Author Topic: Poison into nectar; an open heart  (Read 2338 times)

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Poison into nectar; an open heart
« on: January 09, 2010, 12:54:52 pm »
“If grief or anger arises,
Let there be grief or anger.
This is the Buddha in all forms,
Sun Buddha, Moon Buddha, Happy Buddha, Sad Buddha.
It is the universe offering all things
to awaken and open our heart.”
-Jack Kornfield

I think this is certainly easier said than done, but the words are very wise.  Is your heart awakened and opened when you experience grief?  I guess the answer is yes, but it feels more like a cracked or burning heart.  But being open to love, compassion, joy, etc., that feels like an open heart.

How to integrate?  How to turn the peacock's poison into nectar?

Kindly,
Laura

Offline humanitas

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 01:48:46 pm »
Is your heart awakened and opened when you experience grief?  

As someone who's experienced a bit of grief, I've become rather intimate with the pouring quality of heartbreak.  It's in the heartbreak that I've found the vulnerabilities that humanize people the most, and there I learned that I don't have to “make it nice” that I can let it be as it is. The way I've learned to integrate the poison of pride (that stems from deep sorrow and victimization) is to respect it first and foremost as a symptom of a much larger shared experience of suffering, something that instead of setting me apart from the rest of my world, includes me with the rest of humanity as a family.  I never had much of a family personally, my blood ties are tenuous at best and they're deeply steeped in heartache and suffering.  I've come to this respect for grief by going through the whole spectrum of anger, desire, clinging, etc... I didn't start out here where I am.  I set myself apart like a child (that's what I needed to do) and grew from there, and then I learned to respect that sharp-toothed feeling of heartbreak as an identifier of my humanity, as something that reminds me to be kind because I don't want to keep giving this suffering to everyone else by not waking up.  In that space of tenderness and vulnerability where the grief lies I've practiced giving it a form, for myself personally an artistic one of words and music.  Recently I've been learning to channel it into just plain mindfulness and that's been at least so far, transforming some of the compost into blossoms.  I've started noticing how things are just more favorable towards my experience when I don't struggle as much with what I can't change.  

Is that on topic?  Apologies if it wasn't...

:headbow:
Ogyen.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 03:43:36 pm by 0gyen Chodzom »
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Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 09:45:44 am »
Well done, OC.  This is just what I meant with my post, the nitty gritty truth about dukkha and how we cope with it.  Thanks for your input   :namaste:

Jangchup Donden

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2010, 02:57:40 pm »
I think this is certainly easier said than done, but the words are very wise.  Is your heart awakened and opened when you experience grief?  I guess the answer is yes, but it feels more like a cracked or burning heart.  But being open to love, compassion, joy, etc., that feels like an open heart.

I think it's really good to remember that you have nothing to fear from your grief or sadness.  Greet it like an old friend, be present with it and don't run away from it.  There's really nothing there to fear, nothing that can harm you.  Fear is the only thing that can let grief and sadness take control of you and harm you.  In essence, grief and depression are no different than love and compassion, what's different is our response.

--Travis

Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2010, 03:08:27 pm »
I think this is certainly easier said than done, but the words are very wise.  Is your heart awakened and opened when you experience grief?  I guess the answer is yes, but it feels more like a cracked or burning heart.  But being open to love, compassion, joy, etc., that feels like an open heart.

I think it's really good to remember that you have nothing to fear from your grief or sadness.  Greet it like an old friend, be present with it and don't run away from it.  There's really nothing there to fear, nothing that can harm you.  Fear is the only thing that can let grief and sadness take control of you and harm you.  In essence, grief and depression are no different than love and compassion, what's different is our response.

--Travis

I love this response, thank you   :pray:

Offline humanitas

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 03:50:57 pm »
I think it's really good to remember that you have nothing to fear from your grief or sadness.  Greet it like an old friend, be present with it and don't run away from it.  There's really nothing there to fear, nothing that can harm you.  Fear is the only thing that can let grief and sadness take control of you and harm you.  In essence, grief and depression are no different than love and compassion, what's different is our response.

