Monday, November 4, 2013

Right Action

Moving on down the Noble Eightfold Path, we have already touched upon Right View, Right Thinking, Right Speech, and now we are focusing on Right Action.  We can see how each step on the path has an impact on the next.  Our view feeds our thinking which feeds our speech which feeds our action.  Going back to our work on the chakras, we can see how we are moving down from the crown chakra with the manifesting current, from the subtle energies to more concrete actions.  The influence also moves in the other direction, our actions and speech reinforce our thinking which reinforces our view.  It is our task to observe what we are manifesting as we move down the path or what we are inspiring as we move up the path.  Are we taking refuge in a state of abundance within and around us? or are we feeding the wounded warrior and hungry ghost that shows up in us from time to time?

Last month, we read the Fourth Mindfulness Training and Invoking the Name of Avalokiteshvara to support our practice of Right Speech and deep listening.  Thich Nhat Hanh shares about the remaining four of the Five Mindfulness Trainings in his chapter on Right Action in his book The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings.  We will focus on one each week in the month of November as a support to our practice of Right Action.

This week, we focus on the First Mindfulness Training:  Reverence for Life

"Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, and in my way of life."

The Five Mindfulness Trainings are readings to serve as a north star when navigating our lives.  They point us in the right direction.  We use them to check in with our actions, thoughts, words, relationships to continue refining our choices to stay true to ourselves and to our path.  When we wander off the path, with loving kindness and compassion we remind ourselves to come back to the practice.  If we are lucky we have teachers and friends who serve as a gentle reminder and inspiration on the path.  Remember these are the three jewels:  the teacher, the teachings, the supportive community of practice - Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

Our chant for this month is the Gayatri Mantra (short form).  We use it to inspire us to stay connected to our entire self through the seven chakras as reflected in the elements from Bhur to Bhuvah, earth to heavens, to touch the divine and self-effulgent power of the sun, to raise our thoughts and views that we may choose to act for the highest.

Om Bhur Bhuvaha Swaha, 
Tat Savitur Varenyam.
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, 

Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat.
"May there be peace on mortal, immortal and divine planes
 I meditate upon the most brilliant splendor of the Sun God                     
May he stimulate our intellect (so that we are inspired to take the right action at the right time.)"  

  --- translation from

We have been chanting to the melody so beautifully sung by Deva Premal of the Gayatri Mantra on her CD The Essence.   There is a recording of it on You Tube.  If the link is not working below, please go to You Tube and search Deva Premal Gayatri Mantra.

Blessings of Peace and Love, Health and Happiness to all!



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