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My Journey

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Reasessment Part Ii

I will be attending a session, talk, transmission, or whatever you want to call it, by my Tibetan teacher this weekend. It is on the preliminary practice of Tibetan Buddhism according to the Nyigma Dudjom Tersar Ngondro practice, and more specifically, guru yoga. I know he is going to give a transmission of the section. This is an authorization to do the practice. It is a tenant of Tibetan Buddhism that you cannot really effectively do this particular practice unless you have a transmission or

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Reasessment

I suppose I am writing to say that I have come back into Buddhist practice and I think the impetus was a couple of dreams that I cannot simply ignore.   I feel I do have established some kind of connection with Buddhism that I will keep with me until I die. Therefore, although I may continue to have problems, I feel more confident that I will be able to resolve them. Most likely my tendency to find fault and to analyze things to death is a problem when it comes to spiritual practice. I think

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Where I'm At Now

I thought I had erased my blog, but glad I didn't because its interesting reading some of it a few years later.   My little journey into Tibetan Buddhism has taken a hiatus. I haven't been over to the dharma center in over two months, and the longer I am away, the more I really don't feel like returning. I see my involvement there as escapism from a difficult time in my life. And it actually worked to an extent. The rituals and the beauty, the chanting in a foreign language, is a marvelous e

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Brain Starts Kicking In

This is the issue – I have this really devotional side to me that I simply cannot ignore. I have been indulging that side for the last couple of years and sometimes it has been joyous. I love flowers, incense and statues. However, the brain is now starting to kick in – the analytical side.   I have no idea why my mind works this way. It runs in cycles. This is not the happy part of the cycle. Its kind of disturbing.     All the ceremonies and the guru devotion and all that stuff me

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The Nature Of Reality

So I’m doing my daily 45 minute morning commute to work in heavy interstate traffic and I am wondering “What is the nature of reality?” That is, what is emptiness? Am I ever going to be able to realize it except on an intellectual level? Let me share some of what wound through this ever active mind:   Emptiness is the true nature of reality according to Buddhist teaching. It is the absolute truth (there is also relative truth but that’s boring) I have always thought it’s the most importan

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A Buddhist Discussion Group

I went to the Dharma discussion class today. The topic of discussion was these four lines from the Ngondro:   1. The freedoms and favorable conditions of this human birth are extremely difficult to obtain.   2. Everything born is impermanent and bound to die.   3. The results of virtuous and unvirtuous actions are inexorable.   4. The three realms of cyclic existence have the nature of an ocean of suffering.   A lot of people wanted to discuss points 1 and 3.   My

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Reflections On A Tough Time

You recall that I said in my last entry that I emerged from junior high a damaged person. That is the truth. It manifested itself in a particularly horrendous fashion when I married someone who I thought I loved but turned out to be a huge mistake. Strangely, I could even see at the time how deranged some of my thinking was – I could see his flaws (at least some of them) and thought I still could save this man. Odd, I have never believed that either before or since – that I could save someon

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My Attitude Toward Work

I have been examining my attitude toward working for pay.   Honestly I like buying things and having money, but I don’t see why we have to work for it! I suppose my attitude is as far from a capitalist as you can get. I don’t like to think about money, I never wanted to dwell on getting more of it, or be preoccupied with that line of thinking at all. I don’t believe I am a particularly lazy or shiftless person (have been working now for about 30 years) but I feel everyone just ought to

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Problems

Have a problem at work I have never encountered before. An overbearing Office Manager (she's only got one person to manage - me, but she's the bosses wife).   I don't know how I am going to cope with this. It honestly seems like in every office situation there is some problem. Its always a different problem, but its always other people. The only exception was for a few years in the early 90s. Oh, I can't help but wish for those days back again-- which is impossible, of course.   I hav

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In A More Somber Place

We had a discussion at the Dharma center about one of the major themes of Buddhism - suffering. After all that was the first noble truth that the Buddha taught - that all of life is, roughly translated, suffering. It is unsatisfactory. This is a law of nature.   There was a large group on Sunday - in fact the largest I have ever seen - about 30 people crammed into the room where at the end there were people out in the hall. Many very intelligent and interesting remarks from the people the

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Back Down To Earth

Ok, enough about ceremonies and religious practices. Let's get down to reality (what's that?).   I have a Facebook friend who posts that her life's theme song is "I Learned the Truth at 17". That is a song that Janis Ian did in circa 1973 all about how she was ugly at 17 and would never have anyone to love, unlike the beautiful and popular people.   It is not the Truth with a capital "T". It is a lie. It might be true if you are 15 or as the song says, 17, but for a person in their 50s? W

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A Spritual Discipline Part 2

So I got the whole story on the Ngondro practice tonight from the lama - Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal. He ought to know what he is talking about, I figure. There are about 5 sections that need to be repeated 10,000 times. After that point, one is qualified to use ritual objects. The lama didn't say what type of ritual objects, but I would assume any or all since he did not specify. He also said that one could wear robes after that point. Not had to - but could. Interesting. I had never heard

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A Spiritual Discipline

I will be taking a transmission for the Dudjom Tersar Ngondro practice next week. This is the basic, preliminary practice of the Vajrayana of the Nyingma school. Other schools have different versions of it or they call it by different names, but I believe that it is in all the branches of the Vajrayana. It incorporates meditation, mantra recitation and prostrations. I had begun doing a section of this practice, having received the transmission for a portion of it. I am assuming (although I

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Observation

I must be an unusual person in some respects (aren't we all in our various ways).   I think that it must be that I observe more than most. Maybe its due to being an extreme introvert, or years of looking at birds picking out small details to identify them, or being a visually oriented person, I don't know.   Its true though, and it comes across to me very strongly when I am out in public. Comparison may be generally foolish, but in this case, I can see differences between this entity "me"

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Buddhist Retreat

I went to the annual Buddhist retreat in January. I was only able to go for three days this time although the retreat is a week long. This is when the lama comes to town to teach everyday (the main temple is in New York) and give empowerments (this is a ceremony which is like a blessing and an authorization to do a particular practice).   I really like this guy. I have watched him for three years. I have seen preachers all my youth and so-called religious people speak. He is different. H

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Spiritual Materialism

I have been re-reading Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's book "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism." I believe this might be the most important book ever for western Buddhists.   That doesn't mean I entirely understand it. I still have a looong way to go to really getting what Buddhism is all about. I still have this mistaken tendency to transfer stuff from the old religion (Xianity) to the new one. But they really are entirely different in essence.   According to Chogyam Trungpa, the essenc

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I'm Back

I am not sure where to begin. I decided to completely erase my blog a while ago because I just thought it sounded dumb.   Really, I wish I could figure out how to change the title of it. I don't know if I really want to discuss "my journey to Buddhism". I am not sure it would interest many people on this site and it is as much an aesthetic reason as a philosophical one, but since this site is about religion...   I am formally Buddhist since January, 2008, when I participated in a ritual c

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