--Travis

 :curtain:

 :heart:

This totally just made me cry...  You've just made my year, in one paragraph, my view just opened a bit more, and I feel how it's just my response that is different... and that has vastly earth shattering ramifications in my emotional comprehension of life, like a wall just broke down.  What that means is that I see exactly how I can make my heart even bigger, big like a mansion full of life and joy where I can fit all the suffering in and bring comfort to those hurts.  And that's the usefulness of the cultivation of joy.  Pema Rigdzin, remember when I asked you how I could cultivate more joy? 

Well, our friend just gave me the answer and changed my world.  Or rather the world always was what it was it's just my attitude that is different.   :wink1:

Thank you for posting this.

 :headbow:
Daphne.
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Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, 05:03:00 pm »
Opening your heart to suffering is actually a way of reflecting using the first Noble Truth.  Now notice that the 4 Noble Truths are NOT ABSOLUTE Truths - we're not saying that everything is suffering or life is suffering.  They are a Noble Truths - we are using the little sufferings of everyday life to ennoble us - make us more noble once we learn how to use it to reflect.  They are meant to be used for reflection in order to really understand suffering.

Ajahn Sumedho explains:

In the First Noble Truth, the Buddha proclaimed that 'there is dukkha (suffering).' It is put into the context of a 'Noble Truth' rather than a dismal reality. If we look at it as a dismal reality, what happens? 'Life is just suffering, it's all just suffering. You get old, you get sick and then die. You have to lose all your friends: "All that is mine, beloved and pleasing, will become otherwise, will become separated from me." That's all it's about; it's just dukkha from beginning to end'. There's nothing noble in that, is there? It's just pessimistic and depressing seeing it in terms of, 'I don't like it. I don't want suffering. What a bad joke God played on us creating this mess. And me being born in this mess, to live just to get old. What am I living for? Just to get old, get sick and die'. Of course, that's very depressing. That's not a Noble Truth. You're creating a problem around the way things are. With the Noble Truth, 'there is suffering,' the advice to deal with this suffering is to welcome it, to understand it, to open to it, to admit it, to begin to notice it and accept it. It's a willingness to embrace and learn from that which we don't like and don't want - the pain and the irritation, whether it's physical, mental or emotional.

To understand suffering is to open to it. We say, 'We understand suffering because it's...' We rationalise it, but that's not understanding. It's in welcoming the suffering that we are experiencing - our frustration, despair, pain, irritation, boredom, fear and desires - just welcoming, opening, accepting. Then this is a Noble Truth, isn't it? Our humanity then is being noble; it's an ariyan truth. This word ariya means 'noble'. What is this English word 'noble'? It's a kind of grand quality; it rises up. If you're noble, you rise up to things. You don't just say 'Oh, life is misery and I want to hide away from it. I can't bear it'. There's nothing noble in that; or in blaming - 'God, why did you create this mess? It's your fault,' if you're brought up as a Christian. I used to feel furious with God. I remember as a child thinking that if I were God I wouldn't have created pain. You fall down and hurt yourself and you think, 'Why does God allow this? Why did He create a realm where there is so much pain?' My mother could never answer that question very well, because the pain was seen as something wrong. Or is pain a Noble Truth? Is loss, separation, all these experiences that we all have to have in this human realm, a Noble Truth? Seeing it in terms of a Noble Truth, rather than complaining and blaming, this is what I'm pointing to.


