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Episode 1 How to Create a Happy Reality

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Release Date: 11/02/2018

Buddha taught that our mind creates our reality. Our mind creates our life and whether we are happy or unhappy. In this episode, we delve deep into HOW our minds create our reality.

Here we begin the study of the Dhammapada, the oldest text in the Buddhist canon. It is a collection of things Buddha actually said 2600 years ago, written down by his followers.

The mechanics of the creation of every moment of your consciousness involve the five all- accompanying mental factors.

  • Contact - making contact with an object
  • Feeling - a mental factor that experiences a pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral feeling. * Feeling functions to experience OUR karma
  • Discrimination - identifies the object
  • Intention - Moves our mind to the object. Function to CREATE karma
  • Attention - Focuses on specific attributes of an object. We either focus on something with "appropriate attention" that gives rise to peace, or inappropriate attention that gives rise to suffering.

An example of the creation of a moment of suffering is this: We experience an unpleasant feeling (due to our karma), but we discriminate the person in front of us as the cause of the pain and as "bad". Then we focus on the faults of the person with inappropriate attention, which generates our anger. Anger causes us to have the intention to harm that person because we are feeling upset.  If we continue to dwell on the faults of the person (aka inappropriate attention) will continue to be angry and feel bad. No fun!

We also learned three methods to create a happier reality for ourselves, particularly in a very difficult situation or in regards to a person that cause us pain or frustration. The meditation and daily practice is as follows.

Step 1: Bring to mind a situation that regularly causes you pain. Or bring to mind a person that causes you pain, irritation, or frustration.

Step 2: Try to think about this situation or person with gratitude for a few minutes. What are you grateful for? Try to think of at least five things you are grateful for.

Step 3: Are there good qualities about this situation or person? Please contemplate at least a few good qualities you sincerely observe.

Step 4: Try to generate compassion for the person, or for yourself. Compassion is a mind that really sees the suffering that is there, and, out of love, Wishes to take that suffering away so happiness remains. Remember that happy people don't go around making other people unhappy. Unhappy people inadvertently cause other people to suffer. 

Step 5: Choose which of these three methods (gratitude, contemplating their good quailiteis, or compassion) that most moved your mind toward peace. Determine toput this method into practice in the coming week; let it be like a swaord of mindfulness, cutting through pain.

Step 6: Make a strong determination that, whenever unpleasant feelings start to arise in this partilcar situation, you will put your chosen method into practice. Generate this determination and hold it in your heart for a few moments.

Daily Mindfullnes Practice: Whenever unpleasant feelings start to arise about this partilcar situation, remember the method you chose and put it into practice. Feel compassion for the person, contemplate their good qualities, or try to feel gratitude. You can do it! Let me know how it goes...Leave a message, question, or comment and I'll try to respond via:

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In this episode we study Chapter One, Verse 1 - 2 of the Dhammapada:

“All experience is created by mind

Led by mind,

Made by mind.

Speak or act with a corrupted mind

And suffering follows,

As the wagon wheel follows the hoof of an ox.

 

All experience is created by mind

Led by mind,

Made by mind.

Speak or act with a peaceful mind,

And happiness follows

Like a never-departing shadow.”

       -Buddha, The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations, by Gil Fronsdale

 Other References: 

Abhidharmasamuccaya (The Compendium of Higher Training) by Asanga. Originally translated into French by Warhol Rahula; translated from French into English by Sara Boin-Webb