Tibetan Buddhism

  • Blogwatch: Musings Paid Member

    I recommend checking out Musings by author, teacher, translator—and blogger—Ken McLeod.  An excellent teacher, McLeod does just this in the vast majority of his blog: He teaches.  Through simple practice tips and personal reflections, McLeod strikes an impressive balance between simplicity and depth which makes his blogs both instantly accessible as well as very useful.  It is very practice-oriented and can serve as a great online resource for any regular meditator with an internet connection. More »
  • Wrong, wrong, wrong! Paid Member

    Himalayan Art Resources' Jeff Watt couldn't be more emphatic: Art for art's sake is as old as Tibet—in fact, far older. So you can imagine how ticked off the Tibetan iconography expert was when he read this at artdaily.org: There is no Tibetan equivalent for the word “art” as it is known in the West. The closest approximation is lha dri pa, literally, “to draw a deity.” Traditionally, neither the Tibetan language nor the Tibetan cultural framework has recognized art for art’s sake, and an artist’s efficacy rests in his ability to precisely replicate an established visual language and portray the essence of a particular deity. (Artdaily.org). More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Melodala draws mandalas while you listen to music Paid Member

    Buddhist iPhone apps are all the rage—at least among Buddhists with iPhones or iPod Touches. So to these people we say meet Melodala, "an iPhone app inspired by Tibetan Buddhism." Plug in some settings and color preferences and it makes pretty roundish pictures while you listen to music. If this is your thing, you can find Melodala here. It costs $2.99. More »
  • Catch and Release: Ponlop Rinpoche on Meditation Paid Member

    What does fishing have to do with meditation? In his recent article "Meditation: Catch and Release" Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche suggests using the fishermen's phrase "catch and release" as a way to work with thoughts that arise during meditation practice: We might think our meditation should be completely free of thoughts, with our minds totally at peace, but that's a misunderstanding. That's more like the end result of our practice than the process. That is the "practice" part of the practice of meditation -- just relating to whatever comes up for us. When a thought appears, we see it, acknowledge its presence, let it go and relax. That's "catch and release." More »
  • Stand on your own two feet Paid Member

    When it's time for a child to start walking, a mother needs to let her child walk. She needs to let the child lose his or her balance, fall down, and then find balance once again. Alone, the child needs to get up and stand on his or her own two feet. Although children need protection, we need to have confidence in their potential to flourish. We don’t want to hold them captive by our own fears and doubts—this creates the unhealthy dependence we have been talking about. Letting children immerse themselves in a challenging situation or obstacle for a while gives the child confidence. It gives the mother confidence, too. It’s one of the early steps a mother takes in letting the child become a citizen of the world. - Dzigar Kongtrul, "Old Relationships, New Possibilities" (Winter 2008) Click here to read the complete article. More »
  • 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 »