Quotes from Buddhist Teachers

Life is nothing more than a continuous stream of sensory illusions, from the obvious ones, like fame and power, to those less easy to discern, like death, nosebleeds and headaches. Tragically, though, most human beings believe in what they see, and so the truth Buddha exposed about the illusory nature of life can be a little hard to swallow. — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The point of thinking about cause and effect before we start to practice each day is not merely to gather knowledge about karma’s complex functions and systems, but to remind ourselves that we have no control over anything at all.
— Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

The teaching on precious human life shows us that this human body of ours has the potential to allow us to accomplish significant and vast things, not only for ourselves, but for many others. It points out just what an opportunity this human body represents.
— His Holiness the Karmapa.

To realize pure awareness in your delusions is practice. If you try and dispel the delusions it will only persist the more. Just say ‘Oh, this is a delusion,’ and do not be bothered by it.
— Shunryu Suzuki

We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate the perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the view of someone who is awake, that’s death. Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn’t have any fresh air.
— Pema Chödron

Delusions are not permanent, they are not part of you, they are temporary. You can be free from delusions and negative karma. Like a mirror covered by dust, you can clean it. The more you clean it, the clearer the reflection becomes.
— Lama Yeshe

True beauty belongs to everyone. Nobody has the right to make it his or her own private possession. The sun shines on everyone, the air is for all to breathe, and the roads are open for both you and me. Consider the early riser who sees the sunrise first and shouts, “The sun is rising!” But if he then believes that the sunrise is his exclusive property, and tries to collect a “sunrise fee” from other people, wouldn’t he be considered totally overbearing?
— Master Jingzong

No intelligence, no power, no wealth or strength can help someone without diligence—he is like a boatman whose boat has everything but oars.
— Jigme Lingpa

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A PRAYER TO TĀRĀ THE SEVEN PROTECTORS

A PRAYER TO “TĀRĀ THE SEVEN PROTECTORS” — BY LORD JIGTEN GONPO

Once, when Lord Jigten Gonpo was staying at Echung Cave in Drikung, after having attained  Enlightenment, he had a vision of the Seven Taras.  
At that time, he made the above supplication prayer through the seven verses.

This prayer has manifold blessings and it is widely used supplication prayer for the seven protections

In the Realm of the Unborn Dharmadhatu
Abides the Blessed Mother Tara
She who bestows happiness on all sentient beings
I pray to you, protect us from all kinds of fears!

Not realizing oneself as Dharmakaya
The minds of sentient beings are possessed by negative emotions
These mother sentient beings wandering in Samsara
Oh Blessed Mother, please protect us!

Not having the deep understanding of the Dharma from within
And having followed the labelling of words on a conventional level
Beings who are deceived by wrong philosophical views and dogmas
Oh Perfect Mother, please protect us!

Difficult to realize is one’s own mind
Some realize it but do not practice perfectly afterwards
Those who are lost in unwholesome worldly activities

Oh Blessed Mother, Embodiment of Perfect Mindfulness, please protect us!

The Absolute Reality of the Mind is the Inborn Non-Dual Buddha-wisdom
Yet because of habitual grasping at dualistic conceptions
One is bound by it no matter what one does
Oh Perfect Mother of Non-Dual Wisdom, please protect us!

Grasping at the conception of Emptiness some think they understand Absolute Reality
But they do not understand the interdependence of Cause and Effect of Phenomenal Reality
These beings are deluded with regards to the Reality of Phenomena
Oh Omniscient Mother, please protect us!

Like the nature of space which is beyond all conceptions
The Reality of all conditioned phenomena is no different from that
But it has not been realized, therefore
Oh Perfectly Enlightened Mother, please protect us beginners on the Path!

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Training of the Mind

Training of the Mind

As the great ancient Indian Buddhist master Nagarjuna wrote in his Letter to a Friend,

In superior moral discipline, superior wisdom
And superior contemplation, one must constantly train.
More than one hundred and fifty training
Are truly included in these three.

Without the ethical development brought about by training in ethics—“the foundation of all qualities,” according to Nagarjuna—meditation is a spiritual dead end.

As one of the Nyingma masters Mipham Rinpoche explains:

Most settling meditations without analysis
Can produce a mere calm-abiding
But from this meditation certainty will not arise.
If certainty, the one eye of the path of liberation
Is abandoned, the obscurations cannot be dispelled.

