young annoyed female freelancer using laptop at home

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?

Does giving up Samsara mean giving up on life in general?

It is not saying everything is transient and without the slightest meaning. I often see samsara being used to mean life in general.  It doesn’t mean life in general.  Samsara means the weary round of rebirth driven by ignorance of our true nature beyond thought, clinging to wrong views, getting caught up in the complications of our confused thinking that turns all we do into karmic actions that bring about further entrapment in samsara – the weary round of rebirth and falling into the sufferings of the six realms. Continue reading Does giving up Samsara mean giving up on life in general?

mandala principle, boundaries, Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Shenpen Hookham UK Buddhist Teacher

Mandala Principle & Boundaries: Boundaries feel threatening to me, what aren’t I getting?

Mandalas are a way of describing the world of our experience in which everything is appearing and yet is ungraspable. The only reason we experience anything is because we can distinguish it from anything else. If it were all uniform with no differentiation it would not be experience would it? It wouldn’t be anything. Continue reading Mandala Principle & Boundaries: Boundaries feel threatening to me, what aren’t I getting?

Suffering in Buddhism Lama Shenpen UK female Buddhist teacher

What to do when we respond to the suffering of others with feeling powerless and guilty?

This is such an important question for so many people. I think the problem arises from approaching the whole thing from a Western cultural point of view. We value a sense of social responsibility and abhor hypocrisy and self-deception. We tend to believe in just this one life we are in now and that we have to solve the world’s problems… Continue reading What to do when we respond to the suffering of others with feeling powerless and guilty?

How do you tell which mantra you have a connection with and how best to practice with it?

It is an important question and I find people respond to mantra practice very differently.  For some people as soon as they hear a mantra they just want to keep repeating it – and it seems to have an energy of its own… Since mantras are actually the Buddha in essence – they are powerful – but it’s not the sound so much as what is producing the sound that is important – the sound is emanating from Enlightenment itself and so can connect us directly to the energy of Enlightenment – that is why it is important who you receive the mantra from. Continue reading How do you tell which mantra you have a connection with and how best to practice with it?

No More Samsara? A student writes: I’ve no interest in coming back for the sake of beings

It sounds as if you see coming back to benefit beings as somehow at odds with realising the True Nature of Reality.  We take the Bodhisattva vow in order to link directly into our true nature that is naturally caring and concerned for others – all others simply because they exist and are just like us. Linking into any other motivation is the slow path. Continue reading No More Samsara? A student writes: I’ve no interest in coming back for the sake of beings

What to do if you find you’re resisting Meditation & how to deal with difficult thoughts

When you have confidence in the spacious unchanging nature, and thoughts are passing and are nothing in themselves, you can gradually come to recognise that everything that appears including thoughts are a joyful play in the space of awareness. So there doesn’t have to be a point to it as such – it’s all delightful, and that joyousness is the point.  Continue reading What to do if you find you’re resisting Meditation & how to deal with difficult thoughts