Spiritual treasures are seldom packaged in "spiritual" wrapping paper. Our
practice in the shrine room is to help us be aware of the many lessons hidden in
ordinary experiences, often unpleasant ones.
* * *
It took a long time to get to where you are now, for better or worse, and it will
take a long
time to get to where we want to be. Many lifetimes of accumulated karma have
brought us to our present place of unfoldment, and we will progress on the path
happy being on a spiritual path and be patient with ourselves. If we pull grass to
make it grow faster it will only die. It is as important to know when to leave
ourselves alone, as when to apply effort. Spiritual practice must be a balance
between exertion and rest.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 3, 2012
If a thought or emotions persistently dogs your meditation, it is often best to shift
analyses the disturbance, thus making it your meditation topic. This is highly
advised by HH Dali Lama and I myself often practice this way. Analytical
meditation is very viable. All meditation topics are expedient means to serve us,
and may be let go of at certain times to our benefit. To cling to meditation's
form is never advised.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 4, 2012
Happy Buddha Birthday --- to the Buddha within us all.
Mantra recitation must be practiced accompanied by right view and intention,
or it could be detrimental and very harmful, or at best have a dulling effect. It
is essential to study and contemplate what we study to assure that we apply the
mantra properly as a medicine to cure the disease of our ignorance.
* * *
When your life comes to a close don't let your last words be: "what was that
that just went by" ---- practice now!
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 5, 2012
Yesterday, at the Buddha Birthday celebration here on Maui, one of the
speakers was the abbot of a Japanese temple here, Mantokuji Paia Mission,
ourselves, for if we cannot find it within ourselves, we certainly won't be able
to bring peace to others, which is the primary goal, the altruistic intention, so
important within all practices of mind discipline within Buddhism. Then he
candidly remarked that because he was so worried all day about his talk, he was
not peaceful himself.
As he went on his message, though simple, is very important. We must find
peace within ourselves. The fact is that many people are confused by the notion
of peace. When the Buddha said: "all is suffering," he was not only speaking
about those in unfavorable human conditions; but equally to those who we
generally consider to be in pleasant and peaceful human conditions. In short,
the Buddha taught that inner peace, if it is to be genuine, cannot be supported
by external conditioning factors, such as good health, financial stability, and
good companions, etc. For the Buddha, this too is suffering, simply because
this "peaceful life" rests on mundane factors, which actually dull and confuse
the mind, causing a lack of incentive to look deeper. In fact, it is often for this
reason that those in unfavorable circumstances may have a keener interest to
enter the dharma than those in favorable ones. Regardless of where we are
coming from, we don't want to be, as a Buddhist saying goes, "like an ant
crawling around the outside of a watermelon, knowing nothing of the
sweetness of the fruit inside."
In our daily meditation we should ask ourselves what is not supported. We see
objects with our eyes, we hear sounds with our ears, we smell fragrances with
our nose, we experience sensations through our body, flavors with our tongue,
and we think about things with our distinction making mind. All our
experiences are supported through these faculties, and limited by them, and so
we keep crawling around within these limitations. The Buddha taught that
these limitations are not real and we can reach beneath them and find a sense
of self that is limitless. Until we do, it is all suffering.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 6, 2012
Being ashamed or remorseful about an action is on the one hand to be
cultivated and on the other abandoned. Recognizing one's faults,
acknowledging them, and striving to correct them is positive; but beating
oneself up about them is completely unproductive and negative.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 7, 2012
Mechanical recitation of mantras is a form of clinging; at the very least there
should be a reflective attitude of mind when mantras are recited. On a deeper
level, we generally would reflect on a meditation on the deity associated with
the mantra or one of its specific meditations, but this is often impossible when
difficult, but that does not mean we should abandon their use altogether or
mechanically recite them. Instead ,if we use them, we should use them in a
focused way, as a tool to protect the mind from wandering and a means to
remain properly focused on the task at hand and well principled in our actions.
Mechanical recitation often does just the opposite and can be an excuse to
allow the mind to wander (thinking that since the mantra is recited) everything
is OK. This is a form of clinging and should be avoided.
