Mindfulness & You – Self Empowerment

Sacred Lives, Sacred Homes, Sacred Service

I hope that what I can provide you is just the right set of tools and the right amount of discipline to help you get on with the most important aspect of your life. This Kit will gently alert you to the fact of your own mortality, and provide you with several tools designed to greatly increase your chances of an advantageous poised-for-Enlightenment rebirth. Contemplating death is not a morbid preoccupation. Rather, to recognize the inevitability of death puts our life into a better perspective.

Being reborn as a human in a favorable environment should be high on our agenda.

Although life in the human realm is difficult and dangerous, this Is the place to be. Actually, the human birth is meant to be challenging. Life provides the opportunity to learn and grow psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. I absolutely believe that the central reason we were all born is to enrich and uplift ourselves.

You are obliged to live your own life, and you should be free to do what your desires dictate. When the mistake alarm bell rings there is obviously an opportunity to learn a life lesson. That’s how the system works. No doubt you have made plenty of mistakes this time around. Actually, most people live a whole lifetime engaged only in mistake making! It is particularly important to function intelligently within your family because these are people to whom you deeply connect. It is all too simple to accumulate further negative karma with family members. For example, during times of stress it is easy to speak insensitively, thereby, creating a considerable amount of negative karma. In particular, “media saturated” people quickly lose what little balance they have and become overwhelmed by dramatic family situations. Viewing TV, reading newspapers, and staying on top of the dramas happening in the world causes a lot of anxiety and frustration to short circuit are ability to respond appropriately to events in our personal lives. In our intimate relationships, more so than any other, there is a need to function with spontaneous penetrating wisdom, with humanity, with love and with compassion. Penetrating wisdom is a critical aspect because it can see through circumstance. Wisdom recognizes the need for compassion beginning with compassion for ourselves. I regard family and intimate relationships as academies for training ourselves to act and live as whole, kind-hearted human beings. In the family, in marriages and partnerships, we soak up massive amounts of pain from disappointment, frustration, jealousy, misunderstanding, etc. As painful as this is , all of this is needed to cultivate wisdom. I want to support and encourage you to not waste these occasions.

Actually, when we observe our psychological states carefully, we can see that much of our life plods along without too much emotional impact. Still, we are wired in such a sensitive way that even small slights or moments of uneasiness can bring on distressing mental states. We are vulnerable to being thrown into states of utter misery. Suffering in all its forms all dominates our emotional experience. Its ranges from slight discomfort to complete anguish. Why do we have to suffer so much? The answer is simple: “dysfunctional” karma brought us here. We are heirs of our own home made karma. More on that in a moment.

We all experience a great deal of psychological suffering because we are so vulnerable to emotional pain and anxiety. Anxiety breeds fear, and fear is a deep and primordial condition. The irony of it all is that mental suffering, though it appears to be something that we are condemned to endure, is totally unnecessary. It only arises when we get involved with the past or begin projecting into the future (for the future is really just the echo of the past). When we proliferate in this manner it gives birth to conflict, hesitation, confusion, etc. The reason the mind wanders around in the past and future is that it is weak and undisciplined. Strong minds aren’t caught in lethargy. Occasionally there are fleeting moments when we feel pleasant and light. For most of us, these are fleeting moments when we experience relief from a sense of having to bear the weight of our identity.
In fact, both pleasant and unpleasant are equal; they are both conditions ripe for learning. However, gaining a foothold on insight while we are drunk on a happiness high is much more difficult than learning from physical or psychological pain. From this perspective it’s a good thing that suffering is pervasive in our lives. Everyone’s life is dominated by suffering—regardless of whether they see it or not. When suffering occurs we tend to want to escape. But the pain, the trauma, the broken heart, the disappointment, the unfulfilled expectations that feature prominently in our personal biography are the very experiences from which we grow wise and compassionate. If we are wise, we will contemplate all these events and make good use of them. Without wisdom the melodrama of our lives would go to waste. If we are to escape from chronic suffering we need to make good use of the suffering we experience. Not try do everything to run away (or drink ourselves away) from it. There is something lodged in the habits of foolish or lazy people, which call them to flee from discomfort. Many of us develop a hair-trigger aversion to pain simply because we really looked inside the experience. Suffering has gotten a bad reputation. The wise recognize suffering as the compost for development.

A Life Transforming Program

My program for generating a spiritual transformation requires only a few practices everyday. These practices will definitely pull your life toward Spirit. And not in a manner that requires you to take any religion on board. The simple core practices offered here will take you beyond any conventional religion, as they in-form not only your mind, but also go straight to your Heart. They will lead you to understand several universal laws. The first such law is that we derive more satisfaction by letting-go, giving, and helping others, than from shrewdly grabbing things for ourselves. Another universal law is that the whole of the future emanates out of this present moment. And that principle is best understood through contemplating “Karma”. The Law of Karma is our eternal teacher. It teaches us the value of goodness, of harmlessness, and of appropriate behavior. The law is concerned and applies only to intentional actions. Recognizing that our intentional actions have spiritual consequences is a fact that brings meaning to our life. In a moment you will see how this applies to “Soul Mates”.

