as a good way of seeking solace and peace in their life. It will usually be practiced aboard things like meditation that ultimately specialize in stress relief and release of feeling.

Spirituality is used as some way of gaining perspective, recognizing that our role in life features a larger worth than simply what we have a tendency to do daily. It will separate a person from dependence on material things and establish a greater purpose. Some people also see spirituality as some way of managing modification or uncertainty.
Ten spiritual observations from Lama Surya Das –

1. Truth telling is a rigorous spiritual practice.

2. Buddha’s not imagining.

3. We have a tendency to can’t simply believe whatever we predict. We think, accordingly, we err.

4. That which we call “I” is simply impermanent, ownerless karma moving along. Don’t take it personally.

5. Everyone is a little crazy. Remembering this helps us lighten up.

6. We require a spiritual life, not simply special experiences.

7. Grasping fleeting things to tightly give us rope burn.

8. Mindfulness practice helps us become additional transparent to ourselves.

9. Resistance is another type of clinging.

10. Work on being there while getting there.

Article Source – http://www.surya.org/ten-spiritual-observations-from-lama-surya-das/

Spring on Maui Retreat with Ram Dass, Lama Surya Das, Mirabai Bush & Friends

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 – Monday, May 09, 2016
Napili Kai Beach Resort @ Napili Bay
5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
United States
Map and Directions

Renew, Refresh and Revitalize with Ram Dass
in Natural Wonders & Beauty this Spring on Maui

Daily Meditation & Dharma Talks with Ram Dass, Lama Surya Das
and Mirabai Bush
Special LIVE podcast sessions with Duncan Trussell
and Raghu Markus
Nightly Kirtan with Nina Rao and her band; also, featuring a special evening of music with singer/songwriter Trevor Hall

Daily 90 minute “LIVE Music Hatha Yoga Experience”
Dr. Saraswati Markus of Dao Flow Yoga
with
Benjy & Heather Wertheimer

Sacred Music Mornings with Shantala

Sunrise Silent Sitting Meditation with Rameshwar Das
Enjoy Ceremony, Prayers and Blessings of Aloha with Lei’ohu Ryder and Maydeen Iao

Delicious, healthy meals, served buffet style, provided by the award winning
Sea House 
Restaurant and Monsoon Indian Restaurant
Gluten Free, non-dairy, vegan and vegetarian options available at each meal
Speedi Shuttle Ride Reservations from Kahului Airport (OGG) to / from Napili Kai Beach Resort
included with ON-SITE Registration

This picturesque ocean-front property with beautiful accommodations, stunning sunsets and sparkling beaches is ideal for relaxing, retreating, walking ocean front nature trails, ocean swimming and snorkeling with sea turtles.

For more details visit here – https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=1738269

Lama Surya Das ‘Awakening our hearts’

Everyone needs to feel connected, to love and feel loved, to reach out to others and communicate in order to overcome alienation, loneliness, and a feeling of being disconnected. In AWAKENING THE BUDDHIST HEART Surya Das shows you how to reach inward and outward. For more details about Lama Surya Das visit here –http://www.slideshare.net/LamaSuryaDas

The 3 minute short meditations – It still works

Daily meditation is great for your body and your mind. Meditation can relieve body and spirit. It’s a time out from the anxieties of daily living and can help you feel more focused. One of the best things about meditation is that it can be enjoyed by all. Setting aside as little as 3 minutes a day can help you stay calm when everyone around you is losing it. That’s why Lama Surya Das created a 3 minute short meditation course. If you desire to relax deeper than you ever have, then try the 3 Minute Meditations. In just 3 minutes a day you can relax your way to a better lifestyle. They’re perfect to practice while you are waiting on your cup of tea to steep or for the water to boil. Try it out, begin today.

Here are tips from Lama Surya Das’ book Buddha Standard Time and how I have adopted these in my full and busy life to short meditations.

Life is a moving meditation: I’ve started trying to sneak in short 3 minute meditation through a given day. Waiting in the grocery line, getting tea, brushing my teeth, sitting idle at a stop light have been transmuted from impatient inconveniences to meditative moments. While my daily meditation may not be the traditional 20 minutes in a meditation chair, I get seven 3 minute meditations and more presence throughout my day.

Increase the hours in the day through meditation: During the times throughout my life when I feel overwhelmed and stressed out my mind replays a time scarcity message over and over again, “I don’t have enough time in the day to get all that I have to complete.” Lama Surya Das recommends that stress periods in our lives are the perfect time to meditate as it results in expanding time. While counter intuitive, my higher Self recognized the wisdom in his words. My own experience approves that when I am ready to wrestle control from my brain and meditate; it results in a more resourceful, clear thinking, and quiet form of me and time grows as promised. As a result, my clear presence allows me to manage my time more effectively.

