Tibetan Buddhism

  • Tonglen Lojong with Acharya Judy Lief Paid Member

    Each Friday, Acharya Judy Lief, teacher in the Shambhala tradition of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, comments on one of Atisha's 59 mind-training (Tib. lojong) slogans, which serve as the basis for a complete practice. Atisha (980-1052 CE) was an Indian adept who brought to Tibet a systematized approach to bodhicitta (the desire to awaken for the sake of all sentient beings) and loving-kindness, through working with these slogans. Judy edited Chogyam Trungpa's Training the Mind (Shambhala, 1993), which contains Trungpa Rinpoche's commentaries on the lojong ("mind-training") teachings. Each entry includes a practice. See the previous slogans and commentaries here. 7. Sending and taking should be practiced alternately. These two should ride the breath. According to this slogan, in relation to ourselves, it is a good idea to practice breathing out what we want and breathing in what we don’t want. How counterintuitive is that? And in relation to others, it is suggested that we practice breathing out to them our love and healing, and breathing in their pain and sickness. That aspect is a little easier to grasp, as the notion of praying for those we care about is more familiar to us, as people who grew up in a Judeo-Christian culture. There certainly is a need for more loving-kindness in the world. Who doesn’t want to develop that aspect of themselves? And that quality of love and heartfulness is what makes this slogan so appealing. It is tender and gives us a way to hold others in our hearts. It gives us a way to connect with those we care about, even when we may not be able to do so physically, and to help others, even though there doesn’t seem to be much we can do. It feels great to pray for others and to be all warm and loving. But that is not all there is to it.  The practice of sending and taking, or tonglen in Tibetan, brings to light the boundaries of that love and caring. If you pray for your friends and family, how about other people and other families? If you pray for those you like or admire, how about those who you dislike or reject? What about those you disagree with, or simply find annoying? What about those who do harm? The idea is to go beyond bias, to include more and more, to let the heart grow and expand. More »
  • Pema Chodron on Getting Hooked Paid Member

    In Tibetan there is a word that points to the root cause of aggression, the root cause also of craving. It points to a familiar experience that is at the root of all conflict, all cruelty, oppression, and greed. This word is shenpa. The usual translation is “attachment,” but this doesn’t adequately express the full meaning. I think of shenpa as “getting hooked.” Another definition, used by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, is the “charge”—the charge behind our thoughts and words and actions, the charge behind “like” and “don’t like.” Here’s an everyday example: Someone criticizes you. She criticizes your work or your appearance or your child. In moments like that, what is it you feel? It has a familiar taste, a familiar smell. Once you begin to notice it, you feel like this experience has been happening forever. That sticky feeling is shenpa. More »
  • Dharma/Arte: Trungpa inspired Brazil based arts community Paid Member

    “Genuine art reveals the truth.” -Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche “Mata-mor”, by Rodrigo Bueno Recently Tricycle asked our online supporters to recommend to us Buddhist charities and non-profits that are doing good work around the world. Among the many responses we received, there were several very enthusiastic endorsements of the group Dharma/Arte, a highly respected non-profit institution that promotes activities in the areas art and education. More »
  • From our friends at Ocean of Dharma: What makes a great teacher? Paid Member

    Visit the Ocean of Dharma blog and you may just win a free copy of The Collected Works of Dilgo Khyentse, one of the great Tibetan teachers of the last century. But you'll have to visit Ocean of Dharma and let them know what you think makes a great teacher. Recently, Triker Monty McKeever blogged on his own childhood experiences of Dilgo Khyentse and on his excitement about the upcoming visit of his 17-year-old incarnation, Khyentse Yangsi. For more about the Ocean of Dharma collected-works offer, see Carolyn Gimian's email pasted below. Carolyn is founding director of the Shambhala Archives. CELEBRATING DILGO KHYENTSE More »
  • Cool Tibetan tattoos, the challenges of displaying religious art, and a nice life Paid Member

    Jeff Watt over at Jeff's Travels points us to Yoni Zilber's Tibetan-themed tattoos. It's one way to view Tibetan art, and another is to visit the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art in the nation's capital ("In the Realm of the Buddha," through July 18). I've often talked to Jeff about the role of art in Buddhism and he has often complained that stripped of its connection to practice, religious objects are rendered pretty meaningless. More »
  • Stupa near Albuquerque safe for now Paid Member

    There has been some buzz around the Buddho-blogosphere the past few days about the U.S. National Park Service planning to bulldoze a small Tibetan stupa near Albuquerque, NM. It was never clear how much truth there was to this assertion, as there didn’t appear to be any word from the NPS itself. But, no matter, Kyle Lovett of The Reformed Buddhist blog reports today that he spoke with a NPS Ranger from the Petroglyph National Park visitor center who said that the NPS will not be removing the stupa now or any time in the foreseeable future. Thanks for getting to the bottom of this, Kyle! More »