Returning to the need to let-go, we can come to see that everything in the world is in a state of flux and flow — we can’t control any of it, and the whole show belongs to Nature. Learning to let-go is the key to moving along in life. This is often easier said than done but it is invariably necessary because this world is a world of change. We really can’t keep anything for long. In the end, we leave without even our name. Letting go initiates forgiveness. Wisdom and life experience recognizes that we get more by forgiving than by fomenting fantasies of revenge. And we get more by preparing for death than by struggling for the impossible eternal life where we get to keep all our stuff, all our toys. By relinquishing greed and selfishness we find ourselves content and selfless. At the very least, we are better able to deal with all the various personal and social problems that come with being alive on this planet. Modern life is a beehive of bewildering complexity often fueled by struggling to hold on to this and that while struggling to get rid of something (or somebody) else. That struggle is a kind of insanity. Learn to let go and the chronic problem with confusion (too much fusion) will abate, and clarity and charity will permeate the mind.

Monk Sumano

1 Comment

  1. David List
    Mar 8, 2015

    I love your teachings and I also came from the Chicago area, Winnetka to be precise. I took off to Boulder,Colorado at 17 and started living with the Sufi’s and met great teachers from all the religions from Sufi Sam’s group who sent them. Pir Vilayat Khan even stayed at our house as so Joe Miller and many Tantic Hindu’s , and Peace Pilgram and so many Tibetan Buddhist teachers. I lived blocks away from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and later my teacher was Reshad Feild from England, who liked to drink sometimes with us all, a Mevlana Sufi. Later my teacher before Reshad who bought the same house from Isa wanted to move to California with his new tribe that came in from where he was born , Tuscalloosa, Alabama where he sent me to live previously. What happened is that my family were alchoholics and I went into that direction,sadly, not a bad one but happy drunk. After Reshad left for Canada I was staying in my father house and watched my mother die and she told me a week before that she would and my father knocked on my door and said ,something terrible has happened to your your mother ,so I ran to her room and found her sitting next to her bed whith greyish foam around her mouth but still alive but comatose, so I said Pop, who was frantic, call 911, so he he left the room and did just that. Then the fire engines rang close to our house the paramedics stripped my mother down to naked and tried to help. She was in the hospital for days and my sister came from Wisconsin and finnally my older brother who was in Oregon came and after all her children were there my brother last to see her alone she passed on, a gift from her I guess wanting all her children there before going on. At anyrate I later turned to Buddhism at Dorge Dzong, Choyam’s Temple , and took Refuge vows with Ponlop Rinpoche and Mahayana Vow’s with the deceased Tenga Rinpoche. Okay, being present now, I have been living in Thailand for about 23 years and been blessed 3 times by Loang Pa Koon and got a third marriage in Koh Samui by an Ajahn and his monks to Benjapond a wonderful lady who is a Pisces sun and Rising with a Taurus moon and I am a Scorpio,Virgo rising, Pisces moon and my Mars is in Pisces.I was married by accident to a Thai prostitute before and married by the Loang Pa who ran the big buddhist center in Koh Samui and we were freinds and he would give me gifts all the time like Buddha statues and the old king Rama picture in gold color and food. When I went to look at items for sale at his Watt and he see me we would walk together hand in hand and ask me questions or tell about somebodys tragic death and so on. Well I am 57 now and have stopped drinking beer which would be about ten singha’s a day for over a week now. I haven’t been meditating but do try to have a open heart that I try to spread universally, sometimes it is so open I can feel it is very strong and a hole of nothingness that feels good at other times I just try to feel the small vulnerable spot in my heart center in the middle of my chest. You know with all this boon in the past I have hardly grown a inch and I sure would like to be more like you in my next life because I know I will becoming back as something, hopefully human on the path of dharma and harmlessness from the earliest age. I, so called I, in my eary days as a child I killed ants and later with a B.B. gun small birds because some friends were doing it. I liked the hunt but when I actually killed one I FELT remorseFOR WHAT I did. That didn’t stop me for awhile then I stopped. Same with alcohol I’ve stopped it numerous times then fall back into it again but now I am really going to try to face my demons and not sip a beer anymore, hope I can be mindful not to do it and hangovers give me evil thoughs that arise,yuck. Do you have any advice for this stupid being I need all the advice I can get from you dear master, sorry for such a long diatribe, just wanted for you to understand a old hippy as me. I still have my house by house bytheocean with a pool but have moved with my wife to smaller house in Nakhon Sawan andlove the Buddha perched up on a hill over looking Nakhon Sawan, Blessings and Peace

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