Thought for the Day, June 8, 2012
Generating compassion is a principle aim of Buddhist practice. While listening
to a tape of one of HH Dali Lama's teachings yesterday, I was reminded of one
of the principle methods of generating compassion: "exchanging self with
others." This is one of Buddhism's foundational practices. It involves imaging
others faults and problems as one's own and generating a genuine concern
regarding them. HH Dali Lama points out that when we become skilled in this
practice, we will find that without directly focusing on our own concerns, they
become solved as well. Perhaps, in a sense this is because exchanging self with
others enables us to see our own affairs in a better light, a little removed from
them, and therefore enables us to have a better perspective on them.
* * *
raising a family and fulfilling other responsibilities. But, above these desires are
many "wants" that we know we don't need, but want anyway. Generally, it is
chasing after these "wants" that gets us into trouble and causes many afflictive
If we wish to be free of disturbing emotions it is helpful to discriminate needs
from wants and contemplate this as we go about our day. This not only applies
to our physical actions and buying things etc, and engaging in activities we may
not really need, but also extends to our speech and thought activity, both of
necessary, it consumes precious energy, and is tiring physically and mentally. It
is this talk that leaves us drained when we really need to think and speak
responsibly. So, "speak when necessary" was an important Buddhist teaching.
Idle talk may put a temporary smile on our face, but it fades quickly. In a
similar manner, we should always be aware of what we are thinking about.
Thinking leads to action, so we must make sure our thoughts do not wander
too far from home base, or we will find ourselves feeling stretched and torn in
In general dharma practitioners should try to reduce their lives to the simplest
terms possible as this leaves more time and energy for practice and fulfilling
our duties. An additional by product that will emerge as well, is that we will
find the tasks we need to do more and more fulfilling and find satisfaction in
fulfilling the most mundane responsibilities in our lives. Always think
simplicity; less is more, more happiness, contentment, and more satisfaction.
* * *
A sage once said: "Because I have penetrated one Dharma, I have penetrated
them all." I don't know what 'dharma' he was referring to, but the principle is
clear. There is a lot of overlap and penetration within dharma teachings. The
point is to stick with a practice that you feel affinities with and move on only
when you have understood it. This will help you to keep your practice simple.
Moving about too much, will make you a jack of all dharmas and master of
none, something that is not very rewarding.
* * *
expectations of meditation and are impatient that those expectations are
fulfilled quickly, and two, that we don't understand that meditation is only
slightly different from what we generally consider focusing the mind.
The primary difference between our ordinary focusing of the mind and
meditation is that the mind that we focus itself becomes the object of our
focus; in other words we are simply looking into where our thoughts arise, to
whom do they arise, what is the nature of thought. In this sense meditation can
be more relaxing than our ordinary focusing of the mind, for we are focusing
on not focusing, and allowing ourselves to become observers. We are seeing
what is going on and nothing beyond that.
Results don't come quickly and if they do be leery of them. Generally, nothing
worthwhile comes right away. What can come very soon after beginning a
meditation practice is a kind of inner peace and satisfaction, not the result of
any concrete experience, but rather simply enjoying the process of meditation itself.
Meditation, when correctly understood and practiced is its own reward. We will
find ourselves looking forward to it as we do getting together with an old
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 11, 2012
Often people become frustrated and afflicted, not because their hopes and
dreams are not fulfilled, but rather because they are fulfilled. This happens when
one fails to recognize the endlessness of personal desires and simply fulfills
limitless space, it can only yield frustration and affliction. The key out of this
conundrum is to recognize the limitlessness of desires and reach a peace on just
what is enough. This will naturally will force the mind to be more resourceful
with what one has and derive greater satisfaction with less.
* * *
The Buddha, in the Shurangama Sutra, cautions that it is a kind of stealing to
misrepresent oneself as being more accomplished spiritually than one is. If we
guilty of stealing. We put on a pleasant face, when things are not so pleasant in
our lives, and in many ways we act one way, when our lives are another. Various
motivating factors conditions us to do so, social pressure and peer pressure,
being most common. Although we all have a perfectly legitimate excuse, we are
after all products of our society, it is no less still an offense to steal, whether
materially or by misrepresentation.
