Change, Inner Peace, World Peace
Global change must come from individuals – not large organisations like the United Nations.
We have an opportunity and a responsibility to make a small contribution
to a better and more compassionate world.
Firstly the individual must start with their own inner peace,
then extend this to the family, then to the community.
World peace must come from inner peace
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List Sacred Texts.
List Tibetan Buddhist Holiday’s
Tibetan Buddhism, the teaching of the Buddha as practiced and taught in Tibet, is at last becoming known to the world. Because of Tibet’s secluded location, the Buddhist tradition developed there for fourteen centuries in relative isolation.
Prayer Flags decorate Tibetan monasteries, houses and even mountain passes. It is believed that the special blessing power of the mantras printed on them is spread all over the world by the wind. Traditionally, prayer flags have a combination of mantras, special prayers and auspicious symbols printed on them. Prayer flags are not only strung on ropes to hang between two poles, they can also be hung like a flag from one pole. Usually, the flags come in five different colors: blue corresponds with the sky, white with clouds, red with fire, green with water and yellow with earth.
Prayer Wheels are another typical Tibetan phenomena. They are usually filled with mantras, and similar to prayer flags, it is taught that the power of the mantras will spread when the wheel is turned. The more mantras, the better. Prayer wheels come in many variations; from handheld, like the one on the left, to huge ones that require serious muscle power to set in motion. They can be moved by hands, water or wind- with this cool tool, even your hard disk can function as a prayer wheel. They are also called Mani-wheels, as the wheels usually contain the famous Tibetan mantra OM MANI PADME HUM.
Karmapa Dream Flag
The 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, well known for his visions and prophesies, designed this flag from a vision that came to him in a dream. He called it “Namkhyen Gyaldar (Victorious Flag of Buddha’s Wisdom).” He proclaimed, “Wherever this banner is flown the Dharma will flourish.”
According to the outer meaning the blue represents the sky or heaven. The yellow symbolizes the earth. The wave symbolizes the Buddhadharma penetrating heaven and earth.
According to the inner meaning the blue represents vision and spiritual insight and the yellow symbolizes our experience of the everyday world. The symmetry of the wave pattern shows the interdependence of the absolute and relative levels of reality.
According to the secret meaning, the blue symbolizes emptiness-wisdom and the yellow represents compassionate action. The wave is Mahamudra: the union of compassion and wisdom- the ultimate realization of one’s true nature.
THE FOUR DIGNITIES
The Four Dignities are mythical animals which represent various aspects of the Bodhisattva attitude, like strength, protection and cheerfulness.
Dragon – The Dragon thunders in the sky with the sound of compassion that awakens us from delusion and increases what we can know through hearing. Dragons have the power of complete communication. Just as we do not see sound, we do not see dragons — at least not usually. Displaying a dragon banner is said to protect one from slander and enhances one’s reputation. Associations: main quality is power, dominance over the sea, and the water element.
Tiger – The Tiger abides in the South, symbolizing unconditional confidence, disciplined awareness, kindness and modesty. It is relaxed yet energized; resting in a gentle state of being that has a natural sense of satisfaction and fulfillment, referring to the state of enlightenment. Associations: main quality is confidence, air element.
Snow Lion – The Snow Lion resides in the East and represents unconditional cheerfulness, a mind free of doubt, clear and precise. It has a beauty and dignity resulting from a body and mind that are synchronized. The Snow Lion has a youthful, vibrant energy of goodness and a natural sense of delight. Sometimes the throne of a Buddha is depicted with eight Snowlions on it, in this case, they represent the 8 main Bodhisattva-disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha.
Associations: main quality is fearlessness, dominance over mountains, and the earth element.
Garuda – The Garuda is daring and fearless and abides in the north. With great strength and power it soars beyond without holding back. It symbolizes freedom from hopes and fears, the vast mind without reference point. It is a powerful antidote to the negative influences of Nagas (spirits) which can cause disease and all kinds of harm.
Associations: main quality is wisdom, dominance over the sky, and the fire element.
Eight Auspicious Symbols – The set of Eight Auspicious Symbols is most popular in Buddhist Tibet.
- Right-Coiled White Conch – Today the conch is used in Tibetan Buddhism to call together religious assemblies. During the actual practice of rituals, it is used both as a musical instrument and as a container for holy water
- Precious Parasol – The Precious Parasol symbolizes the beneficial activities of keeping beings from the harms of illness, harmful forces, obstacles and so forth. It also represents the enjoyment of a feast of benefit under its cool shade.
- Victory Banner – The Victory Banner represents the victory of the Buddha’s teachings over death, ignorance, disharmony and all the negativity of this world.
- Golden Fishes – The sea in Tibetan Buddhism is associated with the world of suffering, the cycle of Samara. The Golden Fish have been said to signify fearlessness and happiness for they have complete freedom in the water.
- Dharma Wheel – Golden Wheel or Dharma Wheel symbolizes the auspiciousness of the turning of the precious wheel of Buddha’s doctrine, enabling beings to experience the joy of wholesome deeds and liberation.
- Endless Knot – The Endless Knot is a geometric diagram which symbolizes the nature of reality where everything is interrelated and only exists as part of a web of karma and its effect, having no beginning or end.
- Lotus Flower – The lotus flower symbolizes the complete purification of body, speech and mind, and the full blossoming of wholesome deeds in blissful liberation. The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies above the water, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. Though there are other water plants that bloom above the water, it is only the lotus which, owing to the strength of its stem, regularly rises eight to twelve inches above the surface.
- Treasure Vase – The Treasure Vase symbolizes an endless rain of long life, wealth and prosperity and all the benefits of this world and liberation. It is a sign of the inexhaustible riches available in the Buddhist teachings. Treasure Vases filled with saffron water are found near the shrine offerings in a Tibetan Buddhist temple, the water of which is used to purify offerings.