We have a strong sense of self all the time but a vague idea about what it really is. Then we panic and grab onto what is not self as self and it lets us down every time – it lets ‘us’ down – we still have a very strong sense of self and we need to have – otherwise what kind of being would we be? Continue reading Who is experiencing this present experience? Which ‘I’ am I?
Ngöndro in general means preliminary and in the context of Tibetan Buddhism often refers to the practice of the 4 x 100,000… In Tibet many people had a lot of time they could devote to Dharma practice so having the 4 x 100000 to accomplish gave them a goal and many people made it their main practice… Continue reading Where does Ngöndro – the traditional preliminary practices fit into the Awakened Heart Sangha?
Consciousness in this sense depends on its object for its existence and character, and there are as many of them as there are mind moments. So it’s a collection, aggregate, bundle or collection of things – hence called a skandha… Continue reading What is the skandha of consciousness and how is it different from awareness?
If you are awake, attentive and enjoying a sense pleasure then it is not suffering is it? As soon as you start continuing to crave the sense pleasure to the point that it’s becoming a problem – it’s suffering… Continue reading Is refraining from indulging in sense pleasures such as snack food, a good practice?
If the sutra were simply saying form is an illusion and so is unreliable and not ultimate reality, why would it then go on to say ’emptiness is form’? Continue reading A Conversation with Lama Shenpen about Emptiness and the Heart Sutra
If our health and well being and that of our family, friends, country and so on are relatively stable and doing okay, then better spend as much time as possible taking advantage of that situation by cultivating right view by listening, reflecting and meditating. But if duty of care means we need to earn a living, take care of our health, look after family, friends and country and so on – well we have to spend time helping others and try to practise… Continue reading How can we act skilfully in the world when our actions will always be tangled up with avidya/delusion?
We are enough just as we are – what a relief just to hear that and know we are totally loveable and adequate in ourselves – all we need now is to realise that fully and its full implications – our nature is Buddha – and what does that mean? Continue reading Why do I feel so moved by the line ‘Here there is nothing to remove and nothing to add’?
This idea of the Buddha’s wrathful or fierce activity that destroys evil and forces that oppose the Dharma runs throughout the tradition and comes up a lot in the Mahayana sutras and even more in the tantras/Vajrayana. Continue reading What are we to make of wrathful action being one of the Buddha’s great miracles, given the precept not to kill?
Vidya is not really a point of progress along the path – it is our true nature and so of course there is nothing to do. As long as avidya is not recognised for what it is there is still something to do in a way because we are seeing things wrongly. Continue reading When we’ve dropped our delusion, then what? What lies beyond avidya, What would be left to do, to enjoy?
Even after fifty five years I still find, like you that my word for that awe-inspiring, all-pervasive sense of benevolent presence is ‘God’, yet like you all my spiritual connections are Buddhist and the Buddha’s teachings are what I live by. The majority of western Buddhists are not from that camp I think – their experiences with God and God language are not positive and often never were. It is a very interesting area isn’t it? Continue reading A conversation about God: Can a Buddhist use the word ‘God’?