A 10 minute documentary about a former prison inmate that returns to prisons to teach inmates mindfulness meditation.
Saka Dawa starts this year on May 19, and continues to June 16. Its meant to celebrate Buddha Shakyamuni’s birth, death and enlightenment. A special feature of this month is that all the virtuous practices that one does during this time is multiplied, and is therefore known as the month of merit. Some suggestions from Lama Zopa and FPMT on for generating merit during this time include:
Here is an interesting video with some prayers and Praises to 21 Taras done at Tsengdok Monastery during a previous Saka Dawa.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama explains how the practice of compassion is put into practice.
Venerable Thubten Chodron explains how meditating on impermanence is not a replacement for meditating on emptiness, but is a way to prepare to meditate on emptiness.
She goes on further to elaborate what these two crucial topics mean.
The current incarnation of Kalu Rinpoche talks a topic that many westerns have difficulty with and often develop many misconceptions about – finding a spiritual guide and correctly devoting oneself to a spiritual guide.
He talks about his own experience with his teacher Tai Situ Rinpoche to help explain this relationship and the possible pitfalls that people fall in. Kalu Rinpoche uses a relaxed approach, making the teachings more down to earth for many people.
As some people may know, Nepal has been hit by a series of earthquakes. The first was of 7.8 magnitude, with a following aftershock at 6.7. The current death toll is over 2000 and still increasing.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has given a suggestion of prayers and practices that people can do for earthquake victims, which include Medicine Buddha Mantra. Click here to see the suggested prayers and practices.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo takes a classic, traditional Buddhist text (Atisha’s verses on Training the Mind), and makes them accessible to modern practitioners by understanding how this fits into their everyday lives and how to understand the bigger picture of their practice.
Tsongkhapa’s text “Foundation of all Good Qualities” is a concise, pithy instruction on how to practice the entire path to enlightenment. It’s one of my favorite texts, and I’ve been studying it for some years. I’ve mentioned other things about it in previous posts, namely:
To add further information about this great text, here is a short commentary done by Khunu Lama Rinpoche. He was known as a great bodhisattva who wrote a text in praise of Bodhichitta, entitled Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea. He is also a teacher of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Ven Thubten Chodron talks about how to live in an environment where this is such a strong emphasis on production and “upgrading one’s skills.”
Jeffrey Hopkins is well known for having been a translator for the Dalai Lama, a translator on numerous Buddhist texts, and a professor in Buddhist studies. He’s often known for being brutally honest about himself and his practice. He mentions his reason for this approach in an interview:
I think that’s very, very true. Energy is wasted by hiding, and what you are hiding gets worse and worse the more you hide it. It’s self-destructive. You know, sometimes when I talk about morality, I’ll just say, “I’m embarrassed about what I am saying, but in any case, I’m trying to present what the books teach as it’s written, and I’m not claiming that I can actually enact this, I want to be clear.” That makes it a lot easier to talk about it. If it’s compassion and the fact that I get angry in certain situations, then it’s easy for me to talk about what I get angry at and use that as an example. Being frank about myself undermines my own negative reactions.