man holding white and black happy birthday signage

How can we act skilfully in the world when our actions will always be tangled up with avidya/delusion?

If our health and well being and that of our family, friends, country and so on are relatively stable and doing okay, then better spend as much time as possible taking advantage of that situation by cultivating right view by listening, reflecting and meditating.  But if duty of care means we need to earn a living, take care of our health, look after family, friends and country and so on – well we have to spend time helping others and try to practise… Continue reading How can we act skilfully in the world when our actions will always be tangled up with avidya/delusion?

silhouette of person raising its hand

When we’ve dropped our delusion, then what? What lies beyond avidya, What would be left to do, to enjoy?

Vidya is not really a point of progress along the path – it is our true nature and so of course there is nothing to do. As long as avidya is not recognised for what it is there is still something to do in a way because we are seeing things wrongly. Continue reading When we’ve dropped our delusion, then what? What lies beyond avidya, What would be left to do, to enjoy?

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?

Avidya Ignorance Lama Shenpen Hookham UK Tibetan Buddhist teacher

The power of Avidya – primordial ignorance – is an expression of the fundamental quality of sensitivity.

You could think of it as a kind of distorted compassion. Having failed to recognise openness, clarity and sensitivity as the true nature of reality, avidya tries to protect a separate individual self from the overwhelming nature of these qualities. Continue reading The power of Avidya – primordial ignorance – is an expression of the fundamental quality of sensitivity.

What’s the difference between ‘personal mandala’ and ‘ego mandala’?

Even though our experience of it is distorted, we have access to its qualities already. They shine through our confusion and are what lead us out of it. We need to learn to be subtle about recognising what are the Buddha qualities and trusting them, and what is ego grasping and letting that go. While we are still only on the path, it’s not easy to distinguish between them. Continue reading What’s the difference between ‘personal mandala’ and ‘ego mandala’?

Noticing ways we delude ourselves: noticing Avidya and Mara

This is Mara at work – it is almost a gut reaction.  Something in us is so deeply entrenched we don’t want to disturb it – or rather it doesn’t want to be disturbed. This can often account for why sometimes we find ourselves drifting off instead of really focusing in an awake and alive way when we are meditating.  We really have to look closely to see what that is all about. Continue reading Noticing ways we delude ourselves: noticing Avidya and Mara