Why Have a Spiritual Guru


Lama Yeshe, in this transcribed teaching, describes why someone would need a spiritual guru. He explains:

Why do we need a guru? Because in order to cure our diseased minds, we need the help of someone who knows how to do it. Since it is extremely difficult to understand how the mind works, we need the guidance of an expert in this area.

Furthermore, gaining liberation, or inner freedom, is not an easy thing. Everything we have ever said or done on this trip we call life has had its origin in the mind, and in the same way, the entire path to liberation and enlightenment depends on the mind.

However, if we think of all our life’s experiences, how convinced are we that they have all come from the mind? In order to really understand how this is true, we need someone with the right kind of knowledge to explain it to us. In other words, we need a guru.

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Emotional Ambition

Lama teaching, Yucca Valley, 1977

In this interesting teaching given by Lama Yeshe, he talks about a prevalent problem in the west that he labels emotional ambition, or a type of addiction to feelings. He mentions:

The thing is, therefore, that whatever we think is happiness is actually the cause of misery. It might be difficult to accept that fact but it’s a profound truth. If you check deeply you will see that this is correct. And in many cases what drives this is ambition, the emotional ambition that is so prevalent in Western culture. For some reason, your society, culture, life, background, whatever it is, makes everybody incredibly tense. It’s emotional ambition. It makes you unstable. This ambitious mind is psychologically sick.

How sick? It makes you very self-sensitive. Insignificant things make you happy. Somebody gives you one small chocolate and you feel, “Oh, I’m so happy with this chocolate.” Then when that person doesn’t give you a chocolate you get miserable and unhappy. It’s not the chocolate or absence of chocolate doing this, it’s your mind.

Therefore you need meditation to understand the tricks your mind plays on you. It is your mind, not your body. Whenever you experience samsaric pleasure, not knowing its reality, you have the expectation that it will last, that it will continue, that you’ll have more pleasure. Which is not possible. It’s not made that way. It’s not in its nature to last. But you can see how this attitude produces more attachment. And you can see how it makes you unhappy: you want it to last but it finishes. That’s obvious; I don’t need to explain that.

To read more from this teaching, click here.

Enlightenment in Female Form


In this interesting article, Gelek Rinpoche explains how historically much focus has been put on male energy in Buddhism. However, he mentions the need for the representation of female energy and how this energy manifests. From the article:

Buddhism arose in the East. And for most of the past 2,500 years, it has been part of the male-oriented culture of the East. It was that way in Buddha’s time in India, and it was that way in Tibet, where I was raised. But the culture in the West today is very different from traditional Asian culture. It’s clear to me that in this time and place, we need to emphasize the feminine principle. We live in a time when equality between men and women is increasing. If we cannot take advantage of this present situation to develop the feminine aspects of Buddhism and of our human nature, we will have missed an important opportunity.

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Future for Nuns and Laywomen

Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo talks about the future of female practitioners within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and the difficulties that western ordained nuns have; namely that they receive a lack of support because of neither really belonging to the laity or have a group of sanga to belong to.

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More Tenzin Palmo Videos…


Parenting Using Buddhist Principles


Based on teachings that Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave in Singapore, the book “Joyful Parents, Successful Children” gives advice on raising children from a Buddhist context. There are free copies available for a limited time, requiring only paying for the cost of shipping. Its also available as an ebook.

To learn more about the book, click here.