Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo discusses why she decided to start a nunnery instead of going back into long retreat, and the value of taking a more difficult road.
In this video, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche discusses how someone can practice seriously and become a yogi. He says that meditating is often seen as something fashionable, that something someone strives for during a period of time, but is easily dropped once the fashion wears out. He addresses this issue and gives suggestions on how to make practice steady.
A couple months ago, Geshe Gyalten made an interesting point by mentioning that how limited someone becomes depends on what they identify with. If someone identifies with limited phenomena like their body, thoughts, and feelings, they themselves become limited. For example, if someone identifies with their emotions, if a happy emotion appears, they say “I’m happy”, and if a sad emotion appears, they say “I’m sad.” By identifying with limited phenomena that is constantly in change, a person’s identity becomes bound to conditions they don’t necessarily have control over.
If someone identifies with something larger and more expansive, for instance their mind and its potential, then one’s own potential expands.
Qualities of Mind
To help drive the point, he explained four qualities of mind.
- By nature, mind is primordially free of stains
- By nature, the mind has an infinite capacity to know
- By nature, the mind has an infinite capacity to give and receive love
- By nature, the mind has infinite potential to create change
Even though mind is broken down into these four basic points, mind in actuality has infinite qualities.
Running the Spiritual Track
Many people want to practice a spiritual path and to make progress on it. According to Geshe-la, unless someone knows the potential of mind and understands what it is we’re identifying with, it becomes difficult to practice a spiritual path. There will always lingering feelings of doubt, wondering if we’re practicing the right things, or sometimes even less joy in practice. By understanding the potential of mind and knowing to identify with its basic nature, we create a solid foundation of spiritual practice that is rooted in joy.
As he mentions, once this understanding has been made, someone finally is on the spiritual racing track and is ready to run.
Mahayana Buddhism often says “everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering.” Even though this is the case, as Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche states in this video, people still don’t get the result they want. This leads to a simple question, like “what impedes happiness?” In this video, Khandro Rinpoche explores this topic.
Since Buddhism doesn’t pray to a creator God, some people equate Buddhism with atheism. Here’s an interesting video with Ajahn Braham, and he address this question. He also runs interesting parallels with Buddhism and early gnostic Christianity.
Here is an interesting video about living a mindful life. It deals mainly with the beautiful Thai Forest Tradition of Theravada.
The topic is about mindfulness, an important foundational practice of buddhism. Ajahn Chah makes an apperance in this short documentary, who was a teacher to many influential western teachers of buddhism. He speaks about happiness and buddhist practice that help’s life not be so confusing. This is a classic film on mindfulness. Continue reading »
Doing Time, Doing Vipassana is a classic documentary made from within an overcrowded prison in India. To help rehabilitate the prison population instead of merely “housing” them, they started doing 10 day silent sit vipassana courses within the prison walls. Continue reading »
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The Tibetan Book of the Dead has made been an interesting appearance in popular culture over the past couple years. I think many people fear death because of not understanding it. People want to know what happens after death, so a book like the Tibetan Book of the Dead naturally becomes a source of curiosity. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is well known for describing in detail the sometimes pleasant and other times horrifying visions that are described during the transition time between death and the next life, know as the bardo. Continue reading »
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was a well-known buddhist teacher and yogi, and was at one point the head of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. I had heard about his larger than life reputation, but when I read his autobiography Brilliant Moon: The Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse, I started to really wonder how he was able to do so much within one life time. He spent some 20 years in retreat, authored 12 large commentaries on Buddhist philosophy, and the whole time was receiving teachings, initiations, or giving them, and building monasteries. It seemed like he never rested and lived a life compassion and service for others. Continue reading »
After one has taken the refuge vows, someone can proceed to take the bodhisattva vows. The bodhisattva vows differ accordingly to traditions, so I’ll explain what I know and my experience from within the Tibetan buddhist tradition. Continue reading »
Here is an interesting short clip with Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, one of the few high-ranking female incarnate lamas. She talks about buddhism and its relationship to the modern being, or western Buddhist practitioners. She also addresses the issue of being “selective” when it comes to the issue of “westernization of Buddhism.” Overall a lot of good dharma insights and things to contemplate during our daily life
Why Keep Ethics?
When I think about vows and precepts, it reminds me of one time when Jhado Rinpoche came to Seattle. 2 other monks came with him: Geshe Tashi (his interpreter), and a younger monk that was his attendent. They were staying in a flat with a familiy of 3. Jhado Rinpoche once remarked, how amazingly kind the family was. They opened up their entire home to them and never locked any of their doors or cabinets. He said that the family trusted them because the monks were living in their vows.
I think what he meant by this, is that people who live in ethics, give others the gift of fearlessness or a feeling of safety. Continue reading »
I think one interesting aspects of Buddhist practice is the voluntary acceptance of precepts and vows, both within the monastic and lay community. I think for someone who isn’t familiar with this practice, it seems like something very restrictive and unwanted. However from an experiential standpoint, I’ve noticed that taking precepts and vows have actually brought freedom and mental space. Continue reading »
My teacher had recommended memorizing it, and reciting it everyday. I didn’t really get an explanation on why, but I trusted him enough to do it immediately without thinking twice, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
The Foundation of All Good Qualties was a text composed by Lama Tsongkhapa, which goes through the entire path to enlightenment and condenses it into a few short phrases, and going through it daily allows someone to get a glance of the whole path. Continue reading »