The recent terrorist tragedy in Paris seem to one of a string of many terrorist attacks occurring in the world. Recently suicide bombings have occurred in Lebanon earlier this week where 43 were killed and over hundreds injured, and Turkey falling victim to suicide bombings last October where close to 100 people died.
For those that have an interest, one can always read prayers for world peace. One particular one that is recommended by Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the prayer by the yogi Tang Tong Gyalpo, that were used to calm down a quarreling region and cause war to cease.
Mingyur Rinpoche has for the past four years, been wandering from one location to next, with his whereabouts largely unknown. Following in the footsteps of past meditation masters, he has been solitary moving from one cave and hermitage to the next.
He has recently emerged from the retreat and is doing well.
Click here to read updates about Mingyur Rinpoche, as well as a special greeting from him.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche explains what Buddhist practice works with at its core
As the Dalai Lama often mentions, Tibetan Buddhism lineage can be traced back to India. And particularily, can be traced to the great monastic institutions of Nalanda and Vikramalishila.
Specifically from Nalanda, there were seventeen pandits, or greatly learned scholars who represented the pinnacle of this monastic institution. In this interesting article, James Blumenthal (former faculty member of Matripa College and Oregon State University), gives a description of these seventeen great pandits of Nalanda.
In this interesting article, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche explains how one should objectively study one’s behavior, day in and day out. One studies onself objectively in order to really understand and resolve one’s deeply ingrained issues. He mentions that one of these issues is the constant need to feel special.
From the article:
Even our desire seems much greater, and well beyond necessity. There are times when we feel, “Well, over here I’m going to feel special. Here I’ll actually be able to be somebody, and that will make me feel very special.” This burning sepa (Tib. desire, attachment) is couched in that way, as something that is always there, which has been strengthened over many lifetimes, but particularly in this life.
“To be a doctor will make me special.” “As a lawyer, I’ll feel special.” “Becoming a model, I’ll feel special.” “To be a Guru, I’ll feel special.” “To be a rich man, I’ll feel special.” “To be the wife of a rich man, I’ll feel special.” “To become famous, I’ll feel special.” “To be powerful, I’ll feel special.” And then for a moment it really does seem as though it works! But then it stops working, it evaporates right in front of you. It’s like the food and drink that just evaporates right before the preta. This new status quo that you’ve worked so hard to establish no longer makes you feel special enough. So the discontentment returns. A sense of disillusionment arises again. And it’s not really the fault of anything on the outside.
In this interesting article, translator Sangye Khandro talks about bringing tantric teachings into the west. Mainly, the different misconceptions and the things that are necessary to successfully implant this precious practice into western countries. An interesting excerpt:
Do you feel that the Vajrayana is being successfully transmitted to the West? Yes and no. But, in general, there is enough fully informed practice to begin anchoring Vajrayana in the West.
Vajrayana calls for three aspects of transmission: the empowerment or initiation into the practice (dbang), the reading transmission of the text (lung), and the liberating instructions on how to actually do the practice (khrid). In the West, when a teacher passes through town, these three aspects of the transmission are often left incomplete. Because there are far more opportunities for empowerment, a student may receive empowerment but not transmission or instruction. The process then gets out of order or goes unfinished. I’ve seen people do practices without knowing them properly, or even give up from lack of instruction. Students need to take steps to obtain all three aspects of transmission from a qualified teacher.
During the course of a year, Khunu Lama Rinpoche wrote everyday a verse on bodhichitta, or the altruistic intention that seeks enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings. These verses were compiled and came to be known as “Jewel Lamp”. When it was eventually translated into English, its title became Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea.
These verses have been praised by many Tibetan Lamas such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and Khunu Lama Rinpoche himself was known as being a modern day Shantideva.
Some verses on Bodhichitta
Here are some inspiring verses that I personally found interesting. Reading his verses every couple months is something I have found very helpful for my own practice.
The bodhichitta of bodhisattvas is like a spiritual friend
who naturally exhorts one to be ethical, to study,
to analyze, to meditate, and to work for the welfare of
wandering beings who reach as far as space.
To know the essentials of bodhichitta,
rely on a Mahayana spiritual friend,
read the Mahayana sutras,
and befriend the bodhisattvas.
The person who meditates on the thought
“wandering living beings equal to space
are my mother,” looks to be on the very verge
of having Mahayana bodhichitta arise.
Who would not like the gaze that bodhichitta
makes one cast on every living being –
the finest, the lowest, and those in-between –
like the gaze of a mother on her son?
A video someone put together with some verses: