Here’s an interesting article from 2 years ago about a practitioner that did a 3 year lamrim retreat. She had consulted Lama Zopa Rinpoche on what would be the most meaningful way to use her life, and surprisingly he told her to a 3 year lamrim retreat at her home in the middle of busy Mexico City.
Despite obstacles she encountered, like the infamous “lung” (wind imbalance), she completed the retreat. Read about her inspiring story here.
In this interesting video, she talks about how she balanced motherhood and practicing Dharma. This is an interesting interview for anyone who has family obligations and is trying to balance concentrated Dharma practice.
Dzongar Khyentse Rinpoche takes his unconventional and poignant approach to teaching in order to talk about topics that many people have questions about – relationships, their professions, and hobbies.
Interspersed in the video is a talk about death and impermanence, karmic cause and effect, and the workings of the mind. He makes Dharma accessible to those that might not otherwise be interested.
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.
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.
In this video, Kalu Rinpoche explains how to take a step by step approach to understanding Buddhism, aimed at helping westerners who are trying to assimilate ancient practices with a modern lifestyle. Based on this approach, one can bring a well balanced and grounded approach to practice. Kalu Rinpoche in his previous incarnation was a well known yogi and practitioner of the Kagyu tradition. His current incarnation gives this talk from France.
In this interesting video clip, Pema Chodron talks about the “resevoir of trust” that her teacher, Trungpa Rinpoche, once referenced. Trungpa Rinpoche explained that a person can’t always get what they want, but the world is full of messages that will help them along in their practice. This source of messages is like an endless resevoir of trust that only dries up when a person fusses with it and tries to get what they want.
Tong len is a very popular and effective practice among Tibetan Buddhists. Here is a short description of the practice by Pema Chodron, as well as a video guiding someone in the meditation
The tonglen practice is a method for connecting with suffering —ours and that which is all around us— everywhere we go. It is a method for overcoming fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness of our heart. Primarily it is a method for awakening the compassion that is inherent in all of us, no matter how cruel or cold we might seem
J. Krishnamurti and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche were two highly influential individuals in the west for spiritual seekers and students of the mind. Its interesting to see this what occured when these two were put together in the same room. The topic they’re discussing is “What is meditaton.” Krishnamurti plays an active questioner, while Trungpa listens and adds a few points. The two play parts that seem to compliment each other and move forward the overall discussion. Continue reading
I’ve been blogging about Sravasti Abbey for a while, and find it fascinating how quickly the community has grown in a short period of time. When I was last at the Abbey about 3 years ago, they just had completed construction on a house for the female monastics. Their next project is the building of Chenrezig hall, which is expected to triple the Abbey’s capacity to housing 30 resident practitioners (both lay and monastic). Here’s some stats about what the hall plans to offer:
With 10,000 square feet, Chenrezig Hall will include:
- Accommodations for 19 guests
- A spacious, well-equipped kitchen & pantry
- Large dining room
- A spiritual counseling room
- Dharma classroom / multi-purpose room
- Media room for watching teachings
- Reception area with a large statue of Kuan Yin, the female form of the Buddha of Compassion, to welcome guests to Sravasti Abbey
Here’s a video with Venerable Thubten Chodron, talking about the Chenrezig Hall:
The Abbey community has grown up until this point due to the support of practitioners from all over the world. If you would like to support the Abbey, there’s a couple of ways. One way is to dedicate recitations of “Om mani padme hum.” They’re trying to collectively do 21 million recitations in order to create the merit required to successfully complete the project. Another way is to make a cash offering. What’s impressive about the Abbeys’ development over the years is that they don’t have several rich sponsors, but have relied on the generousity of many supporters from all over the world.