Buddhism helps us to learn to become uncontrived and honest with ourselves
also psychologically very nurturing. Those who are open are do not carry the
burden of concealment nor are they troubled by the judgement of others.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 13, 2012
Last year while visiting Nepal I went to the sacred stupa at Boudhanath to
circumambulate this sacred stupa and do prayers. There were so many speakers
blaring the sacred mantra Om Mani Padme Hung, the same mantra I was
reciting, I could barely keep myself from becoming muddled. Worse came later
when someone gave me the CD. After listening a few times I found myself
chanting the melody like a robot; I had trouble shaking it off. Was this a
spiritual conspiracy, similar to what I experienced in Lhasa, where the
communist drone out every possible thought with loud speakers extolling the
benefits the communist brought to Tibet, and other cheerful and happy songs?
I couldn't help but wonder.
The Avatamsaka sutra strongly cautions against the "mechanical recitation" of
mantras and prayers. These are not meant to be sing-a-longs; it is serious business
to be practiced in a focused and respectful way. Sometimes I just have to tell
myself to shut up; I admit it. And, if I lapse into mechanical recitation again, I
apply analytical meditation. The point is to honor our prayers and mantra
recitations; and this cannot be done with a mind not properly engaged.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 14, 2012
Yesterday we discussed the faults of "mechanical mantra recitation." Today we
will discuss how to avoid falling into it.
When we do something for ourselves, study a sutra or hear a dharma talk, we
gain great benefit. But, if we teach others what we have learned we multiply
that benefit many times. It is simple math; we are one individual, others are
limitless. So, spreading the teaching through speech and example is a very
powerful way of accumulating merit. In similar manner when mantras are
recited with mindfulness of the teachings accompanied by the altruistic
intention of oneness with all beings, our merit is multiplied many times.
Another way of avoiding "mechanical recitation" is to recognize when to keep
your eyes and ears open and mouth shut. Never cling to recitation. Learn other
disciplines and apply them skillfully.
Mental dullness, lack of alertness, should never accompany mantra recitation. If
you find yourself reciting in this way, stand up and recite.
Study well the attributes of the mantra you are reciting and if it is associated
with a deity keep that deity's qualities in mind.
Mantras can bring solace during difficult times we are going through; and there
not "mechanical recitation," though it is for the moment for our own benefit;
in the long run it is so we may be of better service to others. Reciting a mantra
properly in times of need can be like returning to one's mother's warm embrace.
Study and reflection of the Buddha dharma will naturally support mantra
recitation, our knowledge giving the sacred syllables more potency.
Recite mantras with a stainless heart. Banish all greed, hatred, anger, lust, etc
while reciting mantras.
* * *
Indian science of diet and herbs as medicine and food. This is the world's
oldest system of medicine and diet. The Buddha was very much aware of this
followers. Many think that the Buddha taught a vegetarian diet, but even if he
did, which has been debated, his most important teachings on diet for his
followers concerned eating those food most conducive to a meditative lifestyle
Rachel is a vegetarian and teaches others to eat vegetarian food; but what I
have found interesting is how different these foods are. An Ayuervedic diet
varies according to the temperament of the individual, which generally falls
into three main categories, a subject we won't go into here. There are general
foods, however, that the Buddha identified as being rajestic, or agitating, the five
pungent plants, for example, leaks, garlic, onions, chives, scallions, and he
advised not eating them or eating them in moderation. Meat, in general, is also
considered rajestic, and to be avoided.
Observing Rachel prescribe diets for people I have learned that they vary
greatly and finding the right foods can make a remarkable difference in a
persons attitude and sense of well being.
Our cravings are generally the worst guides to a proper diet. We, in fact,
should avoid them completely. We could all benefit from a rudimentary study
of Ayuerveda, but even that is not necessary. But, paying attention to how
various foods in our diet effect us is very important given the fact that our
physical chemistry plays such a large role in our feeling of well being. Simple
observation can take us a long way towards our goal and if we combine this
with a study of Ayuerveda our task will be greatly simplified.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 16, 2012
Doing actions for the benefit of others is the easy part, developing a genuine
concern for them, even as one has a concern for ones own well being, is the
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 17, 2012
be going to the Iao Needle, a rain forested spring near my home, with my son
and then return home to top an avocado tree that needs a haircut.
Although words cannot express the nature of the enlightened mind; they do a
good job of painting a picture of it. One sutra in particular, the Avatamsaka,
does what is arguably the best job of expressing in words a vision of reality
that will lead one to it. When we study sutras our mind is conditioned to think
in new ways and it is by virtue of these new ways of thinking that we come
view by another kind of conditioning, the conditioning of our mundane world
and its values.
