Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

This book was suitable to be said as "A Guide to the Awakened Life." I picked this book up at the library last weekend. In between novels that I borrowed and read, I had to slot some Buddhism and inspirational books to remind myself about the reality of life. As we know, many novels were fictions. It often brought me to the imaginary world out there. But it was truly necessary for me to read the Dhamma, the inspirations, which could awake me and remind me our true purpose in this very life.

Embracing Each Moment by Anam Thubten

The awakened life is the essence and aim of the Buddhist teachings, according to Anam Thubten, and this book is a guide to cultivating the awakened mind and heart that allows this wonderful kind of life to happen. He illuminates the path to awakened living in a way that's concise and completely accessible to anyone of any background - reflective of the diverse backgrounds of the students who attend his popular talks on which the book is based. 

"We all want to be happy," says Anam Thubten. 

"This seems to be our strongest impulse. Primarily our happiness comes from our state of mind, though we can't deny the fact that outside circumstances play a big role. When we learn to embrace each moment of our lives, we're empowered to let go of our emotional patterns and false beliefs about ourselves, and we discover the compassion that's been there all along."

(Source: Embracing Each Moment's prologue)

The introduction of the Embracing Each Moment's author - Anam Thubten

The book content 133 pages divided into 15 chapters. Started from the introduction, what the Buddhism is all about, all the way to Buddha of Love (or Buddha Maitreya - the future Buddha), love and heart matters, true nature, mind, spiritual awakening, and so on. It was written in simple language, very easy to read and understand. It was practical too. It guided us to look within us, to find our true nature, the Buddha within.

Love image (Pic source: Google.com)

Buddhist teachings are all about becoming aware of your own limits and learning how to love." - Anam Thubten.

"True happiness comes from loving, melting, and being free from the grip of fear." - Anam Thubten.

"We lived a life in a beautiful bubble that is going to burst at any given moment. Things that we felt as a source of comfort and glory was actually just a beautiful bubble, even our existence. It was truly beautiful, but at the same time, very fragile and impermanent." - Anam Thubten.

"Love is this authentic feeling that transcends judgement, 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." - Anam Thubten.

"Sometimes love is misunderstood. When we think we love somebody, sometimes it turns out not to be pure love. It often can be mixed or poisoned with our own selfish motives and projections. This kind of poisonous love is often found in human relationships." - Anam Thubten

"Love heals everything. Love will awaken you. It heals your wounded heart and will awaken your deluded consciousness. Love of humanity is, in the end, the only true love - the highest love you can find, love that will free you and heal you.. Once you love humanity, you can love everything. It is the most powerful love, but it is the most difficult love to actualize" - Anam Thubten.

"True monk is not someone with a shaved head who goes around begging for food, but someone who has conquered his own doubt, his resistance to love. Because love is very scary, very frightening to the ego. This fear keeps us from letting go of all our defenses. It keeps us from jumping into that both scary and liberating world of all-embracing love. But if you have a moment, listen to your deepest wisdom. It will tell you that when you open your heart, you are going to be free and happy forever. This love will heal everything. Eventually you will be able to love everything. You will be able to love this entire existence, with its beauty as well as its messiness." - Anam Thubten.

Poor innocent love (IG: Rimareyka.writes)

In this book he reminded us the preciousness of human life, encouraged us to contemplate within our inner self, to meditate what if today was your last day to live, and so on. I loved the part where he wrote about forgiveness.

"There is no divine or eternal reward if you forgive, yet it can be the most liberating experience you can ever witness. Forgiveness comes from understanding the human condition and understanding where each of us is coming from. Understanding those who have caused harm to us. Understanding their karma, their background, their suffering, their delusions and realizing that there is no evil in anybody. There is no evil in human beings. Ultimately, nobody hurts anyone else intentionally, even though we may sometimes feel that we have been hurt intentionally.  Everyone is harming each other with complete unawareness. So we are ruled by our own delusions, our own neuroses. Sometimes all we need is this understanding. When we have this understanding, there is no human being in this world we cannot forgive." - Anam Thubthen

"There is no Tantric master bestowing the empowerment (forgiving yourself) on you. You give this empowerment to yourself. When you totally forgive yourself, you know how to accept yourself. Then you will love yourself madly. You'll give this empowerment to yourself. Then you will be enthroning yourself as Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of infinite love. You'll be enthroning yourself as Tara, the embodiment of boundless complassion." - Anam Thubten

Words by Anam Thubten

He also wrote about the preciousness of human's life.

