As the year comes to an end this year it is good to reflect and share this Buddhist prayer of forgiveness with everyone. Please feel free to reblog this page if you wish it.

If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly
through my own confusions I ask their forgiveness.
If anyone has harmed me in any way either knowingly or unknowingly
through their own confusions I forgive them.
And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive
I forgive myself for that.
For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself,
judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions
I forgive myself.

Credit: Someone emailed me this Buddhist prayer of forgiveness which I really like and wanted to share it with you. I don’t know who wrote it or whether it has been translated from Buddhist texts.

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The Power of Sacred Mantras

Reciting these six syllables of Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum purifies our ego, jealousy, passion, ignorance, greed, and hatred. Tibetan Buddhists believe that chanting this mantra out loud or silently to oneself, invokes powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara), the embodiment of compassion. 

While walking, driving or meditating you can recite these six heart mantras of Avalokitesvara which will bring untold blessings and good fortune by removing all negative energies. As you recite each mantra, focus on its core meaning of what it represents and with every breath, you exhale, release all your negative energy with it to be dissolved into the vast expanse of emptiness.

  • When the syllable Om is recited let go off all your ego and it’s clinging nature.
  • When the syllable Ma is recited let go off all your jealousy and its nature of greed and burning desire.
  • When the syllable Ni is recited let go off all your passion and its nature of greed, lust, desire, and attachment.
  • When the syllable Pad is recited let go off all your ignorance and its nature of suffering, pain, and unsatisfactoriness.
  • When the syllable Me is recited let go off all your greed and its nature of wanting more and holding on.
  • When the syllable Hum is recited let go off all your hatred and its nature of anger, fire, ignorance, attachment, and aversion.

The power of these six syllables has the immense capacity to dissolve all negative energy and cultivate all positive energy in us if we have the wisdom to grasp it. Here is one of the stories I found on the Buddhist website a while ago which conveys the power of these mantras.

A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching. The student’s humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried.

A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up.

The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island. The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit. As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice. The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself. The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself — but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified!

“What’s wrong?” asked the hermit.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m afraid you’ve wasted your whole life! You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!”

“Oh, Dear! That is terrible. How should I say it?”

The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away. On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit.

“It’s so fortunate that I came along. At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies.” Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quite shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat.

“Excuse me, please. I hate to bother you, but I’ve forgotten the correct pronunciation again. Would you please repeat it for me?”

“You obviously don’t need it,” stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced.

The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island.

Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum

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My cousin Namgyal Tshering from Bhutan wrote this piece which is a typical ghost storytelling most Bhutanese people would have grown up listening to and be completely petrified. He shared it on his Facebook page and with his permission, I am now sharing it with you; see what you think. He is a very good writer and he frequently writes for Writers Association of Bhutan (WAB) group on Facebook. He is an author of  “Dragon Delights – A Rosary of Poems” which was published in Bhutan recently. So here is the story… 

(Not to be read by chicken hearted )

The road appeared wet and slippery in the glare of the light. I pressed the break lightly. I can barely see five meters ahead through the mist. I was speeding through the road by Lamperi Park gate turning gently to the right. The restaurant above the road was closed but the lights inside were still glowing. ‘I should coffee there someday’ I thought.

The pickup jeep loaded with meat I had closely followed below Dochula was too fast for me to follow in the mist. I could see the stain of blood on its rear when I got closer, but it raced ahead as we turned below Lamperi stretch. Blood reminded me of massacre scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre film I watched weeks ago.

I am a racer usually, and friends have told me I am either too good or little too reckless. I have this urge to show the world that Bhutan has its own Michael Schumacher! I drive little too fast for my age but I am not really reckless.

Driving in the rain, mist, and dark has been unusually my only naturally slowing down mechanism on a driving journey. Twirls of mist filled the space between me and the fading rear lights of the pickup truck. I cursed my weakening eyesight. Reading made me rich with literary aptitude but at the cost of a burnt retinal cell. Suddenly I felt lonely driving alone on a quiet night shrouded in mist and the hiss of the passing wind. The multicoloured frill of clothes hanging from the right rear mirror flapped against the window pane. Droplets of mist settled on the windshield. My breath clouded the glass from within and I had to wipe with my hand.

