The problem here is that the Shamata [calm abiding meditation) is strong but there is very little insight [Vipashyana meditation]. You need to become interested in the nature of the thoughts instead of just letting them go. If you let them go too quickly it is almost as if you are cutting them off rather than simply letting them be. It is a very fine edge or distinction… Continue reading Meditation makes my mind dull and sleepy, what can I do?
It’s not a kind of intellectual understanding where we work out this is happiness because it’s not suffering – we know it when we recognise our True Nature… Continue reading How will we recognise the bliss of Awakening when we have nothing to compare it to?
I think it is very important when our energy is low not to drain our energy more by feeling bad about ourselves and chastising ourselves for not doing better or doing more, or comparing ourselves unfavourably with others or with our past performance. Continue reading How can we engage in meditation if we experience low energy?
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?