I think sometimes people associate trying to meditate with constant failure. All these feelings are mandala guardians * trying to keep you out of your meditation mandala by throwing up a smoke screen of excuses. Continue reading What can we do when we feel we can’t meditate?
Negativity and negative thoughts when we make mistakes or get things wrong is interesting isn’t it? It’s very common – a sub-mandala that feels okay as long as we can feel confident that we are not making a mistake – as long as we feel we are in the right. Continue reading What’s happening when we experience negative thoughts and a loss of confidence?
That sense of overwhelm in the light of world suffering is called ‘revulsion at samsara’ in Buddhism and is an important quality to cultivate. It is actually the healthy functioning of our Buddha Nature – our intrinsic openness, clarity and sensitivity. It is what compassion feels like… Continue reading How do you maintain compassion without getting miserable? How to deal with overwhelm and depression due to all the suffering in the world
It is all very sneaky isn’t it? Learn not to add to the sneakiness by judging it and condemning it – have sympathy and love for the sneaky part, it is doing its best. And as you love that part in you, you will find you can love that part in others too! Continue reading Working with our negative emotions & our sneaky self-centred parts
My friend Mike Lear died 18th March aged 84. He was the friend who supported me all the time I was in India – the one I left when I became a nun [as described in Lama Shenpen’s life story book ‘Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting – An English Woman’s Journey to Becoming a Buddhist Lama’ – see excerpt below.] He was such an unselfish and generous man, I kept in touch with him by letter and phone over the years and spoke to him just a few months ago. Continue reading A Message from Lama Shenpen to Students & Readers of ‘Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting’
The thing to do is make a wishing prayer (pranidhana) as you spread love and compassion around you that this will also help the people caught up in the terrible events that are unfolding in Ukraine. Whenever you hear of any goodness and kindness that people show to one another, dedicate it for the benefit of all beings… Continue reading Does practising love & compassion for people close to me ripple out to those suffering far away?
It is important to keep a positive state of mind – practising the four apramanas with a heart full of love and faith in the Three Jewels. Even in the darkest hour it is still only a dream and an illusion – the solution is to wake up and discover the true nature of our existence and our heart connection with all beings. Continue reading A Losar message from Lama Shenpen for these troubled times
Love without focus is very profound. It is not something we can adopt as our practice or say to ourselves ‘we should practise this way’, as if there is something wrong with our practice if we’re not doing so. It is what happens as our understanding of Emptiness deepens … Continue reading Can there be love without object or focus?
On the path we glimpse the deception of Mara and don’t let ourselves be drawn into attachment and aversion, but as we lose that clarity dullness cuts in and we are deceived again… Continue reading What does Equanimity feel like? What does it mean to be ‘unruffled by attachment’?
We are facing the aloneness of a journey only we can make for ourselves, also an alone-ness where there is nobody looking on and saying we are doing well, we are our own leader and follower – Guru and disciple – we have to do it ourselves, like growing up but on a cosmic scale. Continue reading Why might someone feel lonely after taking the Refuge or Bodhisattva vow?