Tibetan Buddhism

  • Be a child of illusion 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. Following each commentary Judy offers us a weekly practice. Here is Slogan 6 (each slogan provides links to the previous slogans, including a two-part discussion of their history and use in practice). I've been following along each week myself—a good way to stay grounded—rather ungrounded!—in my practice. 6. In postmeditation, be a child of illusion. Practice can be divided into two: meditation and postmeditation. More »
  • Watch: 3D Kalachakra Mandala Paid Member

    Our recent popular Sand Mandala video post reminded me that I've been meaning to look for this great 3D CGI Kalachakra Mandala video that I saw several years ago.  Sure enough, it took about 90 seconds to track down on youtube. 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 »
  • What will it take to establish a truly Western Dharma? Paid Member

    In Tricycle’s most recent issue there is a piece titled “It Takes a Saint.” In this piece, Tai Situpa Rinpoche shares his beliefs on what it will take for Buddhism to become truly established in the West.  He writes, "I’ll make it simple: One Western person must attain full enlightenment in the same way as Marpa, Milarepa, or Padmasambhava. If one Westerner—man or woman, doesn’t matter—attains that level of realization, then pure dharma will be established in Western culture, Western language, and environment, and so forth. Until that time, dharma can be taught in the West, which is already happening; it can be practiced in the West, which is already happening; and it can be recited in Western languages. But it’s not yet one hundred percent complete." Read the whole piece here. 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 »