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A Letter of Encouragement
from Brother ChiSing
February 24, 2011

Dear mindful friends,

Continue to intensify your commitments to mindfulness, meditation and enlightened living. If you have slacked off a bit, just start over today, or start over this weekend, or start over on Sunday. Every week, just start over again. The ability to let go of the past without regret or judgment, and to begin anew again today, fresh and open, here and now, is POWERFUL and will serve you on your path to full enlightenment and Buddhahood. It does not matter how many times you fall. What matters is how many times you get up again and start over. This is the secret to inner strength. Failure is meant to be there to give us an opportunity to get up again, and therefore there is no such thing as failure ultimately, for ALL things, both the negative as well as the positive, serve to bring us to full spiritual maturity, to full enlightenment, to full Buddhahood. Once we set forth on the true Path of Enlightenment, there is no turning back, and all negativity is transformed into compost to become fertilizer for the garden of the flowers of enlightenment, wisdom, compassion, peace, joy, true power, and true beauty. That is why, ultimately, nothing in the Universe of our experience is ever really against us, but only FOR us. Only FOR our enlightenment, our maturity, our Buddhahood. Only FOR our wisdom and compassion. Only FOR us, not against us.

But until we truly and deeply enter into the Stream of the Path of True Enlightenment, all negativities are only seen as negative, all suffering only seems hopeless and meaningless, and we feel overwhelmed by the fears, uncertainties and tragedies of life. And yet, once we set forth toward the True Path, there will come a time attainable in this very lifetime when we will enter the first of four "gateless gates" of enlightenment, never to regress, only to move forward in "seven lifetimes or less" toward full enlightenment. All that is required are the Seven Practices to "enter the Stream." What are these Seven Practices? They are:

  1. Great Generosity (especially giving food to monks/nuns and supporting mindfulness centers)
  2. Great Lovingkindness (including "metta" meditation)
  3. Deeply taking refuge fully in the Buddha (our own potential for enlightenment as well as teachers more enlightened than ourselves and fully enlightened ones seen and unseen)
  4. Deeply taking refuge fully in the Dharma (the teachings and the practices of enlightenment, including meditation and mindful living)
  5. Deeply taking refuge fully in the Sangha (the spiritual community of all our sisters and brothers on the Path of Enlightenment with us)
  6. Deeply practicing fully the Five Mindfulness Trainings (non-killing, non-stealing, non-harmful sex, non-lying, and non-intoxication)
  7. And Great Devotion [that is: Great Faith, Great Vows, Great Practice] (one particularly powerful way to practice this is through AMITABHA Practice)
I believe with all my heart that if we deeply practice fully together for the next several months, that most of us will certainly realize this initial enlightenment, perhaps in just two or three years. Maybe even by the Great Winter Solstice of 12-21-12 (which incidentally will occur exactly at 11:11 Universal Time)! ;-)

The time is NOW. No turning back. No more Maybes. We either say YES to the Path at this critical time in human history, or else our silent indecision will become our NO. There is only YES or NO now. Maybe IS NO LONGER AN OPTION. And it is not enough that we say YES with just our mouth or with our surface mind. We must say YES with all parts and all aspects of ourselves, all Seven Chakras of our being, all the nooks and crannies and closets and shadows and voices of our multi-layered thoughts, beliefs, desires and will. Our entire body, our entire mind, our entire BEING must say YES. And that takes practice. That takes commitment. And that takes the support of the SANGHA, the Spiritual Community of Mindfulness Practitioners. You cannot do this alone. There is no room for "Lone Ranger" spirituality anymore. Our enlightenment must be COLLECTIVE or not at all. We practice WITH each other and FOR all beings. This is the only enlightenment that is real. Any other so-called enlightenment is incomplete at best and deluded at worst.

So, my dear mindful friends, please take refuge in the Buddha; for the Buddha takes refuge in you. Please take refuge in the Dharma; for the Dharma takes refuge in you. Please take refuge in the Sangha, for the Sangha takes refuge in you. Without the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, you will never be able to realize enlightenment on your own by yourself. And the other side of this truth is that, without you, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha can never be fully embodied and manifested here on Earth. To become real on Earth, They need you, just as much as you need Them.

I believe in you.

So just do it.

Yes!

NAMO AMITABHA,
Brother ChiSing

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