Spend time doing things that touch, move or expand your heart It may be simple things… 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. Continue reading Training ourselves to appreciate simple pleasures that expand the heart
Dear All I hope you are all coping well in the difficult circumstances we all find ourselves in. We at the Hermitage are better off than most as there are four of us here together and we have plenty of space to move around in. It must be very taxing for those cooped up in small houses together with multiple family members all day for … Continue reading A message from Lama Shenpen to her students practising during this difficult time
As long as we are noticing we are practising. Don’t then think ‘I’m a bad person’ – to notice is a positive thing – commit to just notice without doing something. We don’t have to change then and there. Continue reading Why Noticing is Enough
It is not the case that love and compassion always feel cosy, warm and intimate. Love and compassion can manifest in different ways and can be classified according to what are called the five Buddha families or Buddha Wisdoms. Continue reading Love and Compassion are not always cosy and warm
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