3 levels of aspiration

3 Levels of Aspiration

Lama Surya Das describes three levels of aspiration, or pranidhana. These outer, inner, and secret levels can teach us how to cultivate spiritual aspiration more fully in our lives. The outer, external level of aspiration is behavioral. At this outer level, we recognize the importance of…

  • dalai lama daily aspiration

    The Dalai Lama’s Daily Aspiration

    The Dalai Lama begins every day with this aspiration below, written by Shantideva. It comes from Shantideva’s famous sixth century text, The Way of the Bodhisattva. The Dalai Lama says this prayer gives him strength and enthusiasm to serve the world well. And, of course, that’s…

  • The Joy of Aspiration

      Here’s something beautiful about aspiration: when we do it right, it brings us such joy! When we desire to grow in a certain way, and when we get motivated and excited about that, it’s so contagious. Aspiration is joy. And joy can fuel and foster…

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    Ninja Wisdom: Bring Snacks

    The Giyoshu Manual from the late 1600’s shares this nugget of ninja wisdom: bring snacks. The ninja were instructed to carry grilled rice in their pockets. This came in handy when they encountered guard dogs along the way. Remember, the best ninja policy is to make…

  • aspiration is not achievement

    Aspiration is not Achievement

    When practicing pranidhana, we can easily slide into achievement-focused success. But aspiration is not achievement. And it’s imperative for us to know the difference. We live in a society where our thirst for achievement can really hinder the spiritual practices we attempt to embody and create.…

  • aspiration as inspiration

    Aspiration as Inspiration

    “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and…

  • honor your vows

    Ninja Wisdom: Honor Your Vows

    Every dojang has an ethical code of conduct for students. It is an intrinsic part of practicing martial arts to abide by this code. In other words, it’s basic ninja wisdom to honor your vows. Since I’m practicing the paramita of aspiration this month, I’ve been…

  • aspiration

    Introducing Aspiration

    The eighth paramita, pranidhana, generally means aspiration. More specifically, it means spiritual aspiration. It is a sense of spiritual resolve or commitment. So pranidhana is often described and lived into through vows and prayers. It makes sense that the Tibetan word for this paramita is monlam,…