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"Anything can teach- it need not intend to do so" - Buddhist teacher

One of the best features of 12 step programs are their slogans. Slogans are short, pithy sayings, intended to stop you from following your addictive thinking and get you back to your program.

There are many such short sayings in Zen, and I find them very helpful

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For example, here's one short sutra, the Metta Sutra:

May you be well, happy and peaceful
May no harm come to you
May no difficulties come to you
May no problems come to you
May you always meet with success
May you also have patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome inevitable difficulties, problems and failures in life

The idea of this sutra is that you start out saying it on behalf of yourself, then extend to your loved ones, your friends, and eventually your enemies. You are pointed to an attitude of benevolence towards all.

Now, let think of some common situations where it is easy to get off the track: You are waiting on line at the supermarket and someone pushes in front of you. Of course: ANGER ARISES. Can you remember, let alone recite the above sutra before you start getting mad at the person? Maybe not- neither of us is that far along the Path. However, if I can remember: "Let it go." "Be here now." "Let go and Let the Universe." I may be able to be conscious of the anger process and cease from following it. At that point, I can assess the situation and decide what to do, if anything.

Or: I am caught up in some sort of greed situation: burning desire for another motorcycle for instance. Some helpful slogans: "Think" "No need to decide anything today." I may be able to get some distance on the greed and be able to have a rational thought process regarding my need for another motorcycle.

It is way too easy to wander off the path and often difficult to keep the mind of training. However, as one person said, "Training is not when its going well, it when it's hard." Buddhist training is intended to help you over the rough spots, and training needs to work when things are going very wrong. I find the above slogans to help with the mind of training

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice. (6+ / 0-)

    Beautiful metta prayer, but here is the Metta Sutta, for those who are unfamiliar with it:

    This is what should be done
    By one who is skilled in goodness,
    And who knows the path of peace:
    Let them be able and upright,
    Straightforward and gentle in speech.
    Humble and not conceited,
    Contented and easily satisfied.
    Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
    Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
    Not proud and demanding in nature.
    Let them not do the slightest thing
    That the wise would later reprove.
    Wishing: In gladness and in saftey,
    May all beings be at ease.
    Whatever living beings there may be;
    Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
    The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
    The seen and the unseen,
    Those living near and far away,
    Those born and to-be-born,
    May all beings be at ease!
    Let none deceive another,
    Or despise any being in any state.
    Let none through anger or ill-will
    Wish harm upon another.
    Even as a mother protects with her life
    Her child, her only child,
    So with a boundless heart
    Should one cherish all living beings:
    Radiating kindness over the entire world
    Spreading upwards to the skies,
    And downwards to the depths;
    Outwards and unbounded,
    Freed from hatred and ill-will.
    Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
    Free from drowsiness,
    One should sustain this recollection.
    This is said to be the sublime abiding.
    By not holding to fixed views,
    The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
    Being freed from all sense desires,
    Is not born again into this world.

    There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

    by srkp23 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:48:51 AM PST

  •  I've been working with a great one (5+ / 0-)

    from Thich Nhat Hanh. Simple and powerful. Not a slogan but a question:

    Are you sure?
    and another powerful question from my teacher Ani Pema Chodron. Deceptively simple and challenging to maintain as an openhearted question:
    Does it matter?
    the "it" can be any (potential) action, thought, event, etc.

    I use these dharma questions when I need to stop, arrest my conditioned actions and reactions and see things afresh. Maybe someone else will find them helpful too!

    There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

    by srkp23 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 08:52:46 AM PST

  •  This is perfect, that is perfect, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, Joy of Fishes, txcatlin
    perfect comes from perfect. If you take perfect away from perfect, the remainder is perfect. May peace, and peace and peace be upon you. Upanishads
    There is amazing power for me in the thrice-repeated wish for peace in this passage.

    “Are you calling the Koch brothers during the recess?” - Henry Waxman

    by thenekkidtruth on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:23:24 AM PST

  •  Holding on to anger (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la motocycliste, rb608, Joy of Fishes
    is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. – Boddhisatva Gautama Siddhartha

    “Are you calling the Koch brothers during the recess?” - Henry Waxman

    by thenekkidtruth on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 09:26:48 AM PST

  •  Good stuff. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la motocycliste

    But I have to say, I really do need another motorcycle.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 10:26:08 AM PST

  •  Will Winter Never End? (0+ / 0-)

    "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

    by midnight lurker on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 02:22:24 PM PST

    •  Motor Maids (0+ / 0-)

      The video is of a certain group of motorcyclists. Motor Maids have no tattoos, don't drink a lot, generally ride dressers, are soft spoken, law abiding- and ride. Through whatever Mother Nature throws at them. 700 plus mile days, no problem.

      The Motor Maids are my heroines and role models.

      •  Be That As It May (and I'm Sure It Will) (0+ / 0-)

        It's supposed to snow here tomorrow night for a couple days and then rain for a couple more. Haven't ridden since Thanksgiving weekend. Getting antsy.

        And I think the Motor Maids is a fine group. So there. I also think the ride is the thing, regardless.

        "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

        by midnight lurker on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 06:32:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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