The Buddha of Love

Excerpted from Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

The Buddha Maitreya is considered the buddha of the future. His name, Buddha Maitreya, translates as the “Buddha of love.” To me, Buddha Maitreya is an archetype, a sacred allegory representing something profound and innate in each of us, our innate love. Love is innate to all of us, and we can regard love and compassion as our basic instincts. Our basic instincts are not all dark and impure. Love is our most basic human instinct, along with intelligence, compassion, and courage. There is love in all of us. There is even universal love, all-embracing love, in all of us. This is part of who we are. There are many forms of love. Love comes in a variety of flavors and textures. We experience love for family members, love for friends, love for animals, and love for the world of nature. Love is this authentic feeling that transcends judgment, hatred, and envy. It embraces one person or a group of people in our hearts with trust and kindness. This unconditional acceptance and affinity is what love is.

We feel love for many people in our lifetime, and it is quite easy to love the world of nature—the beautiful forest, the majestic mountains. Our hearts open when we are standing before sunsets or mountains or great rivers. We all love nature easily. We don’t have to meditate for a long time or go through psychoanalysis to love nature. At a very early age, we humans start demonstrating our intrinsic love toward the world of nature as well as toward the animal kingdom. We love animals most of the time. It is easy to love our pets, and of course, they love us unconditionally. They often show their unconditional love and their loyalty toward us. Not only that, they are extremely charming most of the time. Some animals are much easier to love. Those little dogs you see now and then are so sweet and adorable!

However, our love toward humanity is very complicated. When we love a human being, that love can be quite heroic. Perhaps it is much more heroic or profound than our love of nature or anything else. When we really love somebody, we are able to sacrifice ourselves.

We have this selfless, big heart, through which we can have the willingness to carry the other person’s suffering and pain. And we can have unquestioning determination to share our happiness, our glory, and our richness with that person. It is said that this kind of love toward all living beings was felt by Buddha himself all the time. Many great, awakened masters felt this love too.

At the same time, it is very difficult to love humanity. When you walk on the street or drive on the highway, try to look around. Make sure you look around and recognize all the human beings.

Can you love them? Can you find sacredness, holiness, or some kind of charming quality in them? You know that sometimes it is very difficult to open your heart and find the beauty and holiness in human beings that you can find quite easily in nature or even animals. That is why many people have a much easier time loving animals than loving human beings. Sometimes it is very difficult to accept human beings with their complex personalities. Yet this is the only way we can evolve. Sooner or later, we must learn how to love all humanity. We must learn how to recognize the charm, the sweetness, and the adorable qualities in humanity without any exclusions. Perhaps we may think that such love is impossible, but the truth is that this love is very possible. Having this love in your heart is the only way you can evolve. It is the only way you can find healing, transformation, and true happiness. So Buddha Maitreya, the future buddha, is only an archetype. We all are future buddhas. We all are the Buddha Maitreya. The Buddha Maitreya symbolizes this all-embracing love.

One time, the Buddhist master Asanga was meditating in the forest. He was hoping that soon he would see a divine vision of Buddha Maitreya. He meditated for twelve years without any sign of achievement. After meditating for twelve years in the forest and hoping to see the divine vision of Buddha Maitreya, he was quite disappointed. He decided to quit his quest. On the way home, he ran into a wounded dog lying on the street. This poor dog’s entire body was covered with maggots. He felt genuine love and compassion toward this wounded dog. He wanted to help it and remove all the maggots eating its body. First he tried to remove the insects with his hands, but then he also felt love and compassion toward those embracing each moment insects. He was afraid of killing them with his hands. He decided to remove them with his tongue. The sight was so grotesque he could not touch the maggots with his tongue while his eyes were open.

He closed his eyes and stuck out his tongue. Suddenly there was no more wounded dog. He had a vision of Buddha Maitreya. Of course,this is a very famous story that you don’t have to take literally. It can be a metaphorical story. You are Buddha Maitreya, and you are the future buddha. There is an all-embracing love inside you. You are born with it. This is your basic instinct. You just have to find a way to rekindle it.

Again, there are many forms of love. There is spiritual or divine love. This is love without any object, which is a very powerful love. There are many beautiful and powerful practices than can help us to evoke this spiritual, objectless love. Most of the time, our love has an object. True spiritual love, divine love, has no object. This is why the Hindus often practice bhakti yoga, which is the yoga of divine love. You can feel this spiritual love, love toward Avalokiteshvara, love toward Guanyin. Guanyin is not an object. Avalokiteshvara is not an object. The truth is that you will never find Avalokiteshvara from outside. As a Mahayana and Tantric Buddhist, I have practiced many sadhanas, Buddhist versions of bhakti yoga. For a long time, I practiced the Avalokiteshvara sadhana. I felt this profound, almost transcendent level of love toward Avalokiteshvara. For a long time, I wanted to see Avalokiteshvara. Of course, in the end I could not find Avalokiteshvara because Avalokiteshvara is not an object.

When you can’t find Avalokiteshvara and still love Avalokiteshvara, that is true spiritual love that is transcendent love.

