Venerable Chonyi reflects on trip she made to Vajrapani retreat center in California, where she attended a set of teachings with Jangtse Choje Lobsang Tenzin. She talks about the causes and conditions required for this to happen, and how such a diverse group of practitioners reflect the flourishing of Dharma in the west.
One of the most difficult things to do is continuing a constant, committed daily practice. Keeping the right motivation and inspiration can be difficult, and sometimes can lead to people losing their practice after a while. For those that have been practicing for a while and have paused, maybe these instructions by Lama Zopa Rinpoche could prove helpful in restarting practice.
These series of advice were given to former monks and nuns that returned their vows, dropped their practices, and were looking to restart again. I think this advice could be helpful for anyone. One part that could be of interest was advice on how to sustain practice in the long term:
It is very important to meditate every day, continuously. You need to plan to do this for eons, not just for this lifetime, not just for 100,000 lifetimes, but for eons. Make the determination and plan to do lam-rim meditation. This is the antidote. This is the medicine. This is the safest way to protect your mind from negative karma, from the lower realms, from suffering in the hell realms; this is the most important thing to do for liberation from samsara and to achieve enlightenment. If you think that you only have to do it for a few years or months, then you will collapse, get discouraged, etc. As it is mentioned in the teachings, a chilli plant is hot, and by adding just a few drops of honey, just a few times, it doesn’t make it sweet.
Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo talks about how to integrate practice into daily life and injecting meaning into everyday activities.
Tenzin Palmo is famous for leaving England at the age of 20, based on an intuitive feeling to look for “her teacher.” She was one of the first westerners to ordain in the Tibetan tradition, and eventually spent 12 years in a cave doing intensive, solitary retreat in the Himalayas. In a book about her experience, entitled Cave in the Snow: Tenzin Palmo’s Quest for Enlightenment, she mentions that all that time during retreat is meant to familiarize oneself with certain ways of thinking, so someone can eventually bring that into daily life.
Rime (pronounced Ree-may), in its spirit, is non-sectarian.
Rime is a movement within Tibetan Buddhism where a person studies not just one lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, but studies and learns from many. The point is to preserve many of the teachings and traditions and also to remove sectarian views. Rime is something useful for Tibetan buddhist practitioners, but I believe the spirit of rime is something useful for western buddhist practitioners as a whole. Continue reading »
Dharma in the daily life, I belief is a very interesting topic. My teacher spoke on this once, and he said that Dharma in the daily life is a phenomenon more related to western buddhist practitioners. 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 »
She has an interesting article on how contemporary Buddhist teachers have interpreted Buddhist teachings, and how they’ve presented them to western practitioners. Continue reading »
An interesting interview with Ven. Dhammadipa, with his advice on an approach to Buddhism for westerners.
He makes an interesting comment, in regards to westerners becoming more and more educated, but at the same time making their lives more complicated. He addresses also other issues facing western practitioners, and how one integrates ideas and practices from different traditions. Continue reading »
This is a contiuation of a post I did earlier, regarding buddhism and its spreading to the west and its place in the west. These are a series of interviews with Lama Yeshe, who founded the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, which has 100s of centers worldwide.
He goes over topics like dharma in a daily life, and what buddhist practitioners in the west can do to support the growth of Buddhism in western countries. I think this is good general background information for people interested about the place of Buddhism in the west. Continue reading »