HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The true disciples of Dhamma live with awareness and love,
and are continually inspired
by the manifestation of compassion in their life.

Dhammapada Vs 300

The way to peace and happiness.

A question often asked by aspiring disciples is; how can I improve my Dhamma practice?
Here I will share some of the things that were useful to me during my training.

Universal Love.
Cultivating an open hearted accepting relationship with all beings is the first step of relinquishing the fear that dominates our life. Beings are the way they are, that is their choice but you are the way you are, and that is your choice. Judging, criticizing and commenting on the behavior of others does not take you to peace and only demonstrates your need for everyone to conform to your ideas of how they should be. 
Responding to each moment with wisdom and love rather than from fear and anxiety, will keep our place in the centre of any storm. Here we are more likely to see the reality of the situation instead of creating another mind based fantasy.
As a footnote to this: 
Kamma and Vipaka are universal realities and if beings truly understood the consequence of their empowerment of greed and hatred in the world, they would change every aspect of their life. The behavior of others therefore, does not need your comments. Kamma and Vipaka operate in an impersonal way therefore beings will always meet the consequence of the mind states they empower.

Elegance.
Dhamma has the quality of being beautiful therefore we, as representatives of this beauty must behave accordingly. 
Not to slouch when we meditate, relax or eat but to sit with a straight back and pay attention to our posture and our comportment.
To chew with our mouth closed and to handle all food whether preparing, cooking or serving, as the gift it truly is.
To walk gracefully whether on retreat or not. 
To greet others with a simple hello or smile. 
To be friendly.

Speech.
To be honest, but always kind. 
Don’t humiliate another simply to score a point in an argument or disagreement. State your case quietly and clearly and let it go. It is rare that others immediately see or understand our point of view, and by insisting that we are right and they are wrong, we can only cement our opposing positions.

Behavior.
Don’t involve yourself in multitasking.
It is a myth that we can do many things simultaneously, so learn to give your full attention to the one activity you are engaged in and then flow to the next without pause. This moment to moment focus and awareness will bring peace to your life and stress will not be an issue for you.

Give up ambition.
Simply do what you’re supposed to do and let go of any idea of an ultimate goal. 
Life will take care of itself and the more you stay open to its infinite possibilities, rather than focusing on one solitary outcome, the more it will respond unhindered by the mind and it’s endless desires and fears.

Work.
As much as you are able, find employment that serves others and brings a degree of satisfaction to you. If you are not able to do this, then use your work as your Dhamma vehicle, to watch your frustration and irritation with the environment and your colleagues and to let these negative influences fall away. 
To find ourselves in situations that are uncomfortable for us is a beneficial way to train.
Relax. In the end, for most of us, it’s only work, and like all things, it only has the value we give it.
Don’t compromise or look for short cuts.
Our training is to let go of ego demands and harmonize with the reality of life, not create a special feeling around what we do, therefore we must stay on the path surrendering into the simplicity of the practice and pass through any mind based obstacles such as boredom and desire.
Integrity and consistency of practice are the most important things.

Service.
To be available when we see the need is how we serve the world.
To offer service to another is the mark of an open heart, from the classic example of helping an old lady across the road to offering our time and possible expertise in different situations, but never seeking reward or acknowledgement. 
We do not live in isolation and so the moment we become aware of the many daily blessings in our life, we can offer our help to any being, human or not, who need assistance in that moment.

Generosity.
When fear and desire are not present we will be spontaneously generous, sharing the best part of ourselves with the world. We don’t need to search for particular charities to support but only to be open to the needs of the world at large or our own particular environment and offer our help, whatever that can be.

Kindness.
Simply be kind, you have nothing to lose.

These are some of the qualities to bring forward in your life to enhance the dissolution to the attachment to a ‘self’ identity, the basis for all our difficulties.
Only ‘self’ makes demands on the world and so only ‘self’ can suffer.
The less ‘you’ there is the happier and more peaceful life will be.

May all beings be happy.

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Teachings

New year retreat
January 2024: 3rd to 7th.
Kuckucksnest.
Details: PureDahmma team

Weekend seminar
March 2024: 8th to 10th
Berlin
Details: Andy

Springtime retreat
March 2024: 14th to 17th.
Kuckucksnest.
Details: PureDahmma team

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Koan:

A Master was walking along a path with a disciple and carrying a small bag on his shoulder.
“Master,” asked the disciple, “what is in the bag?”
“Nothing,” replied the Master.
“Show me,” demanded the disciple.
“How can I show you nothing, ” the Master, answered, “I can only show you that the bag is empty.”

Quotation:

The only requirements for practice and, ultimately, complete awakening are mind and body, and these are the two things we always have with us.
From: Vipassana, the way to an awakened life by Michael Kewley

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