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?

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?

UK Female Buddhist Teacher Lama Shenpen Hookham

Excerpt from Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories – Karma Thinley Rinpoche & the Snake – what would you have done?

In the video below Lama Shenpen introduces the story of Karma Thinley Rinpoche and the Snake, and describes how she likes to leave some of the stories in her book open ended, in order to ask the reader, what would you have done? What spiritual teaching would you have received if you were in Lama’s place? What have you taken away from the story? Read the full excerpt below: Continue reading Excerpt from Keeping the Dalai Lama Waiting & Other Stories – Karma Thinley Rinpoche & the Snake – what would you have done?

love and compassion to inanimate objects Lama Shenpen hookham buddhism

Can we practise Love and Compassion to inanimate objects such as mountains?

For me love and compassion is what happens between beings – not inanimate objects. Yet we do talk about communion with nature and the landscape don’t we?  We talk of caring for the world around us and treating it with gentleness and respect – which feels a bit like love and compassion. Maybe that is because we intuit that somehow it is not all somehow ‘out there’… Continue reading Can we practise Love and Compassion to inanimate objects such as mountains?

How does imagination fit into the process of reflection and meditation?

When we try in an ego-centric way – or manipulate our experience to be what we think it should be – then it’s kind of aggressive, ambitious and pushy. But when we are simply playing in the openness of awareness – trying things out in a relaxed and gentle way that feels really alive and kind of beautiful… Continue reading How does imagination fit into the process of reflection and meditation?

Examining Awareness: How can we know Awareness is not created and conditioned?

There is no evidence that there was ever a time when awareness was not there – so it’s a possibility that it is not created.  The more familiar one becomes with awareness in one’s Dharma practice the more sense it makes that it is not created – it is not constructed from our thoughts like everything else we know of – awareness is what constructs the thoughts and gets confused by them. Continue reading Examining Awareness: How can we know Awareness is not created and conditioned?

Are We Fooling Ourselves? Lama Shenpen talks to a student about checking that our motivation and practice is genuine

We don’t have to be perfect before we begin – so yes we do start off taking Refuge and practising Dharma with mixed motives. There is no point in developing renunciation if people don’t have a sense of something they trust in first.  If they don’t trust in anything at all then what is the point of banging on about suffering and impermanence? Continue reading Are We Fooling Ourselves? Lama Shenpen talks to a student about checking that our motivation and practice is genuine

interconnection oneness interpenetration buddhism Lama Shenpen Hookham

I don’t experience the oneness and inter-connectivity of all things, should I just believe in it to begin with?

By all means use oneness to let go of views of separation, but letting go of views is not to be confused with substituting one view for another. We have to hold our views lightly and make sure they lead to the giving up of views in the ordinary sense and that is resting in right ‘view’. Continue reading I don’t experience the oneness and inter-connectivity of all things, should I just believe in it to begin with?