Excerpts of show notes
Aug 18 Practice, practice, practice – The Greatest Motivator
Karl Friedrich Graf von Dürckheim
On consciousness unlimited blog talk radio
In the JUST BE IT blog talk radio show
I had a wonderful expanding my mind and having a greater understanding of the fact that that we are all consciousness and realizing again that practice, practice, practice is the key. And in this episode I will share with you the Greatest motivator for a spiritual practice: the fact that You and I will die – and nothing can change that.
Buddha says :
Even so you are holding on, and are attached, you cannot stay here,
So what use is it , to be afraid and anxius about something,
Which is unchangeable.
This episode is inspired by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his beautiful book called “ Advice on dying and living a better Life” here he shares from his vast wisdom about the importance of becoming aware of our transientness.
Death is unchangeable and sooner or later we must leave all of it, even our name.
And the Dalai Lama says that the awareness of our transciency gives us an urgency to decide to practice, practice a onscious connection to our TRUE SELF.
Before we look into that more deeply let us look at what Buddhism is saying about practice:
And just today I came across a wonderful little story called It is better to practice from Buddhist way which I will share with you after the break.
This is from the Shambala website with its Dharma Quotes. The quote comes a most celebrated text called Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment by Atisha, who was an Indian Buddhist.
You can find the whole quote and more information about Atisha in my blog justbeittalk.wordpress.com
The story is called It is better to practice
Dromtönpa once saw a monk doing circumambulations and intuitively knew he was doing them for a worldly motive. He remarked, “It’s good to do circumambulations *, but it would be better to practice.” Later he saw the same monk making prostrations. “Prostrations** are good,” he said, “but it would be better to practice.” After some time, the monk began to do meditation and Dromtönpa again remarked that doing retreats was laudable, but it would be even better to practice. Finally the monk, who by this time was thoroughly perplexed, inquired what he meant by the word practice. Dromtönpa answered that it meant letting go of our preoccupation with this life and developing true love and compassion.
*circumambulations is a sacred ritual where the monk is circling a sacred object like a stupa in a Buddhist temple or the Christian monks circling around in the courtyard of their monastery.
**prostrations are rituals lying on the floor full body, getting up and lying down again
If that what we do is for this! life, it is a wordly endeavor, no matter how much it resembles a spiritual practice. If we don’t overcome that concern, we aren’t true practitioners. END OF QUOTE
We need to develop compassion with all beings humans, plants, animals..and that all of them will be freed from the Wheel of Karma moving home as a realized spirit. And in the Buddhist teaching all our spiritual practice must always have in mind all our future life with the ultimate realization into Buddha hood in mind.
I like to focus on another important aspect of practice I am getting more and more in touch with.
I just came back from a 4 week retreat I do every year and it was quiet amazing and brought me on a whole new level in my consciousness and awareness of who I am.
So right now I am smack in the middle of this questions: How do I hold and stabilize the gifts and accomplishment in my Daily Life?
I am sure many of you listeners been there:
You listened to an exciting webcast and you are much motivated to really change things in your Life
Or to an inspiring church sermon or beautiful church service and you know now to love your family, or you attended a profound spiritual retreat and yet, after a while all of it seems to withers away and you watch yourself moving back in some of same old habits and reactions.
So in this episode and the next coming episodes I will explore this question more deeply
Calling the upcoming future episodes practice, practice practice.
Also The Dalai Lama states in his book dying Advice on dying a Better Life:
Even people who came from a year long retreat were not able to keep a long term effect, because they did not hold on to on a daily basis and I quote to “the urgency of their own transcience , their own death coming..
So if practicing means to meditate in the early hours, that is certainly extremely very useful andimportant. Here I am moving my attention to my True Self, getting in touch with the SILENCE behind the thoughts that is the OBSERVER, the I AM. And during the day I do feel I am connected to an extra battery and for the whole day I can pull from this, if I choose to put my attention to it. That seems to be the key to frequently put my awareness to that of who I really AM, pure consciousness, 99.9% pure energy…and then all my action and responses can come from that connectedness..
One could say that the connections made in my mediation done in my room, in the early hours all by myself must be brought into the light of the day, and prove itself there in the busyness of the market place where so many things want to pull me outside of the I AM into my small self.
This takes motivation to be that consistent despite the strong input my senses I receive from the world out there.
The Dalai Lama recommend to be always aware of the transientness of myself which then will motivate me to practice consistently.
He says and I
QUOTE: To contemplate about the transientness does not only inspire to practice it does deliver the fuel for it!” END OF QUOTE
And that in itself does not seem easy, right? Everything around me seems to look sooo permanent, my brain tells me that the world is real and hard and stable like a rock (even though Quantum physics has proven that all is energy and I have and will again discuss that in this show).
I feel family and friends stay forever and when I think about my death I say later, later, later …its kind of far away, even so my Life span is getting shorter each day
A part of me says Oh yes I know I am gonna die, but….(right now I am busy making a fortune, enjoying the summer son and on and on)
What I am looking at is that a part of us allows us to stay in the shallowness of Life far removed from daily contemplating death, after all its scary.
Rainer Maria Rilke who often was contemplating the “fleeting moments of Life, us the most fleeting of all” says: that our whole Life is a preparation just for that event. And he asks how well are you gonna die and will you by then understood what it is all about?
