DHARMA

The Buddhist Perspective on Death
12:45
Buddhism in the 21st Century

The Buddhist Perspective on Death

From a Buddhist perspective, what happens when we die, and even beyond death? When people die, most of us think of it in terms of the Spirit leaving the body. In Buddhist terms, we say that the moment when everything stops is when the Ever-Present Mind/ Buddha Nature/ Ever-Present Light will illuminate into the most ever intense Light. In that light, there is no past, present or future, but rather only that Ever-Present Light. In the intensity of those lights, there are no boundaries or borders. The question is, “How do we stay there in that light?” Usually, our habits/habitual energies will pull us out of the Ever-Present Mind, and we will fall into what we call duality. Some people call this darkness or different colored lights. Either way, we are no longer in the present. Because of our tie with our history, we fall back into the time-space continuum. As a Buddhist, the most important thing is the Buddha Mind. Like the air we breathe, and sunlight, it is uncreated and cannot be destroyed. While it is invisible, you nonetheless breathe with it, and live it, even though you most often don’t even notice it. The role of meditation is to realize and become aware of the Ever-Present Mind. You learn to stay in the present moment. In the meditation that we teach, you visualize a Seed of Light. The result is that you will become the light and learn to be in the light all the time. Of course, our habits/habitual energies are so strong that those will invariably pull us out of the light. That is why in meditation we focus on completely relaxing the eyes, allowing them to become completely still. This will help us to no longer see images. Then we learn to deal with all the thoughts and noises in the head. We do this by relaxing the tongue and allowing it to become completely still. The tongue is connected not only to our minds/thoughts, but also to our heart. In this way, we learn to bring deep peace into our hearts. When people have near death experiences, they often report seeing the light, but then they hear their loved ones calling their name. This is one example of our habits pulling us back. We all have habits, created over lifetimes, of looking, listening, tasting, moving, etc. These habits are very powerful and can easily pull us out of the Ever-Present Lights. Through meditation, we learn to stay with the light, and not be pulled into those many habits. Why would we want to stay in the light? Because we can then choose where we want to be and choose our course of action, rather than staying stuck in Samsara, which is the cycle of birth and death. ---- For classes or more information on Thay Heng Chang (Thay Hang Truong): www.compassheart.com Contact us: info@compassheart.com Soundtrack: A New Beginning from Bensounds.com
How Does a Buddhist Manage Money?
13:26
Buddhism in the 21st Century

How Does a Buddhist Manage Money?

In most cultures today, the goal is to make money. Managing money, like anything else in Buddhism, is a skill. Whatever we engage in Buddhism becomes a discipline, something that we learn to manage and a skill that needs to be developed. This is often called a skill-in-means or skillful means. Money is not about being rich, but rather how to manage it, like you would if you were planting a tree and taking care of it, watching it grow and become something wonderful. In this same way, money can help to support your mission. In Buddhism, then, rather than thinking of just going out and making money, we want to think about what our mission is. We want to be careful not to allow money to own and control us. When you have a higher level of consciousness and influence, then you can use that to build a base to grow community, and to help others. To do this you need means and resources: wealth and materials. Growing a community is the most spiritual thing in our Buddhist practice. How you grow your wealth to help others, and bring about goodness is based on empathy, selflessness, and knowing what your mission is. How do we make ourselves ready for wealth? We must have a mission and be ready to serve. In this way, you become a conduit for the money to flow through you. Every mission is about building goodness. In Buddhism, wealth is to serve a higher mission and the higher mission is always empty of selfishness. Meditation is one way to help overcome selfishness and can help us to grow our consciousness. Then we can build wealth for a good purpose. We may wonder how we can do such a thing. It’s quite simple: Focus squarely on the mission, on building a strong consciousness, and on what you want to be. If you grow your business around that mission, then wealth will come. In the same way that we build a culture and community that is not based on comparison, we can build our consciousness to be ready to be a conduit for wealth. ---- For classes or more information on Thay Heng Chang (Thay Hang Truong): www.compassheart.com Contact us: info@compassheart.com Soundtrack: A New Beginning from Bensounds.com
The Importance of Feeling Connected in all Aspects of Life
13:05
Buddhism in the 21st Century

The Importance of Feeling Connected in all Aspects of Life

When we think about connection, we always think about connection with someone. The first connection of all, however, is that we have to connect with our own spirituality, what we feel about God and our own evolution. When we deny this first and central connection, we tend not to be happy, to just be alone. The first error that many of us seem to make is to connect with others rather than orient toward our own Self and Spirituality. In Buddhism, we begin by connecting with our body, then our spirituality, then our feelings, and finally with our intellectuality. Howard Gardner describes eight kinds of intelligence. In this way, we can see that intellectuality is quite a large subject on its own. After that, we connect with the environment, trees, plants, and then the many things we have/own, etc. Many of us today are struggling with finding a mission and purpose in our lives because we are lacking in the education about this important topic. The feeling of disconnection that many of us are feeling in these days can cause us to have anger. This anger arises from the disconnection at the root of not knowing who I am. Everything grows from the sense of I am. Meditation helps us to attain this sense of I am. Once you connect with that depth of yourself, then you are able to connect with all the beauty that surrounds you. The first step in finding that connection is to drop that sense of “I am going to find something”. Rather, start with the breathing, and then the earth, the ground, and so on. After these first phases, you begin to feel yourself, with the perception of "I am home". This comes before the deep connection of I am. Home is stillness: It is the inner joy of being connected with everything, and of experiencing inner peace. All begins with stillness. ---- For classes or more information on Thay Heng Chang (Thay Hang Truong): www.compassheart.com Contact us: info@compassheart.com Soundtrack: A New Beginning from Bensounds.com
What Effect Does Meditation Have on Growth in our Relationships?
14:01
Buddhism in the 21st Century

What Effect Does Meditation Have on Growth in our Relationships?

In spiritual growth, being alone is an important concept. However, relationships are also important for Spiritual development. Being in relationship with others correlates to our cognitive development, which begins when we are young. This requires our ability to shift roles, and to begin to increasingly see others’ perspectives. There is a path in spirituality which focuses only on self-liberation, with an emphasis on emancipation and growing beyond relationships. Our path though is about helping to liberate all beings, and about creating relationships and connections. We always keep in mind that we are a forest, and not just a tree. Our ability to see others’ perspectives requires maturity. Globally these days, the fabric of relationships seems to be broken down. In our definition of spiritual growth, there is an emphasis on relationships with others. When meditation is complete and we open our eyes, it is a whole paradigm shift. From our perspective, it is very important to integrate the spiritual (vertical dimension) with the relational (horizontal dimension). We learn to take the time to listen to others’ feelings and to deeply empathize with, and absorb, the feelings of others into our own hearts. This becomes the beginning of the spiral dimension which combines the two aspects of our spirituality, and begins to bring about our, and others’, transformation. ---- For classes or more information on Thay Heng Chang (Thay Hang Truong): www.compassheart.com Contact us: info@compassheart.com Soundtrack: A New Beginning from Bensounds.com