Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom



Georgia Meditation Center 

December 5, 2012 Dhamma Video 

Pearls of Wisdom


After our guided meditation we watch the first part of a dhamma talk given by Robert Mawson to a group of soon to be novices participating in the International Oridination Dhammadayada Program. A 30 day training period to ordain as a novice Buddhist monk, which is offered 4 times throughout the year check out www.ordinationthai.org for more information.

I had meditation members request a copy of this dhamma talk given by Robert Mawson and uploaded the talk to our youtube page. 

Robert Mawson gave some great points that I would like to highlight.

1) Realize the power of your mind, that you have more potential than any human being that has ever lived before you. The only thing that limits you is your mind, your only limited by how you think. You can actually meditate to such a degree that you are no longer are here, there is nothingness. You are one with the whole universe and beyond, and when that happens you can’t feel anything. This is where I'd like to insert that we truly are part of this universe, and when we connect to the center by meditating we are connecting to the universe. When you connect with the universe and become one with it, you cannot feel your own body.

2) Don’t give up on yourselves, don’t ever doubt your inner power. I don’t know how you have talked to yourself, all your lives, but start talking to yourself different from today. Start reminding yourself how powerful you are. When I say powerful I mean it in the best sense of the word, because all of you, each of you has the opportunity when you leave here to make a huge difference in the world, because you are so powerful. And remember when you touch only one life, that person touches someone else live, and  it goes out and it goes onward and with meditation it is like quantum physics it travels at the speed of light. 

3) You all came here seeking something, you came to the right place because this is where you find it. You probably came here seeking yourself trying to find out who you are, remind yourself you are very powerful, because you have a mind, and you know where to place that mind. And you know that this place 2 finger widths above your naval is the most powerful place that your mind can be, and when it is there fantastic things can happen in your life. 

Here is the Video and remember each and every one of us can make a difference! 






Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Katina Ceremony - Nov 25th - Georgia Meditation Center



Georgia Meditation Center  Katina Ceremony - Nov 25th, 2012




You are invited to a very special day for us at the Georgia Meditation Center! November 25th, 2012 marks the Katina Ceremony which is a robe offering ceremony presented to monks who have completed their 3 months rains retreat period.

For 2600 years families have gathered to take part in the largest alms-giving ceremony of the Buddhist year, the Katina. Friends, old and new, parents and children join together in a celebration on the theme of harmony. Katina occurs at the end of Buddhist Lent. For an ordained monk, the period of Lent is a time for serious devotion to the ways of the Buddha, when he must strenuously observe his commitments to the 227 Buddhist precepts, meditate, and study dharma (teachings of the Buddha).

From that time until now, lay supporters have made a point of offering cloth at the end Buddhist Lent. The Sangha is not allowed to request the offering, so it is important that the initiation of the offering and its organization be done entirely by the lay people. Actually, the ceremony is held in such high esteem that it is rare that the Katina doesn't take place. The cloth, according to the Buddha's advice, must be offered to the whole Sangha, not to any particular individual, so that the bhikkhus have to formally agree as to which of them should receive the cloth

We would like to invite our meditation members to come and witness this wonderful ceremony with us filled with an abundance of merit gaining experiences. The schedule of the ceremony is below feel free to come at any time that is convenient for you, but I would recommend to come before the alms offering portion of the day, which is where lay people offer food to the monks and there is always plenty of food prepared by many to offer to the Venerables, so please join us!

9:30am - Meditation
10:30am – Observe 5 precepts, Food Offering Ceremony, Blessing from Monks
10:45am - Alms Offering
11:30am - Lunch
12:30pm – Robe Parade
1pm - Robe offering

For Buddhists and non-Buddhist alike, it is a great opportunity to observe the 2,600-year-old noble tradition of the saffron robe parade and presentation.

Gain Merit with Us
If you would like to accumulate merit from the offering of the Katina robe to the Sangha with the lay community please send your donation of any amount by clicking on our paypal button at http://www.meditationcircle.org/HTML/gainmerit.html  No amount is ever too small to make a difference, and it is the intention that counts more than the amount! Rejoice in your merits! 

Special Merit for a Special Occasion
The wonderful tradition of Katina-Robe Offering has been performed consistently since the time of the Buddha. The merit gained from Kathina is considered exceptional since it does not occur easily given that there are many requirements. For instance, there is a time limit – it has to be completed within a month after the end of Buddhist Lent. Thus, Kathina-Robe Offering cannot be performed whenever one wishes. This year’s Kathina is especially distinguished than any other year because it perfectly commemorates the 2600th anniversary of the Lord Buddha’s Enlightenment. If this opportunity is missed, one would have to wait another 100 years before the next centennial arises.

Alms Offering Services Sundays

Alms Offering Every Sunday 

Georgia Mediation Center 

Sunday marks a day where we dedicate our day to accumulating merit (positive energy accumulated from good deeds performed). Every Sunday a lay person takes on the role of Master of Ceremony, there are many different reasons one decides to take on the leadership role of offering food to the Sangha (order of monks) it can range from celebrations such as marriage, a birthday, a new home, to gaining merit for a deceased relative.

There are many ways to gain merit that can be summed up into three basic practices; generosity, keeping the 5 precepts, and meditation. Every Sunday we have the opportunity to participate in all 3 practices. We must try to achieve these practices so that we can continue to cultivate good deeds and merit into our lives.



















