In order to perform the action of going for Refuge, we need something to direct our action towards. We need something to set in the place of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha at centre of the mandala of sacred space that we are creating. The custom is to use a Buddha image to represent the Buddha and a text of the teachings to represent the Dharma. The Sangha is present in the person who is going to give the Refuge and any other practitioners present at the ceremony. Continue reading Article: What does it mean to ‘take Refuge’?
There is a lot of symbolism associated with this gesture, not simply the idea of prayer (as is the case in the West).The main point of the gesture is to open yourself to receive the adhistana (blessing, power) and express your appreciation and gratitude for it. Continue reading Why do people bow and make prostrations to shrines?
Mandala Principle is about the pattern and structure of everything that happens. The basic pattern is a centre or a central point from which everything else emanates. In Tibetan, the Sanskrit term ‘mandala’ is translated as kyilkor, which literally means a centre and a periphery. Every experience has this structure. Continue reading Article: What is Mandala Principle? How can it help us connect to and understand the world we live in?
Although we are talking here of love, compassion and joy as if they were qualities that we have to develop, actually they are the natural responsiveness of our chitta (heart-mind) when it is completely unimpeded by the confusion arising from not recognising our true nature. Continue reading Limitless love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy & Equalness – Four Immeasurable qualities to discover within ourselves
The only good thing that can be said about feeling pain and suffering is that at least you are alive. It is very important to link into that constant feeling of aliveness as something good and inescapable. That is the goodness of your heart which can never be destroyed, even by death. Continue reading How is it possible to find a sense of well-being in pain and suffering?
Confidence in needed in order to align yourself with the heart-essence and its three qualities of openness, clarity and sensitivity. Sometimes in Buddhism it is called faith, but really it is a kind of confidence that there is the ‘heart’ of openness, clarity and sensitivity to be discovered in our being. Buddhism teaches that it is there in its completeness to be recognised, and to be relied on. It is something that we can take refuge in. Continue reading The Importance of Confidence in Buddhist Practice
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?