Oh Oh What Have I Done?

Oh oh, what have I done? came to me as a thought at the moment I was conceived.

As a spiritual being having a human experience we often choose our next human experience.

More than 71 years later I still wonder.

Oh oh what have I done? - Richard Edward Ward

Reincarnation is found, even if it is not mainstream, within religions around the world including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, and Sihkism.

A belief in rebirth/metempsychosis was held by Greek historic figures, such as Plato, Pythagoras, and Socrates.

Copyright © 2019 by Richard Edward Ward

Ask Me! Sounding Board Career Life Coaching

Get new perspectives and experience adventures in growth leading to a more productive and fulfilling life with your career, in your business, and in your life in general. Sounding Board Career Life Coaching with Richard Edward Ward.

Richard Edward Ward photo

Step outside your mind and take a look at your world from a new perspective.

Dive into your heart and follow your dreams.

Sounding Board Career Life Coaching can help you to tap into your intuition and see your story, and to see your environment, in a new way, and from different perspectives.

New Perspectives

A new perspective can help anyone to experience an adventure in growth leading to a more productive and fulfilling life with their career, in their business or finding a job.

You may be able to find new and innovative ways to solve problems as we work together. Let’s bounce some ideas around. Let’s look at things differently. Let’s explore.

You may become unstuck, get out of the rut you may be in and find that you can now follow your path to achieve your dreams.

15 Possible Adventures in Growth

We are all unique.

Clients of mine have found that Sounding Board Coaching Sessions have unlocked adventures in growth for them. Do any of the following resonate with you?

  1. Break out of deadlocked problems and find original solutions
  2. Develop strategies to cope with rapid change
  3. Follow your curiosity
  4. Stimulate your creativity
  5. Become attuned to your inner self
  6. Become more aware of your environment
  7. Make more skillful use of your energy so that you can realize your full potential
  8. Inspire thoughts and feelings
  9. Stimulate creative thinking
  10. Develop a values system
  11. Empower yourself as an individual
  12. Create a time investment portfolio
  13. Enhance personal growth and work performance
  14. Develop strategies for fighting boredom by changing your routines and expanding your interests
  15. Discover strategies for conserving inner energy by cutting down on criticism and defensiveness

Experience Your Own Adventure in Growth

Experience your own adventure in growth with Sounding Board Career Life Coaching.

If this resonates with you contact me.

I look forward to working with you to help you to get new perspectives and experience adventures in growth leading to a more productive and fulfilling life with your career, in your business, and in your life in general.

Ask Me! Sounding Board Career Life Coaching - Richard Edward Ward

Tibetan Buddhism

I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism through the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Tibetan Buddhism, sometimes referred to as Lamaism, is the form of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in Tibet and the surrounding Himalayan region beginning in the 7th century CE.

Tibetan Buddhism incorporates Madhyamika and Yogacara philosophy, Tantric symbolic rituals, Theravadin monastic discipline and the shamanistic features of the indigenous religion, Bön.

Among its most unique characteristics are its system of reincarnating lamas and the vast number of deities in its pantheon.

Buddhist Sacred Texts

Between the 11th and 14th centuries, the Tibetans translated every available Buddhist text into Tibetan. Today, many Buddhist works that have been lost in their original Sanskrit survive only in Tibetan translation.

Distinctive Beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism

In common with Mahayana schools, Tibetan Buddhism includes a pantheon of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and Dharma protectors. Arya-bodhisattvas are able to escape the cycle of death and rebirth but compassionately choose to remain in this world to assist others in reaching nirvana or buddhahood.

Dharma protectors are mythic figures incorporated into Tibetan Buddhism from various sources (including the native Bön religion, and Hinduism) who are pledged to protecting and upholding the Dharma. Many of the specific figures are unique to Tibet.

Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism

There are four principal schools within modern Tibetan Buddhism:

  1. Gelug (Geluk, “School of the Virtuous”), also called the Yellow Hats, is the youngest of the Tibetan schools, but is today the largest and the most important.
  2. Kagyü (“Oral Transmission School”;) is the third largest school of Tibetan Buddhism. Its teachings were brought to Tibet by Marpa the Translator, an 11th century Tibetan householder who traveled to India to study under the master yogin Naropa and gather Buddhist scriptures.
  3. Nyingma (“School of the Ancients”) is the oldest of the Tibetan Buddhist schools and the second largest after Geluk. The Nyingma school is based primarily on the teachings of Padmasambhava, who is revered by the Nyingma school as the “second Buddha.”
  4. Sakya is today the smallest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It is named for the Sakya (“Gray Earth”) monastery in southern Tibet. The abbots were devoted to the transmission of a cycle of Vajrayana teachings called “path and goal” (Lamdre), the systemization of Tantric teachings, and Buddhist logic.

Buddhism

Buddha

The teachings of Lord Buddha and Buddhism came directly into my life in Halifax, Nova Scotia through Vajradhatu and the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche a leading teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.

Since my introduction to Tibetan Buddhism I have continued to explore Buddhism and now Pure Land Buddhism, Taoism and Shamanism are woven into the fabric of my life.

Sculpture of Shakyamuni Buddha touching the earth at the moment he reached enlightenment. 11th-12th century, Central Tibet. Brass with colored pigments. Photo courtesy of The Met.

Most of the time, when someone says the Buddha, it’s in reference to the historical person who founded Buddhism. This was a man originally named Siddhartha Gautama who lived in what is now northern India and Nepal about twenty-five centuries ago.

Buddha Is Not a Name

Buddha is not a name, but a title. It is a Sanskrit word that means “a person who is awake.” What a buddha is awake to is the true nature of reality.

Who Is the Buddha? by Barbara O’Brien

I think that the article Who Was the Buddha? written by Barbara O’Brien and published on the website The Lions Roar provides one the easiest to understand explanations of who was the Buddha and what is Buddhism.

Simply put, Buddhism teaches that we all live in a fog of illusions created by mistaken perceptions and “impurities” — hate, greed, ignorance. A buddha is one who is freed from the fog. It is said that when a buddha dies he or she is not reborn but passes into the peace of Nirvana, which is not a “heaven” but a transformed state of existence.

Teacher, Guides & Mentors

Pure Land Buddhism

Pure Land Buddhism, developing out of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, was popularized in China and was then transmitted to Japan, Korea and other Southeast Asian countries.

The goal of Pure Land Buddhism is not liberation into Nirvana but rather rebirth into the “Western Pure Land” of Amitabha Buddha. Today, it is one of the more popular forms of Buddhism.

Amitabha Buddha

Amitābha is the buddha of comprehensive love who works for the enlightenment of all beings.

Western Pure Land

The Western Pure Land is not a final destination but rather a location from which rebirth into nirvana is an easy step because the toils and worries of ordinary life do not interfere with devoted practice of the teachings of the Buddha.

Amitābha Buddha

Pure Land Buddhism focuses on the veneration of Amitābha Buddha, the “Buddha of Infinite Light”, “The Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light” is a celestial buddha representing pure perception and a deep awareness of emptiness.

Practices Of Pure Land

Pure Land Buddhists accept the basic Buddhist teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

The primary practice common to all schools of Pure Land is the recitation of the name of Amitabha Buddha. In the Chinese tradition that I learned the chant is “Na-mu A-mi-tuo Fo” (Hail, Amitabha Buddha)

The names of Amitabha in different cultures include:

  • in Chinese, he Am-mi-to;
  • in Japanese, he is Amida;
  • in Korean, he is Amita;
  • in Vietnamese, he is A-di-da.
  • in Tibetan, he is Amideva.

Namo Amituofo – 1 Mala – 108 Repetitions

Following is a description of Pure Land Buddhism by Master Chin Kung. Amituofo.

We generally think in terms of only one Buddha: Sakyamuni, who lived over 2500 years ago. But, since any sentient being can awaken and innumerable numbers have, there are innumerable Buddhas.

Sakyamuni Buddha, after his enlightenment, explained that he saw not only his past lifetimes but also how the future would unfold.

