Does Awareness – Openness Clarity Sensitivity – disappear during deep sleep?

Queen Shrimala in the Shrimaladevi Sutra says to the Buddha, there are two great mysteries that are hard to understand – first how the chitta (heart-mind) is primordially pure and second how what is primordially pure can become obscured. Continue reading Does Awareness – Openness Clarity Sensitivity – disappear during deep sleep?

frozen wave against sunlight

How should we interpret the word ‘Chitta’ – the heart-mind – as we take our understanding and practice deeper?

‘Mind’, ‘heart’ and ‘awareness’ all work in various contexts – but not in a particularly precise way – but look out for when mind seems to be taking you into your head and thinking… Continue reading How should we interpret the word ‘Chitta’ – the heart-mind – as we take our understanding and practice deeper?

multiethnic couple meditating together in park

What does the word ‘bliss’ mean in connection with love & compassion teachings?

I wonder if this is a question about what bliss means exactly in this context. It is likely that it is this word that is confusing you. We tend to think of bliss as an intense version of a strongly excited state of being happy. If so then its not really the right word here…. It doesn’t help others for you to be overwhelmed by their pain and suffering – it helps them for you to bring your heart and its natural qualities of connection – your calm and compassionate presence… Continue reading What does the word ‘bliss’ mean in connection with love & compassion teachings?

tealight candle on human palms

How should we practise for those who have died? Do we focus on their ‘old’ identity? Should we expand the practice to all beings too?

When someone is in our heart they are always in our heart – through life through death through all their lifetimes and all our lifetimes too. That is how the Bodhisattva vow works, that is why we can make a vow to bring all beings to Awakening. It makes sense because we are connected with all beings in our hearts whatever life circumstances they are in or identities they have adopted. Continue reading How should we practise for those who have died? Do we focus on their ‘old’ identity? Should we expand the practice to all beings too?

What if rituals feel contrived to me? Am I still welcome in the sangha?

Ritual is different from simple ceremonies. If properly conducted it makes things happen – it shapes the universe if you like. It isn’t just me doing something from my own side – or a whole lot of people doing something from their own side. The universe is changed by the ritual – it’s become a different reality in some sense… Continue reading What if rituals feel contrived to me? Am I still welcome in the sangha?

person holding red candle in a dark room

How do we transform our negative actions into positive actions that benefit others?

We are uniquely connected to all other beings in the same kind of way that every point in space is uniquely connected to all other points in space. If we damage our connection with others through our unskilful actions their mandala registers that Continue reading How do we transform our negative actions into positive actions that benefit others?

woman in blue denim jeans sitting on brown wooden chair

What practice can we do to make amends and repair our mistakes?

A student asks: When we make mistakes, what is the best practice to make amends? Would the Vajrasattva mantra be best for purification? Lama Shenpen responds: When we make mistakes it’s good to apply the powers of repentance (as explained in our booklets under the section about confession in the 7 branch prayer).  First you acknowledge the fault and repent it – feeling remorse or … Continue reading What practice can we do to make amends and repair our mistakes?

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?