Buddhist View on Fighting Climate Change


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Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen Master Thinh Nhat Hanh believes that our ability to deal with climate change is very much linked to our ability to deal with our own inner difficulties. In an interesting article about his views, it states:

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s leading spiritual teachers, is a man at great peace even as he predicts the possible collapse of civilisation within 100 years as a result of runaway climate change.

The 86-year-old Vietnamese monk, who has hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, believes the reason most people are not responding to the threat of global warming, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, is that they are unable to save themselves from their own personal suffering, never mind worry about the plight of Mother Earth.

Thay, as he is known, says it is possible to be at peace if you pierce through our false reality, which is based on the idea of life and death, to touch the ultimate dimension in Buddhist thinking, in which energy cannot be created or destroyed.

By recognising the inter-connectedness of all life, we can move beyond the idea that we are separate selves and expand our compassion and love in such a way that we take action to protect the Earth.

To read more about this compelling argument, click here.


9 Round Breathing Meditation

The 9 round breathing meditation is an exercise often done to clear the energy channels or winds before one engages in meditations. This has a calming effect on the mind, making it serviceable. As an additional benefit, it has been said to promote health. His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains how to do the 9 round breathing meditation.

His Holiness particularly recommends to do this meditation when the mind is disturbed because the meditation has a neutralizing effect.

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Watch More Dalai Lama Videos…

When Things Fall Apart

Recently, best-selling author and Buddhist nun, Pema Chödron, appeared on Oprah. She gives advice on how to deal with the difficulties in life, and specifically takes parts from her book “Wehn Things Fall Apart.” As she mentions, things will definitely fall apart at some point, so the best thing to do is to know how to fail correctly.

Watch the video here:


Revision (2014-Nov-09):
The video seems to be down on Oprah’s website, so here’s a youtube playlist with some clips from the episode:

Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Jampa Tegchock’s Passing


Khensur Rinpoche recently passed away, and it seems that some really erudite masters of the Gelug tradition have recently passed away (the other being Denma Locho Rinpoche).

Khensur Rinpoche was a former abbot of Sera Je monastery, and spent many years teaching in the west. He is also the author of Transforming the Heart: The Buddhist Way to Joy and Courageand 3 other books about emptiness and mind training.

I remember attending a 2 week teaching with him on Emptiness, and before every session, he wrote on a pad of paper the teaching itenerary. What he taught was based off the students’ levels of understanding from the previous days. And this was a mixed group, made up of lay students, monks, and nuns. To do so with such a difficult subject and do so skillfully really shows how erudite he was. Even though he was deep into his 80′s, his mind was noticeably sharper than people in their 20′s-30′s.

Here is the recent message about his passing and practices that will be done for him:

Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters

Very sadly we have to inform you that we heard that our former abbot (1982 to 1994), Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Jampa Thegshok, has passed away.
We will always remember his kindness and his inspiration to many students.

He once told a group of monks and nuns that he was very happy that he could teach for many years the whole Lam Rim to a group of monks and nuns at Nalanda, even though many were not monks anymore. He said it left a big imprint on their minds for many life times to come, and he was really happy they had the merit to have had these teachings.

Tonight, Wednesday, at 7 PM there will be a special Lama Choepa dedicated to Rinpoche at Nalanda; also Saturday at 7 there will be a Medicine Buddha Puja and Sunday at 7 PM another Lama Choepa on tsog day, again special dedicated to Rinpoche.

Kind regards,

Khensur Denma Locho Rinpoche’s passing

Denma Locho Rinpoche recently passed away on October 23. He was a former abbot of Namgyal Monastery (the personal monastery of the Dalai Lama). He was also a lineage holder of Ling Rinpoche’s teachings (the senior tutor to the Dalai Lama and former Ganden Tripa, head of the Gelug tradition), and was known to be an expert of Manjushri’s fierce form, Yamantaka.

I’m sure many will be grieving the loss of such a great master. Learn more about his life and some of his recent work here.

Giving Without Hope of a Reward

When being generous with others, whether materially or emotionally, many interesting thoughts can pop up. As Ajahn Brahm mentions, what happens if someone gives, but one doesn’t get appreciation in return? This could cause someone to be reluctant to give again. Why not just be selfish like everyone else?

Ajahn Brahm discusses how to work with such thoughts and to continue the practice of giving.

Passing of Jim Blumenthal

Recently, Jim Blumenthal, Professor of Buddhist Studies at Maitripa College and Associate Professor in the School of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oregon State University, passed away after a one year battle with colon cancer.

It’s interesting to see how many people were affected by his generous work for others, as can bee seen on the memorial page for him on Matripa College.

Venerable Thubten Chodron gave a talk about Jim, and explains that despite all his wordly success (Ph.D professor, and so forth), he was always very humble about his wordly success and his Dharma knowledge. he went about his business with a steady determination. I think Jim’s life is an inspiration for other western practitioners, and is reminder that everyone will have to pass away and that we need to make use of our time now.

Giving Dharma Names to Pets

Yeshe - A cat that Lived at Sravasti Abbey. Yeshe means "Deep/pristine awareness, widsom knowledge"

Yeshe – A cat that Lived at Sravasti Abbey. Yeshe means “Deep/pristine awareness, widsom knowledge”

Giving Dharma names to your pets can be helpful in that it can leave positive imprints in their mind every time their name is spoken. For instance, the first cat to live at Sravasti Abbey was called “Manjushri”, or the Buddha of wisdom. Everytime someone called out to Manjushri, positive imprints were left in his mindstream.

Lama Zopas Advice

In regards to giving Dharma names to pets, Lama Zopa says:

“If you have a pet it is very good to give it a Dharma name rather than giving it a useless name that has no benefit for the animal. If you give your pet a Dharma name, such as names of the path to enlightenment (renunciation, bodhicitta, emptiness – they can be in English, Tibetan or Sanskrit) it leaves a positive imprint on the mind of the animal.”

“If you have a pet it is very good to give it a Dharma name rather than giving it a useless name that has no benefit for the animal. If you give your pet a Dharma name, such as names of the path to enlightenment (renunciation, bodhicitta, emptiness – they can be in English, Tibetan or Sanskrit) it leaves a positive imprint on the mind of the animal.”

Need a Dharma Name? Some Suggestions

To see a list of possible Dharma names for your pets (and the meanings behind the names), click here.

Keeping the Mind and Heart Open

During Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche‘s “Modern Day Bodhisattva Semnar,” he talks about compassion. He points out that some can not keep their minds and hearts open after evaluating a situation and deciding that they can’t help. He explains how the practice of compassion is not about being able to relieve others of suffering immediately, but of trying to stay open.

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More Dzigar Kongtrul Videos…


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