We all face difficulties individually that we open to and treat as practice rather than thinking ‘I can’t practice because of difficulties’. What we mean is I am practising but it’s still difficult. There is no need to say ‘I can’t practice’ – even when one feels so uninspired that even practice feels flat – that is our practice isn’t it? Continue reading Welcoming Difficulties as the Path
Last weekend Lama Shenpen gave Refuge and Bodhisattva vows to 26 of her students from around the world in a special online ceremony. As part of that special day she gave a teaching on the Refuge and Bodhisattva vows Continue reading Teaching on Taking the Refuge and Bodhisattva Vow
The Shrimaladevi Sutra is a very important source for our tradition that goes right back to a person who lived at the time of Shakyamuni. It is great that that person is actually a woman and not a monastic. That feels very refreshing somehow. I don’t say that because I am a woman particularly. I think everyone, men and women, like to see that it is not just men and not just monastics that are powerful practitioners… Continue reading Long read article: Who was Queen Shrimala and Why is the Shrimaladevi Sutra important?
Lama Shenpen will be giving her first teaching of the new year on Saturday 13th February as part of the Teaching & Meditation weekend running from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th February. Lama Shenpen will introduce this year’s Living the Awakened Heart teaching theme of Insight into Emptiness, with the focus of this teaching being Dependent Origination. The weekend will continue with teachings from Dashu, … Continue reading Lama Shenpen Teaching in February on Dependent Origination
Punya is rather misleadingly translated as merit but since punya belongs to us, it is our personal wealth and power, which we can give away for the benefit of others. In order to give to others in a way that will truly benefit them, we have to think about what is the most effective way of using our punya… Continue reading What Does Accumulating ‘Merit’ Mean? Understanding Punya & that we are punya itself
We express our presence through our body, actions, movements and speech. We express it in our bearing, our posture and the way we do things. Our presence expresses itself in the way we take our place in the world, the way we take our seat. Continue reading The gift of being ‘fully present’
The seven branches of prayer begin with salutations, which traditionally take the form of bowing and prostrations. The idea is that we honour the Awakened ones with our body, speech and mind, giving up our pride and egocentricity in order to be open to the vision of the Buddhas. So the gesture of salutation or bowing is one of acknowledging, aligning, honouring and celebrating. Continue reading What are the Seven Branches of Prayer?
There are three ordinary ideas that we have that make karma seem particularly strange but which are ultimately called into question in Buddhism. The first is that people are very separate from the material world; the second is that the present and the future are very separate; the third is that different beings and different locations in space are very separate. Continue reading Three Ordinary Ideas Called into Question by Karma in Buddhism
Lama Shenpen: I find myself wondering what exactly we mean by ‘imagination’. We use the term in various ways. To start with we use it for a faculty we have, the faculty that intelligence has to create – to be creative and to explore possibilities just because we can imagine them – and then come up with something more as if from nowhere. It is … Continue reading How can we use our imaginative faculty to good effect in Dharma practice?
First of all we need to know what a Pure Land is and what it means. Eventually we learn that the pure land is nothing other than our true nature. The pure land manifests in the heart when we realise that our true nature is our Buddha nature. So why call this a pure land? Why a place? We are Buddha nature. We are expressions of Buddha nature so why talk about it as if it were a Pure Land? Eventually it’s a matter of seeing this world we are in now as being the Pure Land. Continue reading Long Read Part 1: What is a Pure Land? And Why pray to be reborn there?