Today, 150 billion land animals and 1.5 trillion sea animals are killed for our consumption. We treat them like rats and vermin and cockroaches to be eliminated. This would be called genocide or dehumanization if they were human beings. We even go one step further with animals: we instrumentalize them. They become objects. They become the pig industry, sausage or meat factories. Ethically you cannot imagine progressing toward a more altruistic or more compassionate society while behaving like this
The Foundation of All Good Qualities is a short text composed by Lama Tsongkhapa, which covers the entire path to enlightenment in concise verses. When recited daily, it plants many imprints of how to proceed in practice and is an aid in daily life, similar to how one would rely on a walking stick.
Khunu Lama Rinpoche, who was considered to be a bodhisattva and who composed eloquent verses on Bodhichitta called Vast as the Heavens, Deep as the Sea, gave teachings on the Foundation of All Good Qualities, which can be read here.
Ringu Tulku gives a teaching on the dharani of interdependence:
རྒྱུ་ལ་འགོག་པ་གང་ཡིན་པ། །དགེ་སྦྱོང་ཆེན་པོས་འདི་སྐད་གསུངས། །
All dharmas originate from causes.
The Tathagata has taught these causes,
And also that which puts a stop to these causes—
This too has been taught by the Great Shramana.
In this interesting transcript of a talk given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche, he explains the qualities of a qualified spiritual guide, and the downsides of finding an incorrect one. He mentions:
Some wrong guides show a path that agrees with our delusions and makes our delusions and attachment happy. I’m not saying anger is happy, but the wrong guides show a path that agrees with our delusions and develops the delusions rather than decreasing them. That guide says, “Oh you can do this, you can do that, it doesn’t matter. You can do everything, all the actions of the delusions you can do,” and many people come, without any announcements in the newspapers or on the radio or television. Many, many people easily follow that guide, because he is easy to accept. It is a confused path, but people don’t feel this, due to ignorance. It is easy to listen, but difficult to understand this confusion.
Chamtral Rinpoche explains how the eight worldly Dharmas are the preoccupations with the constantly changing things in life.
This interesting article describes the transition that Emma Slade experienced from being a globe trotting banker, to a nun living in the kingdom of Bhutan. Having experienced a traumatic event and subsequently going through post-traumatic stress disorder, the event became a catalyst for profound transformation. She mentions:
I do think that incident propelled me to a different part, otherwise I would have carried on as a hugely successfully, articulate, well-dressed banker… once you think you are going to die you do start to live your life in a different way.
Phakchok Rinpoche explains how understanding one’s intention will affect the our daily lives.
Ringu Tulku talks about integrating spiritual practice into daily life.
Here is an older, but still nonetheless interesting article about Ven Thubten Gyatso, an Australian monk that went into three year retreat in his 60’s. He talks about the peace he experienced, and also for those interesting in doing retreat, he gives his advice on how to prepare for such a retreat. He mentions that favorable pre-requisites for such a retreat include:
Total devotion to a guru who will tell you when or if you are to do it, purification and accumulation of merit. Find a place like De-Tong Ling which is well managed for long retreats. Kimball Cuddihy, the center director, and his helpers were absolutely wonderful.