I was stretching forward over the wheel trying to check if there are any oversized rocks on the road. A few months ago I had run over a rock in the fog and had to repair forewheel arm. Unable to see the road clearly I slowed further, snaking at 20 kilometers an hour.

As I turned left into the gorge, a sudden eerie surge stilled my heart, fingers froze on the steering. At least four fatal accidents were reported in the area in the last thirteen months. The dozen of flags on my left on the roadside reminded me of the dead. I muttered a ‘Benzer Guru…’ almost breathlessly. I longed for another vehicle to pass by from either side.

The fifty meter curve from the wooded gorge felt like a forever stretch.

Just as I was about to appear out from the hillside, I saw a woman sitting on the culvert. In the brightness of the headlight, it was not impossible to know the man from the woman. She covered her palms against the light. I was sure she waited to get a lift or was dropped by the pickup. Her strap bound baggage was on the other culvert on her right. ‘ A company at the right time’ I thought. An explosion of relief from the eerie feeling made me calm.

I honked twice with a guilty feeling that I was seeking a female passenger. She raised her other hand and cut the light on her face. Like a streak of meteor sinister suspicion struck me. I was asking myself what if she sat near me and gnarled fangs and rolled ruddy eyes.

I was just a few meters close when I realised I was hitting the first culvert. I turned right like lighting and at that instant in the glaring shift of light saw her stand and leap off the road. ‘O’ My God.’ I said louder than I can yell. I grazed on the front bumper before I could brake to slow, and skidded on the roadside sand.

I glanced left. No one was there. I opened the window more out of concern than by chaotic panic. Cold October breeze sent the shiver across my face. Like the instincts of runaway driver after hitting a goat on Assam national highway, I pulled the gear and accelerated forward with a sudden thrust. ‘Namgyal! You killed the woman.’ I was vexing myself loud in my head. I peeked at the rear mirror, little out of fear anticipating to see a bloodied body behind. There was none. I took a breath of relief. The relief was short lived. Sinister fear of the haunting fired in my head. I raced. I was Schumacher again.

As I turned the hillside to the open, I relaxed my fingers on the steering. It ached. The mist was thinning and I could see lights of Nalanda Monastery on the other side atop a mountain to the West. The sight was more comforting. As I turned the curve and left, I looked into the rear mirror again to ensure I had not killed someone. It was at that moment fear froze me into the mirror. The woman with the strap baggage was standing on the road at the curve behind me. She was waving at me to wait. It was her I had no doubt. Although only a mirror image I was sure she was alive. A storm of confusion, fear, and relief almost gave me a heart attack.

A barbarous fear blinded my thought so much so that, seconds later I was cutting through the night like a meteor. I didn’t look in the mirror again, nor on to my sides. The fear of seeing her sitting behind or beside was a killing experience. My eyes bulged on the road. I was thoughtless. I mumbled ‘Om Ah Hum..’ or so I thought.

My empty car felt like a haunted mansion. Every creak and rattle could be heard like a thunder. Even my own breath through the nose was like a rumble in the Brazillian Bronx.

The practice of prayers reminded me it is only my imagination. Yet, it was scary. I was telling myself that dead cannot touch a man of prayers, but ‘what if I killed someone.’ I was asking myself even as I entered Thinleygang Market.

Arriving into the light and seeing few people playing at carrom outside convinced me I was not dead instead. It was like reaching home after getting lost for years into the mist.

(Note: And now, if you ask whether this story is factual or fiction; I would not answer for two reasons; that I don’t want to deride common tales of sightings on the road by some obscure travellers, the other reason is to encourage writers to wean their imagination with ease to entertain ignominious readers. To me its an irrational story to listen to people if we cannot avoid travelling the road.)

