If you awaken fully, do you disappear?

A Student writes: If you ‘Awaken’ fully do you disappear? Lama Shenpen replies: This is a very interesting question. I think the answer is maybe but not necessarily – and I believe there is an element of choice involved in this too.  I am reading a book called ‘Rainbow Body and Resurrection – Spiritual Attainment, the Dissolution of the Material Body and the Case of … Continue reading If you awaken fully, do you disappear?

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Do we have to abandon rational thinking? A conversation about thinking, intuition and faith

Sane people think – rational people think. So why do you say we have to abandon rational thinking? I would say we need to abandon clinging to views, opinions and intellectual conclusions when opening to the true nature of reality… Continue reading Do we have to abandon rational thinking? A conversation about thinking, intuition and faith

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If there were no objects for awareness to illuminate what is known, would there just be pure being?

Something has to happen in the way we look at everything – we are so used to either dividing everything up into seer and seen or to just blanking out and becoming vague about everything. Something quite different from both needs to happen Continue reading If there were no objects for awareness to illuminate what is known, would there just be pure being?

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What’s the difference between passing experiences (nyams) and stable realisation?

There is no need to worry about having gained stability of full realisation or not because it does itself in its own time, and the signs of it are obvious – the important thing is to notice any instability and use it as a trigger of awareness. There are so many Dharma teachings to help with this. Continue reading What’s the difference between passing experiences (nyams) and stable realisation?

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How can we use our imaginative faculty to good effect in Dharma practice?

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?

The Apramanas and the Five Buddha Families

Love and compassion express themselves differently in different situations and we all need all of them both in ourselves and in others and as a society. Furthermore they all contain within themselves the other four energies/qualities in different measure. Any of one of them becomes distorted if not combined sufficiently with all the others. Continue reading The Apramanas and the Five Buddha Families

life story, namtar, vimoksha, past lives, reincarnation, UK Buddhist teacher, Lama Shenpen Hookham, female UK Buddhist teacher.

Our life story as our path to Awakening: How does our story go from life to life?

The story passes from life to life in the sense that it is still your story however you tell it. You are the person and the story is basically your path to Awakening be it fast or slow. The stories we tell ourselves all fit into the whole in some way or another – the whole thing is not in time or space Continue reading Our life story as our path to Awakening: How does our story go from life to life?

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Do we need to listen to the same teachings again and again?

It is interesting isn’t it? I remember being amazed to see Tibetan Lamas looking totally absorbed,  listening to one of their number talking about simple things like the precepts and Refuge, the six realms and so on, and being clearly moved by the teachings even though they had heard the same teachings from childhood. 

I got the sense that for them it was like being born into a pure realm where they were hearing only the Dharma and they were just rejoicing at being there and hearing the truth of it – as if it were also a meditation for them – a reminder of deep truths and always with the possibility this time it might go just that bit deeper and become a genuine realisation coming to them and changing their mind forever… Continue reading Do we need to listen to the same teachings again and again?