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Gone but Never Forgotten

Today, a year ago we lost our dear mum but never have we lost her from our hearts. She will be remembered forever by everyone she touched. In honour of her memory we have offered 108 candles, prayer flags to mark the anniversary and my sister in Bhutan have also offered 108 butter lamps in one of the sacred temples there.

Although she was my wife’s mum I have always thought of her as my own mum. Losing her was the hardest emotional experience for me as it was the experience of losing my mum for all over again. My own maternal mum died in my early twenties.

Not a day goes by where we don’t remember mum and talk about her. She was so kind and generous that I never felt I was any different from her own children and loved her as much as I have loved my mum. We all miss her very much and cherish the beautiful memories we have of her.

As a Buddhist, we believe in rebirth and I would like to think by now hopefully, she will have taken rebirth somewhere really nice.

Om Ami Dewa Hri!

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Happy 70th Birthday NHS

In the UK, today is the 70the anniversary since the birth of the NHS (National Health Service) in 1948 when NHS was born to provide free healthcare service to all from the cradle to grave.

Happy 70th birthday to NHS one of the largest healthcare institutions in the world. Long may you continue and provide an excellent service to all those who need it. Thank you to all the staff in RD&E Hospital for looking after my family thus far.

I am very proud to say I work for the NHS and in particular the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for twenty years now. It never ceases to amaze me the commitment, dedication, enthusiasm, care and support provided by the extraordinary staff to our patients and family members often in such difficult circumstances.

The NHS is our jewel and therefore it is right that we should cherish and celebrate the remarkable achievements of the last 70 years. I have found the seven facts for seven decades provided by NHS Digital.

NHS70 – Seven facts for seven decades 

In celebration of the NHS’s 70th birthday this week, NHS Digital reveals seven statistics for seven decades.

The figures demonstrate how the NHS has evolved since it sprang into being on July 5, 1948, and the changing health and lifestyles of the population.

  • 1959 – there were a total of 89,659 hospital-based nurses, midwives and health visitors in England and Wales. In 2017, there were 343,529 nurses, midwives and health visitors working in NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups in England5.
  • 1968 – 37 per cent of the population of England and Wales were edentate (had no natural teeth) compared to 6 per cent in 20096.
  • 1979 – 23,062 GPs were working in England of which 19,197 were male and 3,865 were female. In 2017 there were 39,843 GPs working in England, of which 21,055 were female7.
  • 1989 – in 1989-90 there were 155 hospital admissions for a liver transplant, in 2016-17 this had risen to 6628.
  • 1999 – In 1999, 44 per cent of 11-15 year-olds had smoked at least once. In 2016, this had dropped to 19 per cent9.
  • 2008 – there were 35,960,539 antidepressant prescription items dispensed in the community in England. In 2017 this had risen to 67,530,375 items10.
  • 2016-17 – there were 617,000 admissions in NHS hospitals where obesity was a factor11. This was an increase of 18 per cent on 2015-16.

Thank you to everyone who organised cakes and teas.

Happy birthday and Tashi Delek!

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Bodhisattva Vow

First of all, what is a Bodhisattva and why we should take the vow. Bodhisattva is the one who always think of the welfare of others and willing to show the right path to lead us from all our sufferings.

This is Shantideva’s Bodhisattva Vow

May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed
May all who say bad things to me
or cause me any other harm,
Those who insult me and mock me,
Have the fortune to fully awaken.

May I be the protector for those without one,
A guide for travellers on the way,
A path for them to walk on,
May I be a bridge, a boat, a ship
For all who wish to cross the water.

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Four Poster Beds

This is a four poster bed in some hotel in England. Posters are usually ornate and decorative to support the canopy but these posters are rough and organic which gives its charm.

According to the history the canopy bed came into existence in the thirteenth century more for utilitarian means rather than for extravagance or decadence. Later adding posters in each corners to support it.

Canopy beds with curtains that could completely enclose the bed were used by lords and noblemen in medieval Europe for warmth and privacy, as their attendants often slept in the same room.

These days you don’t see four poster beds being used in many houses apart from the museum, stately homes and some large hotels. They are like a room in itself.

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