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Writing is for Life and not just for November

The month of November is dedicated as a NaNoWriMo challenge month which is a National Novel Writing Month, held every year since 1999 where you can take part via the internet to record your progress. They have a local group managed by the volunteers of NaNo for a regular face to face get together to share and support each other and an online group such as Facebook for people interested in writing. Participants are asked to register online and pledge to write a 50,000 word manuscript during the month of November and update their progress on NaNoWriMo official page. This is to help stimulate and motivate wannabe authors to write and see how well they do in the world of creativity and writing.

I have been interested in writing a book since the time I went to Bhutan a few years ago where I kept a journal note of my travel. I later shared my travel log on my blog for my family to read.  I have no particular interest in any genre to write as yet and happy to explore my interests. I have also looked into putting together a Bhutanese recipe book as I have not come across one on the internet. This is one area I know I can contribute in compiling for others to use. I enjoy cooking and I will write only what I cook. Whilst everyone is looking to write for money, I am motivated in creating digital records to share with my family and friends but if because of exploring this I am rewarded that would be great; icing on the cake.

Few days before NaNoWrimo2017 this year, I have had no idea what to write and what to expect. All I Knew was that 50,000 word is the target but I doubt if I would get anywhere near that. It is not because of lack of ideas or interest, rather deciding which idea to go for and how I can sustain that idea to accomplish the set goal by the end of the month. I noticed few Facebook groups have been created to collaborate and network to support this which I have taken part but I wasn’t confident to join the local face to face meetings yet; maybe next year. I guess you could say my imposter syndrome was holding me back from taking part.

I kept on saying this to myself “Writing is for Life and not just for November”  over and over again to myself perhaps as an excuse knowing well that 50K is beyond my reach to accomplish this month this year. I like one of the messages of encouragement I received and in it, we are told not to beat ourselves up if we haven’t met our own expectations yet and that not to give up hope, and keep aiming for that goal we are yet to achieve.

I rewrote my journal “Home Coming” in this year’s NaNoWrimo2017 challenge. I chose this topic as I already had my travel notes and thought it would be easier to rewrite it. I know I won’t write 50K even with what I already have by the end of the month but I would have made a good start. It has been great to connect online with everyone for inspiration, suggestion, information and not forgetting the bucket of ideas you get from everyone online. I find the online community so generous in giving their support and I have learned a lot from them.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone all the best with their writing and most of all enjoy what you write. My aim this month was to learn all the writing craft and network with everyone whilst also taking part in this year’s NaNo challenge which will hopefully form the foundation of my writing going forward. I think I have achieved that and hopefully, I can carry on writing and networking with others henceforth.

All the best again and Tashi Delek to you all.

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The Descending Day of Lord Buddha from Heaven

This year on November 10th, it is marked as the descending day of the lord Buddha from heaven of 33 gods (Lhabab Duchen) after he was begged to return to earth by one of his disciples. He is supposed to have climbed down the triple ladders made of gold and gems by Vishwakarma, the god of machines after the instructions from Lord Indira. This day is one of the auspicious days in the Tibetan and Bhutanese calendar and it is believed that any virtues actions or negative actions performed on this day are multiplied by several million folds. Hence this day is marked as public holiday in Bhutan to allow people to make pilgrimage to holy places and to make offerings. This day is also now celebrated as the mothers day in Bhutan to show our gratitude,  appreciation and our love. 

The story goes that Shakyamuni Buddha at the age of 41 realised that his mother Maya Devi who had died seven days after giving birth to him was stuck in a place called Lhayul Sumcho Tsasum (Heaven of Thirty Three Gods). So he went there to teach his mother to liberate her from samsara as a way of repaying her kindness and also to benefit the other gods in this realm. He was believed to have been there for about ninety days when one of his closest disciples pleaded him that he return to human realm. After a long debate where it was argued that human cannot get to the heaven of thirty three to see Buddha whilst the gods from there can get to earth due to their celestial power, he finally agreed on the night of the full moon, to return to earth after seven days. Upon hearing this news, it is believed, Lord Indira the ruler of heaven of 33 gods, instructed Vishwakarma, the god of machine to build a triple ladder made of beryl, gold and silver for Buddha to descent from the heaven of thirty three gods to earth.

