I start where people are. I start with what is motivating people to come to learn about Buddhism in the first place. They are looking for a spiritual path, for meaning, for truth, for peace of mind, for a path to happiness, for a way of overcoming their feelings of hopelessness and lack of direction in life. They are looking for something that will make their life make sense to them and enable them to live out their deep wish to be of benefit to others and to the world. Continue reading How does Lama Shenpen tailor her teachings for a Western audience?
If you find it hard to let go of a critical and judgmental attitude towards yourself and others, remember that the fundamental quality of sensitivity is already your nature and the nature of others. We are not trying to create or maintain this. We are just trying to notice it. What we call ‘not feeling a sense of well-being’, is our sense of well-being responding to something that does not feel right. Continue reading Letting go of judgmental attitudes and opinions
The question is whether ‘self’ has any meaning in Buddhism, since it speaks so much of ‘not-self’, which is a realization of the emptiness of the notion of self as we normally understand it. There could be an infinite number of layers to our sense of self, each of which would be a different kind of self. The coherent self that is the knower, the actor, the controller of a being is like the kernal of its associated personality, which supports and is supported by it. It is like a hard central core, which changes, depending on how deep into its nature one has gone. Each level of insight causes a collapse into a deeper, subtler, and more strongly held sense of self. Each level of insight brings one closer to what that self is in itself. Continue reading Article: Five Uses of the Term Self in Buddhism
A Student asks about worship in Buddhism A student asks: “I feel that in Tibetan Buddhism there is a worshipping of the Buddha and other deities – do you think that I have misunderstood things? I thought that the Buddha emphasised that he didn’t want people to follow him, even less worship him. So why do we seem to follow that practice?” Lama: The Buddha … Continue reading Student’s Question: What is the meaning of worship in Buddhism?
These days we surf the net and find a likely looking Dharma website and feel that parting with even a few hundred pounds is to take a risk, since who knows who the people are and what they’re are up to. So often it is with suspicion and scepticism that we embark on a course and the practice, hardly knowing what to expect and wondering if this is yet another internet scam.
Hardly the best way to approach the holy teachings! Continue reading How should we approach online Dharma teachings and downloaded texts?
This is a wonderful teaching from Lama Shenpen on the Metta Sutta and the power of love and compassion: “Love and compassion are not contrived, it’s our default nature. You can’t crank it up, the more we let go of our struggle and anxiety, the more it comes out naturally…” Continue reading Video: The Metta Sutta
Lama Shenpen will be teaching at a retreat weekend event in Birmingham, UK in March. Practising Dharma in Everyday Life, 22nd – 24th March, will be a weekend retreat to explore how we can bring the profound teachings of Dharma and Meditation into our busy lives. Continue reading Teaching Weekend in March