The meditation cushion is not a magic wand that solves all problems. Each situation needs to be addressed with Openness, Clarity and Sensitivity – sometimes face to face in the situation we find ourselves in – and sometimes face to face with ourselves in meditation. Continue reading “The meditation cushion is not a magic wand” – Lama Shenpen on balancing acting in the world & meditating
I think this question relates to reflection – when and how do we engage in reflection? Often it is when we are sitting quietly on our meditation cushion and thoughts and feelings are coming up, we recognise patterns and insights pop out sometimes as if from nowhere. Sometimes we worry that we are going to forget them and are tempted to quickly note them down. To do that would be useful from the reflection point of view but not what we should be doing when we are first developing some kind of Shamata. Continue reading Should we label all thoughts as ‘thinking’ in meditation?
“I find in situations like that it is important to keep strongly aware of what is going on inside me and respecting that, while maintaining as friendly relations as I can.” Continue reading How do you practice when you just don’t like somebody?
It is important to take note of what is happening and often persistent thoughts and patterns of thinking and emoting can be freed up by using some of the wonderful methods that are emerging in the West these days… Continue reading Another question about ‘spiritual bypassing’ and meditating with anxiety and depression
Not everyone is at the same stage in their Buddhist life and so it’s good to think in terms of spiral learning. It’s not all upwards and onwards – it is about staying grounded where you are right now and the next step forward in our own path of discovery. Continue reading An important conversation with a student about misunderstanding Dharma and ‘spiritual bypassing’
Our purpose is to hang on in there, trusting that our True Nature hasn’t actually changed, that how it manifests is not how it is and that although the pain of not being able to recognise that True Nature seems endless and hopeless, actually it is spurring us on to abandon what is false and open to what is real. Continue reading Lama Shenpen advises a student who is struggling with feeling there’s no point or purpose to their being
I think sometimes people associate trying to meditate with constant failure. All these feelings are mandala guardians * trying to keep you out of your meditation mandala by throwing up a smoke screen of excuses. Continue reading What can we do when we feel we can’t meditate?
Negativity and negative thoughts when we make mistakes or get things wrong is interesting isn’t it? It’s very common – a sub-mandala that feels okay as long as we can feel confident that we are not making a mistake – as long as we feel we are in the right. Continue reading What’s happening when we experience negative thoughts and a loss of confidence?
That sense of overwhelm in the light of world suffering is called ‘revulsion at samsara’ in Buddhism and is an important quality to cultivate. It is actually the healthy functioning of our Buddha Nature – our intrinsic openness, clarity and sensitivity. It is what compassion feels like… Continue reading How do you maintain compassion without getting miserable? How to deal with overwhelm and depression due to all the suffering in the world
It is all very sneaky isn’t it? Learn not to add to the sneakiness by judging it and condemning it – have sympathy and love for the sneaky part, it is doing its best. And as you love that part in you, you will find you can love that part in others too! Continue reading Working with our negative emotions & our sneaky self-centred parts