Recently on November 11th we had a Meditation Member, Fausta Chavez, who also attends Alms Offering Service on Sundays take on the lead role as Master of Ceremony for her birthday.

I look forward to more of our meditation members joining us to gain merit on Sunday’s and to take on the leadership role to present offerings to our Sangha!








Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meditation Class Oct 24th



Georgia Meditation Center
October 24th Class


After guided meditation we watched an educational program called "Buddhism & Science" this video does an excellent job putting Buddhism in a nutshell. Watching it makes me feel so fortunate that I am blessed to learn the teachings left from the Buddha. In the film there is a segment that talks about how few people will understand nirvana, and from my experience this is true. If people truly study the teachings of the Buddha and come to a deep understanding of the wisdom that he left for us to learn from, it is a gift! I can't stress enough how lucky we are to have a center that teaches us to pursue perfections, and that we have teachers, such as the Sangha to look-up to as our example of cultivation in meditation and moral conduct. Enjoy the film! Keep in mind No Class Oct 31st (Halloween) 





3 Year Old Boy Chants in Pali





3 Year Old Boy Chants in Pali

This little boy in north-east Thailand called "Nong Mark" seems to continue to behave like a monk, as he would have done in his previous life: shaving his head, wearing a yellow robe and playing with a bowl. He can give the traditional blessing in Pali quite fluently, and then chants "Itipiso", "Bahum" and "Mahakaruniko" with a few mistakes and some prompting, just like a normal monk would do. He can do most of the usual chanting which takes over half an hour. His grandmother always takes him to the temple, but he started chanting in Pali from the age of 1.5 years. He also started sprinkling "holy water" before he was able to walk and sit cross-legged in meditation quietly by himself, which is unusual for children of his age. 

~Venerable Gavesako



Thursday, October 18, 2012

World Peace Through Meditation



Georgia Meditation Center
October 17th Class


Venerable Teelapad visited our meditation group yesterday and he was great! I hope to invite him back to our class. Venerable Teelapad is currently staying at our Florida center; he has his Doctorate in Engineering, and lived in the US for 20 years. After being in the corporate world, he yearned for more spiritual balance in his life. He attended a 7 day meditation retreat, and through his meditation gain insight, later deciding to ordain and contribute to something bigger "World Peace through Meditation". The Venerable was fascinating yesterday, for the dhamma part of the class he talked about how moral conduct and meditation go together. When you meditate you gain inner insight, when you have inner insight you know how to teach yourself right from wrong. He was a great teacher I hope we are lucky to have him come back to visit us. After class ended, Nat took the lead in getting donations together for the Venerable's journey to our center, Kudos to Nat! 

Just want to add how much wisdom we gain from our Venerables, our teacher. I can't stress enough, how much I highly regard our Venerables for their virtues. Meditating 4-6 hours a day, upholding 227 precepts, following the path of the Middle Way. The Venerable talked about how if everyone in the world uphold 5 precepts (no lying, no killing, no sexual misconduct, no stealing, no intoxicants) it surely would be heaven on earth. I raised my hand, and said that this would be impossible with our current society, just look at people who choose not to drink, they are considered an anomaly,  the Venerable then reminded me it starts with you. He said start with yourself first and when you discover it you invite other people, "it" being meditation. The Venerable said it all starts from the mind, through meditation and purifying yourself. Again I feel so fortunate to be near a powerhouse of virtues such as our Dhammakaya center. I hope others can discover what I have and that is why I, along with my brother Nat, continue with our efforts every week, rain or shine we are there! One person, 10 person, 20-30 it doesn't matter, in the end it is worth it and nothing brings me more happiness than to help others discover the truth. At this point in our journey I am proud to state that through our 5  years of weekly meeting we have touched on the lives of over 2000 participants. 






Friday, October 12, 2012

Merit is Behind All Success!




