Turn on, tune in, drop out

Turn on the faith, tune in to the blessings, and drop out of samsara (i.e. life characterized by delusions). This is the final article on the subject of blessings — the rest you can find here.

Love is all you need

Blessings are inseparable from love as they are the nature of the clear light mind of bliss and in Tantra this bliss is the same as love and compassion. It is not too hard to understand that, for what happier mind is there than unconditional love?

Indeed, love and compassion are just the other side of the coin from the wisdom realizing lack of inherent, or independent, existence. Cherishing others arises naturally from the wisdom understanding the interdependence of all phenomena, our utter interconnectedness. Holy beings cannot help but love us unconditionally, it is their nature; and I believe the utter joy that my grandfather felt came from the love.

blessed squirrel?!

The more frequently we tune into enlightened beings’ love, the quicker we can develop. Interestingly, studies show that when human beings feel they are receiving love, and even when animals feel they are receiving love, their full potential to learn is activated. I’m not the only one to have noticed that if you give an animal a lot of love, you get  far more out of her; she is more engaged and intelligent. So if we are feeling the love of the Buddhas and other holy beings and bathing in it, our full potential for love (and wisdom) will also be sparked.

“I am not worthy!”

We have to understand and believe that the holy beings love us. (This includes any holy being — the Buddhas, Jesus, God, or whomever you have faith in). It doesn’t really work if we are projecting judgmental, critical, hard-hearted characteristics onto holy beings, due to our own lack of self-worth or useless feelings of unloveability, unworthiness or guilt. This is facing North. My teacher Geshe Kelsang says:

For example, even if the sun is shining in the sky, if our door is facing North the sun will not come in. This is not the sun’s fault; this is the house’s fault! Similarly, even if Buddhas are ready to bestow blessings, the liberating path, if we are facing the opposite direction, this is our fault, not Buddha’s fault. We need to face them and make a relationship or connection through developing faith and devotion and making requests. Between us we will then receive protection from them.

When we feel holy beings’ love flowing into us, it is not hard to then pass that on to our family, friends and other living beings, for we feel, rightly, that there is infinite love to go around. It pours out of us. Geshe Kelsang wrote a beautiful praise to Buddha Shakyamuni called Liberating Prayer, which includes these words:

Please nourish me with your goodness,
That I in turn may nourish all beings
With an unceasing banquet of delight.

Blessings, like atmosphere, are everywhere

Most people would agree that the atmosphere in a war zone is less conducive to peace than the atmosphere in a temple or cathedral. Many things are invisible and even undetectable by physical means, but nonetheless exist: sorrow, pain, hope, for instance; or an atmosphere of tension or distrust in a room. We feel blessings in our heart as a sort of glow, like feeling the sun on our skin – a source of energy that we might never fully understand until we’re enlightened, but that is still there.

Gravity is there and we are all entirely affected by it, although apart from theoretical physicists not many of us actually understand it. Blessings exist too, an invisible force that cannot be seen or tasted but is still capable of drawing us into its orbit. In fact, blessings are enlightened mind and we are already in their orbit, we just haven’t necessarily tuned in with faith yet.

Turn on the radio receiver of faith
Turn on the faith, tune into the blessings, drop out of samsara

In this article, I likened faith to a radio receiver — radio waves are always playing around us but whether or not we hear the music depends on whether or not we turn on the radio. Same thing for blessings.

Actually, faith is not that mysterious either. If we understand the three types of faith – believing, admiring and wishing – we can see that faith is not a bolt from the blue or blind, but something we can cultivate like any other positive state of mind. (But, if you do go ahead and cultivate it, make sure you can handle all the blissings that are going to come your way!)

Your turn

Since this article, I have written eight more on blessings (one is actually by a guest writer); they can all be found here. Now I’m sure everyone, including me, would love to hear more from other people! Please leave your comments in the box below.

Please share these articles with anyone who might want more blessings in their life.

Author: Luna Kadampa

Based on 40 years' experience, I write about applying meditation and modern Buddhism to improve and transform our everyday lives and societies. I try to make it accessible to everyone anywhere who wants more inner peace and profound tools to help our world, not just Buddhists. Do make comments any time and I'll write you back!

23 thoughts on “Turn on, tune in, drop out”

  1. Are you listening to the radio 📻 that plays next to you, most of the day 😊 ??

  2. Thanks for the article- it was just what I needed to read today on a day when I am getting distracted, lost in worldly thought and relating to everything as ordinary! Someone said to me at the festival “the spiritual path is 1% effort and 99% blessings” and I love that! I am going to read your other blessings articles later- thanks again.
    with love, Fi

  3. I wonder if blessings are in fact an effect (in response to Mariatonella) and the cause is faith. I have read a lovely story about a man who thought he did many good deeds but experienced a lot of misfortune. So he went to a monk to ask why he was not receiving the blessings. The monk replied that it was because the man was performing good deeds for the purpose of fame and fortune only. Essentially his intention was wrong and his deeds did not come from a pure heart so therefore he did not receive the blessings. If faith is the source of our virtuous deeds then I would guess that it is our faith that is the cause for blessings. Any other ideas?

    1. Thank you for sharing that story.

      We are receiving blessings whenever our mind is peaceful. Since this article i have written more about this subject, you can find it under a general heading “Blessings”.