Synchronize your life to the world around you: I have generally experienced and believed in change from the inside out. However, I’ve learned to appreciate and get curious about the unseen effect on natural changes on my inner condition of being. Living from the outside in. This year I have slowed down and become more present to nature and the changes at a small scale (occasional changes) and full scale changes (planetary orbits). Effortlessness, enchantment, and meaning have been my gift as I have danced with the flow of life versus battling against it.

Meditation calms the mind in order to decrease stress and find inner peace and balance. A daily three-minute meditation is a time efficient and effective way to increase back your inner peace. The advantages are more prominent than you may expect.

1. Less stress – Meditation helps with anxiety by lowering stress, blood pressure and increasing energy levels.

2. Better brain function – Meditation affects your brain activity, fosters your creative thinking, improves your learning performance and can strengthen your memory.

3. Achieve Enlightenment – Through Meditation your achieve harmony in your spirit, brain and body. You achieve a spiritual enlightenment where you get self-acknowledgment, you stop trying to change yourself and become who you really are.

4. A happier you – Meditation consists of a focused reflection of yourself and the emotions in your brain. It’s possibly spent offering gratitude for what you do have, valuing the little favors around you and expressing a loving kindness for yourself and others. It makes you and everyone around you happier and it helps you feel more connected with your friends-family, humanity and nature.

5. Self-Actualization – By practicing Meditation you can keep things in perspective, achieve a peaceful mind state and enjoy a cheerful life. You find your motivation in life, your potential and you turn out to be all that you can be.

6. Enhance Vision – Meditations affect your brain movements, encourage your inventive thinking, enhance your learning performance and can strengthen your memory.

7. Improve Sleep – Taking a few minutes out of your day to clam your psyche and practice gratitude will enhance your personal satisfaction, well-being and your capacity to improve night’s rest.

For more details about Lama Surya Das visit here – http://www.slideshare.net/LamaSuryaDas

Root of the Bodhi Tree: The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path

Despite the unbelievable variety of scriptures, practices, languages, cultures and approaches, we find at the center of all the customs of Buddhism the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. As the Dalai Lama said, “There is no Buddhism without the Four Noble Truths. If you want to know Buddhism, you must know the Four Noble Truths.” The Four Noble Truths are the facts of life from a Buddhist perspective.

Four Noble Truth
Four Noble Truth

1. Life is Dukkha (Suffering). Suffering happens all through life because people always want more or little bit better than what they already have.

2. All suffering is caused by craving/desire and attachment. Because we don’t have what we want we think and feel trouble.

3. Suffering can be reduced. All delicate desires must be extinguished by the human being who wishes freedom from suffering and it can be extinguished by walking the Path. If we admit what we have and stop wanting more we will become glad.

4. Suffering can be reduced by following the Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path way is the method to end suffering.

The Eightfold Path is to be experienced though the three principles training (sila); meditation training and mindfulness training, (Samadhi) and wisdom and love training (prajna). These three trainings are the tripod-like bases that support all the Buddhist practices on the path of enlightened living.

Eightfold Path
Eightfold Path

Principles training or sila (literally: cooling) includes self-discipline, morality, virtue, selflessness, service, and so on. Mindfulness training includes the calculated development of self-observation and wakefulness, training the attention and concentration, presence of mind and meditation training. The third training, (prajna), means insight, discrimination, and judgment. I would like to say insight and love, for completeness’ sake, since reality and love, or insight and kindness, are inseparable. So sila, samadhi and prajna are the three fundamental ways we guide and expand ourselves on the holy path. The Three Trainings are actually put into practice through the Eightfold Path.

The eightfold path referred to as steps on a path, is not meant as an in order learning process, but as eight parts of life, all of which are to be integrated in everyday life. Thus the atmosphere is created to move faster to the Buddhist pathway. The eightfold path is at the heart of the middle way, which turns from extremes and supports us to seek the simple approach. Wisdom Training is broken out into the first and second practices of the Eightfold Path:

Which Noble Eightfold Path way has to be developed in order to end all suffering?

1. Right view and understanding learning the life of reality and the fact about life.

2. Right ambition making the promise to living in such a way that our distress can end.

3. Right words speaking the reality in a helpful and sympathetically way.

4. Right action and behavior living a life reliable with our morals.

5. Right livelihood receiving a living in a system that does not upset others.

6. Right try just Do it. No cause.

7. Right alertness recognizing the importance of the moment; living everywhere we are.

8. Right awareness expanding our realization through meditation.

Article Source – http://www.dzogchen.org/teachings/