Buddha Shakyamuni returned to earth a week later on the 22nd day of the lunar month according to Tibetan and Bhutanese calendar. When he descended down the central ladder he was accompanied on both sides by gods carrying beautifully decorated umbrella to protect him from elements and to honour him with full respect and devotion. He is believed to have descended to earth by the summit of Mount Meru before starting his way down to the Udumbara tree outside the city of Sankasya in modern day place Uttar Pradesh which is considered as one of the sacred Buddhist places on earth. This event is considered to be one of the eight great deeds of the Buddha Shakyamuni.

Hope you all have a great day and able to perform acts of virtues nature in body, speech and mind. May your good merits multiplies in millions and benefit all sentient beings from untold sufferings and may all sentient beings attained liberation in this lifetime.

Tayata Om Muni Muni Maha Munaye Soha!

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Quotes from Tricycle Community

These are some of the quotes from the Tricycle Community I have compiled to share with everyone who may read this page. 

Lovingkindness Starts Close to Home 
“Although we are aiming at an all-inclusive lovingkindness unrestricted by the partiality that divides the world into “mine” and “yours,” it needs to start with simple, uncontrived loving feelings toward those closest to us.” Lama Jampa Thaye

Small Actions Add Up
“It is important during such dispiriting times to recall the infinity of small actions that support what is good in life.” James Shaheen

You Are Not Alone
“The absence of self—this emptiness—is not a thing that we can feel. It is, rather, more of a vehicle to help us understand our intrinsic connectedness with all things. This teaching can remind us that even though we may feel alone or isolated at times, we are not.” Lauren Krauze

Human Intelligence Is a Gift; Use It Wisely
“So long as we remember that we have this marvelous gift of human intelligence and a capacity to develop determination and use it in positive ways, we will preserve our underlying mental health.” The Dalai Lama

Don’t Feed Your Demons
“When many demons are struggling inside you, the one that you feed is the one that will become the strongest. You alone are responsible for what you feed.” Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi

Engaged, but Not Busy
“Though we usually associate busyness with activity and speed, and lack of busyness with stopping or slowing down, this is not always the case. It is possible to be actively engaged and not be busy.” Marc Lesser

Treating Fear with Wisdom
“In spiritual life, the problem with fear lies in whether we have the wisdom to respond well to it.” Dharmavidya David Brazier

Happiness Requires a Foundation in Compassion
“Trying to build happiness on a foundation of ego is like trying to build a tower on quicksand.” Pamela Gayle White

What We Want: Love and Respect
“Everyone wants love and care, but, more than these, human beings want respect for who they are.” Dzigar Kongtrul

The Dharma Is an Inexhaustible Well
“Some people think by giving everything away, you end up with nothing. But the dharma is an inexhaustible well. However much you give of it, you can always go back for more.” Master Sheng-Yen

The Three Most Basic Fears
“Every negative emotion, every drama, comes down to one or more of the three most basic fears: the fear of losing safety and control, the fear of aloneness and disconnection, and the fear of unworthiness.” Ezra Bayda

Buddhism in a Shell
“Buddhism is nothing other than a set of practices to open up the mysteries of the human heart.” Reggie Ray

You’re Already Accepted
“Accept yourself just as you are, with all of your struggles and issues and weaknesses. And in accepting yourself, you’re simply agreeing to the fact that you are already accepted by the entire universe, just as you are.” Ruben L. F. Habito

Don’t Confuse Awakening with Bliss
“There may be bliss with awakening, because it is actually a by-product of awakening, but it is not awakening itself. As long as we are chasing the byproducts of awakening, we will miss the real thing.” Adyashanti

Do You Know Where to Look for Spiritual Awareness?
“There is always a need for experience and knowledge rooted in traditions, but it is not a spiritual given that these are the places where peace, union, and spiritual awareness are found.” Bell Hooks

