I express the wish that we will apply the teachings in our everyday lives and thus free ourselves and others from suffering. I encourage you to keep an open mind. This is often likened to the wonder of a child seeing the world without preconceptions. As the Zen master Suzuki Roshi put it, "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
I dedicate the merit of this blog to all beings. This gesture of universal friendship has been likened to a drop of fresh spring water. If we put it on a rock in the sunshine, it will soon evaporate. If we put it in the ocean, however, it will never be lost. Thus the wish is made that we not keep the teachings to ourselves but use them to benefit others.
This approach reflects what are called the three noble principles: good in the beginning, good in the middle, good at the end. They can be used in all the activities of our lives. We can begin anything we do--start our day, eat a meal, or walk into a meeting--with the intention to be open, flexible, and kind. Then we can proceed with an inquisitive attitude. "Live your life as an experiment."
At the end of this activity, whether we feel we have succeeded or failed in our intention, we seal the act by thinking of others, of those who are succeeding and failing all over the world. We wish that anything we learned in our experiment could also benefit them.
In this spirit, I offer this blog of accumulated thoughts and teachings I've gained from others. May it be of benefit at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. May it help move us toward the places that scare us. May it inform our lives and help us to die with no regrets.
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being. ~ Ashley