multiethnic couple meditating together in park

What does the word ‘bliss’ mean in connection with love & compassion teachings?

I wonder if this is a question about what bliss means exactly in this context. It is likely that it is this word that is confusing you. We tend to think of bliss as an intense version of a strongly excited state of being happy. If so then its not really the right word here…. It doesn’t help others for you to be overwhelmed by their pain and suffering – it helps them for you to bring your heart and its natural qualities of connection – your calm and compassionate presence… Continue reading What does the word ‘bliss’ mean in connection with love & compassion teachings?

unrecognizable pilgrims touching prayer wheels in ancient temple in nepal

What Does Accumulating ‘Merit’ Mean? Understanding Punya & that we are punya itself

Punya is rather misleadingly translated as merit but since punya belongs to us, it is our personal wealth and power, which we can give away for the benefit of others. In order to give to others in a way that will truly benefit them, we have to think about what is the most effective way of using our punya… Continue reading What Does Accumulating ‘Merit’ Mean? Understanding Punya & that we are punya itself

tealight candle on human palms

How should we practise for those who have died? Do we focus on their ‘old’ identity? Should we expand the practice to all beings too?

When someone is in our heart they are always in our heart – through life through death through all their lifetimes and all our lifetimes too. That is how the Bodhisattva vow works, that is why we can make a vow to bring all beings to Awakening. It makes sense because we are connected with all beings in our hearts whatever life circumstances they are in or identities they have adopted. Continue reading How should we practise for those who have died? Do we focus on their ‘old’ identity? Should we expand the practice to all beings too?

What if rituals feel contrived to me? Am I still welcome in the sangha?

Ritual is different from simple ceremonies. If properly conducted it makes things happen – it shapes the universe if you like. It isn’t just me doing something from my own side – or a whole lot of people doing something from their own side. The universe is changed by the ritual – it’s become a different reality in some sense… Continue reading What if rituals feel contrived to me? Am I still welcome in the sangha?

Lama Shenpen with Gendun Rinpoche

Gendun Rinpoche & Supernormal Powers

Gendun Rinpoche did seem to be able to work miracles. The summer of 1976 brought a huge drought across Europe which went on for many months. Christian bishops and priests were praying for rain and still it didn’t rain. Gendun Rinpoche started to pray for rain too. One of his faithful French disciples who lived in a makeshift shelter in a field on a nearby hill was convinced that Gendun Rinpoche was about to conjure up a storm. Continue reading Gendun Rinpoche & Supernormal Powers

person holding red candle in a dark room

How do we transform our negative actions into positive actions that benefit others?

We are uniquely connected to all other beings in the same kind of way that every point in space is uniquely connected to all other points in space. If we damage our connection with others through our unskilful actions their mandala registers that Continue reading How do we transform our negative actions into positive actions that benefit others?