Tibetan

The Tantric Buddhism of the Himalayas; its best-known teacher is the Dalai Lama
  • Personal Heaven, Personal Hell Paid Member

    A Sri Lankan monk once told me, “There is no doubt: if you follow the five precepts, you will be happy. You will live a good life.” We were standing outside the Mahabodhi Temple, in Bodh Gaya, India, discussing the Buddhist path for lay followers. At that point in my life, the monk’s words struck me as uncomplicatedly true. I was living in a Buddhist monastery as part of the Antioch Buddhist Studies program and observing the five precepts with such fervency that I wouldn’t borrow my roommate’s flashlight for even a minute without asking first. “What if she comes back to her room and needs her flashlight while you have it?” my teacher asked sensibly. “It’s a way of avoiding unnecessary complications.” The four months I spent in India were undoubtedly the happiest, simplest days of my life. More »
  • A Tibetan Buddhist Nun Blazes a Trail for Other Women to Follow Paid Member

    NEWPORT, Wash. (RNS) At a conference for Western Buddhist teachers some years ago, the Venerable Thubten Chodron and other monastics complained to the Dalai Lama about the difficulties they faced: lack of finances, education, a place to live. At one point the leader of Tibetan Buddhism began to weep. Finally he told the teachers: “Don’t rely on us to do things for you; go out and do things to help yourself. If you run into problems come and tell me.” Those words changed the course of Chodron’s life. The notion of starting a Tibetan Buddhist monastic community in the West was already in the back of her mind. All she needed was permission. More »
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    Alleviating Suffering Paid Member

    It’s three a.m. when the on-call pager goes off, rousing me out of a fitful sleep. By the time I arrive on the geriatric wing to answer the “obstreperous patient” page, the floor is quiet. “We’re fine,” a nurse tells me. “She’s calmed down. We just have to watch for the flying tray.” One busy week later, I still haven’t visited this patient. Often, when I pass her room, I hear her calling out, “Help, help!” Her charts speak of dementia and pain; she’s triggered other “obstreperous patient” calls, and she’s been giving some of the nurses a really hard time. Now one of the palliative-geriatric physicians has asked me to check on her, so I cautiously step into her room, wary of the tray. More »
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    No Problem Paid Member

    Fundamentally, there is no problem in life, because everything that happens is actually part of the human journey and human awakening, and all of it is leading us deeper and deeper into reality.From Darkness Before Dawn: Redefining the Journey Through Depression, edited by Tami Simon. Reprinted with permission of Sounds True. Reginald A. Ray, PhD, is an American Tibetan Buddhist teacher. Illustration by Roberto La Forgia More »
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    The Self-Confidence of a Bodhisattva Paid Member

    Hearing about bodhisattvas’ ability to cherish others more than themselves, we may doubt, “If I abandon all self-interest and only cherish others, I will neglect myself and my suffering will increase.” Cherishing others does not mean ignoring our own needs and caring only for others. If we did that, we would fall into a deplorable state in which benefiting others and practicing the dharma would be nearly impossible. In that case, instead of our helping others, they would need to take care of us! More »