It is study combined with meditation that can bring about a revulsion in the
deepest recesses of our consciousness that will transform our world view.
Meditation alone can entrench us more deeply in the misguided views already
present, and this is why a combined path of study and meditation is so
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 18, 2012
Inner dialogue can lead to Wisdom, it is said in the commentary to the
Avatamsaka Sutra, yet this method is seldom mentioned and practiced by
modern Buddhists. It seems inner dialog is more commonly mentioned in
Christian scriptures. Generally, I think it is confused with our ordinary
conception of discursive thought in which we are entangled in a net of
thinking and blown about by it. But, the dialog here is a well guided one in
dialog. It is an excellent support to other meditation practices, as it breaks up
habitual thought patterns. We can change the topic as we please, but once
chosen stay with it for the hour or whatever time we have for it.
* * *
You can have everything materially and still be unhappy, HH Dali
Lama points out, but have very little or live in a bad situation and yet
be happy within. Therefore, he points out that it is our emotional well
being which we should give priority to.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 19, 2012
The Buddha taught to avoid all "gossip" and this means talking gossip and we
will find no real satisfaction in gossiping ourselves. "Idle" talk is to be
* * *
out, that just because we know more "dharma" than our audience, we should
never think of ourselves as being better than they are. I think this is a very
Our knowledge of the dharma doesn't necessarily mean that we are further
along the path than another. Indeed, they may be far further along than we
are, but haven't yet contextualized it in a dharma language framework. I meet
many people who are quite far along on the path, who are not familiar with
Buddhist practice and thought. But, they naturally go the right way. When we
because it introduces new possibilities. We should always respect our
audience and be humble in our offering to teach, and then only when
requested. We should teach, not preach.
* * *
Buddhism is not a "belief" system, although it can seem that way, like all
other religions that are. While beliefs are tolerated within Buddhist practice,
it is only tolerated to the extent that it leads one to question one's beliefs.
teachings of the Buddha, or the Buddha himself, what do we mean? Have we
questioned his teachings? If we haven't, we are not honoring the Buddha. For
the Buddha himself ordered his followers to convince themselves of his
teaching's truth, or lack, through questioning, refection, and analyses.
Beliefs, unfortunately, often induce laziness. Even though I believe that
emptiness and the apparent world are identical, as the Buddha taught; and I
do believe these words are true, that "belief" is harmful if I don't understand
what it means. While what I believe in may be true, my understanding may
not be. Even, if after many years of questioning a belief, if I think I "got" it,
Buddhism teaches to seek out a qualified master to 'certify" my
Beliefs should always stimulate inquiry; when they do they are wholesome
and a source of growth, when they don't, they stifle it.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 22, 2012
Dharma practice is a relationship with ourselves in many ways; it is dynamic
and ever changing, even though we may engage in the same practices on a
daily basis. It should never feel as if we are stuck in a groove, like a broken
record. This does happen, though, and we should be quick to recognize it.
Even the most basic practice has many levels and we must exert our energy
to avoid being becoming stuck in any particular groove. Stagnation is not an
option. As our practice matures and we grow in understanding, we must
balance contentment with the application of energy; rest and exertion, should
work together and produce a balance.
While still a monk and with my teacher, master Hsuan Hua, it was almost
impossible to find a resting place, whether in daily activities, or in meditation.
Whenever he saw one of his disciples too comfortable, he would sweep the
carpet beneath their feet. He made it a point, it often seemed, to keep us off
balance so that we could be continually be seeking it.
My daughter, Mudra, this morning when going over this 'thought" with me,
pointed out that life is often like that anyway, often situations suddenly
change, and we must be able to adapt. In this sense, Buddhist practice is very
practical for helping us negotiate the twists and turns of our everyday
mundane world as well.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 23, 2012
Use rules, but don't be ruled by them. Rules are important to discipline,
without which it would be almost impossible to build a foundation for
spiritual practice. They simplify our lives by giving us fewer choices and
fewer choices enable us, or should I say "induce" us, to grow in new
"Rules were made to be broken" is a common saying. But, unfortunately it is
not common to recognize when the rules are enslaving us rather than serving
us. Rules are not simply made to be broken when it is convenient to break
them, or when we simply wish to fulfil a desire or craving, but rather when
we sincerely feel that the rule is getting in the way of expressing basic human
values and kindness.