He continues:
'There is dukkha', and 'dukkha should be welcomed'. This is my new interpretation. Usually it's 'dukkha should be understood.' 'Dukkha should be welcomed'; how's that? Try that one. You can experiment with these different words. You don't have to say 'Pali scriptures say "understand," they didn't say "welcome"!' Pali scriptures don't say 'understand', they use a Pali word that we translate as 'understand'. Maybe we don't understand what 'understand' means. Did you ever think about that? We're so limited to a particular narrow view of the word 'understand' that we can't expand it. That's why we can experiment with the words. Just observe the effect. So I say 'welcoming' now. I'm not interested in proving that I'm right, that my translations are the best, but rather seeing how they work, what the effect is in the here-and-now. I am sharing this with you as a way of encouraging you to have that right and that freedom to know for yourself. You don't always have to try and fit yourself into the views and opinions even of our tradition - orthodox forms or definitions, our particular group's way of looking at things.

'There is dukkha', and 'dukkha should be welcomed'. 'Dukkha has been welcomed'. What is that like? Try that one. I don't know if it works for you, but it does for me, because the tendency is to push dukkha away. That's my conditioning, my personality. Suffering? Push it away; I don't want it. With somebody else's suffering , I don't want to go near them, I want to push away from them. There's a problem - 'Ajahn Sumedho, I've got a problem' - I don't want a problem. This is my character tendency, to do that. I don't want to know about suffering; tell me about the good things. 'How are you today?' 'I'm fine, Ajahn Sumedho. I just love it here at Amaravati. I love being a monk. I just adore the Dhamma and the Theravada form and the Vinaya. I love the whole thing.' Oh, that makes me feel so good. Tell me more. And I go to somebody else -'How are you this morning?' 'Ugh! This life is such a dreary, miserable thing. I'm fed up. I want to disrobe.' I don't want to hear that; don't tell me that. We go around trying to make people make us feel good. Tell me the good things, because that makes me feel good. Don't tell me the bad stuff, because that makes me feel bad. I don't want to feel bad. I don't want suffering; I don't welcome it, I want to get rid of it. Therefore, I'm going to try and live my life so that I can get as much of the good stuff as I can and push away the bad stuff. But in this new translation of 'There's suffering and suffering should be welcomed,' it changes, doesn't it? You see the suffering, your own, or somebody else's problems, as things to welcome rather than as things to run away from or push away.

Source:  http://www.forestsangha.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=104:suffering-should-be-welcomed&catid=1:talks-by-ajahn-sumedho&Itemid=25
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 05:05:55 pm by Optimus Prime »

Offline humanitas

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2010, 05:13:30 pm »
 :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx: :jinsyx:
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Offline Ngawang Drolma

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2010, 05:21:15 pm »
Wow, Optimus Prime.  That's a really great read   :namaste:

Offline Pema Rigdzin

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2010, 02:06:58 am »
I think it's really good to remember that you have nothing to fear from your grief or sadness.  Greet it like an old friend, be present with it and don't run away from it.  There's really nothing there to fear, nothing that can harm you.  Fear is the only thing that can let grief and sadness take control of you and harm you.  In essence, grief and depression are no different than love and compassion, what's different is our response.

--Travis

 :curtain:

 :heart:

This totally just made me cry...  You've just made my year, in one paragraph, my view just opened a bit more, and I feel how it's just my response that is different... and that has vastly earth shattering ramifications in my emotional comprehension of life, like a wall just broke down.  What that means is that I see exactly how I can make my heart even bigger, big like a mansion full of life and joy where I can fit all the suffering in and bring comfort to those hurts.  And that's the usefulness of the cultivation of joy.  Pema Rigdzin, remember when I asked you how I could cultivate more joy? 

Well, our friend just gave me the answer and changed my world.  Or rather the world always was what it was it's just my attitude that is different.   :wink1:

Thank you for posting this.

 :headbow:
Daphne.

Daphne,

Yeah, I do remember that convo. It's a shame all the bliss-emptiness we miss out on, habitually blocking our "negative" emotions and experiences, fooled by the rope, always thinking it's a snake. One day we'll realize that our hearts are already so vast that no suffering could survive its opening up to even be fit in there.