Mind the Gap (between Object and Mind)
“Global rules, where you have to do the same thing in all instances, are not as helpful as rules that have specific contexts in which they are used.” Jason Siff

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Guru Padmasambhava’s Phrophecies

Prophecies made more than 1,250 years ago by Guru Padmasambhava also known as Guru Rinpoche. When one of his disciples asked him when is the beginning of the Dharma-ending age. To this he visualised and then replied;

“When the Iron Birds are flying in the sky and the Iron Horses are running on the roads, we know that dharma-ending age has arrived. At this time, Tibetan Buddhism shall flourish globally. When the iron bird flies and the horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the world, and the Dharma will come to the land of the red men (Western Countries).

In this Dharma-ending age, “Rulers do not act like Rulers, Subjects do not act like Subjects, Fathers do not act like Fathers, Sons do not act like Sons”. The relationships between Fathers and Sons are more like Playmates. Women do not honor and uphold chastity; men indulge in lust and unrestrained sexual misconducts.

Guru Rinpoche further prophesied that in that era, carriages do not require horses to move, they self-propel. Youngsters in that era step on something that shaped like a bullhorn and there are wheels underneath that allow them to skate everywhere. It is even stranger that people in that era do not need to leave their houses to know things that happen around the world, just by sitting in front of a mirror.

Guru Rinpoche further said that in that era, many ordained monks are greedy and pursue wealth and fame. They travel everywhere to cheat on their followers. They plan and think of ways to get offerings and donations from followers and possess their own private wealth and properties, yet they do not engage in any Buddhist practices or chanting on their own. They indulge in music, dance, and entertainments. They break precepts and vows without any remorse.

Guru Rinpoche commented that in that era, husband and wife relationship shall be ruined and damaged by so-called “double-tongued” women, who instigate, provoke and create disharmony within families. Unfilial sons and daughters will chase their parents out from home. Brothers and sisters shall fight among themselves for inheritance, and violate the five precepts without remorse.

Buddha’s teaching gradually faded and eventually lost. There shall be incest among the closest kin. Many people shall be addicted to gambling, drugs, and alcohol. Buddhas’ statues and paintings, Buddhist ritual instruments are sold in flea markets on the streets.

Vintage valuables passed down from generations to generations shall be sold and auctioned in international markets. Deforestation and overexploitation of nature causes ecological imbalances thereby resulting in frequent natural disasters. Thieves and robberies shall infest the entire city and paupers and beggars are seen everywhere.

In the year of the metal dragon, demons entered the water. In the year of Metal Snake, demons entered the wind and thunder frost hail, wreaking havoc and creating disasters for many. In the year of Water Goat, here shall be widespread of infectious diseases.

Alcoholics shall die of cerebrovascular diseases; gamblers shall die of stomach disorder; slander shall die of throat-related diseases; heavy smokers shall die of lungs diseases; overconsumption of eggs, garlic and onion causes frequent nightmares resulting in mental disturbances and eventually related death; hunters and slaughter of animals shall die of liver and intestines related diseases, sinners and those with heavy bad karma shall die of many types of diseases that are painful and sufferings.

The year of Wood Rooster is when the strength of Buddhism is the weakest. Evil spirits and demons shall take the opportunity at this time to wrench more havocs and creating more damages.

In the year of Earth Ox, there shall be wars among countries and many people shall perish. Commit good deeds, accumulate merits, transform your mind into Bodhichita for your own good and for the welfare of all the sentient beings, do never let yourself and other to face natural calamities and karmic disaster. Render your help to the one who sacrifice their precious life to keep the flame of Buddha Dharma alive, who intends to do good for others, such goodness in person are hardly seen.

I received this from one of my cousins in Bhutan and I felt it should be made available for others to read and hopefully help to spread the wisdom. I would imagine this texts would have been translated from the Tibetan language to English and therefore certain meaning may have been lost but the general gist of the content would still be accurate.

Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum.

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