Sakyamuni saw people in our time having more afflictions,worries, and wandering thoughts. Our deep-seated badhabits having become even more entrenched over thousands of lifetimes would make liberating ourselves solely by our own efforts almost impossible. He knew that to end one’s problems and attain lasting happiness many people would need the help of another Buddha: Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light and Infinite Life. Almost all of the teachings by Sakyamuni were the result of his being asked a question. In a departure from the norm, and when the time was right, Sakyamuni initiated the teaching that introduced Amitabha and his pure land. This spontaneous teaching by Sakyamuni is what makes this teaching so special.

In this teaching, Sakyamuni recounted how the bodhisattva Dharmakara, after witnessing the suffering of sentient beings, spent five eons studying all the Buddha lands. Dharmakara then made forty-eight vows, the fulfillment of which would create the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. He declared that he would not attain Buddhahood unless his vows for a perfect pure land, where all beings would advance along the Buddhist path and never again fall back into suffering, were accomplished. Once these vows were accomplished, Dharmakara Bodhisattva became Amitabha Buddha. He is now speaking the Dharma in his pure land and helping all who are truly sincere in their vows to be reborn there.

With help from Amitabha, we do not have to rely solely on ourselves to attain enlightenment as we would with other methods. In Pure Land Buddhism, we rely on the compassionate Buddhas and bodhisattvas to help us.Thus, reliance on self and on another are combined as we request by way of our mindful chanting that Amitabha Buddha, through the strength of his vows, help us to be reborn in the Pure Land as we breathe our last breath in our present body.

Amitabha also vowed that once we attain this rebirth, we will always progress in our practice and learning. We will be able to continue our practice in the Pure Land, or, when we choose, return to this and other worlds to help others, without being affected by unfavorable environments or our former bad habits. If we wish, we will be able to do this even before we attain supreme enlightenment.

Due to Amitabha Buddha’s merits and virtues, and the goodness of all the beings there, the Pure Land has innumerable wonders and advantages, all of which arise from the great vows, deeds, and purity of all the beings there. Through his vows, Amitabha helps all beings create the causes to plant the roots of goodness. With his deeds, he creates the conditions for beings to accumulate merits.With his purity, he has created a perfect land—one that is free from pollution, anger, and intolerance. It is a land of peace and serenity. It is a world of equality, joy, and beauty.In comparison, our world is one of delusion and suffering, filled with worry and anxiety.

For countless people, Pure Land practice is the most suitable for several reasons.

First, it is relatively easy to practice in almost any environment: alone, with other practitioners, or even amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Second, there are no difficult entry-level criteria.

Even if one’s abilities and knowledge are modest, with belief,vows, and practice, we will be reborn in the Pure Land.

Belief means that we need to believe in the Buddhas and their teachings, and in causality. We need to believe in ourselves and that we have the same true nature as a Buddha. We need to believe that by living a moral life and being mindful of Amitabha Buddha we will be born into the Western Pure Land and become a Buddha in one lifetime.

Points of Reference

Buddhism

The teachings in Buddhism of Lord Buddha have been a part of my life for many years going back to when I studied for a Bachelor of Theology at McGill University in the Faculty of Religious Studies in the 70’s.

Tibetan Buddhism – Trungpa Rinpoche

Buddhist practice influences my daily life. I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism through the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Pure Land Buddhism

I was introduced to the Pure Land Buddhist Mahayana traditions of China. Pure Land Buddhism is a branch of Buddhism focused on Amitābha “The Buddha of Infinite Light.” Kuan Shih Yin / Guanyin is part of my daily practice.

Buddhist Teachings

The basic concepts in Buddhism can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Buddhism is a religion, or philosophy, that originated in India based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama an Indian prince who became who the Buddha. The word Buddha is derived from ‘budhi’ or to ‘awaken’. Siddhartha awakened when he 35 years old.

To many people, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or ‘way of life’. It is a philosophy because philosophy ‘means love of wisdom’ and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:

  1. to lead a moral life,
  2. to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
  3. to develop wisdom and understanding.

Schools of Buddhism

Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices. Generally speaking Buddhists usually classify themselves as belonging to one of two schools of Buddhism namely Theravada or Mahayana. Although some say that there are three schools Theravada, Mahayana, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Buddhist Resources

You can find a growing list of Buddhist resources to help you explore Buddhism.