Source: Spirituality Health

View Here on Embracing Each Moment

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The Most Overlooked Secret About Spirituality: by Deepak Chopra M.D

Without really thinking it through, most people separate the practical side of their lives from their spiritual beliefs. This separation is actually not valid. No matter what kind of experience you are having, that experience occurs in awareness. Therefore, spirituality needs to be clarified in terms of consciousness, which is real and practical, instead of religious beliefs. Beliefs can be very important to someone and have a deep personal meaning. But the source of every spiritual experience is consciousness.

The first thing to say is that consciousness is active at every level of life, not just in our everyday thoughts and sensations. What are you conscious of right this minute? To find an answer you can look at the world “out there” and describe what you see and hear, or you can refer to the world “in here” and describe what you are feeling and thinking about. Yet this separation, which seems so obvious, isn’t really crucial. Being aware of a tree is much the same as being aware of an image of a tree in your mind’s eye. The sight of a grocery store may remind you that you need eggs–the two worlds of “out there” and “in here” are intimately connected and function as two sides of the same coin.

But there is another kind of awareness one might call “second attention.” While all the things you notice fall into the area of first attention, second attention is different and unique. It is your awareness of being aware. We all have this. When you wake up in the morning the first thing you are aware of is being awake, not whatever is in your bedroom or the thoughts that start running through your head.

Second attention sounds abstract, but it indicates something important that applies to you personally: Consciousness is multi-dimensional. This isn’t an incidental observation but a key one in the world’s wisdom traditions. If consciousness is multi-dimensional, the way you easily switch from first to second attention opens the door to a completely new reality.

This reality is marked by the following critical phenomena:

1. Your two levels of attention are constantly at work. While the first level deals with events in the everyday world, the second level governs and controls how your personal reality unfolds; it contains the control switch that pulls your attention wherever it goes, and what you pay attention to is all-important. How much focus you place on these two levels makes an immense difference in how your life turns out.

2. You can absent yourself from pain and suffering by transcending or going beyond your immediate circumstances. This ability leads directly into the deep meditative states extolled in every spiritual tradition.

3. You can experience two states of mind simultaneously, encompassing both the active mind with its thoughts, images, feelings, and sensations and the silent mind from which all activity springs.

4. You can explore the numinous or divine nature of the mind, where silence turns into “light,” a symbol for the ultimate source of all things, including the physical universe. This is the goal of the Old Testament injunction, “Be still and know that I am God.” Stripped of religious overtones, such an experience brings you to the ground state of your own being.

5. Through empathy, you can feel how another person is feeling, and if carried far enough, this natural ability turns into compassion. Through compassion the individual exchanges his or her allegiance to the isolated ego and becomes aligned instead with a deeper core of humanity.

It needs repeating that all of these are natural states of awareness that anyone can experience once they are pointed out. There is nothing mystical about first and second attention. Of what use is this information and the experiences that follow? Each person must decide individually, but in general, the value of being multi-dimensional is summarized by a New Testament promise: Knock and the door will be opened to you. This refers to doors of higher awareness, leading to greater creativity, intelligence, and love. A person also coordinates daily life better from a deeper level of awareness. Ultimately, the goal is to be so aware that all dimensions are in sync — in separation the mind gets out of joint with its true source, which is why worldly success isn’t the same as peace of mind or self-knowledge.

In short, a lot depends on whether you have realized that you are multi-dimensional and not simply a creature of linear time unfolding on a single track. This is a secret that is capable of transforming your life.

Deepak Chopra MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation, and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The World Post and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Chopra #17 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine. Chopra is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His latest books are Super Genes co-authored with Rudolph Tanzi, PhD and Quantum Healing (Revised and Updated): Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine.www.deepakchopra.com

Source: Linked In

How to Speed Up the Expansion of Consciousness – Bentinho Massaro

Published on Oct 24, 2016

Bentinho Massaro is a Spiritual Teacher. In this video he speaks about inner qualities that speed up the progress of the spiritual aspirant towards enlightenment/awakening.

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David Spangler – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview


Published on Oct 26, 2016

Also see https://batgap.com/david-spangler/

David Spangler has been a teacher of spiritual potentials since 1964. From 1970 to 1973 he was co-director of the Findhorn Foundation Community. He is a Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association. He is a co-founder of the Lorian Association, a spiritual educational foundation, and a director of the Lorian Center for Incarnational Spirituality. His work involves enabling individuals to embody the innate spirituality of their incarnations. He is the author of over 30 books, including Journey Into Fire Apprenticed To Spirit: The Education of a Soul Subtle Worlds: An Explorer’s Field Notes Facing the Future

He writes a free monthly email essay called “David’s Desk”. He also writes a quarterly esoteric journal of his work and explorations with the subtle worlds titled Views from the Borderland. In recent years, this work has brought him into contact with the Sidhe, the “Elven” cousins of Humanity. He describes his experiences in a book Conversations with the Sidhe and through a special card deck—Card Deck of the Sidhe, which he created with Jeremy Berg with inspiration and guidance from their Sidhe contacts. Information about his journal, David’s Desk, online courses, books, and workshops can be found at Lorian.org. David is happily married with four adult children.

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