A while back I read some articles on the Four Reminders and they made a lot of sense to me. They are the a way to think about ourselves and our place in the universe. A way to make some sense of it all and a way to keep the Dharma in mind.
- This chance is precious.
- We will all die.
- Samsara – suffering is everywhere.
- Karma is the law of the universe.
This is very foreign to many of us in the west, but also has a resonance about it. It just sounds familiar and right. I have nothing deep to depart with you today, just this small message that the 4 Reminders has for us. If you wish to learn more about the 4 Reminders, and I hope you do, please visit this link to read meditations written by Ven. Lama Norlha Rinpoche.
On a side note I found a small list of parenting and children’s books on the subject of the Buddha, the Dharma and other Buddhist related topics, I added a few more and so now I want to share this with you.
Books about parenting with Compassion:
- Dharma Family Treasures: Sharing Buddhism With Children, by Sandy Eastoak (Editor) (North Atlantic Books, 1997).
- Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn (Hyperion, 1998).
- The Family Meditation Book, by Kerry Lee Maclean (On the Spot! Books, 2004)
- Buddhism for Mothers: A Calm Approach to Caring for Yourself and Your Children, by Sarah Napthali (Allen & Unwin, 2003)
- Buddha Mom: The Journey Through Mindful Mothering, by Jacqueline Kramer (Jeremy P. Tarcher, 2003)
- Zen Parenting: The Art of Learning What You Already Know, by Judith Costello (Robins Lane Press, 2004)
- Baby Buddhas: A Guide for Teaching Meditation to Children, by Lisa Desmond (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2004)
- Teaching Meditation to Children: A Practical Guide to the Use and Benefits of Meditation Techniques, by David Fontana and Ingrid Slack (Element Books, 1998)
- Karma Kids: Answering Everyday Parenting Questions With Buddhist Wisdom, by Greg Holden (Ulysses Press, 2004)
- The Way of Youth: Buddhist Common Sense for Handling Life’s Questions, by Daisaku Ikeda (Middleway Press, 2000)
- Your Children Will Raise You: The Joys, Challenges, and Life Lessons of Motherhood, edited by Eden Steinberg (Shambhala, 2005)
Children’s Books for many ages:
- Blue Jean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists, by Sumi D. Loundon and Jack Kornfield (Wisdom, 2001).
- Buddha’s Apprentices, More Voices of Young Buddhists, by Sumi Loundon and Sharon Salzberg (Wisdom, 2006).
- Kindness: A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents, by Sarah Conover and Valerie Wahl (Eastern Washington University Press, 2001).
- The Hungry Tigress: Buddhist Myths, Legends, and Jataka Tales, by Rafe Martin (Yellow Moon Press, 1999).
- The Wisdom of the Crows and Other Buddhist Tales, by Sherab Chodzin, Alexandra Kohn, Marie Cameron (Tricycle Press, 1998).
- The Rabbit Who Overcame Fear, by Eric Meller (Dharma Publishing, 1991).
- I Once Was a Monkey: Stories Buddha Told, by Jeanne M. Lee (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1999).
- Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas, by Naomi C. Rose and Pasang Tenzin (Clear Light Publishing, 2004)
- Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up, by Norman Fischer (Harper SanFrancisco, 2004)
- Buddha in Your Backpack, by Franz Metcalf (Ulysses Press, 2002)
So there you go, more reading.
I copied in whole this document from another site; http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/96jun/buddha2.html. I did so because all too often web pages that I enjoy and frequent are suddenly gone, and with the web being what it is technologically this should not happen. Once a page is available, the net should insure that the information contained on that document is always available.
Buddha set forth his teaching in the following doctrine.
The Four Noble Truths:
1. All things and experiences are marked by suffering/ disharmony/ frustration (dukkha)
2. The arising of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration comes from desire/ craving/ clinging.
3. To achieve the cessation/ end of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration, let go of desire/ craving/ clinging.
4. The way to achieve that cessation of suffering/ disharmony/ frustration, is walking the Eightfold Path.
The eightfold path to the cessation of suffering:
1. Right Understanding of the following facts:
- the truth about suffering … (The Four Truths);
- everything is impermanent and changes;
- there is no separate individual self- this is an illusion. (We are one!)
2. Right Determination to:
- give up what is wrong and evil;
- undertake what is good;
- abandon thoughts that have to do with bringing suffering to any conscious being; cultivate thoughts that are of loving kindness, that are based on caring for others’ suffering, and sympathetic joy in others’ happiness.
3. Right Speech:
- Abstain from telling lies.
- Abstain from talk that brings harm or discredit to others (such as backbiting or slander) or talk that creates hatred or disharmony between individuals and groups.
- Abstain from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious, or abusive language.
- Abstain from idle, useless, and foolish babble and gossip. Abstain from recrimination and negative statements.
- Abstain from harsh speech—practice kindly speech.
- Abstain from frivolous speech—practice meaningful speech.
- Abstain from slanderous speech—practice harmonious speech.
- Speak the truth if it is useful and timely. Practice only necessary speech. Let your speech be filled with loving kindness. Speak that which alleviates suffering.
4. Right Action:
- Peaceful, honorable conduct; abstain from dishonest dealings; take concrete steps necessary to foster what is good.
- Do things that are moral, honest, and alleviate suffering. Do not do things that will bring suffering to others or yourself.
5. Right Livelihood:
- Abstain from making your living from an occupation that brings harm and suffering to humans or animals, or diminish their well being. This includes: activities that directly harm conscious beings, and activities that indirectly harm sentient beings, e.g., making weapons or poisons.
6. Right Effort:
- Foster good and prevent evil;
- Work on yourself—be engaged in appropriate self-improvement. The essence of right effort is that everything must be done with a sense of proper balance that fits the situation. Effort should be properly balanced between trying too hard and not trying hard enough. For example, strike the balance between excessive fasting and over-indulgence in food. Trying hard to progress too rapidly gets poor results, as does not trying hard enough.
7. Right Mindfulness or wakefulness:
- Foster right attention.
- Avoid whatever clouds our mental awareness (e.g., drugs).
- Systematically and intentionally develop awareness.
8. Right Concentration:
- Developed by practicing meditation and/or mental focusing. Proper meditation must be done continuously while awake, and should include work on awareness of body, emotions, thought, and mind objects.
Five basic precepts:
1. Abstain from killing living beings (from destroying/taking life)—or practice love.
2. Abstain from taking the not-given (from stealing)—or practice generosity, practice giving.
3. Abstain from sexual misconduct—or practice contentment.
4. Abstain from false speech (from lying)—or practice truthfulness.
5. Abstain from taking intoxicating drinks—or practice awareness and mental clarity.
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
The following prose, attributed to Buddha, is a poetic expression of the way he saw the world.
- I consider the positions of kings and rulers as that of dust motes.
- I observe treasures of gold and gems as so many bricks and pebbles.
- I look upon the finest silken robes as tattered rags.
- I see myriad worlds of the universe as small seeds of fruit, and the greatest lake in India as a drop of oil upon my foot.
- I perceive the teachings of the world as the illusions of magicians.
- I discern the highest conception of emancipation as a golden brocade in a dream, and view the holy path of the illuminated ones as flowers appearing in one’s eyes.
- I see meditation as a pillar of a mountain, nirvana as a nightmare of daytime.
- I look upon the judgments of right and wrong as the serpentine dance of a dragon, and the rise and fall of belief as traces left by the four seasons.