Georgia Meditation Center

Class Discussion October 10th



After our guided meditation, our class discussion centered upon merit. It was very important to me to point out to our class how much faith and conviction I have in creating merit every day, and I will share with you the reason why. I shared with the class that every day I do three things to the best of my ability generosity, upholding the 5 morale conducts, and meditating. Many of our members, are familiar with the acts of accumulating merit. It is important to remember,  in order to progress in meditation body, speech, and mind play a part and they must be align with your progression, a topic we often talk about in class.
Something that my mother has always taught me is that merit is behind all success she often repeats this in Thai “boon chuck son” which translate into merit is behind all things working out to the best possible outcome. I have always been a believer in accumulating merit, and I continue to do acts of good deeds, not ever expecting anything in return, because what I get is genuine happiness. The interesting thing is that I have notice positive results do come my way. My mother always says “bee wish upon your merit to help you” this I rarely do, because I am never in dire need, but time and time again when I do wish upon my merit it has never failed me. Others may find it as coincidence and luck, and I probably would have at one time in my life, but now from the core of my being  I affirm that all success in my life are a result of my good deeds, it just has to be, because so many great things that have happen to me have been remarkable.
First let’s read from the excerpts from our Master Nun, Khun Yay’s book, and then I will follow it with a recent incident in my life that  has sealed the deal for me in terms of believing that Merit is behind all success.
Succeed through merit (Wisdom From an Enlightened Mind – Khun Yay’s Teachings)
Whatever  you  set  out  to  accomplish, keep  your  merits  in mind.  If you possess merit, merit will help you succeed in the things that you do. Merit is your refuge. Center your mind in it and everything will fall in place.
Using merit correctly (Wisdom From an Enlightened Mind – Khun Yay’s Teachings)
The act of charity returns to us in good  fortune. The act of mental cultivation brings us deliverance.  Meditate frequently.
Before merit can be generated, there is a great deal of effort involved. Merit making can be complete only when the following elements are present: faith, a good  “field of merit”, an  act  of good  deed, and  the  right combination of everything else. Since merit  is not so easy to come  by, do not waste  an opportunity  to acquire  it. Preserve your merit and  know  how  to use  your merit the right way. Merit is your vehicle to success and happiness
I got married in Mexico last week on October 6th planning this destination wedding had been in the works for at least a year, and finally it was here. My then fiancĂ© and I had headed off to our destination a few days before our guests would arrive. Two weeks before the wedding, I went for a general cleaning and somehow after the cleaning ended up with the worst tooth pain in my life which kept me up for 3 days straight, where I was not able to eat or sleep. Therefore a week before my wedding my dentist suggested that I get a root canal, because I could run the risk of a flare-up, in other words I had a time bomb in my mouth. I was very hesitate to have oral surgery before flying out to Mexico, and totally had mixed emotions as to what to do. Get a root canal running the risk, that if something goes wrong I am in another country, or not doing anything at all and run the risk of being in excruciating pain. That was problem number 1 going into the wedding, I opted to take a chance. Problem number 2, when we arrived to Mexico, the forecast was rain every day, totally depressing as a bride. In fact when we got there it was raining all day and night for 2 days straight, Dan, my now husband, told me about a woman he saw in the lobby who was in tears because of the forecast, and this lady was only in Mexico for her honeymoon, here I was a bride, and everything that we had planned centered on good weather!  Now here is the big KICKER, guest were scheduled to arrive on Thursday, October 4th we had planned a Welcome Dinner for 46 people, an hour before the Welcome Dinner I was told my little brother, was not allowed to board the plan because his passport wouldn’t scan!
Going into it all I just kept wishing upon my merit to have all my boxes checked no flare-up of tooth, good weather for our activities, and my brother being able to get on a flight the following day. At the time, I felt like I would be pretty lucky if I were able to get 2/3 wishes. All 3 wishes came true for me, and we had an absolutely fabulous time!   My younger brother got on a plane the following day, the weather totally cooperated, and my tooth never flared up. Most people may just find this as being all coincidental that it all worked out,  but for me, I can only attest that my good deeds helped everything flow so naturally and perfectly. And this is only one example, out of many that have come true for me.
So with that I reminded the class how fortunate we are to have found a place like the Dhammakaya center that helps to create virtuous people and that everything that we learn is logical and it makes sense. The wisdom that we learn from the teachings of the Buddha does not contradict with any faith at all because in the end it is your life, here is wisdom to learn from and use it ever which way you choose. The core being to purify the mind, and with that wisdom develops and all that we learn clicks like a light bulb.
I told the class we need to come together to help spread meditation and invite  others to come learn with us, and accumulate good deeds together. I reminded the class that we are fortunate to be blessed with our Sangha who are our fertile field of merit, our  Venerables uphold 227 precepts, they meditate 4-6 hours a day and they have given up all material possession to pursue perfections, thus they are our fertile fields of merit. Continue to come to meditation class every week and try to accumulate the 3 forms of merit every day. I have a piggy bank at home where I put change in and when it fills up I give it to the Sangha, I uphold my 5 precepts of refraining from lying, sexual misconduct, stealing, intoxicants, and killing, and I meditate, doing all these things every day is something we all can do regardless of religion, and what harm is it to safeguard your future….none! So why not…….I think I inspired people in meditation class that day, at least I would like to think did! :) after class I had a few members tell me how inspired they are now. All I have to say is that we are here on this earth to pursue perfections and when we are fortunate to discover this and truly understand it we should share it to others and that is all I try to do. It's the very best thing I could have ever done with my time :)
Please join us next Wednesday, October 17th we will have a guest Venerable visit us and he is looking forward to guiding class and teaching us wisdom of life.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

True Happiness in Meditation


Georgia Meditation Center Wednesday Meditation Class

September 5th Dhamma Talk


Yesterday for the dhamma portion of the class Venerable Hart focused on meditation.

Meditation is highly relevant to daily life. Everybody can benefit from meditation, but most people don’t realize it. The Buddha taught that anyone who meditates regularly will attain seeing and knowing according to reality, wisdom, knowledge and inner brightness – which will allow the practitioner ultimately to uproot their defilements (greed, delusion, anger etc) . Meditation is no less necessary for a person than the air we breathe – because without meditation we miss out on happiness and meaning in life.

Happiness is fundamental for every life. According to the Buddhist proverb: Sukhakaamaani bhuutaani, All beings long for happiness.

