Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

A Shout Out To A Couple Of My Spiritual Guides!

The term ‘Guru’ is a Sanskrit word that means ‘Spiritual Guide’. A Spiritual Guide can be eastern, western, male, female, ordained or lay. Our Spiritual Guide is any Spiritual Teacher who leads us into correct paths to liberation and enlightenment by giving teachings and showing a good example.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso~ Modern Buddhism, p. 207

This Thanksgiving weekend as I sit and reflect back it dawns on me what a special gift I have been given. I am grateful for many things but for the purpose of this post I would like to give thanks and a shout out to my sons, Brian 11 and Alex 10. They are my little spiritual guides bringing to life my Lamrim meditations and teachings. Here are some examples of my spiritual guides at work.

They make it possible for me to receive dharma teachings that lead to liberation and enlightenment.

Today the three of us spent a good part of the day at the Dharmapala Kadampa Buddhist Center. I arrived expecting to teach a Dharma for kids class followed by the three of us attending a mala making class. When no children showed up for class I asked the boys if they wanted to join in on the Introduction to Meditation class being offered at the same time. They said yes and away we went. They did wonderful with the meditation, participated in the class discussion, and seemed to really enjoy both the meditation and mala making class. Their willingness, great behavior, and enthusiasm make it possible to attend classes.

Alex teaches me how precious and rare our human life is and spiritual practice is important.

The other day we all got into my van to go out to dinner. The Prayers for Meditation cd was in and playing. Alex was sitting in the back seat singing away. He did not ask me to put on his favorite pop station. He was content and happy singing the prayers. This makes me recall the line; practicing dharma and not wasting our human life on meaningless activities, from the first Lamrim meditation.

Our dog had surgery this week and when we brought her home I could see the pain and worry on his face. Alex loves our dog and hates to see her suffer in any way. He continually expresses his wish for her to have a human rebirth so she too can reach enlightenment. The love and sincerity of his wish reminds me how rare and special this human life is.

On Thanksgiving as we all stated the many things we were grateful for Alex said he was grateful he was a Buddhist. I can’t help but see in his statement the reliance and understanding of going for refuge.

Thank You Alex

Brian sets the example of all living beings are our mothers and cherishing others is most important.

One day Brian asked if we would allow him to stop eating meat. One of his reasons stated was that he could not harm or eat another living being. Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s contemplation for the meditation Advantages of Cherishing Others: The precious mind that cherishes all living beings protects both myself and others from suffering, brings happiness, and fulfills our wishes.

He has scooped up bugs and carried them outside instead of killing them for as long as I can remember. We even joke calling him the stink bug whisperer because of how often he carries them outside and never once gets sprayed. His compassion for all living things brings to my mind the realization that all beings are our mothers.

Two weeks ago I took Brian to a occupyroanoke meditation event. I did not realize it was not a guided meditation until the last-minute and had no time to prepare him. So I just whispered say a mantra or think about wishing peace. It was a 30 minute meditation and he did great. Walking back to the car I told him how I was wishing the 99% happiness and freedom from suffering. He explained that he too started out with that wish but felt like it was mean to leave the 1% out and so included them in his wish for happiness as well. I am humbled and inspired by his realization to cherish all beings.

Thank You Brian

Peace and Flowers

Tracie

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Not Too Late To Meditate

It is never too late to start meditating. All ages experience many benefits from developing a meditation practice. If everyone had a sincere intent to learn and apply meditation what a peaceful loving world we would have.

I started practicing 11 years ago for a class that required a self meditation study. I was 35 years old and meditating for the first time in my life. I taught myself to do a basic counting technique and quickly realized that I wanted to learn more.

Married, with five children, and a full-time job, I decided to find a way to fit meditation into my hectic life. I began reading about the different methods of practice and the benefits they brought. I joined a meditation center and it wasn’t long before I started experiencing results. I noticed improvement in the areas of stress management, pain tolerance, and even my blood pressure.

As the years have passed my meditation practice has become an important part of who I am and who I want to become. It has not always been easy and there are still days that I look for excuses to avoid it. For those moments I have empowered myself with many encouraging tools. I joined a dharma class, keep a journal, purchased a cushion, meditation table, insight timer, candles, books and more books, guided meditation apps, and of course I have my sangha friends to cheer me on. My life has become enriched by my practice and I no longer can imagine me without it. My wish is for all ages to begin a practice and experience the benefits of meditation like I have. It is a journey well worth taking.

Peace and Flowers,
Tracie