Rules are very valuable aids to cultivation of the dharma that leads to deeper
realization, but they must never be followed mechanically as if we were
robots. Rules should be kept alive with proper mindfulness of their purpose,
and when that purpose is not being served we must know it is time to let go.
Recognizing the "exception to the rule" is almost impossible if we
mechanically follow rules.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 24, 2012
Developing the altruistic intention to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all
living beings is what we all aspire to as Mahayana Buddhist followers.
Fulfilling that ideal is primarily obstructed by our own view of self, our own
self cherishing, afflictive emotions, and desires.
Therefore, an essential aspect of developing the Bodhisattva Ideal within
ourselves, is dismantling the false sense of self that is so deeply embedded in
A genuine concern for other's welfare is the goal. While we may engage in
actions that serve others and do prayers and meditation dedicated to their
welfare, the force of our good actions is diminished by concern for our own
welfare. But, the reality is these concerns are very real: a desire to eat, sleep,
be comfortable, be free of affliction, etc. These concerns cannot simply be
abandoned and suddenly replaced with a concern for others. But, what we
can do is realize on an ever deepening level that other beings have similar
concerns and through contemplation bring the level of concern for others up
to the level of concern we have for ourselves. This effort will begin to
dismantle the importance of our own personal problems and desires and
eventually dissolve them. Basically, we lose ourselves in others.
The Bodhisattva Ideal is not a mere formula. It is our responsibility to make
our aspirations real and genuine through the dismantling of our own view of
self so that we can put others first.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 25, 2012
I am visiting the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, where we are celebrating
the fiftieth anniversary of my teacher, Master Hsuan Hua, bring Buddhism to
the West. The celebration included reflecting on the early days when the
Master taught his first group of disciples who were mostly hippies. I will
share one story which like many of the others, is as relevant today as it was
The story is about "freedom" and what it really means to be free. The
master's hippy disciples talked a lot about freedom, but, since his idea of
"freedom" was very different from theirs, he challenged them to a "freedom
war," playfully claiming that he was more free than they were. This "war" led
to an investigation of freedom and challenged each of his students to define
within themselves what freedom means to them.
Freedom for that generation was more of a rebellion against social structure
and norms than it was a search for freedom, and of course the rebellion
simply led to the abandoning of the norms and structures. This absence of
restrictions was what many deemed freedom.
But, the Master pointed out to them that their freedom was merely an
abandoning of restrictions, which is not true freedom because it failed to
address the desires and ambitions that the restriction curtailed. So, instead of
subduing the enemy, they simply let it roam freely. This free lifestyle was no
less rooted in desire than the restricted one.
The Master's freedom and the freedom we all seek as Buddhists, is freedom
from all selfish intentions. It is embodying the wish to benefit others and
achieving this involves a gradual diminishing of all selfish motivations. The
Master, having achieved freedom from self interest, embodied a freedom that
was far superior to those of the hippies who though free of social and moral
restrictions, were nevertheless restricted by their innate self grasping,
something that the hippy movement didn't address at all, and which is the
goal of all Buddhist practice.
Buddhism teaches: "know the enemy." If we wish to be free, we must first
understand what is binding us up and get at the root of the problem. One
who is truly free is happy regardless of external circumstances.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 26, 2012
One of the dharmas taught by the Buddha is "fearlessness." Dharma practice
can make us very timid and afraid to stick our neck out; like a turtle who
withdraws into his shell, we may find a comfort level in our dharma practice
that we withdraw into and don't stick our neck out of. This in turn leads to a
kind of stagnation in practice and while not committing any offences, or fall
back, we don't move forward either.
If we are to move forward we must be willing to stick our neck out beyond
our comfort zone. It is important first, however, to examine our intention
and make sure it is not a selfish one. If we see opportunity and our intention
is pure and yet we are afraid to seize the opportunity, we are falling victim to
self doubt and fear, both of which are hindrances.