"Human life is not only precious, it is also extremely transient. We are not immortal. We can die at any given moment. We are obsessed with many unimportant things. We pay attention to all these things that we don't have any meaning. When we realize how fleeting and impermanent our own existence is, we wake up and feel an urgency to do something meaningful with our human lives." - Anam Thubten

"Perhaps the goal of this human life is to realize nirvana, but perhaps nirvana is not what some people think it is. Nirvana does not have to be some kind of permanent, static, or eternal state of freedom or enlightenment. Instead, it can be alive and vibrant, something that can be actualized here and now. When we feel this nirvana, we feel only pure love and pure compassion. Love and compassion for ourselves and for all humanity, as well as love for animals and nature." - Anam Thubten

"According to the Lojong teachings, we don't have to run away from them. It says that we can welcome all the circumstances of life, even the unfavourable ones, and use them as a spiritual path, a path to nirvana, a path to the great awakening. By following that path, we can learn how to surrender, how to forgive, how to become courageous, and how to find happiness - not from outside, but from inside." - Anam Thubten

"If you are courageous, then somehow all of life is dharma; all of life is a spiritual teaching. You can almost say that everybody is your spiritual teacher, your guru. And we have no control over life's circumstances. From the moment we are born, we have no control over our own existence. The future is completely unknown. And the profound understanding of uncertainty becomes vivid in our consciousness when we have tragedy or a crisis in our lives, when we feel we are pushed to the edge of the unknown. Once we can surrender and love this great unknown, there is only freedom; there is only joy. Then we can let go of these long-held chains binding us inside: the chain of hope and the chain of fear. Then we can be the happiest people who ever lived on the planet. Therefore, the secret of everything we are looking for - nirvana, enlightenment, the great awakening, or whatever we call it - is surrender." - Anam Thubten

"Unconditional happiness comes from this secret: surrender. Surrender is the act of loving and embracing the great unknown. Unconditional happiness comes from not running away from anything. It comes from taking even the most unfavorable circumstances as a path, a spiritual path, a truthful teaching. Surrender uses such circumstances as a way to turn our attention inward, as a way to see our limitations, our neuroses, laziness, cowardice, fear, insecurity, pride, and attachment. From that understanding, we grow and develop love, compassion, and courage. Life is unfolding continuously, whether we like it or not. The more we try to control it, the more we suffer. If we truly surrender our fears and hopes and jump into the unknown of everyday life, we'll lose nothing except suffering. We'll gain freedom without looking for it." - Anam Thubten

"Learn to be compassionate and content. Learn to dance in your heart while in your mind you are losing everything. Learn not to become angry, bitter, or pessimistic. The truth is that we are going to lose everything in the end. It is just a matter of time. when death arises, then we have to lose everything. We cannot take even one object with us. We have to leave everything behind - this beautiful world, our loved ones, our friends, our fortune, our glory, and our physical body. The important message is telling us that the purpose of this existence is to walk the spiritual path, the path to nirvana, the path to the great awakening. This message is also telling us, 'Don't seek nirvana in the future, but find nirvana here, here in the nowness.' It is the state you find yourself in after complete surrender." - Anam Thubten

Anam Thubten Rinpoche wishes for all sentient beings (Pic source: Google.com)

There were more to read in this book. The above was only some excerpt from what he wrote. Let you find out the rest.

"Bodhicitta is the most beautiful state of mind we can experience. Some translate it as the 'enlightened mind,' and others as 'awakened heart.' Mahayana Buddhism says that bodhicitta is this amazing mind that you can have before you become a Buddha, before you become fully enlightened. It teaches that you can develop bodhicitta, no matter who you are, even when you are lost in a delusion, in a totally painful state of mind. This is now a time to surrender - surrender to everything and let go of all your hopes, fears, attachment, hatred, obsessions, greed -  and let our heart dance." - Anam Thubten

And yes, after reading it, hope it gives you some motivation to practice it (including myself :D). This would be one of the wonderful guide to embrace each moment of our lives and reach the bodhicitta :)

May the above bless you!!! (IG: rimareyka.writes)

Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta
May all sentient beings be happy and healthy, free from suffering, life full of peace and joy.
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu
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