Most beings think they can find happiness from sensory stimuli – however, real happiness is of a different quality – a happiness that stays with one whether one is sleeping, waking, sitting, lying down, standing or walking along. This kind of happiness is true and long lasting. Meditation is the way people can attain such happiness.. This is because when one’s mind is internalized and united with the center of the body, one will come across the inner sphere of Dhamma which is the origin of the  happiness  which  all  human  beings  are  longing  for.  This  source  of happiness inside is different from  mundane happiness, which is temporary. At the moment one’s mind comes to standstill, one will immediately realize that the feeling one thought was happiness before was actually no more than distraction from one’s suffering. Such mundane happiness tends to be only fleeting, comparatively insignificant, cannot be maintained and still has an admixture of suffering. The true happiness, by contrast, comes from the inside-- illuminating one’s mind from the inside at all times providing happiness together with wisdom – not reliant on external circumstances but merely on the stillness of the mind. It is a sort of happiness one will not get bored with easily and on the contrary, will increase to happiness that becomes more and more profound. Once one reaches the Dhamma sphere inside, one will immediately appreciate that inner wisdom is unlimited, full of wisdom and happiness, which is revealed by the illuminated mind. To attain happiness, safety and satisfaction in life, it becomes obvious that one does not have to search anywhere else but merely allowing their mind to glide down through the stream of brightness at the centre of the body.

Therefore continue to meditate every day and dedicate yourself to the practice, only good things will result from your meditation. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Where is Steve Jobs Part 2?




Georgia Meditation Center August 29th

Conclusion of Steve Job’s Case Study “Why did Steve Jobs die of Pancreatic Cancer at the age of 56?”

www.meditationcircle.org



Nothing gives me greater happiness than to know I am helping people! When people come to our meditation group, and tell me how meditation is helping them it truly does fill my heart with so much joy. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing with my time then helping others learn about meditation, learn about the wisdom within, learn about the dhamma and hopefully they are able to gather some wisdom from what they learn and apply into their life. We truly have a treasure chest at our Dhammakaya center, and it is my wish that people come with an open mind, to learn how to build perfections in their life! Because that is what we are here for; I often tell the class we are born to meditate, eventually through time, most meditation members begin to understand why this statement could be true, or why I am strongly passionate about helping others to learn this ancient art. Meditation is power within us, so shouldn’t we all learn to unlock this power, and truly devote ourselves to the practice daily J

Yesterday, after our guided meditation we watched the conclusion of Steve Job’s case. I told the class yesterday, before watching the video that as I was creating this video, and translating the words of our Abbot, Venerable Dhammajayo, I couldn’t help scratch my head from time-to-time, wondering why I am unable to recall any of my past lives, and then I realized even in this life, I can’t recall the day I was born, so how could I possibly recall anything beyond that point. Even as I was translating the words of the Abbot, I listened and watched the video open to the possibility that recalling another’s pass life is possible, I can’t say it is and I can’t say it isn’t, so I am open and in the end there is a lesson that to me makes all the sense in the world!  More than again, nothing truly explain why bad things happen to good people, or good things happen to bad people, or why anything happens at all, other than the law of karma, so that in itself makes me a believer! And that in itself makes me thankful that I am fortunate enough to study this kind of knowledge, and as a result I am able to conduct my life on the right track, and even if it is true or if it is not I am benefiting from it none-of-the-less so with that I give you the conclusion of Steve Jobs with the last question asked from Tony Seung “Why did Steve Jobs die of Cancer at the age of 56?”





Thursday, August 23, 2012

Where is Steve Jobs?




Where is Steve Jobs Now? Case study submitted to
Venerable Dhammajayo

Georgia Meditation Class August 22nd

Last week it was announced that our Abbot would be going over the Case Study of Steve Jobs which was submitted to him many months ago. When I first found out that the Abbot has received a submission to talk about Steve Jobs Case Study I was very curios to find out what the Abbot would reveal. I told our class this many months ago, from hearing it myself through the grapevine from one of our Dhammakaya members. And now, finally, after many months I came across an image that I couldn’t read. I sent it over to a dhammakaya meditation members that I am friends with, we’ll call him Richard K and he confirmed to me that sure enough the Venerable would be speaking about Steve Jobs Case Study to be presented on August 17th, August 18th, and August 20th during our Abbot’s show, Dream Kindergarten Dream. This is a show that airs everyday on the DMC channel, where people from around the world who believe in reincarnation and the high level meditation of our Abbot, submit various questions that afflict their lives.  Often times after cases are explained there definitely seems to be some sort-of parallel connection that makes perfect sense. Like the Case Study that we watched in class many weeks ago, about a little girl the age of 10 years old, who wrote the Abbot asking what her Karma was to be born in this life, but look like an old lady the age of 60. To summarize it the Venerable mentioned that in a previous life she was influenced by her mother to be rude and hurtful to her grandmother, later when her father passed away, they (her mother and her) cause a lot of suffering and sadness to her grandmother to the point where she passed away, she would always tease her grandmother “you old lady, you old hag” so in this life she is a little girl, who looks 60. Hmmmm well that is possible?! And makes sense nothing you can prove, but I would hope things have a reason for happening to others and its not “just because” it just makes sense to me as a human being. So therein lies one case study that I have listened to.



