Role of monastics in the west

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, during an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, explains the current situation of monasticm in the west. She skillfully explains why they are a necessary component in order for Buddhism to thrive in the western context, and why they should be supported. Upon hearing the difficulties that western monastics endure in the west, His Holiness begins to cry.

Supporting Next Generation of Teachers

Lama Zopa has started the Bodhichitta Fund, which helps in supporting the training of the next generation of teachers within monastaries. These next generation includes recognized reincarnated lamas, and the support will go towards taking care of their food and educational expenses, as well as accomodations.

To learn more about how one contribute to the fund, click here.

David Bowie and Buddhism

 

David Bowie at Tibet House Benefit Concert, 2001

With David Bowie’s recent passing, one thing that has surfaced is Lama Chime Rinpoche’s remembrance and prayer video for David Bowie. Chime Rinpoche was David Bowie’s one time Buddhist teacher.

David Bowie at one point was a month away from becoming a Buddhist monk, however Chime Rinpoche persuaded him to continue being a musician. What followed after that, as people would say, was history

To David Bowie’s future rebirth and enlightenment

Chatrul Rinpoche’s Passing

Kyabjé-Chatral-Rinpoche

Chatral Rinpoche, one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of the past century, passed away on December 31, 2015. He was a personal teacher to Reting Rinpoche, who discovered the 14th Dalai Lama’s incarnation and served as the Regent of Tibet. Chatral Rinpoche was also a teacher to many other great practitioners. Despite all his fame, he strictly lived a hermit’s life, preferring to live alone despite the dismay of many practitioner’s seeing his advice.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche had this to say about Chatrul Rinpoche’s passing:

In my limited life I have seen very few anti-hypocritical beings, and he was one of them. He meant business, there was no negotiation, and of course he never traded one single word of the dharma for money. Time and again, he refused to bow down to the mighty.

He made a lot of us hypocritical beings shudder. Just knowing he was alive and breathing somewhere between Siliguri and Pharping made our hearts quake. Even though we never got to see him, especially towards the end of his life – and I myself was refused an audience 20 times or more – his mere presence on this earth shattered hypocrisy.

To express our homage, veneration and supplication, may we disciples of this man keep in our lives the practice of freeing living beings, such as releasing fish, and especially so within this month.

To read a more extensive biography about Chatral Rinpoche, click here.

The Guru Rinpoche Principle

Guru Rinpoche is a revered figure in Tibetan Buddhism, and plays an integral role in many people’s practices. During a talk with Bhutanese Buddhists, which have a particular karmic connection with Guru Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche explains what Guru Rinpoche represents and how this integrates into one’s own practice.

Approaching Dharma Practice

Photo by Sravasti Abbey

Venerable Thubten Chodron gives advice on how to practice Dharma, which can be useful for both beginning and experienced practitioners. She focuses very much on the transition from external fixation to changing our attitudes and our understandings.

An excerpt from the article:

How to approach the practice is something really important, and how to manage everything else in our lives is very important. Because sometimes we get the feeling—at least I did at the beginning— “I’ve just got to hear a lot of teachings and do everything that the Tibetans do, and then somehow I get enlightened.” I took me falling flat on my face a few times to realize that’s not what Dharma practice is all about—that practice is all about changing what’s inside here.

It’s much easier to try and do external activities that are deemed “Dharma” and in the process to ignore the internal ones. Sometimes we think that we are getting somewhere in our practice because we can do the external activities well. However, that doesn’t go on for very long, because at some point we can’t sustain it. That’s why it is important to continually come back to focusing on the actual practice of Dharma, which is changing what is inside our own minds and hearts. Learning Tibetan is good and it is a tool. Studying philosophy is good and it is a tool. Getting ordained is excellent, it’s a tool. But the real thing is to use all these tools to change what’s inside ourselves.

Click here to read more.

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