Sakyadhita Newsletter 29                     
Full Moon February, 2014


The Buddha's Words on Kindness (Metta Sutta)

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

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  The full moon this month falls on Valentine's Day.
A good reminder to open our hearts to all beings, 
including ones self. 
Intention & Kamma                 


Those who know

the essential to be essential

and the unessential to be unessential,

dwelling in right resolve, do arrive at the essential

Dhp 1-12


It can safely be said that the essence of the Buddha's teaching, as well as the way in which it differs from other teachings, is karma and its dependence on intentional actions: Right Resolve/Intention. In fact, we are repeatedly reminded that they are one-and-the-same thing. We are told that choice is karma. And that karma, the choice made, is made as a result of an underlying intention. And that intentions are never separate from the mental factors upon which they are based. These mental factors are either beneficial or harmful. The roots of beneficial mental factors are harmlessness, selflessness and non-ill will. The roots of harmful mental factors are greed, hatred and delusion.

It is important for our practice to understand that Karma in the Buddha's teaching is not the result of previous choices and is not fate. It is not direct cause and effect because the present is always a new moment of choice --- of Karma. The present is a condition and a ripening of past choices, but it is not locked into the choices of the past. We have the freedom of Karma in each moment and how we exercise that freedom conditions the experience we have of both that moment and of potential future moments.

The Buddha's teaching is about learning to consistently make choices based on Right Intention, the intention of non-ill-will, of harmlessness, and of selflessness; to cultivate the mind to lean towards clarity; towards loving kindness, compassion, equanimity and sympathetic joy --- to the complete eradication of adverse mind states. As our practice progresses the benefits of renunciation, the giving up of all intentions based on these harmful mind states, becomes evident; as old, unbeneficial, views dissolve, we experience tranquility and happiness.

The Buddha tells us this is a gradual path, a path that takes mindfulness and effort, discernment, determination, persistence and investigation. With Right Understanding and Right Intention we have the tools necessary to travel along as best as we are able. In the beginning it is not an easy path, as it is strewn with old habits, but it is a do-able path. So, if there is ever a moment when you want to be tough on yourself, think instead of the Buddha as the man that he was before enlightenment; the times that he was afraid in the forest, or when he tried a school of meditation and found that it didn't satisfy him and left it behind to find another; when he, who has helped millions of beings find peace and joy, did totally human things, just like us. What he said about his practice before his enlightenment was that if he strained he was carried away and if he stood still he sank. Surely we will strain at times and stand still at others --- that's okay, when you remember, just come back to a few tranquil breaths and choose again.


     A Visit to Kalimpong, India

                   by Julie Price


 On a clear day, after the rains have dissolved the dust in the air, make your way to the Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang Gompa (aka Durpin Gompa), a Nyingpa monastery on the spine of a ridge in Kalimpong. From the top floor, in mid afternoon there is a spectacular 360 degree view of the Himalayas with layers of mountains, each one a little less blue than the one before. In the distance, white-tipped peaks kiss the clouds. 


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