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Sakyadhita Newsletter 18                    
Full Moon, March, 2013

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AGM,
Sunday,April 14th, 2013 4:00 pm
AGM
 The Annual General Meeting of Sakyadhita Canada will take place on Sunday April 14th at the Seoraesa Korean Temple, 8611-33 Ave. NW, Calgary, AB. Please join us as we report on the activities from the past year, approve last years' financial statements, elect directors, and share our plans for 2013. We encourage you to apply for membership as only members of SC are entitled to vote at the meeting, but all are welcome to attend, and to apply for membership. You are encouraged to come out to the meeting where we will share refreshments, stories and our love of the Dhamma. If you have any questions or comments please send an email to: info@sakyadhitacanada.org.


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Don't sacrifice your own welfare for that of another
No matter how great.
Realizing your own true welfare
Be intent on just that.
Dhammapada 166

Mara can make much of this advice; after all, we can take it to be giving us permission to be as selfish as we please. However, when we put it into the perspective of the Buddha's teaching we can see that it is anything but an excuse to behave selfishly - on the contrary - it is asking us to follow the Noble Eightfold Path without exception. We need not ever be confused about what is in our best interest; it is to practice the removal of all adverse mind-states through the cultivation and development of the Eightfold Path. After all, it is in the mind that our lives actually take place.

Our perception of the situations that we find ourselves in, not the situations, is what we have to work with. We either reinforce or weaken a habitual thought by each choice that we make about it. And, as the Buddha said, "It is choice that I call Karma." With this in mind, we can see that how the Buddha formulated his teaching can guide us into making a choice that is always in our best interest. As we gain Right Understanding and Right Intention we can see the benefit of Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, and we can become more and more interested in the practice of Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration/Focus.

It usually doesn't take long for the benefits of the practice to convince us that it is always in our best interest to clear adverse mind-states from our minds, for as we do this we allow wisdom to rise - guiding our lives to peace and harmony with all things.
   

 Sārani Karunā

 
  THE CHALLENGE of MAKING
 THE 'RIGHT ' DECISION.
by Susan Pesut
  One way
 " Every choice we make is a bet with an
    associated degree of risk and uncertainty."
 
We make numerous decisions every day. From small, rather insignificant ones, such as what socks to wear, to larger more life altering decisions.
 
   I recently had to make a multitude of decisions regarding the care of my elderly mother. In her own words, she is 'non compos mentis' (confused)
Diagnosed years ago with dementia she has progressed in age, and in her confusion. She can take simple care of herself, but recently it is apparent that this is becoming incomplete and challenging for her.
So her care, and the implementing of it, is now based on my decisions.
 
In some respects this could be simple...if all parties involved are in agreement.
 But these situations are seldom simple.
Perhaps there are moments of confrontation, and differences of opinions.
Still decisions need to be made ...and some times in the best interest of another.
"Challenging" is probably the most accurate word to describe some of these recent moments for me.
 
   So how do we assess, and understand the probabilities, and consequences of the choices we make, which are often fueled by emotions, biases, and some times limited information?
How do we know that what we choose will be right?
The answer is, we don't! We can only do the best with what we have.
And what do we have?
 
   The Buddha taught that suffering arises out of ignorance. Not meaning lack of knowledge, but a misperception of reality. If the mind is confused and self -centered, then wise choice will be unavailable to us.
By cultivating mindfulness, and loving kindness (metta) we can look at what needs to be decided without judgment, and surrender to the experience.
Staying present, and grounded, keeping the heart open, and the mind clear, to all that arises, even in times of great adversity, can be helpful tools to our often difficult decision making.
 
Know well what leads you forward,
And what holds you back,
and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
Buddha.