We do not allow ourselves to think these deep thoughts, right? and if we do its all doom and gloom and bad and dark. We are programmed to believe there is nothing out there after
And I like to quote this beautiful sentence from the book of the Dalai Lama:
“The profound, the deep has lost against the trivial, says Dalai Lama and I like to add in mass society”..
Indeed a part of us does not want to see what’s real.
and I say a part of us, because in REALITY I am not that, I AM THAT I AM, I am Atman, I am 99 % pure vibrating powerful energy and you are that!
We have been very successful to put death outside of our Life because the transient nature of all things, the constant flux of change is too uncomfortable for our small self to face. We are so awkward about dying that we need trained companions to help us.
To be aware that with every breath I am moving closer to death is extremely uncomfortable…my small little self wants attachment and security.
It takes a lot to daily become aware that I am already dying. However it can be the greatest motivator to explore who I really am : Spirit learning to be human, as Grandmother Parisha says.
And the DALAI LAMA says_”: Only when you have a strong sense of the certainty of death and the uncertainty of its date, then you will be motivated from deep inside.
The Dalai Lama goes in this book further. He shares 16 verses of a poem by the Panchem Lama. It is a guideline for special Buddhist practices, to overcome the fear of dying and to prepare spirituality for the different phases of death.
And he clearly says that it would be good to practice this, as on the day of your death there might be no one who could help with your transition, maybe only weeping family members and friends.
There is a beautiful practice Grandmother Parisha recommended to get a sense of our death. Write down the days you have left to live…and update them daily, weekly or monthly. Lets assume you take 90 or 80 years of age, deduct your age and that number gives you the years left. Multiply by 365
For me using 90 as a number today its about 11.315 days, not a real big number, considering that I started out with over 32.850!!
Let me know what you think about that? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contemplating on death also brings you closer to contemplate on time. As some of us know , and Einstein has said time and space are relative, they are in relation to our perception and only exist in this material, third world dimension.
So how am I spending my time? as Grandmother Parisha says, Time is very precious in this dimension, it cannot be replaced. We can replace money but time is gone and it is important that we make wise choices how and with whom and for what do we spend it. This simple calculation can give us a strong sense of the closeness of death, one might then feel the urgency to train his mind and body, to focus on meaning and depth in Life and to move into the endeavour to understand who I really am and what this is all about.
How do you spend the days 10.00 15.000 or 20.000 left?
In the book the Dalai Lama writes:
If one has understood the difficulty to actually obtain a human body, than one has no excuse to inactively stand around . If one realizes the great meaning of this human body, than one has not trouble anymore of senselessly waste time.
So once you and I really got how precious this human existence and the time spent is, …we also can motivate ourselves to live a Life that is in harmony with our TRUE SELF, that is an expression of our hightest good…and not to regret to have wasted this precious life time.
To regret that we did not live like we really wanted to is the number one theme of people who are dying. An Australian palliative care professional found out that people who are dying spoke mostly about that: I wish I had…
She wrote a book called “The Top 5 regrets of Dying, her name is Bronnie Ware
You can download it as an ebook. See my blog.
Here are the top 5 regrets people shared:
I wish I had more courageous to live my own Life.
The author says that there are many people who went thru Life and did most of the time that, what other believed, they should be doing.
I wish I had not worked so hard.
Being caught up in the fear for material security, or acknowledgment many regret they spent too much time working and not enough time living.
I wish I had told my real feelings.
Many people, says the author, are holding back their own truth, their own inner wisdom …they play nice. That also leads to a Life which does not allow for complete expression of oneself and the satisfaction of Being all you can be.
I wish I had kept contact to my friends.
Many people regret that they did not keep in touch with people important to them.
The demands of Life pulled them elsewhere and at the end they realize that the nurturing and deep connectedness with people who nurtured their soul was something they missed out on.
I wish I would have allowed myself to be more happy.
The author shares the feeling of many people who are dying, that they did not make the choices for a happier life. Either they got stucked in old patterns of remorse and holding on to old anger or simply did not want to be uncomfortable, to change for a better Life. The fear of the small self to change.
All regrets focus around the fact that none of them lived up to their full potential.
Of course, the author, Bonnie Ware, also met people who do not regret any thing and left with a smile on their face.
In the moment we consciously connect to our True Self, thru contemplation and spiritual practice, we will be guided to change our way of living. We will then live our own Truth, express our True Self – even it means change and that is uncomfortable.
So let me summarize what I covered today
First, here one more time the practice I recommend for your own personal journey.
Calculate the number of days you have left until you become 80 or 90, this gives you an approximate number of days left and a strong sense how close death really is.
I would suggest you update the number weekly or at least monthly.
Have the number clearly present in your home or desk.
Second, In his book the Holiness of Dalai Lama Advice on dying nd living a better Life . he summarizes in a simple and clear way, that a sense of our transientness, the certainty of our death, will motivate us strongly in our effort to consciously connect to our Inner Being. That means to take on a consistent spiritual practice is the best decision we can make:.
As death is coming without doubt
As out life span cannot be extended and actually is getting shorter, shorter
As there is not much time to be in spiritual practice, even in this Life
The decision must be: we must practice.
As the time of our death is not known
As there are many causes of death, and only a few causes for Life
As our life span in this world is not know
The decision must be: we must practice now.
END OF QUOTE