Buddhist Teachings

  • Less religion, more practice Paid Member

    The Los Angeles Times reports that Jack Kornfield is in Los Angeles this weekend to give a talk on CG Jung's journals at the Armand Hammer Museum and to lead a three-hour meditation retreat at InsightLA. Kornfield, a psychologist and former Thai monk, has written extensively about Western psychology and Buddhist mindfulness practice. Trudy Goodman, LAInsight's lead teacher, tells the Times, "I feel that Jack has changed Buddhism by being a pioneer for the inclusion of our emotional lives in the practice." More »
  • Oxherding in the Korea Times Paid Member

    Things have been tense on the Korean Peninsula lately, with crowds in Seoul today calling for revenge against the north for the sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean naval vessel. But readers of the Korean Times awoke this morning to the 10 Oxherding Pictures, the classic Zen (in Korean, Soen) series that depicts the practitioner's progress toward enlightenment—a nice antidote to the recent hostilities, or a least a welcome if momentary reprieve. More »
  • Watch: Sand mandala in the making Paid Member

    Tricycle friend Stuart Freeman provides this  video, which he shot Tuesday, May 25, 2010, at St. John The Divine, in New York City. During the Dalai Lama's visit, ten Drepung Loseling monks created this extraordinary sand mandala in the Chapel of St. Boniface. The monks use hollow pipes, or chak-purs, to create the mandala. Grains of sand are "vibrated" through the chak-purs into the design. When a mandala is  completed, it is ritually destroyed in recognition of impermanence. Chanting by: Mandala Offering -The Gyuto Monks Tantric ChoirTibetan Chants for World Peace. Image (c) 2010 stuartvision More »
  • Thoughts on day 3 of the Dalai Lama's NYC teachings Paid Member

    This is a follow up to my blog on Friday. Day 3... Let me think....... ........It was great! His Holiness continued with the Shantideva text but did not get to chapter 9 on Wisdom, although if I recall correctly he did mention something along the lines of that much of the topic was covered in the Nagarjuna text. The discussion on forbearance stuck with me.  Specifically, he spoke about refraining from taking action against those we may perceive as enemies, and that beyond just having compassion for them, that we can even be grateful to them for giving us an opportunity to work with ourselves.  When the teaching was over and I stepped out into the street and saw the whole event's lone protester, a man waving the Chinese flag while aggressively spewing hate and propaganda, I thought to myself, "Thank you, sir, for giving me this opportunity." More »
  • The Dalai Lama and Open Space Paid Member

    As you’re probably all well aware by now, the Dalai Lama was in NYC last week speaking to a packed house at Radio City Music Hall. Since I was fortunate enough to attend on Thursday and Friday, I thought I might share some of my thoughts and impressions from those talks. I should preface this post by admitting that I’ve always had a hard time with authority figures, especially religious authority figures. So, for me, the Dalai Lama’s entrance was distracting. Dramatic music started playing overhead. A woman behind me started loudly weeping. I was prepared to sit through this, uncomfortably. Of course, then the Dalai Lama didn’t do what he doesn’t do best: he didn’t take himself too seriously. He lightened the mood. He put on a red visor, smiled at everybody and began to speak. “There are six billion people in this world with great intelligence. We should use our intelligence to bring more joy and happiness, not suffering and sadness.” Oh that Dalai Lama, always transcending cultural bounds with ease. It’s these moments when you can understand why so many humans are attracted to this man. He seems boundless. Which brings me to my favorite topic that he discussed (after ditching the English language to speak about finer philosophical points in Tibetan)—the concept of emptiness as open space. [Side thought: Can things get lost in translation when they come from an enlightened mind?] While exploring Nagarjuna’s Commentary on Bodhicitta, the Dalai Lama said that we should think about emptiness as open space. When we try to find the essence of anything and instead find it to be empty, we should regard that discovery as having no bounds. Insight into emptiness will open space in our minds, allowing us to move about and act freely. More »