Jangchup Donden

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2010, 01:13:48 am »
I'm surprised anyone, liked what I said, lol. <3 Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Yeah, I do remember that convo. It's a shame all the bliss-emptiness we miss out on, habitually blocking our "negative" emotions and experiences, fooled by the rope, always thinking it's a snake. One day we'll realize that our hearts are already so vast that no suffering could survive its opening up to even be fit in there.

I don't think that as a Vajrayana Buddhist your own suffering should be looked on as a bad thing.  It's not.  Some of my worst moments of suffering have later given me the compassion and understanding to recognize when others are going through the same pain, and also given me the ability to better help them.  I might even go so far as to say that my own suffering has been the greatest cause of any little bit of compassion I do have.

Offline catmoon

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2010, 11:50:40 am »
 I have similar experiences, Jangchup. Plus, it seems that suffering needs to be uh refreshed from time to time.
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

Offline swampflower

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2010, 05:45:33 pm »
The three poisons: anger, attachment, and ignorance also seen as hatred, greed, and delusion may be transformed into sweet nectar through loving kindness and compassion combined with wisdom.
One excellent method to train one's self in this manner is the Eight Verses for Training the Mind

Eight Verses for Training the Mind

by Langri Thangpa

With a determination to accomplish
The highest welfare for all sentient beings
Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel
I will learn to hold them supremely dear.

Whenever I associate with others I will learn
To think of myself as the lowest among all
And respectfully hold others to be supreme
From the very depths of my heart.

In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
Endangering myself and others
Will firmly face and avert it.

I will learn to cherish beings of bad nature
And those oppressed by strong sins and suffering
As if I had found a precious
Treasure very difficult to find.

When others out of jealousy treat me badly
With abuse, slander, and so on,
I will learn to take on all loss,
And offer victory to them.

When one whom I have benefited with great hope
Unreasonably hurts me very badly,
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide.

In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
All help and happiness directly and indirectly
And respectfully take upon myself
All harm and suffering of my mothers.

I will learn to keep all these practices
Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly conceptions
And by understanding all phenomena as like illusions
Be released from the bondage of attachment.
Om Tare Tutare Svaha

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything.  What we think we become." Buddha Sakyamuni

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2010, 05:34:16 am »
The three poisons: anger, attachment, and ignorance also seen as hatred, greed, and delusion may be transformed into sweet nectar through loving kindness and compassion combined with wisdom.
One excellent method to train one's self in this manner is the Eight Verses for Training the Mind
Many thanks for sharing this, Swamp Flower.

+_/\_Ron

Eight Verses for Training the Mind

by Langri Thangpa

With a determination to accomplish
The highest welfare for all sentient beings
Who surpass even a wish-granting jewel
I will learn to hold them supremely dear.

Whenever I associate with others I will learn
To think of myself as the lowest among all
And respectfully hold others to be supreme
From the very depths of my heart.

In all actions I will learn to search into my mind
And as soon as an afflictive emotion arises
Endangering myself and others
Will firmly face and avert it.

I will learn to cherish beings of bad nature
And those oppressed by strong sins and suffering
As if I had found a precious
Treasure very difficult to find.

When others out of jealousy treat me badly
With abuse, slander, and so on,
I will learn to take on all loss,
And offer victory to them.

When one whom I have benefited with great hope
Unreasonably hurts me very badly,
I will learn to view that person
As an excellent spiritual guide.

In short, I will learn to offer to everyone without exception
All help and happiness directly and indirectly
And respectfully take upon myself
All harm and suffering of my mothers.

I will learn to keep all these practices
Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly conceptions
And by understanding all phenomena as like illusions
Be released from the bondage of attachment.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 08:16:15 pm by Ngawang Drolma, Reason: Fixed quotes »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline catmoon

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Re: Poison into nectar; an open heart
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2010, 01:03:38 pm »

Eight Verses for Training the Mind


Wow, that's quite a quote there fella. Tnks!
Sergeant Schultz was onto something.

 


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