However Steve Jobs Case Study had been in the works for many months. When I found out about the Venerable planning to answer questions written to him, I was itching to get my hands on the material. I called the staff person at the Georgia Dhammakaya Meditation Center and asked her to record the information for me, figured she would have direct access to resources. However getting the information over to me quickly enough, was not happening and I wanted to present the materials on August 22nd, so with that I buzz in different directions doing plenty of research and downloading until I was somehow able to get all the videos aired. It took many hours. When I finally watched the material, I knew it was just too long, each episode was about an hour long, with that I decided the best way to present the material, since most of it was in Thai, was work on translating it and presenting it myself. I honestly did try to figure out the most efficient way where I didn’t have to do it, but in the end with being crunch for time, since I put a deadline for myself, it had to be me. With that and the timing of when I received all the videos, I was crunched to meet my deadline. I ended up figuring out how to record my voice on the computer and did it in one shot! This is it! In the end when the class watched it yesterday, I can’t lie that I was proud to create something that I was able to share with others. It gave my mind happiness to know that I was helping to spread the teachings of the law of karma, in my own little way. The Venerable always tells us before going over a case, to listen to the answers like it’s a fairytale, do not believe it, do not disbelieve it, but if you can gain some wisdom in the stories, than you have benefited.

So here is my work. I created this video so that I can share it with our weekly meditation class, and anything more than 30 minutes wouldn’t work for us since our dhamma portion of the class is allotted 30 minutes, that is why this video worked out really well at 20 minutes. 



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The World as One



"The World as One"

Georgia Meditation Center Class August 15th

We generally try to start the class with some sort-of inspiration before our guided meditation, either an inspirational quote, a teaching, a parody. On August 15th I tried a little something different. I guide our meditation class about once a month. It was my turn, we had about 15 people in class that day and I was trying to set the tone. I showed Video 1 right before we meditated, I felt that this video could help create spaciousness and happiness from the mind. Imagine how awesome it would be to watch scenes of Video 1 on IMAX and to feel engulf and a part of the world, as if you and the world/universe are one. In a lot ways that is exactly what we are trying to achieve when we meditate.










Our meditation session lasted for about 40 minutes. It is always such a powerful experience to meditate in a group, having others around helps to encourage the time you devote to meditation, otherwise it is very easy to spoil yourself and stop when you feel like it. There is nothing better than creating merit (pure energy) with others!

When we were done I showed another video (Video 2)...again along with the theme of the day which is "The World as One" this video actually shows you the bigger picture of life. I truly try to help people think bigger! Think farther! Think different! Realize that you don't have all the answers and there is probably a lot of things that we JUST don't know, it goes beyond what we think we know. So be OPEN to the possibilities to go beyond the frontier, kind-of like Star Trek.  I hope that this is what the class was able to take away after seeing Video 2 that we are all in this game-of-life together we truly are one, there is no ego when you see the vastness of our universe, there must be something more something beyond what makes sense to us so lets try to meditate and connect to the Universe and find the Stargate within us! Our Venerable NaLong, when he is guiding likes to remind us that we have a Stargate within us and for us to meditate and we will see.







The last video we watched was the icing on the cake! Why because it was the connection between Buddhism and what the definition of the World Means. Excellent material indeed, this is the stuff that truly is a meal for the mind. I haven't had a chance to load the video online yet, but I plan to, basically Venerable Nicholas, a top Venerable at our Dhammakaya Foundation, who is very knowledgeable on Buddhist concepts, and is a great dhamma teacher. He explained the world in 3 levels the environment level, the lifestyle level, and the level of the mind. When we talk about world, one meaning of the word is the environment around us this, level of world is anything outside of our skin outward, location is an example this is the world on the most distant level, within this sometimes we come across pollution or destructive weather it is a blight of level of environment. This is the world on the largest level the natural environment and problems such as pollution. One step further in is the world of our own lifestyle, on this level our connection with the world is also like a world of our own. It's an individual world, as a result of managing our own world if we do our duties properly than more than likely we'll be rewarded properly, however if we do not do our duties it can be hard for us to get by.So blights in your indivividual life. So if you are immoral than you might go to jail. Another meaning of word world it is the level of the mental qualities this is the world which is private world of our own other people do not know about it, but within us we will probably know it very well. Most people who do not meditate do not know much about this level of individual world at all, because they have never seen their own minds and they do not yet understand the concept of good or bad quality of mind. Some people, for example who are cheerful all the time no matter what, they have a very good outlook of the world and are optimist. Even if they do not meditate but they have a certain level of quality of mind that it is hard to push them down, this is rather the thing that comes with meditation practice as well. As you meditate more, it is easier for your mind to not let defilments interfere with their mind. People who have dellusion it may cause them to treat the world in a way that is bad for other people, which in turn is bad for themselves. What we call the world is interplay of three diff levels of reality. In Buddhism we say what goes on in our mind, the qualities of the mind, the defilments of our mind is an imporatnt factor. More importnat than the rubbision the enviromment we make a connection it goes deeper to the root cause which lies within the mind. In Buddhist we say who threw the rubbish in the first place then to treat environment with such disrespect. Shows quality of your mind, how quality of life can deterorite and if life detoriates then enviornment detorieats. Then we see how we behave is such an important factor, not just chainging ourself but everything in the world. We believe that we can change the world by chaning the root cuase which is within ourselves. This creats a vibration which will spread to other people. Why are we here, why we give time to mental practice it is not just on small individual level it has ramifications that extend further than that. 

