Video: Buddha Nature Event with HH the Karmapa

Last Saturday Lama Shenpen was invited to speak at a prestigious event organised by the Tsadra Foundation to launch their Buddha Nature Resource website. The online Zoom event featured short talks on Buddha Nature by the prestigious guest speakers, including a special recorded address by HH Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje Continue reading Video: Buddha Nature Event with HH the Karmapa

Does giving up Samsara mean giving up on life in general?

It is not saying everything is transient and without the slightest meaning. I often see samsara being used to mean life in general.  It doesn’t mean life in general.  Samsara means the weary round of rebirth driven by ignorance of our true nature beyond thought, clinging to wrong views, getting caught up in the complications of our confused thinking that turns all we do into karmic actions that bring about further entrapment in samsara – the weary round of rebirth and falling into the sufferings of the six realms. Continue reading Does giving up Samsara mean giving up on life in general?

How does our experience of Dukkha – unsatisfactoriness & Suffering – connect to our innate quality of Sensitivity?

The essence of the actual feeling of suffering or pain (beyond all the conditioned thoughts and feelings that are associated with it) is nothing other than the fundamental quality of sensitivity that is the Indestructible Heart Essence.  When we touch this we touch something that is profoundly sacred. Continue reading How does our experience of Dukkha – unsatisfactoriness & Suffering – connect to our innate quality of Sensitivity?

mandala principle, boundaries, Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Shenpen Hookham UK Buddhist Teacher

Mandala Principle & Boundaries: Boundaries feel threatening to me, what aren’t I getting?

Mandalas are a way of describing the world of our experience in which everything is appearing and yet is ungraspable. The only reason we experience anything is because we can distinguish it from anything else. If it were all uniform with no differentiation it would not be experience would it? It wouldn’t be anything. Continue reading Mandala Principle & Boundaries: Boundaries feel threatening to me, what aren’t I getting?

Avidya Ignorance Lama Shenpen Hookham UK Tibetan Buddhist teacher

The power of Avidya – primordial ignorance – is an expression of the fundamental quality of sensitivity.

You could think of it as a kind of distorted compassion. Having failed to recognise openness, clarity and sensitivity as the true nature of reality, avidya tries to protect a separate individual self from the overwhelming nature of these qualities. Continue reading The power of Avidya – primordial ignorance – is an expression of the fundamental quality of sensitivity.

Suffering in Buddhism Lama Shenpen UK female Buddhist teacher

What to do when we respond to the suffering of others with feeling powerless and guilty?

This is such an important question for so many people. I think the problem arises from approaching the whole thing from a Western cultural point of view. We value a sense of social responsibility and abhor hypocrisy and self-deception. We tend to believe in just this one life we are in now and that we have to solve the world’s problems… Continue reading What to do when we respond to the suffering of others with feeling powerless and guilty?

Meeting Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

He was about forty at the time, small in stature, with the walk and presence of a samurai warrior.  There was something very direct and yet very kind in everything he said or did.  Having shown him into his room, I sat down in the semi-darkness of the gathering dusk to listen to him talking and felt an immediate sense of rightness and connection.  Continue reading Meeting Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

How do you tell which mantra you have a connection with and how best to practice with it?

It is an important question and I find people respond to mantra practice very differently.  For some people as soon as they hear a mantra they just want to keep repeating it – and it seems to have an energy of its own… Since mantras are actually the Buddha in essence – they are powerful – but it’s not the sound so much as what is producing the sound that is important – the sound is emanating from Enlightenment itself and so can connect us directly to the energy of Enlightenment – that is why it is important who you receive the mantra from. Continue reading How do you tell which mantra you have a connection with and how best to practice with it?