Those who have not made an effort
to be pure in heart
and gave no attention to simplicity and truth,
cannot truly call themselves a disciple.
Dhammapada verse 9
Happy new year!
The art of being offended
People love to be offended. Just notice how sensitive you are in your relationship with the world. It doesn't take much, a glance, a word, a gesture, an action almost anything can be a reason and an excuse to make your claim to be offended.
Of course that's never the reality of the situation, but what we really like is to make our life dramatic! To believe others have an intention to upset us, so we can take the part of the victim in our own story, and so once again justify our suffering. Suffering is always dramatic and an empowerment of self identity, happiness is simply a lightness of being and a smile on the lips.
Actually if we just stayed in our spiritual and emotional centre we would recognize the truth, that others can't offend us, but we can always take offence - at anything.
That others don't ever have the power to hurt us, only we can do that, and that no one can break our heart only we can do that.
The moment we put down our addictive attraction to the drama of life we will recognize our own power, and so be free from the fantasy of mind and its consequent suffering.
The world that you experience is the one that you create for yourself moment after moment, and no matter how strongly you can blame others and point your finger, you are responsible for the quality of your relationship to the moment, and so only you can change it.
Between suffering and happiness, happiness is better.
Be stronger than your old story.
May all beings be happy.
Dhamma Resolution 2017
A question that I am often asked is, ‘how important is it to have a close contact with the teacher?’
Usually my answer concerns self responsibility for practice and discipline to make the effort for ourselves.
However, here I will give a fuller response based upon my own training and relationship with a living Master for almost thirty years.
Simply put, I will say that close contact of a personal and often intimate nature with a true Master is absolutely essential to continue to progress along our spiritual path.
If we consider ourselves to be disciples of Dhamma rather than just interested students for a while, we must maintain that relationship. It is our responsibility, not the teachers. They have already made their effort and have arrived in the place of a joyful, moment to moment harmony with life.
Without that contact it is so easy to be side tracked and confused by what others tell us, by own personal views and opinions, or simply by our own boredom with a practice that is not always as dynamic as we would like it to be. When we feel lost or overwhelmed by new age presentations of religion and empty philosophies, it is necessary to have the guiding balance of the someone who has already walked the Path with honesty and integrity and now exists to support and serve others.
Dhamma realisation brings peace, happiness and a depth of understanding that we cannot even begin to imagine before we have it. The reality is simple, when we are happy we will share that happiness with all beings.
Ultimately the whole world will benefit by you staying on the path of love and awareness. When the heart is open, the face smiles.
So now, as we arrive at the beginning of another new year, it is for you to decide if you truly want to commit to making Dhamma a real priority in your life.
The one who lives from Dhamma gives light to the world,
like the moon appearing from behind the clouds.
Dhammapada verse .382.
The need for Dhamma in the world.
If you invite me, I will come.
I feel comfortable and privileged to say that I am a simple Dhamma bhikkhu whose sole purpose in life is to bring the Dhamma of love and acceptance into the world.
I travel to where I am invited and share the truth and beauty of Pure Dhamma to the best of my ability. I live from the kindness and generosity of others and feel always that my life is blessed.
However, one of the most curious things I come across as I travel to different countries is the way the media, the authorities and we even ourselves live with and speak about beings less fortunate than ourselves.
How is it possible that when this beautiful planet provides enough of everything for everyone, there are still millions of beings who do not have enough?
How is it possible that we calmly accept the incredible inequalities that human beings have created as normal?
How is it possible that huge industries are derived from and perpetuated by the almost unbelievable cruelty and harm not only to other innocent living beings, but to the planet itself.
How is it possible that four out of every six people on the planet will go to bed hungry tonight whilst others struggle with obesity?
This is our home. These other beings are our brothers and sisters, our neighbours, our friends, and once our Dhamma heart is open, our responsibility.
Each one of us a a tremendous power to be a force for kindness and good in the world by making a true and sincere effort for awakening. The moment our own fear and greed is finished we can no longer be the victim, blindly following and supporting the desires and manipulation of others.
I am a simple Dhamma bhikkhu, I have no political, social or religious views of inequality to expound, I have only Dhamma.
Live with love and be aware. Only in this way will you truly bring happiness to your own life and the life of all the beings we share this planet with.
If you can help me in any way to bring the practice of Pure Dhamma to your town or country you will have my gratitude.
Offered with humility.
Show me your original face, the face you had before your mother and father was born.
Love and awareness are the most important requirements of spiritual development, for without them we cannot ever proceed beyond the limitations we place upon ourselves.
(From Not this - and other teachings from the spiritual heart'. by Michael Kewley.