Forgetting our heritage

As our understanding of the human spirit weakens and our educational systems focus almost exclusively on the attainment of materialistic goals, we are forgetting our heritage and losing touch with life’s value and beauty.

Our time is growing shorter and our lives more pressured and automatic.

We are becoming more like machines that we hoped would free us for a happier and more productive life, but which are instead continuing to enmesh us in new and intractable complexities. 

Mind Over Matter 

Our energy level

Mostly we spend our breath verbalizing.

As we talk, each word we use goes to our thoughts.

Used this way, the breath is like a horse: It tires as it runs.

If we carefully watch when we speak, we can see how our energy level is drained.

So this is a first guide: Use as little energy as possible in verbalizing. 

Footsteps on the Diamond Path Volume I-III

Balanced feelings

We can transmute negative feelings into positive, balanced feelings.

This does not mean just trying to be happy, because happiness is not necessarily balanced.

The feeling of balance is something quite different. 

Footsteps on the Diamond Path Volume I-III

Awareness, concentration, and energy

Through the ages, awareness, concentration and energy have always played a central role in spiritual development.

If we do not exercise and develop these resources, they will begin to weaken.

As their power diminishes, we lose the ethical impulses and the spiritual potential that are the crowning glory of human life.

Life grows more mechanical, artificial, and automatic.

Eventually we begin to rely more strongly on technology to provide solutions to problems that human intelligence can no longer offer.

At this point, humanity faces great dangers. 

Mind Over Matter 

Mind and breath

Negativity is often based on frustration, but frustration itself can be transmuted.

The key is whether mind and breath are functioning properly.

When breath is not balanced, many thoughts and concepts arise, and this leads directly to frustration and negativity.

So it is very important to become conscious of the breath. 

Footsteps on the Diamond Path Volume I-III

Breath

Breath, Balance and Relaxation Retreat, Ratna Ling, June 3-5, 2022

https://ratnaling.org/retreats/2701/breath-balance-and-relaxation-a-contemplative-retreat/

The less…the more

The less we waste the breath, the more still it becomes, and the more we grow calm.

It is this calm, inner breath that we can transmute into something blissful.

As we relax into it, we discover a kind of pure energy that has great value or potential.

To make this discovery can lead us to a new source of meaning and can produce tremendous positive feelings.

Footsteps on the Diamond Path Volume I-III.

A world almost beyond recognition

Modern knowledge reflects the accelerating pace of change that pervades our societies.

The historical evidence suggests that transformations in the patterns of knowledge can now take place in the course of a decade or less, while in the past they might easily have taken a century or more.

In the last century, one new field of knowledge after another has developed — from atomic energy and astrophysics to molecular biology and computer science.

If the rate of change in knowledge can be loosely linked to the rate of population growth, present trends indicate that it will double in each generation.

In just a few centuries, new knowledge and its consequences will create a world almost beyond recognition. Love of Knowledge

What the body is showing us

Many people today emphasize staying in touch with the body, but that advice will not help much if we do not understand what the body is showing us.

The body is not there to support our endless cycles of guilt and worry, our repetitive thoughts and plans and concerns.

We think it is wise to plan things out to act on our own concerns.

We tell ourselves that if we know how to worry, we will know how to make ourselves secure.

But all that makes sense only as long as we base our lives on grasping.

It all looks different if we ground ourselves in appreciation: if we acknowledge the beauty around us and the efforts that others have made to secure our well-being. 

Love of Beauty