Tibetan

The Tantric Buddhism of the Himalayas; its best-known teacher is the Dalai Lama
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    Confessions of a Buddhist Political Junkie Paid Member

    In the late seventies and early eighties I would escape every few months from my political work in Jimmy Carter’s White House to play chess with my old friend and Buddhist teacher, Geshe Wangyal, in Washington, New Jersey. From dawn till night the long silences, laughs, and wild accusations of cheating could be heard throughout the house. Meditative serenity sought by those looking for the “Wisdom of the East” was hard to find in his retreat center. More »
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    The Easy Middle Paid Member

    Part of a new generation of teachers who grew up outside of Tibet, Mingyur Rinpoche represents an era of transition in the Tibetan community. Trained by some of the great Tibetan masters of twentieth century, he serves as a link between his father’s generation, who studied in the traditional monastic environment of pre-Communist Tibet, and teachers who were trained in exile. More »
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    Equality Paid Member

    During a lecture while I was interpreting for the Dalai Lama, he said in what seemed to me to be broken English, “Kindness is society.” I wasn’t smart enough to think he was saying kindness is society. I thought he meant kindness is important to society; kindness is vital to society; but he was saying that kindness is so important that we cannot have society without it. Society is impossible without it. Thus, kindness IS society; society IS kindness. Without concern for other people it’s impossible to have society. More »
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    Wisdom and Compassion: Sacred Art of Tibet Paid Member

    Strains of long silver trumpets and the deepthroated chanting of monks greeted the arrival of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in April. The religious and temporal leader of Tibet's exiled Buddhist population had come to grant a special blessing, initiating the creation of a large-scale sand mandala for the opening of "Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet." This stunning exhibition of Tibetan paintings, sculpture, and tapestries dating from 900 to 1900 C.E. has been assembled from prominent museums and private collections in North America, Europe, and the Soviet Union. Notably, none of the pieces were borrowed from either institutional or official sources in the People's Republic of China, to which Tibet has been politically bound for more than thirty years. More »
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    Renunciation Paid Member

    When people take refuge in the formal ceremony of becoming a Buddhist, they receive a name that indicates how they should work. I've noticed that when people get the name "Renunciation," they hate it. It makes them feel terrible; they feel as if someone gave them the name "Torture Chamber," or perhaps "Torture Chamber of Enlightenment." People usually don't like the name "Discipline" either, but so much depends on how you look at these things. Renunciation does not have to be regarded as negative. I was taught that it has to do with letting go of holding back. What one is renouncing is closing down and shutting off from life. You could say that renunciation is the same thing as opening to the teachings of the present moment. More »
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    Unconditionally Steadfast Paid Member

    Pema Chodron is the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, a Buddhist monastery in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. A student of the late Kagyu master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she received the novice ordination in 1974 and was fully ordained in 1981. Pema Chodron is the author of The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, and When Things Fall Apart, all from Shambhala Publications. This interview was conducted in April at Gampo Abbey; photographs by Christine Alicino. You’ve described the teacher-student relationship as one based on unconditional commitments: The teacher will never give up on the student and the student will never leave the teacher, no matter what. How did you come to that understanding? More »