You see what Buddhism is about it isn't all about worshipping or believing in the Buddha, but more about making connection about life in a certain way. It isn't something that belongs to people but is relevant even now, and if you can learn from these things even if you don't call yourself a Buddhist. Not the idea of putting a lable on youre

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Choose Happiness!



Class Dhamma Talk August 8, 2012

Venerable Hart showed us a video of Nick Vujicic I had never seen the video nor have I ever known of him and I couldn’t help but get a little emotional after watching the video. It truly was inspiring. Before watching this video the Venerable asked the group if there are times in life where you feel discouraged, depressed, or that there is no light at the end of the tunnel? Of course everyone has had times like this before and we can all relate. The Venerable said watch this video and it will inspire you to be happy. He was right! After I saw the video I couldn’t help but realize how we all have obstacles to face in our lives, but you have a choice to be happy and the truest form of happiness is the one that you find inside of yourself when your mind is still. It is the only form of happiness that brings you true wisdom to deal with all the difficulties that we face.

After the video was presented to the group the Venerable reflected on the teachings of the Buddha he mentioned that in our existence we have been brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, handicapped, royalty, peasants, rich, etc countless number of times already and counting the cycle of each of our existence is incalculable and numerous. We are born in this lifetime as a human being, we should use our human form to pursue perfections, we need to use our time to meditate and accumulate good deeds. To realize that life isn’t easy, see the suffering and impermanence of life not as something that is depressing, but something that is true and real, to see the wisdom in this and start trying to live your life towards virtue and doing good deeds by purifying the mind through meditation, by cultivating good deeds, and by upholding precepts and conduct your life morally.



Friday, August 3, 2012

Buddhist from all Faiths Welcome! Alms Offering for Monks before Rains Retreat.


Buddhist from all Faiths Welcome! Alms Offering for Monks before Rains Retreat.
I sent this email out yesterday to our meditation members.  I believe in merit and when you believe in merit you want to invite others to generate good deeds together. As we have learned in class in terms of merit when you do an act of good deeds such as generosity or giving, the giver must have good intention and faith in their act of good deed being performed, and the receiver should be worthy of your gift.  What does “worthy” mean? “Worthy” the more precepts the receiver upholds, the more intensified the fruits of merits are for the giver. Monks uphold 227 precepts so an act of kindness that goes to a monk such as giving food is considered meritorious. Below is the email I sent out about the event this coming Sunday. We meet every Sunday for Alms Offering Service, but  This Sunday is a special alms offering, because it is the alms offering right before the monks go into their 3 month of meditation practice and dhamma study which is called the rains retreat or Buddhist lent

Dear Meditation Members:

Thank you and rejoice in all merit of those who join us weekly to meditate or have participated in food offerings on Sunday, and all meritorious activities at the Dhammakaya Georgia Meditation Center.  Our upcoming big meritorious event this month is "the Asarnhapucha and Buddhist Lent Ceremony" please join us this Sunday for Alms Offering to the monks before Buddhist Lent begins, the schedule can be found at the end of this email or visit our website for the Sunday Service Schedule www.meditationcircle.org 

Buddhist from all faiths welcome! Asarnhapucha is the day the Buddha gave the first sermon "Dhammakacaccavattana Sutta" to the five ascetics at the deer park.  It signifies the completeness of the Triple Gems in Buddhism.  The Buddhist lent is the three months period during the rainy season that Buddhist monks retreat themselves into Dhamma study and meditation practice in their monasteries and refrain from travelling.  

After the completion of the rains retreat monks receive new robes from the lay community, called the Kathina Ceremony, or robe offering ceremony. The Kathina ceremony marks the end of the rains retreat; this ceremony is over 2600 years old. During the robe offering ceremony robes are presented to monks who have completed their 3 months rains retreat period. Keep in mind that every Buddhist center has their own Kathina ceremony and the actual date varies depending on when Buddhist Lent officially starts for each individual center. 

Please join us to initiate this auspicious period for the monks at the Dhammakaya Georgia Meditation Center this Sunday August 5th.

The schedule for Sunday Service Alms Bowl offering is below, feel free to come at any time that is convenient for you, but I would recommend to come before the alms offering portion of the day, which is where lay people offer food to the monks and there is always plenty of food prepared by many to offer to the Venerables, so please join us!

9:30am Meditation
10:30am Observe 5 precepts, Food Offering ceremony, Blessing from Monks
10:45am Alms Bowl Offering
11:00am Morning Chanting
11:30am Lunch

~GMC Team & Venerable Boonchoo (Dhammakaya San Jose Meditation Center)

Peace In, Peace Out


Peace In, Peace Out

Meditation Class Dhammakaya Georgia Meditation Center
August 1, 2012


Every Wednesday we come together in a group environment at the Georgia Meditation Center to meditate and with each class I hope that there is a piece of wisdom that our members gain. I believe that we are sitting on a mound of spiritual treasures; however I don’t know how many people see it. I would have to guess that our meditation members who come consistently know this J we also have members that come one time and we never see them. If anything our GMC team can definitely smile because within the 5 years of us consistently meeting to meditate every Wednesday we have touched upon at least 1200 people in giving them the tool to inner peace through meditation. With that I hope you enjoy the next piece of wisdom that we learned the other day in class.

Note: Generally before our guided meditation, a meditation member will read out loud a quote or lecture written by our teachers, either our Abbot, Venerable Dhammajayo, or our Master Nun, Khun Yay, which helps inspire us to pursue virtues in our journey of inner happiness and peace.