As our practice evolves, we will find ourselves constantly challenged by
opportunity. It may seem odd in the usual sense to be "challenged' by
opportunity, but when working on the mind ground "opportunity" often
makes us feel as if we are challenged to step off a hundred foot pole. We
would rather simply stay put. This is what we should guard against. We
should never be fearful of failure. We should be willing to make mistakes,
these are our lessons and move us forward.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 27, 2012
When we engage in any dharma practice, especially meditation, it can be
difficult to have our "heart" into it and actually look forward to the time
dedicated to practice. Instead we discipline ourselves to do it or skip it
altogether. This problem is all part of "building" a practice and we all go
through it. It arises primarily because we don't know how to drive a "stick
shift," in other words, we have difficulty changing gears from whatever we
are doing during the day to meditation and other dharma practices. We need
to change all this and switch from "stick shift" to "automatic."
Basically, the problem arises because the contrast is too great between
spiritual practice and our ordinary activities, and when we shift between the
two it is quite a jolt. The solution requires a lot of work, but basically
involves lessening the contrast our spiritual life and our common activities,
which involves learning how to merge the two together.
We all know that our "spiritual" activities uplift our common activities, but
the reverse of this is more difficult to see, our common activities uplifting
our spiritual ones. It is a bit of a stretch of our imagination to see this, yet it
is a central theme in much Buddhist discourse where "post meditation" is
Post meditation is divided into two interrelated divisions: one, maintaining a
thread of the meditation experience after one arises from the meditation
cushion, and two, supporting spiritual practice itself through our actions.
Generally speaking it is common to be stuck in reverse. We look forward to
the end of a meditation session and dread its beginning. If it weren't
naturally this way everyone would be dharma practitioners. To change all
this requires an effort to overhaul much of the way we are used to engaging
with the world. Much has been written about this, but in simple terms it
boils down to eliminating frivolous activities and frivolous speech. There are
others, but these are two of the primary culprits that drain our energy and
bring our spiritual life and active life into sharp contrast. If we can reduce
unnecessary activity and talk and keep them to a minimum, it will be far
more easy to engage in necessary activities with greater mindfulness and this
in turn will begin to blend the two worlds of spiritual and material together.
A surprising amount of energy can be conserved by not giving our ear or
attention to someone who is trying to get it unnecessarily and knowing how
to excuse ourselves and avoid being drained.
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 28, 2012
Change and transformation is an essential element of Buddhist practice;
and when we enter the path is an element we often rebel against the most,
and even as one's practice matures it can be difficult to recognize when it is
time to adapt to change. My teacher, Master Hsuan Hua, often said: "you
must be willing to change."
Many people who don't practice the dharma don't because they feel true if
we are content the way things are. We simply don't wish to rock the boat.
But, even those who are not content often don't want to rock the boat, and
even when they do, they want to rock it their way, and no other. This is not
a real willingness to change.
A genuine willingness to change, is an openness and surrender to whatever
is demanded. We have to be willing to surprise ourselves and realize that
what may not seem a satisfactory path in the beginning can turn out to be
the best choice we ever made. Often I have seen people give into what they
rebelled against initially, and later acknowledge how foolish their attitude
Dharma practice most of all requires openness to let go of our habitual
ways of thinking and doing things and allowing new influences to
* * *
Thought for the Day, June 29, 2012
Whatever form of dharma practice we do, can assume any form we choose
once it is understood. If we fail to seek our dharma practice in the post
meditation period, we subject ourselves to the dangers of clinging to the
form of our practice.
* * *
teaching of HE Namkai Norbu, a highly respected Dzogchen master. He
told a humorous story that illustrates an important point. I will relate it
recitation of the mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum, who lived as a humble
Once there was a dharma practitioner whose main practice was the hermit
away from civilization. The hermit had a parrot who kept him company.
As the years went on the recluse's parrot listened to his owner's recitation
and watched him counting his beads. One day the renunciate got up to
make some tea and to his surprise the parrot, in his stead, recited Om
Mani Padme Hum! Moreover, between each recitation the parrot pecked a
little grain to eat between each recitation.
Mantra recitation when correctly engaged in is alive and renews itself
daily. It never becomes stale or mechanical. If it does, then its potency is
lost and our recitation becomes meaningless, like the parrot's in the above
illustration. The goal of mantra recitation is similar to a marriage, it is a
relationship that requires new energy and renewed commitment to be
kept alive and vibrant.
* * *