Training ourselves to appreciate simple pleasures that expand the heart

“Spend time doing things or simply remembering moments in your life that touch, move or expand your heart. It may be simple things like watching the cat rolling and stretching in the sun, it may be watching a bird soaring high in the sky, it may be listening to certain pieces of music, or certain scenes from books or films. It may be through smelling washing fresh from off the line, the taste of good food, the sound of splashing water, or the feel of cotton or velvet.

Be conscious of how the whole experience feels – the joy in the heart and the sense of freedom and space to enjoy yourself. The sense of joy and freedom is coming from the chitta. – the essence of your being.

The experience may only last a few seconds before being covered over by habitual patterns of thought. Nevertheless, you know in your heart that you have glimpsed something of value that you will be able to return to because it is the nature of your being to be able to experience things in that way.”

Lama Shenpen Hookham, from a teaching on Love and Compassion

Lama Shenpen’s students are participating in The Living the Awakened Heart Training – a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. The training, which is open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at