The other day we skipped this portion of class and instead a parable was read.

A man raised fighting fish to earn a living. His fighting fish were widely known for their beautiful colors. Anytime, he sent them for a contest,  he  won  the  prize. Someone observed that his fish displayed not only the beautiful colors of blue, green, purple, and red, but also less common colors such as light lavender, pink, and gold.

People frequently asked him where he got these kinds of fish or how he bred such beautiful fighting fish.    He said that  he had not  brought the fish  from  anywhere, but that he had a simple method for developing the breed.  He asked an artist to draw pictures of fighting fish  and  paint the colors as he wanted  them  to be.   Then, he placed the drawings near female fighting fish for them to see.  These female fighting fish looked at the pretty fighting fish drawings everyday.

When these female fighting fish gave bi1th, one portion of the babies amazingly had beautiful colors as he wanted.  Though he did not possess any knowledge of breeding techniques, he successfully  developed a new fish breed by systematically  influencing the minds of his fish.

This  parable  demonstrates  that  if the mind perceives good  things;  it will result  in good powers or creative powers that generate good results.  For example, the female fighting fish  were familiar  with colorful  pictures which had been recorded  in their minds.   Ultimately,  the mind controlled the physical body by enabling the body to reproduce in accordance with a mental image.  Our minds are similar.  What happens to us is a result of the accumulated  images in our minds.  Thus, we should choose to keep  only  good  situations,   people  and  emotions   in  our  minds  to  support  our meditation.

What a great way to inspire people to turn on a different channel to what you input into your mind. I remember, Venerable Payungsak, who came to visit our center a few years ago. He compared the mind as a tv frequency and for you to turn on the channel that you want, you are in control if you want to generate good feelings, tune it into a good channel, if you want to generate feelings of sadness well then watch something sad or unjust and the mind follows the emotions. So there you go! I truly believe we have to tune ourselves into a good channel, and try to discourage anything bad because it plants a bad seed in our mind. When I see a movie and there is a lot of gruesome killing, it truly makes me sick and distraught, so therefore I try not to watch anything like that; the problem is these days there is so much violence in television and the media, but one must try when we know about tuning your channels to the right waves…right?

For the dhamma portion of class we watched a documentary on the life of Venerable Sodh, the founder of the Dhammakaya technique. Check back on this blog and when I load it I will update on this page if you have any interest in watching it.



Thursday, July 26, 2012

True Happiness through Inner Happiness



Notes from Meditation Class July 25th  Dhamma talk given by Venerable Heart

1)   There is no happiness like the happiness found through inner peace. Worldly happiness is temporary and hard to satisfy; generally most people always want more. You want an iphone, but then a few months later you want the newest model that comes out. In general worldly happiness is quite temporary and doesn’t last for long, unlike the happiness attain from meditation, which is permanent and grows with consistency in practice

2)      Do not give up or become discouraged in your meditation practice, anything that is worth it in life is generally not easy and there will be obstacles. Make a commitment to practice everyday and each time you will progress. Think about the rewards of being able to have more control of your mind, how great that would be. Everything stems from the quality of the mind and you are able to deal with life’s circumstances much easier with wisdom.

3)      In meditation practice you will know that you are progressing when different sensation occur you may feel your body is expanding, or that your body is getting smaller, or that you are falling. You may feel that your body has completely disappeared and is weightless. Do not be afraid when these different sensation occur just continue to still your mind and your meditation will get deeper and deeper.

4)      Venerable Heart asked the class, “what is your goal in meditation?” For most practitioners it is to learn to calm the mind, to help deal with stress, however for our meditation members who come to our classes regularly they will know that through meditation they gain merit, which is pure energy. Merit attracts good things into your life, in fact as a Buddhist we often say merit is behind all your success, even to the extent that we are born as a human being to meditate. Just wish more people would begin to realize that we are in this world to build virtues and pursue perfection the only way to do this is through meditation. If you start to attend our meditation classes regularly you will learn the reasons why and eventually if you don’t see it now, you will see it as you start to incorporate meditation into your daily life. We had one meditation member, Karl, answer this question, he said originally he came to the meditation center to learn to calm the mind, but now he knows there is a deeper purpose. Then he turned and asked me, “Bee why do you meditate” well I definitely gave an ear full. I told the class I meditate to gain merit, I meditate to gain wisdom and to elevate myself, I meditate because I want to be on the path of pursuing perfections. I am not ready to give-up my worldly life and ordain to become a nun, not this lifetime, but doesn’t mean I can’t start building my goal in that direction. I went onto explain the reason why Buddhist laypeople give Venerable so much respect, because they have renounced all worldly possession for a life of upholding 227 precepts, meditation, and teaching dhamma, which means seeing the world as it really is. How fortunate we are to have a true powerhouse of peace and wisdom to learn from :)

5)   Venerable Hart mentioned that when your mind is at a standstill you will see brightness; this is the very beginning stage. The Venerable’s advice stay with the stillness within the stillness and maintain your mind at the center of your body. As you meditate you will advance to the different absorption levels within, which is your transcendental body. That you will see through your meditation. That is his goal in meditation.