  4. Dear Luna:

    How i enjoy your articles….thanks a lot for your kindness to write them.
    i have a question about the blessings …are they an effect?
    are they a cause? if they are an effect…what would be the cause?
    some of us do receive them and experiment them….others never ask them
    others don’t believe on them…but is a function of the Buddhas…to send them…
    are they the effect of the Love and compassion of them?

    how we create the cause to feel them,experiment them or to receive them?

    some how…did we need to feel love and compassion for them some where in the past?

    1. Hi Maria, it’s a good question and I’ll get back to you on it as soon as i’ve figured out what to say 😉 Anyone else, meantime, feel free to join in…

  5. Can’t imagine a world without the potential of receiving Buddha’s blessings. Maybe my doors of perception are facing North! Something to think about. Thanks for another wonderful post. We are so fortunate to have such clear and practical Dharma available to us.

  6. Reading it I feel blessing coming around and pacifying my mind. I haven’t turning my face to the sun or turning on the radio lately and of course I feel not tuned with the flow of blessings.

    I have heard from my teacher in the gym that doesn’t matter if I stopped exercising for two or three week, matters coming back with the wish to exercise again. They say the muscles have memory and it comes back to shape quicker once we had trained. It feels exactly the same with meditation and receiving blessing just needs an inspiration and wish to open our mind to it. Blessings are everywhere because Buddhas or wisdom beings are everywhere like waves of sounds or rays of light just need to be tuned and or turned in that direction.

    Many thanks for spreading dharma in this modern way and bestowing blessings around the world.

    1. It’s true that we can get back into meditation shape quicker if we’ve trained. And blessings are always on tap.

      It’s also true that it makes sense to do a little meditation every day, as it makes it easier — once we’ve fanned the fire so that it burns brightly we can then gently blow air at it to keep it bright and make sure it doesn’t go out.

      You could do something similar to this blog in Portuguese?!

      1. It would be an amazing idea!

        My dharma studies, practice and understanding are far from your level. I am sure here in Brazil there are some people more prepared than me for this meritorious task. Also in this moment I am very busy with the management of a house restoration. It is not an easy job to do anywhere in the world and a bit more complicated here where huge buildings don’t stop growing and lack professionals qualified to do small works like a house. At this moment I am not managing with small meditation practice and other things that I need to keep healthy. I will feed this idea and the intention to be able to do it closer in the future.

        I read a translation of your blog not so long ago. I though it would help Brazilians dharma practitioners to drop out of samsara as soon as possible. If I had more time I could at least start translating it.

        I am very thankful for your invitation and encouragement to spread dharma in this way and very pleased to have this connection with you. For now I will tune in and turn on your dharma blog and hopefully drop out delusions!!

        All my love!

  7. Oh I love this!

    ‘Blessings are inseparable from love’ – I love that!

    Truthfully, I trudge through life in blindness, laziness, negativity and mediocrity a lot of the time (despite all the extra-special resources I have), but I know from experience that in the moment that I think and know ‘Geshe’-la loves me, he really loves me’, my mind is flooded and soothed with blessings/well-being.

    Thanks for reminding me, after reading this, maybe I would do well to make this simple recognition my main practice…

    1. It is a simple recognition but it is also profound as it enables us to tune right into enlightened mind and who we ourselves really are, helps us naturally develop love and compassion for others too, and increases our wisdom. I think that genuine faith in enlightened beings necessitates faith in our own limitless potential — if we have that, our potential can’t help but ripen.

  8. Just a testimonial to how immediately practical your words were.

    I had to read this article all too quickly, rushing off in the car… driving along, noticing that I was feeling hurried, busy and distracted, I started to reach for the stereo: “…must play some music… gotta listen to something else other than my nutty mind… feeling so stressed…” (this is a playlist top 10 in my head)

    Then I recalled your post and smiled “Oh! TURN on… Maybe THIS is a perfect moment to receive some “unseen” source of energy to help me calm my swirling mind!

    (Musing that we are often happy to seek ways to change our mind from OTHER sources, like finding our favorite music…)

    TUNE IN! I pictured the Buddhas, all gathered up in the sky in front of the highway, smiling at me tenderly, as if they were watching their beloved child hurry around pretending that there was some emergency to tend to, or as if I was like a race car driver speeding on a track. Something like a compassionate nod of understanding, that they were seeing that I was believing I had to HURRY and it was making me frantic. I felt some compassion for myself too – that I was missing the blueness of the sky, the crisp morning, the other people driving around me.

    Suddenly, a little wave of soothing sensations went through me and I then felt like I had found just the perfect “song”. It maybe lasted a moment or two, but it was enough to let myself feel connected to something other than my own songs of “not now, too busy, must hurry, solve this, do that”. Much like finding one of your favorite hits and starting to sing the verses to help change a mood. [Funny how we don’t argue: “I can’t SEE the music, it must not be real!”]

    When we are stressed, what a perfect time to find a better soundtrack for the moment’s life movie.

    Even though I was continuing to drive quickly towards my next destination, I felt like I had DROPPED OUT of my samsara for just enough time to calm down and enjoy the ride (at least I was able to change the “inside” ride).

    I also found it much easier to smile at the person in the car next to me, who readily smiled back.

    Thank you for these articles – great PLAYLIST!

    1. Ha! I do enjoy all your comments! You have such a descriptive, honest way with words, bringing things alive. Thank you.

      If you would ever like to write a guest article for Kadampa Life…?!?

      1. I would love to write one sometime – have to address my “worthy”ness minds 🙂 Thank you so much for making it possible for us to have a place to express our practice via daily life. You are such an emanation!

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