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?
Lama Shenpen’s valuable teaching on integrating meditations on Love & Compassion with our daily life, recorded live on 8th August 2020. Catch up on all of Lama Shenpen’s teachings from this year (as well as teachings by other Awakened Heart Sangha teachers) on the theme of Love & Compassion, on the new mini site dedicated to these teachings HERE. If you would like to make … Continue reading Video: Integrating Meditation & Daily Life
For me love and compassion is what happens between beings – not inanimate objects. Yet we do talk about communion with nature and the landscape don’t we? We talk of caring for the world around us and treating it with gentleness and respect – which feels a bit like love and compassion. Maybe that is because we intuit that somehow it is not all somehow ‘out there’… Continue reading Can we practise Love and Compassion to inanimate objects such as mountains?
If love is wishing others well and feeling connected in a trusting and open way, then when we notice we have an agenda such as ‘I would love you if you were not so….’ – we can acknowledge that judgemental quality as our own desire and attachment and work with how to become more gentle, open and generous. Continue reading How can we practise with the antidote to the ‘near enemies’ of the Four Apramanas? Correcting distortions of Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy & Equanimity
As long as we haven’t realised our True Nature we will always be subject to fear and suffering. Whether we are having an easy time at the moment or a hard time – the situation can change suddenly for any of us at any time. That doesn’t stop us accessing the love and compassion of our Buddha Nature. It just means that we don’t necessarily have nice relaxed cosy feelings associated with that Continue reading How do you practise Love & Compassion when you’re dealing with fear?
Sometimes even the word compassion suggests a kind of superiority – looking down on others who are less fortunate than I am as if from some moral high ground. It leads to people saying things like ‘I don’t want your compassion or your pity!!!’ Continue reading How to get the right touch when practising sending love & compassion to others?
Samsara always was, is and will be uncertain and as long as we cling to it we will be trapped in fear even if we temporarily feel secure sometimes… let the crisis galvanise us into realising it’s true that death can come at any time and be as ready for it as we can with a heart full of love, compassion and confidence in our true nature. Continue reading A Conversation About Buddhist Practice During the Coronavirus Crisis