6)   Question from the class. When sitting in the lotus position for long duration of time isn’t that bad for your health? Venerable’s answer there are monks in Thailand who meditate for 2-3 days straight without moving their body and they are fine. Sure you can sit the wrong way, and close off a nerve, but if you sit in the lotus position with the right technique your circulation will flow and you won’t ever have any issues. I have never heard of any health issues from sitting in the lotus position at hours on end. 



Meditation Class Photos July 25, 2012
Join us every Wednesday from 7-8:30pm at the Georgia Meditation Center 
Alms Offering Service every Sunday please visit our website for schedule
www.meditationcircle.org





Friday, July 20, 2012

Precepts and Meditation



Precepts and Meditation
Georgia Dhammakaya Meditation Center

Wednesday Meditation Class July 16, 2012

Meditation members are often reminded of the three ways to cultivate merit through meditation, generosity, and keeping the precepts. Merit is positive energy and is the product of good deeds. These three forms of practice help with your progression in meditation. If one truly wants to progress in meditation you must align your body, speech, and mind towards that goal. Meditation combats delusion and through meditation wisdom develops. Generosity combats greed which teaches one to let go. Upholding the precepts of moral conducts; are ideal rules of training which we try to train ourselves until we can keep them perfectly. As lay people the basic precepts consists of 5, which are to refrain from taking the life of another, refrain from taking that which is not given, refrain from sexual misconduct, refrain from false and harmful speech, and refrain from consuming intoxicating drink and drugs which lead to carelessness. Part of the rules of training is to increase your level of awareness in the things we say and do. Precepts are the things that we say and do, once it is internalize and practiced mindfully the effect runs deep and slowly becomes habit; thus you will start to change how you see and think of the world, which changes the quality of your mind. It is actually purifying the quality of your mind directly. Join us every Wednesday at the Georgia Meditation Center where we come together once a week to meditate; and on Sunday for Sunday Service where we come together to meditate, take a vow to uphold the 5 precepts, and perform act of generosity by alms giving to our Monks which uphold 227 precepts, please visit our webpage www.meditationcircle.org for more detial. *Please note this has been a summary of Venerable Nicholas Dhamma talk of the Dhammakaya International Foundation. I hope that you will find wisdom in his teaching and practice purifying your body, speech, and mind to further accumulate virtues in this lifetime, which is why we are here on this earth. When you truly see this you will want to spread inner happiness to all and that is why we are so fortunate to be connected to a powerhouse of peace and virtue, the Dhammakaya foundation, www.dhammakaya.net note there are several programs for all to come and learn about meditation and help to spread it throughout the world.

If you missed class this past Wednesday please be sure to watch this video of Venerable Nicholas on the different ways of accumulating merit  click on this link to view the dhamma talk

Let's try to dedicate to meditate everyday and continue to pursue perfections!

~GMC


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dhammakaya Buddhist Rose Ceremony 2012


January 9, 2012 — .

Let’s open the 2012’s calendar with something different from typical celebration! What about the idea of rose? Universally, rose symbolizes love. Universal love is limitless. Limitless love can be love given to the religion and to all beings which it’s called loving kindness. If we could love all beings, our path of life would be paved by roses. So lets create a rose way to make a new rose year in 2012. At every special occasion, people are looking for special things to celebrate. Look at the beauty of roses, let the floral freshness quench our mind to be clean and beautiful, not allow it tainted by any old unwholesome memories in this auspicious season. Rip the rose petals and keep them fresh to add more auspiciousness. 1127 Buddhist monks will walk on pilgrim on a length of 365 kilometer to bless people on this worldly greetings season. The entire 365 k route will be scattered by multicolored rose petals to unbrokenly pave the rose way for the righteous pilgrim monks to walk on. The event indicates that the 365 days of the New Year, the participants’ life will fill with happiness and success without difficulty. Thousands of people and school students take part in this joyous and sacred activity.

At the same time, the act of pilgrimage is one of the 13 Dhutanga practices of the Taravatta Buddhist monks. In the Buddhist society, after the Rains Retreat, monks are offered the Kathina Robe before they are preparing for Dhautanga. In the old days, this austere practice was emphasizing on the journey within the secluded forests. In modern days, the practice has been adjusted. The 1,127 monks will walk pass through 6 recently inundated provinces around the central part of Thailand. Their performance intends to nurture the wrecked mind of the flood disaster with the power of their loving kindness. The purity power of their cultivated mind serves as a big spiritual cleaning to all. The pilgrim route covers the provinces of Ayuthaya, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakornpathom, Supanburi and Bangkok. Yet, it contains another essence related to the Great Meditation Teacher of Vijja Dhammakaya named Phra Mongkolthepmuni. The designed route tracks back his life history. This noble journey commenced on 2nd of January and will last till 25th of the month – a total of 24 consecutive days. The starting point is Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thani Province.

Everyone is invited to participate and witness this spectacular scene and to give the chance to be blessed. This ‘Rose Way’ exhibits a great lesson that hope still exists as long as we still can breathe. After the event we may be more aware of the benefit of keeping ourselves expose as many as possible to wholesome environment amid life’s adversity. We will be able to find happiness in any situation and transform miseries into bliss. Our mind will regain its equilibrium, vigilance and the ability to handle things with fright-free manner. Then the ‘Rose Way’ will truly pave the ‘Rose Year’ ahead for us. - Elsbeth Maurer, Zurich/Bangkok