Points of Reference

About Richard Edward Ward

Richard Edward Ward provides services as a Sounding Board and Consultant. He is a Reiki Practitioner with training in the I Ching, Shamanic practice, Druidry, Tantra, and other esoteric arts therefore Intuition and Synchronicity play an important role in his work.

Richard Edward Ward photo

A few words about Richard Edward Ward by Richard

I was born in Montreal, Quebec on February 20, 1948 and moved back in 2016.

For those of you who follow astrology, as I do, I am a Pisces with Moon in Cancer and Gemini Ascendant. According to Vedic astrology I am an Aquarian.

I am born in the year of the Rat according to Chinese astrology.

I am the eldest of 3 kids with a younger brother and sister.

Places Lived

I have lived in various cities and towns across Canada including Brockville, Burlington, Grimsby Beach, McBride Lake, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto, Willowdale, Pictou and Halifax.

I have also lived outside of Canada in London and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England; Tangier, Morocco and Beijing, China.

Travel

I have travelled extensively throughout Canada, every province, from coast to coast as well as The Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

Foreign travel has included visiting the United States (and visiting many states), Mexico, England, Wales, Belgium, France, Spain, Morocco and China.

China

In China, I have travelled to the cities of Beijing, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Kunming, Shanghai, Urumqi, Wuhan and Yantai.

I am very interested in China, Chinese culture and Chinese people.

Education

After graduating from St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, Ontario, Canada I studied Commerce and then Theology at McGill University. Some years later I studied in the Department of Communication Arts at Loyola College (Concordia University) in Montreal.

Work Experience

My first job was as a milk boy helping to deliver milk on Saturdays when I was in Grade 4.

As a kid, I delivered newspapers, mowed lawns, shovelled snow, taught swimming, lifeguard, worked on factory production lines, worked in a lumber mill on the green-chain, worked as a bouncer, waiter and bartender in a Montreal bar on Crescent Street.

Special Assistant

I have worked as a Special Assistant to a federal cabinet minister from Quebec in the 1970’s and been an election campaign advisor in various ridings across Canada both federal and provincial. Over the years I was active in local politics in residents associations.

As a public & government relations consultant in Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax my clients included mutual fund and investment companies, international shipping group, dance company, international nightclub chain, real estate developers, manufacturing companies, government agencies and others.

Softel Incorporated

The software development and consulting company – Softel Incorporated – that I co-founded in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia was partnered with Scientific Atlanta and US West Communications working on bleeding-edge VSAT and mobile communications projects, as well as complete accounting systems including inventory management.

The Reiki Store

In 1993 I co-founded The Reiki Store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada teaching Reiki, offering workshops in yoga, tai chi, shamanism, mediumship, and other subjects as well as selling books, CDs, crystals, and jewellery.

IT Headhunter

IT Headhunter provided headhunting and recruiting services in the IT vertical.

Rebuilding My Life

After a car accident and then a heart attack I have had to rebuild my life.

TBI

In 2000 my car was rear-ended by a truck while I was stopped at a red light resulting in head injuries causing Traumatic Brain Injury and subsequently turning my life upside-down. Memory loss and cognitive issues seriously interrupted my career as a recruiter and headhunter.

Heart Attack

In 2004, 4 years after the car accident, I had a heart attack resulting in an angioplasty. As a result, recovery became a priority and I had to shut down the online job board that I had created, that was just starting to gain traction generating a steady monthly revenue.

Reiki

I have studied Reiki with Reiki Masters in Minneapolis and Toronto including Komyo ReikiDo with Master James Wells, and Usui Reiki with Master Dee Millard (Level 1 & 2) and Master Anita Levin (Level 1).

Tantra

Studying Tantra with Lucy Becker, and Dr.Jonn Mumford (Swami Anandakapila Saraswati) was a wonderful and enlightening experience.

Shamanism

Although shamans had been holding workshops in my centre, The Reiki Store, I didn’t really connect with shamanism until after the heart attack in 2004. I have studied shamanism with Jeannette McCullough, Martha Lucier, and Sharon van Raalte who have all studied extensively with Michael Harner and the Foundation for Shamanic Studies.

I highly recommend the book Medicine for the Earth by Sandra Ingerman. This work is foundational to the practices of Jeannette McCullough. I doubt that I would be alive today without the healing work that I have done with them.