January 10 2014 Buddhism Newsletter
Happy New Year! Although many Buddhist cultures will not be celebrating the New Year until January 31st (Chinese New Year) or March 2nd (Losar - Tibetan New Year.) I'll write more about those when the time draws nearer, but for now, the turning of the calendar year still marks a new beginning for many of us.
To mark the start of the year, I always post an overview of the dates for the major Buddhist holidays of the year. Although these do vary by tradition, I've compiled the most common ones, along with brief descriptions, here:
2014 Buddhist Holidays
The start of a new year also often brings new meditation resolutions. Whether you have resolved to start a new meditation practice, or recommitting to an existing one, you may find this article useful:
Meditation Tips - Handling a Busy vs. Drowsy Mind
In meditation, most of us swing between 'monkey-mind', in which we are running from thought to thought, or 'sinking' mind, in which we feel either drowsy or simply dim. Here is advice for dealing with both, based on teachings from Bhante Gunuratana.
I have also rolled out my own teaching schedule for the year (although new dates will be forthcoming), so feel free to check that out here:
I always love to hear from you by email or the forum, so if you have suggestions for reviews or articles you'd like to see this year, please don't hesitate to chime in:
In closing, here is a teaching from Niguma, a 10th century woman teacher within Tibetan Buddhism that I found particularly pure and empowering:
You don’t have to do anything with your mind,
just let it naturally rest in it’s essential nature.
Your own mind, unagitated, is reality.
Meditate on this without distraction.
Know the Truth beyond all opposites.
Thoughts are like bubbles that form and dissolve in clear water.
Thoughts are not distinct from the absolute Reality,
so relax, there is no need to be critical.
Whatever arises, whatever occurs,
simply don’t cling to it, but immediately let it go.
What you see, hear, and touch are your own mind.
There is nothing but mind.
Mind transcends birth and death.
The essence of mind is pure Consciousness that never leaves reality,
even though it experiences the things of the senses.
In the equanimity of the Absolute, there is nothing to renounce or attain.
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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