How prayer can put us in touch with something that is infinitely greater than we are—that is, mind itself
A talk on the life of the great Indian yogini, Sukhasiddhi, an important figure in the Shangpa Lineage.
That which matters most: A story on loosing the vocabulary with which to talk with your friends about the things that are most important to you.
What's going to happen to you if you don't accept the concept of reincarnation? Karma isn't cause and effect. Why burden yourself with extra beliefs?
What differences are there between the various meditation practices and traditions?
Traditional Buddhist method of The Noble Eightfold Path, footnote on the word "right", exchanges with students. From Money and Value 4.
A brief discussion on reincarnation from Death: Friend or Foe 7, questions on if one can have a serious practice without believing in reincarnation, karma and rebirth, and what reincarnates if there is no self.
A guided meditation on “Who am I?” (excerpt from from Who Am I? 2) questions on who/what wakes up, the experience of being no thing, and if ultimately there is anything to know.
God’s will, gravity, and evolution; God’s will as explanation of mystery; gravity as absence of justice, etc.; evolution as contrast to cause and effect
What is meant by 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form.'
Viewing mythic descriptions of the outer world as descriptions of internal processes; meditating on death as a means to detach from social conditioning.
How devotion reveals internal material, the difference between faith and belief, the three types of faith and how they transform the three poisons.
Demystifying ideas around karma, questions on whether karma from previous lives impact this life, karma and the death of children, and is there such a thing as burning off bad karma.
A discussion on Mahamudra, questions on the differences between mahamudra and dzogchen, what aspects of the Kadampa teaching should be joined with the mahamudra practices, practicing either dzogchen/mahamudra or vipassana, or both.
Group contemplation: “I can’t know what this experience called life is -- and I can’t know what follows it. So how do I live this life?” If tears are allowed in the zendo, why not laughter?
Value of contemplating death and impermanence; accept change and not hold on to what’s time has passed; sit in the whole mess.
Origins of Chö from the Diamond Sutra; Machik Labdron and Padampa Sangye; definition of Chö as creating difficult experiences and developing the ability to experience them completely
Five skandhas, twelve sense fields, eighteen elements, twelve links, four truths, time.
Function of Buddhist ethics, descriptive v. prescriptive, importance of ethics.
The frame of reference of bodhicitta, or awakening mind, is to achieve awakening and to benefit sentient beings.
A talk on buddha, dharma, and sangha.
Is Vajrayana an appropriate path if you have with limited access to your root guru or if you’re unlikely to attend a three-year retreat? After a new practitioner has worked with the breath to gain experience and develop stability, should they then meditate on impermanence or the four immeasurables? How do you incorporate what what you learn from teachers in other Buddhist traditions?
A discussion on dedication prayers from Then And Now 24, questions on dedicating virtue, the purpose of dedication, chanting to accumulate merit.
An introduction to mantra practice from A Trackless Path 12, working with thoughts when chanting, how to approach mantra practice, sounds and mantra practice.
A discussion on Buddhism and creativity, questions on reincarnation, mind having no beginning, and equanimity and manipulation.
The aim of Buddhist practice is to end suffering. A refuge is a place where one goes to be free from harm, fear, and suffering. In Buddhism, refuge is a metaphor for wakefulness or presence. It is reminder of the basic orientation in Buddhist practice, namely, that suffering comes to end only through being awake and present.
Part 1a - Introduction: Background information on text, author, and structure of opening verses. Part 1b - Opening verses, Practice 1: Comments on paying homage (verse 1), intention (verse 2), what it is meant by study, reflect, and meditate/cultivate (practice 1), what is meant by ‘experience has no coming and going’, suffering as the result of fighting experience, traditional and internal interpretations of the eight unrestful states, the five individual advantages and the five circumstantial advantages that make practice of Dharma possible.
Appearances and reality; what life is and staying present in it; the world in which we think we live and the world in which we actually live; where does Buddhism and politics come together; how does one work with psychological trauma in practice; working with fear; how does interdependent origination relate to our thoughts; karma, rebirth, and evolution; translating Buddhist poetry and spiritual writing; discussion of mantra at the end of the Heart Sutra
Introduction to text; historical context; Tilopa and Naropa; three doors to practice; Mahamudra as a way of experiencing; metaphors of space; letting experience be just as it is; meditation instruction for the next week: rest in experience of breathing, open to sensory experience.
Introduction: Naropa’s meeting with Tilopa’s sister; introduction to Heart Sutra; guided primary practice meditation; participant’s experience; willingness, know-how, capacity; guided meditation with resting in experience and looking at the experience of resting.
Introduction: Discussion of the View section from The Lamp of Mahamudra by Tselek Rangdrol and the Shamatha section from Clarifying the Natural State by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal). Sketch of history and relevance of Mahamudra. The view can be seen as a response to life’s basic questions such as ‘What Am I?’ and ‘What is this experience we call “life”?’; the connection between essence and experience; contrast of clarity and openness of natural awareness with the stuff of ordinary experience; how emotional reactions and the six realms arise; examination of the kayas as a way to see things as they are; working with a teacher as one way to transform emotional energy into attention; seeing what you are by seeing what you are not, description of three types of meditations to do while taking this class, questions from class participants.
In-depth series of teachings on The Jewel Ornament of Liberation and how practitioners in today’s world might approach traditional texts written hundreds of years ago.
This series explores how the 37 Practices can be divided into four distinct sections: the foundations for practice, what to do about anger, the six perfections, and how to live the practice.
Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form; form is not other than emptiness...
Samsaric ways are senseless:they are the seeds of suffering.
Conventional ways are pointless. Focus on what is sound and true.
Majestic outlook is beyond all fixation.
Majestic practice is no distraction.
Majestic behavior is no action or effort.
The fruition is there when you are free from hope and fear.
You make an effort at practice and become a good and knowledgeable person. You may even master some particular capabilities. But whatever you attach to will tie you up. Be unbiased and know how to let things be – that’s my sincere advice
Even with a free and well-favored birth, I waste this life. The meaningless activities of conventional life constantly distract me. When I work at freedom, which is truly important, laziness carries me away. Because I am turning away from a land of jewels with my hands empty, Guru, think of me: look upon me quickly with compassion. Give me energy to make my life worthwhile.
When wanting and grasping hold sway The dakini has you in her power. Wanting nothing from outside, taking things as they come, Know the dakini to be your own mind.
It doesn’t exist: even buddhas do not see it. It doesn’t not exist: it is the basis of samsara and nirvana. No contradiction: the middle way is union. May I know the pure being of mind,free of extremes.
In these ways, all experience, appearance, sound, or thought, Are signs that point me to know directly the nature of being. They are solely expressions of my magnificent teacher. In recollecting your great kindness, I pray to you. Give me the energy to know directly the nature of all experience.
The happiness of the three worlds disappears in a moment, Like a dewdrop on a blade of grass. The highest level of freedom is one that never changes. Aim for this — this is the practice of a bodhisattva.
Karma describes the way actions grow into experience... Every action either starts a new growth process or reinforces an old one as described by the four results.
Traditional prayers, refuge, bodhicitta, dedication, for opening and closing daily meditation sessions
The final challenge of habituated patterns is to question direct experience. How do we know? How can we trust this knowing, which is totally beyond the ordinary conditioned experience of life? Like Buddha Shakyamuni, we turn to no external reference and live in the knowing. We rest in presence, in the very mystery of being itself.