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The poise of a dying man

HSU YUN

Beyond meditation practice, there is attitude. A beginner must learn to cultivate what is called, “the poise of a dying man”. What is this poise? It is the poise of knowing what is important and what is not, and of being accepting and forgiving. Anyone who has ever been at the bedside of a dying man will understand this poise. What would the dying man do if someone were to insult him? Nothing. What would the dying man do if someone were to strike him? Nothing. As he lay there, would he scheme to become famous or wealthy? No. If someone who had once offended him were to ask him for his forgiveness would he not give it? Of course he would. A dying man knows the pointlessness of enmity. Hatred is always such a wretched feeling. Who wishes to die feeling hatred in his heart? No one. The dying seek love and peace.

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8 Kinds of Silence in Dharma Practice

PADMASAMBHAVA

8 Kinds of Silence in Dharma Practice:

1-Silence of the body – avoid the allurement of violation.
2- Silence of the speech -free from mindless rhetorical diversion.
3- Silence of the mind, reside in the non-dualistic primordial awareness.
4- Silence of sense-gratification, set yourself free from the conceptual fixation of pure and impure experiences, free of conflict.
5- Silence of transmission, do not offer instruction to people who are unsuited for such teaching, enabling you to receive the blessing of the lineage.
6- Silence of behaviour, act unpretentiously and without deceit.
7- Silence of experience, do not form attachment with your experience, and do not elaborate your encounters to others. Thus, enabling you to attain full enlightenment in this lifetime.
8- Silence of realisation, do not cling to mundane longing and reside in the calm abiding of non-duality. Thus, enabling you to be free from the bondage of samsara in the moment of realisation.

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The Three Gates of Speech

Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: At the first gate, ask yourself “Is is true?” At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?” At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”

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What would be the need to restrain all else?

“Unruly beings are as unlimited as space
They cannot possibly all be overcome,
But if I overcome thoughts of anger alone
This will be equivalent to vanquishing all foes.

Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But (wearing) leather just on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it.

Likewise it is not possible for me
To restrain the external course of things;
But should I restrain this mind of mine
What would be the need to restrain all else?”

Shantideva

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The middle way is beyond birth and death, high and low, happiness and suffering, good and bad.

The place where there is no becoming and birth, humans don’t really notice. The unenlightened mind fails to see it and consequently just passes back and forth over it. Samma patipada is the middle way which the Buddha followed until he was liberated from becoming and birth. It is abayakata dhamma – neither good or bad – because the mind has let everything go. This is the way of the samana. One who doesn’t follow this way cannot be a true samana, because they won’t experience true inner peace. Why is that? Because they are still involved in becoming and birth; they are still caught up in the cycle of birth and death. But the middle way is beyond birth and death, high and low, happiness and suffering, good and bad. It is the straight way and the way of calm and restraint. It is a calm that lies beyond happiness and suffering, good moods and bad moods. This is the nature of the practice. If your heart has experienced this true peace, it means you are able to stop. You are able to stop asking questions. There’s no longer any need to ask anybody. This is why the Buddha taught that the Dhamma is paccatam veditabbo vinnuhi – it’s something which each individual has to know clearly for themselves. You see how it all accords exactly with what the Buddha taught and then you’ve no need to ask anybody else.

Ajahn Chah

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Don’t go finding fault with one another.

“The first guideline: anupavādo. Don’t go finding fault with one another. In other words, don’t say evil things about one another, don’t misrepresent one another, don’t say anything that will cause people to fall apart from one another. Don’t start false reports about one another, and don’t encourage them. Don’t curse or yell at one another. Instead of finding fault with one another, each of us should look at his or her own faults. This is what’s meant by anupavādo. You can use this principle anywhere, whether you’re ordained or not.”

~ Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo “Dhamma for Everyone”, transl. Thanissaro

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This shows how ignorant we are of the persistent shifting of this world and all phenomena.

We also have a tendency to think that after we die, the world will go on. The same sun will shine and the same planets will rotate just as we think they have done since time began. Our children will inherit the earth.

This shows how ignorant we are of the persistent shifting of this world and all phenomena. Children don’t always outlive parents, and while they are alive they don’t necessarily conform to our ideal. Your sweet little well-behaved kids can grow up into cocaine-snorting thugs who bring home all kinds of lovers. The straightest parents in the world produce some of the most flamboyant homosexuals, just as some of the most laid-back hippies end up with neoconservative children.

Yet we still cling to the archetype of the family and the dream of having our bloodlines, jaw lines, surnames, and traditions carried on through our progeny.

Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

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When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick.

“When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick… Instead, be like a lion who, rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.” -Milarepa

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Not to get too attached to your plans, hopes and expectations.

If you have neither the time nor the inclination to become acquainted with the view that samsara is an illusion, try, while you are still alive and healthy, not to get too attached to your plans, hopes and expectations. At the very least, prepare yourself for the possibility that nothing will work out. Everything good in your life could, in the blink of eye, become the exact opposite; and everything you value could suddenly become worthless.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

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Just accept them as part of the establishment of silence.

CHOGYAM TRUNGPA RINPOCHE

‘In order to achieve silence, you would not chase the birds away because they make a noise. In order to be still, you would not stop the movement of air or the rushing river, but accept them and you will yourself be aware of the silence. Just accept them as part of the establishment of silence. So the mental aspect of the noise of birds affects the psychological aspect in you. In other words, the noise that birds make is one factor, and one’s psychological concept of noise is another. And when one can deal with that side, the noise of birds becomes merely audible silence. So the whole point is that one should not expect anything from outside, one should not try to change the other person or try to put across one’s opinions. One should not try to convince a person at the wrong moment, when one knows he already has a very clear idea of his own, or it is simply not the right moment for your words to get through to him.’
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**Meditation in Action