Daily Tao

The Tao in Everyday Life

Archive for the category “General Lessons”

The original sin

I am just this little old me, separate from everything else and everybody else.

More guilt

More guilt isn’t the answer.
Only more awareness.

Simplicity in Complexity

Sometimes spirituality is presented as something complex, to be mastered after years (decades) of rigorous practice but I think that in fact it’s about realising how blindingly simple it is to be spiritual, that it’s actually¬†our natural state. In my opinion any teacher, leader, church or organisation that tries to over complicate the teachings of the great spiritual masters like Buddha or Jesus is not to be trusted.

What do you think ?

On the Use of Technology

Since the mind can endlessly produce thoughts, clearly it has the potential to endlessly produce new products. Like thoughts, they may not necessarily be helpful or beneficial. In the past,technological culture-changers like the telephone and electricity took a long time to produce and cultures had more time to absorb and contemplate their impact. Now, especially with electronic media, new cultural and ethical values are being developed and challenged, and things are changing so fast that we have little time to contemplate and absorb their impact.

Like many other things, technology can serve us well or not serve us well. If we approach it with vision, we can utilize it. If we lack vision, technology can prey on us, detecting our weakness or lack of resolve, such as discursiveness or desire for gossip. Or it distracts us from nowness.

In this way, it seduces us for a few minutes, which become hours, days, months and years.

We can tell if we have been served well by technology if we feel uplifted, informed or delighted by it. These are signs that the encounter was virtuous. However, if we feel dull or disconnected, then clearly that technology has numbed our senses. We are mentally less sharp and emotionally distant. We know we were used by the technology, as opposed to using it, because it has drained our energy. Technology can be a great expeditor of virtue, or it can create negativity. With the telephone or email, we can easily comfort, console or celebrate with others. At the same time, because we are not face-to-face, we might say or do things that we would not normally say or do. Thus, our negativity can become exponential due to the effect and power of technology. We may also tend to hide behind the electronic medium because we are less exposed.

Even though technology has advanced our ability to communicate, the five basic parameters of karma are still in place: raising the intention, deciding to do the action, preparing to do the action, doing the action and having no regret. We can decide to either apologize or to chastise an individual, and once the “send” button is pushed, the karma has been initiated. Afterward, if we sit there satisfied, it is a complete karmic act. That action does not go unnoticed.

In the modern era we need to be even more convinced of virtue, having resolve in terms of who we are and how we want to manifest. Generally, the best approach with technology is to consider our dignity and concern for others.

Thus, as we produce new programs for our laptops and applications for our smartphones, the principles of virtue must be clear in our minds. The point is to cherish the mind and not abuse it. If we remain mindful of our principles and priorities, just as we do in meditation, we can use technology to awaken our discipline and dignity, instead of letting it take over our lives.

The above is an excerpt from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s new book, ‘The Shambhala Principle’ (Harmony, May 2013) – Thanks to the Huffington Post and¬†https://www.facebook.com/ArtofDharma

The Impossible – Nelson Mandela

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Peace with your Enemy – Nelson Mandela

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

Courage and Fear – Nelson Mandela

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Bitterness and Hatred – Nelson Mandela

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

Do not judge me by my successes – Nelson Mandela

Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.

The Freedom of Others – Nelson Mandela

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

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