That sense of overwhelm in the light of world suffering is called ‘revulsion at samsara’ in Buddhism and is an important quality to cultivate. It is actually the healthy functioning of our Buddha Nature – our intrinsic openness, clarity and sensitivity. It is what compassion feels like… Continue reading How do you maintain compassion without getting miserable? How to deal with overwhelm and depression due to all the suffering in the world
It is important to keep a positive state of mind – practising the four apramanas with a heart full of love and faith in the Three Jewels. Even in the darkest hour it is still only a dream and an illusion – the solution is to wake up and discover the true nature of our existence and our heart connection with all beings. Continue reading A Losar message from Lama Shenpen for these troubled times
Love without focus is very profound. It is not something we can adopt as our practice or say to ourselves ‘we should practise this way’, as if there is something wrong with our practice if we’re not doing so. It is what happens as our understanding of Emptiness deepens … Continue reading Can there be love without object or focus?
On the path we glimpse the deception of Mara and don’t let ourselves be drawn into attachment and aversion, but as we lose that clarity dullness cuts in and we are deceived again… Continue reading What does Equanimity feel like? What does it mean to be ‘unruffled by attachment’?
The important thing about the Apramanas practice is to really break through that thinking and dare to wish all beings to be happy and free from suffering, because that is actually what you’re wishing for, and you do wish it to be radical happiness, where they’ve realised what is the cause of suffering and what causes happiness, and they’re just abiding by that, so they’re not going to fall back into suffering… Continue reading The Pranidhana for Radical Happiness at the Heart of Love & Compassion Teachings
Yes, we love others because we are all Buddha by nature and yes, just thinking that could be too simplistic and coarse. That is because the thinking is too simplistic and coarse – not because the thought is false in itself. This is a very important point and applies to almost every situation in life. Just thinking things without it really leading to a deeper experiential understanding doesn’t change much – but often that is where we need to start. Continue reading Do we love others because we are all the same, or because of our differences?
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?
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
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?
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?