CHAPTER 4 – Awakening the Buddha of Wisdom in Difficult times
- Who is your enemy? Mind is your enemy. Who is your friend? Mind is your friend.
- We are often inspired by acts of bravery, courage and compassion. That inspiration can kindle an inner light within us that leads us through very difficult times.
- Pests, drought, animals, insects, no gardener gives up. Water, fertilize, plant new seeds. Whatever you plan and tend with care will bear fruit.
- You can learn how to bring this respectful attention and awareness to the most difficult situations in which you find yourself, and to your relationships with others. As you open to the illuminating consciousness beneath your struggles a way through your difficulties will become clear.
- Meditation practice – This meditation practice is about visualizing the personification of wisdom and compassion and allowing that personification to support you. The personification can give you advice, gifts, comfort, consolation and can also provide inspiration. By doing this type of meditation on a regular basis you will find that the wisdom figure will become accessible in difficult times.
- The past is gone. The future is not yet here. You can be present for this moment. You do now will create your future.
- Imagine you are a Buddha in disguise. No one knows but you, but you know you must bring care and understanding no matter what. How can you accomplish this?
CHAPTER 5 – The practice of forgiveness
- He beat me, he robbed me, he hurt me. Abandon these thoughts. Live in love.
- In this way, forgiveness is not primarily for others, but for ourselves. It is a release of our burdens, a relief to our hearts.
- A story I like to tell is about two ex-prisoners of war who met again Years later. One said to the other, “Have you forgiven our captors yet?” And the second one answered through gritted teeth, “No. never.” When the first one looked at him kindly and said, well then, they still have you in prison, don’t they?” Only by learning to forgive, can we let go of what is holding us back and move on with our lives.
- Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.
- Release the past, forgive yourself. Forgive others. Don’t harden your heart.
- Forgiveness is not a single act but a practice that one undertakes, sometimes over a long period of time.
- It is important to understand that forgiveness does not mean that you condone what happened. In fact, it often means that you have to do what is necessary to make sure it never happens again-to yourself or anyone else.
- “If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive.”
- There is a story of a young teenager who killed a young boy and was sentenced to jail for murder. The mother of the dead boy said that she would to kill the teenager who had killed her son. Instead she visited the teenager in jail, gave him money, encouraged him and even housed him when he got out of jail. She told the teenager that through her relationship with him the “murdering teenager” had died and now the teenager was a new person because of the relationship. She then took him into her home.
- Avoid harm, act with integrity. The best of your humanity can make itself known in your difficulties.
- Don’t listen to those who stir you up. Don’t listen to others who put you to sleep. Respect them all. Thank them all. Then remember, there is a bird singing only you can hear.
- Meditation practice-the practice of forgiveness
o First ask forgiveness from others.
o Second fine forgiveness for yourself for harming yourself.
o Third forgive those who have harmed you.
- Whatever is happening, attend your body and heart. When you feel overwhelmed move around, stretch, shake your body. Take three full breaths. Return to the present moment.
From Miki Fine
Often we think that we will be happy when external conditions of life are just right — we find the right person to love, we get that promotion at work, etc. — but happiness doesn’t work that way because everything changes. Regardless of how hard we try, these conditions are rarely “just right,” and clinging to the idea that we can control them only causes more suffering for us. Even our greatest moments of happiness come to an end, so we worry about them ending and try to hold onto them, which also creates suffering.
Can you surrender your belief that happiness is something you can control?