The Power of
Buddhist Methods Shared
by Venerable Yantra Amaro
Balance prevails in the ways in which Buddhism
is neither theistic, nor atheistic it neither relies on the concept of a
deity, nor does it challenge the belief of any religious group. This may be one of the
reasons Buddhism has gained such acceptance and even popularity in the West. For being
Buddhist does not require anyone to renounce his or her original belief system. Buddhism
can peacefully coexist with the religion you learned as a child. Buddhist practices
encourage us to look within for our answers.
Below Venerable Yantra Amaro shares some methods to acquire Mindfulness.
Developing Mindfulness of Buddha
The practice of Mindfulness of Buddha
Is suitable for all kinds of mental tendencies and all ocassions. Some monks use only this method.
You start out by reciting to yourself the word
Buddho : Buddho...Buddho...Buddho...
Let your heart down in humble contemplation of the Lord Buddhas perfections, Contemplate, contemplate,
Until you see your own condition.
Then your heart can rest in peace and sublimity.
Then may you turn to observe Dhamma Absolute:
The Absoluteness of Buddha,
The Selflessness, that is the true nature of the Buddha.
The meaning of Buddha is Absence of Defilements.
In the beginning, you make use of verbal concentration.
This is called Parikarma, meaning, to develop to the full, to make it perfect.
Observe as you are confronting contacts.
Observe as your eyes are open up to sights.
While your mind is whispering Buddho,
And while the heart is in the know of things around.
Now, even if you close your eyes, your ears, your mouth,
Still you can distinctly see within...with all,
Still you can retain absorption in peace supreme,
Until you are dawned with a mental image (Uggahanimitta)
And also with an image conceptual (Patibhaganimitta).
Recitation is for the purpose of keeping alert,
For building up the concentration that can impress upon the heart
The image the eyes perceive.
Then you may learn to contemplate release.
Contemplate until you understand
The various conditioning factors of life.
See them thoroughly with the inner eyes.
This is the Absorption State of Conceptualised Image.
For instance, when we recite the word Buddho, Buddho
The heart will be focused on the word Buddho.
Also, you may recollect the innumerable benefactions of Buddha
By way of focusing on a Buddha image.
Bow down with your heart, in submission, in order to see Him
While inwardly whispering Buddho...
In the beginning, do not believe in too hard for introspection,
Because the heart is not completely set in meditative mood.
The heart thus unstable cannot be the seat of wisdom.
Therefore, work at concentration and mindfulness,
So that they may be firm and strong.
Then, wisdom wont be far behind.
Many people dont want to be angry,
Because thay know that anger brings suffering.
Yet they cant help it. Why? Because we have let defilements
Have their way for a very long time.
We have not learnt the subtle way To build up mindfulness.
How can we cure anger?
All right, when anger rises, tell ourselves;
Dont be angry! Mindfulness, come!
But, anger might be there still,
If were not subtle enough.
Some book says, Radiate your loving-kindness!
Well, how can we do it ... were still angry.
We cant possibly radiate loving-kindness in anger!
What we should do is to set up mindfulness.
Be mindful, be aware of what we are moment by moment,
Until our heart becomes calm spontaneously.
When our heart is calm, We can eventually see people
As friends in suffering ... In birth, old age, sickness, and death.
All creatures are subject to their own deeds.
So, let us forgive.
If we are wrong, contemplate our wrong-doing
And then correct ourselves.
Its good, if someone points it out to us.
If somebody else is wrong
Because of his carelessness and so on,
We should be ready to contemplate loving-kindness.
Love of Buddha
If you dont know how to love,
Youll end up in suffering.
Love of a Buddha means giving, helping, and Metta
Let us give without claiming to be the giver:
Let us give as the fair breeze blows...
Without getting attached to a leaf onn the tree.
At the same time,
The leaf on the tree receives
Without feeling sorrow for the wind.
Let us give without getting attached,
Yet perform our duty with love and respect.
Dhamma means harmony:
Generosity in all relationships,
Without bondage illusory.
Give genuinely and sincerely.
In Metta, we love...
In peace, in bliss, in freedom, in void.
Therefore, we care not for praise,
Not for recognition.
We see for ourselves;
We know for ourselves.
Learning to Retain Calm
When we are in the habit of keeping vigil,
And always within the bound of precepts,
Well easily attain calm.
That which readily gives rise to hindrances
Is negligence and the breach of the moral code
When we do not control our senses,
Either intentionally or unintentionally,
Knowingly or unknowingly,
We are forming a bad habit.
We need to practise self-restraint
To win over the defiling self.
Try to concentrate and be mindful of the Citta,
Until you experience calm.
Watch the state of calm closely,
Youll understand its value.
Youll experience the kind of happiness
That is blissful.
The heart at peace,
Full of wholesomeness,
Loving-kindness and bliss,
Will channel our actions and our speeches
Into the ground of noble righteousness.
At the same time, our physical body
Will be adjusted and balanced.
The work thereof will prove to be of
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