Daily Dharma: Walking the Natural Path with an Open Mind

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After rejecting the ways of our Western consumer society, and prompted by his discovery of Dharma teachings that confirmed his scientific findings on visual perception, he encountered his guides Nyanaponika Thera and Narada Maha Thera in Sri Lanka. It was there that Nyanaponika Thera persuaded him of the importance of deeply understanding Right Attention and Right Energy and Narada Maha Thera showed him the essence of Abhidharma, with the idea that, whereas modern psychology could explain perfectly well with cognitive intelligence why the mind works as it does, Buddha Dharma could show how to find the truth through direct experience -a confluence that was absolutely essential for the new world.

After fifteen years as a Theravadin, as an arahat unawakened to the Primordial State, Shanjian sought without expectations and received Chan transmission in Kunming China , after which he reintegrated the Five Houses of Chan along with Zongmi's Huayan model. For some people these changes in consciousness have a strong physical component or a marked shift in perception, both of which lead to dramatically altered states of being.


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  • Realizing Your True Nature.

For others the shifts are very subtle, primarily manifesting in clear thinking or a strong sense of emotional centeredness characterized by spontaneous altruism. The manner in which your body and mind experience your true nature may be transcendent or immanent in its manifestation. When Sergeant Anton Schmid experienced a "soft heart" and first acted with selfless compassion, he was dwelling in the divine aspect of his true nature. It was most probably a transcendent moment. Then there was the grind and dread of carrying out his inspired mission.

Realizing Your True Nature | Dharma Wisdom

He lied, forged papers, and no doubt worried, complained, and felt sorry for himself, just as we all do. In all these activities, his experience was ordinary, but still divine. The Divine was in its immanent form, arising out of simple acts of being.

Schmid was holding the ground of what his soft heart said was sacred, but he was just an ordinary man. In Christian teachings, Jesus died on the cross as a man rather than as God, and therein lies the essence of understanding immanence. His words, "Oh, my Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?

This was his great gift - that a human body in all its frailty could hold the true nature of the Divine. It is the same for each of us. There are moments small and large when we are filled with the transcendent, as though we have been lifted out of our bodies or the Divine has entered us as grace. There are other times when the Divine grows out of the ground of our being. Usually all that is possible in daily life is to be present in the moment, to pay attention to how we react, to be alert to greed, fear, or confusion, and to respond with as much compassion and wisdom as we are capable.

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In doing this we are allowing what is divine to manifest in what is human. Both the path of transcendence and the path of immanence are beautiful, whole, and worthy. It is your heart that must find its true path. Most spiritual traditions offer some combination of four practices for those who would seek to know their true nature: Your essence will be more drawn to one or two of these practices than to the others.

But the only way to discover which practices work for you is to do them.


  1. Books by Shanjian Dashi (Author of Daily Dharma).
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  6. There are a few individuals for whom life itself seems to offer the perfect balance of these practices, but it is foolhardy to decide you are such a person. For most of us practice is essential; it is the only way that we can consciously experience and participate in the mysterious journey into that land where "love is most nearly itself.

    Eliot spoke of the inner journey in this manner: At the peak of his career, former CEO and Editor-in-chief of Esquire magazine, Phillip Moffitt, traded in his worldly aspirations to explore the inner life. He subsequently founded the Life Balance Institute and now teaches vipassana meditation with an emphasis on living the dharma in daily life. It is available in hardcover, paperback, e-book, and audiobook. Please consider making a donation to Dharma Wisdom to assist us in carrying out our mission of helping individuals live a values-based spiritual life in alignment with Buddhist principles.

    Search Search this site: Experienced Meditators Recommended Reading: New Meditators Recommended Reading: Realizing Your True Nature. The Buddha taught that your true nature is emptiness and when this true nature is realized, the divine states of loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity emerge. You Are Not Your Worst Traits Many people fail to distinguish between their true nature and their personality traits, particularly their less desirable traits.

    You Are Not Your History Roger Cohen, the reporter who wrote the article about Schmid, quoted Germany's current defense minister as saying at the dedication of the army base: You Are Not Your Thoughts The Buddha taught that your true nature is obscured by the veils of wanting, fear, and delusion or ignorance. Ordinary Grace These teachings about our true nature are not theoretical.

    Even so, you'd still be in bad shape. The lantern, the pillar and the entire Buddhist cannon lack nothing. Come on, where do you see a single dot. Yet it is wide open. But the question reflects more the inadequacy of this students search. Now let me declare clearly that there is no such thing as transmission as it is understood by those without a clear mind. Yun men declared, when asked what the eye of the genuine teachings were, "it's everwhere", and at another time in reply to the same question, "It is the steam of rice gruel".

    Do you all understand what I am saying.

    Books by Shanjian Dashi

    You can find the true Dharma even when listening to the sound of an ineffective Master crapping. But most of you cannot see that The truth is within you not outside.

    Looking Deeply Into The Nature of Things (Thich Nhat Hanh)

    You cannot see it because you are running around after initiations, lineages, and transmissions and some Master image that suits your idea of Awakning. Buddha received no transmission, nor did his great monks like Saraputa and the like.

    Did Paul or Peter or other great disciples receive transmissions from Jesus the Nazarene? No of course not. They recognized the truth in the Master and that alone. Furthermore the teachings that open the way to the opening of one's mind do not come from one source but many. This fragile and foolish idea of lineage and transmission is quite new and dangerous for it closes the mind and does not open it.

    You all carry your staff across your shoulders and claim that you practice Chan and study Dao and that you are in search of the meaning of "going beyond the Buddhas and transcending the Patriarchs. Well here is my question to you. Is the meaning of going beyond the Buddhas and transcending Patriarchs present in all the twelve periods of the day, walking, standing, shitting, pissing and seeing the vermin in the toilet and the lined up mutton traded in the market. You are on the wrong track searching for titles and transmission.