Choden Rinpoche has recently been staying in Taiwan while recovering from illness. Indications are that he is recovering well, and there has been a request for students to recite 21 Taras for his swift recovery. A copy of 21 Taras can be found here. Geshe Gyalten recently said:
Dear Students and Benefactors of Rinpoche,
Our Precious Choden Rinpoche has recovered quite well during the past few weeks. Rinpoche is currently receiving Energy-Therapy and Herbal Medicines. His most recent blood tests indicate that there is a vast improvement in his condition. We give our thanks to the Taiwanese disciples, who provided medical care and hospitality to Rinpoche.
Rinpoche remains in good mood and health. He is eating well and regularly exercising by taking his early morning walks. He seems to have more energy and looks much healthier than before!
We request that all the students and Centers recite the “Praises To The 21 Taras”, a million times, from Sept 10th to Friday, Oct 10th, 2014. The prayers should be dedicated to the long lives of H.E. Choden Rinpoche and all of the Gurus of our Lineage so that they may continuously turn the Wheel of Dharma and benefit all sentient beings.
Please submit the Number of Recitations to ADC at: email@example.com
On August 28th, Geshe Sopa Rinpoche went into clear light at Deer Park Buddhist Center. He is remembered for being instrumental in establishing academic study of Tibetan Buddhism in the west. He was a full time professor at the University of Wisconsin, where mentored many western scholars. He also established Deep Park Buddhist Center, invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama several times to the U.S., and wrote a 5 volume commentary on Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo (Steps on the Path to Enlightenment: A Commentary on Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo).
I remember being amazed at even at such an advanced age, he could quote and explain detailed passages from Buddhist sutras and commentaries with such ease. These quotations seemed to just fall down like raindrops. Even in his elder years, he seemed many years “sharper” than someone in their 20’s. Most importantly, his kindness to tirelessly spread teachings to the west is something I will remember.
To read more about Geshe Sopa Rinpoche and his passing away, click here.
Lamrim teachings, or the explanation of the Buddhist path in the form of graduated steps, is a common point of study in Tibetan Buddhism. While they can be easily taken as intellectual stimulation, true benefit is gained by integrating these teachings into one’s daily life. In a teaching transcript with Khadro-la Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma (Khandro-la), she mentions:
To really learn Dharma, one has no choice but to learn lam-rim and lo-jong. Thus in daily life, the transformation of delusions can only happen by applying mind-training. If one meditates without understanding Dharma, one might gain the benefit of some relaxation but otherwise, the meditation is wasted.
The actual power of Dharma is its ability to help us subdue our minds and therefore enables us to handle samsaric life better and equip us to cope with the pressures of daily life. Since delusions are not always active in our mental continuum, it means that we have the opportunity to meditate on antidotes and we should do so. In any situation, including in family situations, there will be more harmony, less fights, less problems if we understand dependent arising, by understanding that care and respect must be mutual.
Click here to read the transcript and see her advice on how to integrate Buddhist studies into a daily, experiential way of living.
Mingyur Rinpoche explains how we can turn our constant looking for happiness into a practice that generates loving kindness and compassion for others.
Venerable Thubten Chodron explains some common misconceptions about the Buddhist concept of “Samsara,” or “cyclic existence.” She explains what cyclic existence is, and the disadvantages of wandering in it.
Joshu Saski Roshi, instrumental in establishing Zen Buddhism in the west, recently died at the age of 107 years old. He is also famously known for being the teacher of rock legend Leonard Cohen, when Cohen stayed as a monk at Mt. Baldy Zen Center in the 1990s.
While influential, Joshu Saski also left an interesting controversial legacy due to allegations about misabuse of his power as a teacher with his students. An interesting article about him can found here in the latest Trycicle.
With the recent outrage over the shooting of Michael Brown and an additional person in Fergusson Missouri, monks have reportedly now come from India to help provide peaceful solidarity and support to the protesting.
To read more about their peaceful protest, click here.
Of additional interest, Venerable Thubten Chodron gives her view conflict in Missouri, entitled “Is this America or is it a Warzone?”
Venerable Thubten Chodron discusses an interesting passage from a text that states: “Who most infect the minds of all the people they meet? Those with harmful intent, but with soft and cunning words.” She explains how people open their selves to being deceived by others. Additionally, she explains how people manipulate others because of not being aware of their intentions and the effects of their actions.
Recently after giving the Kalachakra initiation in Ladakh, His Holiness the Dalai Lama went into a 3 week retreat nearby. He is dedicating it towards the difficult situation in Tibet involving oppression from the Chinese government. He has also suggested that others do practices for Tibet as well. He has suggested
- Reciting the Heart Sutra twice a day
- Doing 10 mala recitations of Om Mani Padme Hum
And dedicating the merit for Tibet. It is seen as unusual because he doesn’t always make these requests, indicating that the seriousness of the situation in Tibet.
Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche explains how to handle situations of “karmic debt.” He gives an example of relationships where one person might take on the role of an aggressor and another a passive stance, but through this interaction, certain neurosis can develop. He points out that to these types of relationships as being established from karmic debt. He explains how to skillfully move past the neurosis through use of self reflection.
Many people have undoubtedly been watching the events occurring between Israel and Palestine, and are shocked by what is unfolding. His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently remarked:
All major religious traditions — Islam, Christianity, Hindu, of course, Jainism and Buddhism – all major religious traditions — teach us the practice of compassion, love, forgiveness, tolerance. So then a person who believes in certain faith, why do you involve in such violence?,”
“It is really very, very sad,
I’m sure some are trying to figure what they can do about this situation, and one alternative isto send some powerful, good energy into the region. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has recently given advice on prayers and practices one can do to help bring peace to Palestine and Israel. His recommendations include:
Micky Lemle, the filmmaker that made Compassion in Exile, The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama, is in the processing of making a new documentary about His Holiness. This new film is described as:
In THE DALAI LAMA FILM His Holiness reveals his thoughts and feelings about reincarnating as the 15th Dalai Lama and shares his wisdom about how to keep a tranquil mind while facing the challenges of aging and death. It also addresses his current focus on science, Buddhism and interfaith dialogue.tick
23 years after making the ground-breaking film: COMPASSION in EXILE: The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama, award winning filmmaker, Mickey Lemle (RAM DASS FIERCE GRACE; THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOON; OUR PLANET EARTH; HASTEN SLOWLY:The Journey of Sir Laurens van der Post) is working closely with HH the Dalai Lama to create this important, timely film. Their 30-year relationship, allows for an un-paralleled, intimate portrait.
Supporting the film brings Benefits
The film is currently in a fundraising stage, to help support the costs of filming, editing, and promoting the film. By supporting the film, you can also get gifts, ranging from a copy of the film when it is done, to tickets to His Holiness’ teachings. There are 8 days left to donate to the campaign. Click here to learn more.
Devotion in spiritual practice is somethinf often misunderstood by practitioners in the west. In this video, Khandro Rinpoche explains the difference between blind devotion that is fascinated with a persona of a person, and one that is imbued with wisdom. She states that proper understanding of the wisdom devotion is essential for developing realizations. She also utlines different levels of devotion and how it may be developed.